2015 IEA Conference Session – Transforming Your Relationship to Yourself as a Spiritual Practice
Roxanne Howe-Murphy, EdD
At a recent social function, I witnessed an experience that we all might recognize. A friend with many gifts—-a painter, pianist and singer, and a minister in his spiritual tradition, offered to play a demanding piano piece for a few trusted friends. This person’s loving and compassionate nature toward others is unmistakable. But having simply stumbled with a few notes, he verbally berated himself over and over for his mistakes.
Whether or not we would verbalize our displeasure with ourselves so publically, we all have experienced the sting of the Inner Critic (IC). It hurts.
The IC/Superego in its many manifestations spares no one. It is one of the most dominant and when uninterrupted, most painful aspects of the personality structure, and largely shapes the relationship we have with ourselves. While it shows up under any all circumstances in life, the IC becomes particularly activated and accelerated when we are on the path of change and growth (p. 365*). Whether our personality structure tends toward ego-expansion or ego-deflation, being a detective in its activity helps increase consciousness and shift our relationship to it.
The primary questions in this IEA Conference session are “What is my relationship with the Inner Critic?” and ” What happens when this relationship is transformed?”
We will delve into the roots of the IC at the center of inner polarity–that state where we experience the inner split, and why the IC, then, has such strong staying power. We will engage in discerning the primary ways in which the critic is expressed, and how it is affected by type structure and instinct. Perhaps, surprisingly, the IC also provides an avenue for contacting our deeper truths and inner authority.
I hope you can join me in this detective work which invites our compassion and our capacity to deepen into true guidance.
* R. Howe-Murphy, EdD, Deep Living: Transforming Your Relationship to Everything That Matters through the Enneagram (2013)