If I sit in the back of a classroom, I will tell jokes. I catch puns or purposely misunderstand the teacher just for kicks. I make goofy faces and dance to entertain children. I was so mortified by this clown inside of me that would pop out and embarrass me at the most inopportune moments, that I buried her alive. I starved and ignored her. I always sat in the front of the room and made myself pay attention. But, I want to become my fullest potential, and to do that I was very surprised to learn that what I needed to do was split my personality.
Split your personality?
Yes. I had to admit that this little spark of something was also me. It helped to give this sparkling, happy, inappropriate persona a name. I called her “Dyna.” When I gave her some legitimacy in my life, I saw how I had starved and hurt this part of me. I called her names. I ignored her. I didn’t let her out to play. My inner child was crying. But, she wasn’t dead and maybe she never would be. After all, she was me!
I couldn’t conquer her by pretending she wasn’t there. I realized I could not become whole by dismissing some of my parts. What could I do? I set her free. I bought “Dyna” a little dollar store toy. It was a bright red squishy pet with soft rubber spikes, big eyes, and a light up ball inside that flashed when you squeezed it. I called this pet “Sparky.” By letting her out, I started to see that she needed a place in my life. What could I let her do?
Surprise, surprise. By letting myself think about it, and accept this part of me, I realized that what was wrong was not what I was doing when I was clowning around. It was where. It is really important to me to be respectful. I know what it is like to teach, and I want to listen to others and be listened to. It wasn’t that being playful is wrong. It is just like we teach our children: It is not the behavior that is the problem, it is the location or situation. Most things are acceptable in the right place and right time if they are not harmful to ourselves or others.
When I changed my goal from silencing to finding appropriate outlets, I quit holding back some of my greatest strengths. I am playful. That playfulness is really appreciated when I work with children and even when I teach group fitness. I let myself be silly with kids and love to entertain in a nerdy, not cool at all way. And that is okay!
There are more?
Carol Tuttle, an author and entrepreneur of “Dressing Your Truth”, has a personality test she presents in a fun way to help you find out what your truth is. She points out that she has qualities that are often thought of as masculine and her husband possesses some usually referred to as feminine. Like her, I have not appreciated this in my own life. I am and want to be a girl, but I also am and want to be exactly who I am. She uses the four elements (gender neutral) to help you discover which element (none of them are bad) most represents you. If you love to take personality tests, you might want to look her up online.
I was very surprised to find out that I identified with all four! Are there really four of me? Carol admits that people often have pieces of all the elements and the point is to find the one you identify with the most. But, that is not what I got from this experience. Instead, I got a four block framework for all of myself. It was wonderful. I could finally split them out and see all my internally warring factions (of myself). Of course, each of them had to have a name, too. I think visually and spatially, so a grid is exactly what I needed.
Meet Me, All of me:
If you see the value in self-discovery and exploration, then you might also be caught in the same trap I was: it is a never ending, teasing chase. It is like trying to discover the universe, always expanding in view. I used this grid to pin it down onto one map.
Incorporating Carol’s ideas about the elements, I made my own grid. I made a big X from corner to corner on my notebook page. You could do it this way or make an X and Y axis. Either way, splitting your page into four sections.
The top represented me at top speed, full of motion. This part of me, I labeled, BIG D. Big D is confident. She takes charge. She pushes the edge. She is task oriented, loves finding out what is possible, besting herself, beating the clock, conquering and winning! It is about achievement. There is no concept of time. Time is irrelevant (except in relation to winning).
Her weakness: People who aren’t helping might be completely forgotten or ignored, or worse pushed out of the way just for being in the way. Big D has momentum and hates to have to slow down or stop. It isn’t about you, it is full train in motion. It can’t suddenly stop without a train wreck. Please get out of her way, or better, get on board and help me push this puppy along! I am a little afraid of what this girl does to my relationships I treasure so much!
Her mottos: Never Quit! “Don’t let it lick you”–something my husband Brent said that she owns. “There’s always room at the top”–a quote from my Dad that she loves with all her heart. “Challenge is opportunity!”
At the bottom of my energy, I am Daysee. A motionless flower. I love to be meditative, listening, receptive. I like to just be. I noticed that when I changed to writing about Daysee, I could use “I” rather than “she”. Maybe it is because she doesn’t hurt anyone. And, I never want to hurt anyone. It is easier to claim this part of me. But that is the great benefit of splitting and naming myself, at least for me. In a cartoon kind of way, I could be strong enough to see and partly claim the parts of myself I am most ashamed of. Being brave enough to really see, I found that my weaknesses were linked, through and through, to my greatest strengths–truly the other side of the same coin.
Daysee is faithful, wondering, perseptive. She is musical. She is calm and even patient. She would never freak out. Her mottos are: “Look to God and live”, and “Ask and Ye Shall Receive.” She loves to think and read and write. In one way she is surprisingly just like Big D. Time has no meaning.
From left to right, I have a continuum of responsibility. On the left is my most responsible self. This is the part of myself I most often think of as me, and it is in relation to others. The Angel loves to be thankful, positive, and loving. She loves planning, preparing for and preventing problems. She loves to connect and work and live in harmony. She is always trying to improve something, solve problems for the team and help us get where we want to go. She is honest, dependable, and rock solid. She is empathetic, responsive to needs, anticipating, aware, involved and most of all, responsible.
The Angel is incredibly loyal. She is mama bear that acts to protect and defend.
Her mottos: “I am we.” (I read a book called, There is no me without you, which has the same meaning). “You can’t make me not love you!” and “You are worth it!”
Her weaknesses: She doesn’t think about what she wants personally much. She’s prone to martyrdom. She can overwork and over commit herself to “the cause.” She can sometimes, unintentionally undervalue herself. She might also “but in” or “help” when it isn’t wanted or appreciated because she herself loves to prevent and solve problems.
On the far right is Dyna. My totally free little friend. She has no responsibility. She can just play. She is happy, laughing and silly. She’s a performer. Teasing, flirting, dancing, singing, enjoying are all natural to her. She is good at imagining and experimenting. She values uniqueness and doesn’t mind not fitting in, at all. She loves to experience it all and feel however she does.
Problems: She is very immature and self-centered. She doesn’t mind a good fight or argument. She is feisty and flighty. Her freedom is more important than commitment. Don’t count on her. She likes an unrealistic amount of attention. I had fun writing on my calculator, “Touch this and die!” —Dyna (so sick of it getting taken and lost for me! but something the rest of me would never dare say.)
Her mottos: “what’s a motto? who needs a motto?” But if I had to choose one for her it would be “Enjoy, appreciate, share” or “Live well, Laugh Often, Love Much.” She is very loving, just in a child-like kind of way.
Make Friends Already
Splitting my personality was important for me to figure out how to finally declare a lasting peace. I made a commitment to myself that I would be friends with all the parts of myself. No more calling names or internal wars. It is clear to me just in writing this that although I still have a way to go before being entirely comfortable with all of myself, at least we are really, all friends.
To symbolize this commitment, I bought myself a charm necklace at a hospital gift shop. I put a tiny pink girl in it for Dyna, a diamond studded D for Big D, a dove for the angel, and a clear white gem for Daysee. My last charm was the one that tied it all together. It is a red heart that says, “friends.”
And, we are. I need every part of me in a way I am unable to explain. I am coming to value each part. And, when they come into conflict, as I know they surely will, I just split them out and decide who should be the boss in this situation. Everybody needs a turn to be queen for the day.
It also helped me with scheduling. I realized that Daysee, for instance, was squished out almost to oblivion by the Angel who won’t waste time and Big D who is going for the greatest achievements. Daysee knows that sometimes just being, or writing what you learn, is an achievement. I’m glad I’m learning to also listen to her.
I know that my best me is the best thing I can be.
I hope that by sharing the path I took, it will make your path in some way easier.
We are so not alone in this journey.
May you find all of yourself and make friends!
DarEll S. Hoskisson
DarEll S. Hoskisson loves to do hard things, but not too hard. She shares her own challenges, goals and experiences as she guides you into a realistic path of self-reflection and self-improvement. She shares tips on how to find, know and trust yourself so you can decide if other’s suggestions are right for you. DarEll has the world a little upside down—where work is play and play is work. She actually thinks other people’s problems are fun to try to solve and lights up with a personal challenge. She loves people, harmony, and excellence. She also loves useful things like tools and ideas that make work faster, easier and more fun. DarEll married in 1993 and graduated from BYU (1995) with a bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education. Since then she was adopted by 5 children and has worked with many non-profits. She is currently a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor—leading pilates and yoga at her local YMCA. DarEll lives in Florida where she enjoys her family, nature, her work, and encouraging people to live well. She periodically posts her poems, what she is learning, and service opportunities on her personal blogs: https://personalabridgements.wordpress.com and https://darellhoskisson.wordpress.com