I wrote the following article in the summer of 2001 during and in the aftermath of a miscarriage.It illustrates the use of writing as a healing tool – but particularly focuses on how one might work through a difficult or disappointing life event by giving voice to the many selves that are responding and reacting to the difficulty.

My understanding of ourselves as ‘multi-voiced’ or dialogical began when a teacher explained to me that is was normal to have feelings or thoughts that obviously and even sometimes painfully conflicted with one another and that the challenge was not to suppress one voice over another and become ‘consistent’, but to give each voice the chance to speak.

 

{quotes}“Loss is nothing else but change and change is nature’s delight.” Marcus Aurelius{/quotes}

 

What I learned was similar to poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s famous advice: "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves....Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

 

 

I am constantly learning how I might observe and listen to the “polyphony” of voices within me, without giving in to the urge to draw a conclusion immediately or ‘resolve the issue’. It requires courage, compassion, and patience with myself to remain with the uncertainty.

 

Learning to live with one’s own ambiguity has shown me that the many voices within me (and the words and voices spoken by others) are a rich source for me and ultimately make it possible to allow solutions to develop over time or even to accept that there is beauty in a harmony that may always include dissonant sounds.

 

Not every story has or needs a happy ending, but we do need ways to work with our many selves and allow them to give voice to a story that will let us go on with the joy and business of living.

 

{quotes}Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves....Live the questions now. Rainer Maria Rilke {/quotes}

 

 

An Early Miscarriage

 

 

 

The wind came through me, the messenger of death. The stillness that followed became fallow ground for healing.

 

I went for a walk in the river valley, out for supper and later to the fireworks on Canada Day. Our beautiful red and white flag, symbolizing the blood that was shed coast to coast for our freedom, could be seen perching on porches, hanging over balcony rails and waving from the windows of passing cars. This was our day of celebration and national pride. For me the day was also one of sadness and loss. I was loosing our seven week baby-to-be.

 

Just weeks before, I had found I was pregnant again. With our daughter turning four in the fall, my husband and I both felt we were ready for another child and were happy to find I was again expecting. We had gone on vacation and hoped to get pregnant, which we did effortlessly. I felt my body start to change – all the signs were there: breasts swelling, moments of lightheadedness from a more sensitive blood sugar level, and even hints of nausea. A pregnancy test confirmed we were on the way to becoming the parents of a second child.

 

What started on the Thursday before as innocent looking spotting or the beginning of a period, turned out to be the beginning of a miscarriage which seriously set in by the eve of July 1st.  The days leading up to the actual miscarriage were unsettling as I wavered between thinking this might just be a normal first trimester event or that this did indeed signal the end of my pregnancy. I phoned the midwife several times and she told me there were many harmless reasons why a woman might bleed during this period of time and that gave me some solace. Still, there was little else I could think about. Would the baby be alright? Was there something I could do? Should I start to pull myself back emotionally, and stop investing in the life to be in case of heartache? Should I keep investing in the thought of this baby growing to term and becoming part of our family just in case he/she did stay?

 

I phoned the midwife again on Saturday afternoon as the bleeding got heavier. She explained that getting an ultra-sound was the only way to know for sure if the baby was okay and I asked her if she could set up an appointment for me. But it was only the first day of a long weekend and the idea of waiting that long to hear my baby’s heartbeat (or not) seemed agonizingly long.

 

I spent a few hours that afternoon with a friend and her family and we discussed the possibilities. As a nurse and doula and a mother of two children herself, she was concerned with my symptoms too. She even offered me a book on loss, but I wasn’t  ready to face the possibility that I was loosing this pregnancy. I left her house with a package of raspberry leaf tea (it helps tone the uterine muscle) jokingly labeled “weed” and went home.

 

That evening I took a bath and let the tea steep. I figured if this pregnancy was meant to stay my uterus muscle could use all the help it could get. If on the other hand I needed to release, drinking the stuff might get me primed up for some cramping and blood loss.

 

After the bath, I tucked our daughter Sophia in and within an hour I was passing huge clots. Despite having to face the fact that I was loosing my baby, I also experienced a sense of relief when the first clot came. I remember thinking. Okay, I know where I’m at now. It’s really happening. I can deal with what I know. I remember thinking, we human’s crave security – even when it’s bad news.

 

By midnight I went to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes to pass another clot and bleed. I drank my tea and litres of almost hot water. I walked back and forth between the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom where I had my journal and pen; I wrote as a bled.

 

Strange, but true. I am having a miscarriage tonight. If I really feel what that means, I get choked up. There is also a part of me that is really calm and undramatic about it. I’m a little afraid to see the “baby” come out. I know it won’t hurt but still it seems eerie. I’m alone. Keath went to work an extra night. Sophia is asleep. It was like an angel helped her to go to fall sleep so I could be alone tonight. I instinctively know how to care for self.

 

The whole idea of miscarriage carries with it a sense of sadness and loss, and certainly that is part of the process of facing reality and letting go, but I found there were many thoughts that went through me that night and the days to follow and listening to what they casino online had to say and writing it down was very grounding. I became an observer of my own experience instead of being swallowed or overwhelmed by it. I realized that I have many inner resources to help me cope and the dialogue between all the parts of me helped me to accept. I let them speak in my writing that night too.

 

Nature: Hi, it’s me nature. This is all very natural, you know. It’s selection. You are unattached…

Humor: yeah, literally and figuratively…

Nature: You are healthy and well.

Know it all: I knew this would happen! I asked Keath and he wasn’t worried! But I knew it. Even when people would say “hope your pregnancy goes well” I would be very touchy! Of course it’s going to go well, why would they even say that?!

Mother-in-myself: You are needing some TLC. Curl up, pamper yourself.

Control: I feel stupid having told everyone at work that I was expecting and now I have to debrief everyone.

Comforting one: What’s so bad about that? They are nice people. All women and they care about you. So big deal. They’ll understand.

Other voice: Hope they don’t treat me like a china doll.

No-nonsense voice: Don’t treat yourself like one!

Perfectionist: So, you are not perfect. Mistakes happen to you. Your body can literally “lose it”. You now belong to the statistical ranks of those “unhealthy” women who lose pregnancies.

Neo-nazi in me: Yes, you have failed. You’re not an Arian after all. You pride yourself on your health. Look at you now.

Nature: This is not a failure. This is a success. Successfully letting go of that which would not be healthy!

Stating: You are not having a baby. How does that really feel Rein?

Observer of feelings: I’m still in denial a bit. My mind won’t let me think the unthinkable yet. It wants to bargain. It wants to say, maybe I was going to have twins and this is just one of them.

Feelings: Oh, oh…sadness, o, o, o, tears…

Fear of feelings: Oh, shit. Will I wake up really sad? Like I kind of miscarriage hang-over?

Feelings: It would be nice if the CORE spoke up now. I’m very unsure. Scared.

Reporter: Another big clot came out. More hot water needed here.

Experiencer: Kind of weird and eerie those clots.

Scientist: I want to look at them. See if I can see anything.

Questioner: Are you a sucker for punishment or just curious? Do you really want to see a “baby-like” object?

Experiences: Yikes. But maybe it will all seem more real then.

Carpenter: Hey, now I can help lay those parquette floors with Keath. After all I’m not pregnant anymore and I don’t have to be as careful about fumes etc.

Nature: That is not the only good news here.

Realist: She’s right, imagine a late miscarriage! Imagine an unhealthy baby?! This is so much better than a whole lot of other scenarios.

Writer: I’m getting this all down on paper.

Mother-in-me: Oh, now I will have to tell Sophia. We need to do a ritual with her. We must take her with us to a natural place. She will be a bit upset that she isn’t going to be a big sister (yet).

Planner: The kids are going to be so far apart in age now! How impractical. One will be in school and the other an infant.

Traveler: That’s the best way though. It makes you more footloose.

Planner: Yeah, but I had it all planned out. A relaxing summer if nausea set in, one more busy teaching season in the fall and then Christmas a few more weeks of work and then…

Feelings: Oooooo

Reporter: More hot water. Litres are going through at the moment.

Nature: This is keeping me healthy.

Dreamer: I did dream about red flowing blood the night before the spotting stared.

Observer: All the signs of menstruation came on. The mood, the cleaning frenzy, and high energy.

Experiencer: What a blessing this is all happening before nausea set in.

Power of prayer advocate: You know, you did ask people to pray for you that you wouldn’t be nauseated this time. Maybe this caused the hormones to stay low so you didn’t hold on. You didn’t want the discomfort.

Angry one: Of course I didn’t want the f..ing nausea. It does make you f…ing psychotic as Annemarie accurately points out. Who should have to go through that!?

Questioner: So are you telling me I had this miscarriage because I asked everyone to pray for me?

Blamer: Maybe.

Diplomatic: Is it necessary to blame someone here. Is that useful?

Blamer: Well, a lesson is ready to be learned here.

Note-taker of life: Yup, I got that one. I won’t ask for such a specific prayer next time. That was probably not a very good idea. So, hey, I’ve taken note. I see what it can cause.

Scared: I’m still afraid to have to go through that again. That horrible period of sickness.

Righteous one: It is one of God’s big mistakes.

Mother-in-me: Don’t think about that now. Go to sleep.

Practical one: Well, sleep is great but more is blood/clots is going to come out. So what about that? You can’t sleep on the toilet.

Sleepy: True. Not comfortable. I am rather tired. (It’s 3.00 am)

Mother-in-me: Try it for a while.

Observer: Slightly crampy. Very gentle.

Sleepy: Time to get some shut-eye.

Practical one: I’ll leave the bathroom light on.

 

 

The next morning I called my Mom to tell her what was happening. Then the tears came. Deep, sad, and cathartic tears. She came over and spent half the day with me. She brought a red Jasper stone in the shape of an egg and a little box with an Alberta rose in it and healing earth from New Mexico so I could create my own letting-go ceremony. Still no big cramps, just a sense that my body was massaging everything out of me. My mother, who was at the birth of my daughter was now here grieving with me at this time of loss. I felt immense love and gratitude for having her in my life in such a positive way. She talked to me, hugged me, sat on the couch with me – just her presence allowed me to feel normal. I showered and did some laundry. She watched a movie with Sophia and she must have sponged up some of my feelings because when she left she couldn’t drive more than a third of the way home and had to stop in a parking lot to ground herself. She phoned me in the evening. Both of us in tears again. She’s helped me carry it every step of the way.

 

There were also other women who played a part in my healing process. For a longtime I’ve been interested in (w)holistic medicine, energy work, the power of prayer, and other phenomena that cannot be explained well by left-brain science. At the same time I like to be a doubter and make sure I’m not buying into flaky new age ideas. I try to base what I believe on my experience.

 

What was interesting about this experience was that I feel that I was not alone – literally and energetically. Just as my mother absorbed some of the impact of my grief so I could ground myself, other friends also helped me through. The friend I visited on the Saturday afternoon got her period while we were visiting. She had cramps all that night as I miscarried pain-free. My sister was restless and worried for me, but I was at peace that night. Another friend who didn’t know what was happening kept picking Tarot cards about loss that weekend. A girlfriend from Europe, who had experienced miscarriage herself, phoned me when I had circled around the phone several times wanting to call her, while inwardly asking her if she would make the call. Another friend brought me a white rose symbolic of “cleansing” when my inner worry had been that I might not clean out completely. She also gave me lavender bath oil without knowing that I had run out of lavender essential oil for my baths and had been missing it.

 

The support extended beyond that and I soon learned that miscarriage is very common. In fact, according to statistics 1 in 5 or 6 pregnancies end this way and the chances of future miscarriages are not increased as a result of having one. But knowing the statistics isn’t what helped me grieve and release. The personal stories from others who had gone through it did that.

 

A family member came forward to share her experience of miscarriage that we didn’t know about. My neighbor, who had previously brought me a book on pregnancy to provide me with more information, also shared her feelings about her pregnancy loss. Another neighbor told me her story and it was comforting for me to hear from her that she rarely thinks of it anymore. She had also gone on to have three other children. Other friends, a couple, who had suffered their own pregnancy loss brought a card, a book on loss, and two purple irises just as they headed out on their holiday.

 

Because we had told quite a few people we were expecting (not having had reason to worry I wouldn’t carry to term) I also sent out an e-mail letting people know that I had miscarried. Many sent us words of hope and compassion and “upheld” us in their prayers.

 

Although we were previously advised by well-meaning family members and friends not to share our news of pregnancy before three months, we found having shared the happy news also allowed us to share the grief and receive the support that carried us through.

 

A man’s perspective: Of course I received loving support and comfort from my husband Keath as well, but in a sense he was more removed from the experience than many of the woman I shared it with. I asked him how he felt about losing our baby-to-be and he said mostly he was disappointed as he had started to hope, imagine and dream about our unborn child too. He also explained that as a man he experiences pregnancy through me and my body, more than directly and that his attachment would have grown as my belly did. His primary concern, he told me, was for my well-being and health as opposed to a sense of loss about the baby.

 

I’ve long been an advocate of homebirth and now I can add that a “home-miscarriage” was also the best possible option for me[1]. I could have gone to the hospital and have had doctors or nurses tell me under the fluorescent lighting what I already knew as a woman. I could have gone to see my doctor and have had her gravely tell me we would have to wait and see. I could have put my feet up on the advice of some medical professional in vain hope that it would help, but I did none of these things. I just let nature take its course and had my midwife a phone call away if I sensed something was awry.

 

I believe that one of the reasons that this miscarriage did not “burn in” and feel like a deep crisis for me was that I experienced it at home, trusting my instincts and body to do the right thing. Writing in my journal in our beautiful bedroom, sitting on the bed that my husband and I designed and built together, the subdued lighting, my sleeping child in the other room, my own clean washroom nearby. These all helped to create an atmosphere of peace and acceptance. No dramatic phone calls in the middle of the night, no sense of emergency, no looking for higher authority to tell me what I was experiencing or what would happen next

 

Later, I read that airplane travel (especially over the pole) during pregnancy can be dangerous for a fetus because one is exposed to radiation – something it seems the airline industry is not talking about very much (yet!) I had flown back from Europe in the early weeks of pregnancy and on hearing this had wondered if this had had an effect.

 

Notice how the mind is hungry for answers and how science wants to rush to satisfy this need and answer the questions. But in the end any attempt to wrap my mind around miscarriage and find a solid reason why it happened would have been useless.

 

Finding meaning in the event as opposed to looking for definitive reason provides the real peace; it turns crisis into constructive contemplation.

 

Was the spirit not ready to enter? Were there parts of me that had not made enough space in my life for another child? Did I need to experience this to make me a more full human being? These are the mindful questions that don’t require answers – they allow me to wonder and feel, without giving unnecessary energy to the pain of this perceived loss. I see myself moving on and not investing in the story that this was “terrible”; I feel I can decide whether to prolong my suffering or not. Letting go is a choice too.

 

I’ve heard it said that life and death are nearly the same experience in different guises. They allow for the experience we call life – the parenthesis in eternity.

 

As the weeks go by, the thoughts about the miscarriage are more infrequent. I still receive a few letters or e-mails by concerned friends and family as they ask how I’m doing. And perhaps if I would not have had a healthy child already, I would still be anxious and upset or if I had lost my pregnancy at a later stage, but I am at peace now. Maybe next Canada day I will light a candle and salute all life and its potential and feel gratitude for having become a stronger, wiser and more compassionate woman as a result of this experience.

 

First printed in the Fall issue of Birth Issues, 2001

Copyright © Reinekke Lengelle

 

 

 

 


[1] This is no way medical advice. One must choose their own way of dealing with miscarriage and in some cases medical help may be necessary.

 

 

 

Four years ago my mother died at the honourable age of 93. She died in California, USA, the state and country of my birth, where I lived up to the age of 21.I came to and settled in Holland which established my long-distance relationship of 35 years with my mother.

 

 

The story I wish to tell here is the experience of losing my mother and how that experience threw me into an internal field of tension, filled with uncertainty and representing a tremendous clash between my American and Dutch voices. In other words, how I dealt with my dialogical (cultural) self in a crisis of renewed ‘homelessness’.

The unintended immigration to Holland

I ended up living in the Netherlands after originally planning a short –term research project in Holland under the auspices of my university in California.

I met a Dutchman, a fellow hippie, and, throwing research-projects to the wind, we travelled, got married, had a child and there I was: married, a mother and living in a small upstairs apartment in a small city in the west of Holland! My marriage eventually failed, but in the meantime I got my Masters degree from a Dutch university and established my own business. I met a wonderful Dutch woman and we have been together now for almost 20 years.

Becoming bi-cultural

I became attached to my place in Holland after some years of struggle to integrate my American voice with my Dutch voice. {qutes}I gradually discovered that ‘in-between’ position between the two cultural voices and realized how enriching this is to my life as a bicultural person.{/quotes}

My relationship to my mother was one of telephone calls, occasional visits to her home to see the whole family and thePacific Ocean and experiencing and sharing the life events of my family from a distance.

The inner clash between my cultural I-positions

It wasn’t until the actual death of my mother that I was overcome by the feeling that a great part of my American-self died as well. I felt even more distanced from California. I began questioning my relationship to my two brothers. Questions plagued me: where do I fit in to their lives without our mother, do I have a place in California, where do I belong, where is my home, what does Holland mean to me now?

I am reminded of Hermans’ and Dimaggio’s article “Self, Identity and Globalization in Times of uncertainty: a Dialogical Analysis’ in the Review of General Psychology (2007). How they wrote about homesteading and homelessness:

“…for particularly immigrants…homes have to be actively created.…the phenomenon of ‘homesteading’ as a strategy for coping with homelessness. “

I created by home in Holland, built on a foundation of good friends, a son and a solid profession. But, unexpectedly at her death this ‘home’ started rumbling, like the homes in California during an earthquake. I had a glimpse of myself as a homeless orphan.

 

I, of course, went immediately to California to deal with all the issues surrounding the death of a family kasinomember. And there I experienced yet another clash between my internal cultural positions, creating still more tension and confusion.

Let me describe this event in the light of Herman’s above mentioned article. Each culture has its own ‘emotion rules’.

“Emotion rules about love, anger or grief are typically limited to a particular group, community or culture but they can be very different in different cultures….one and the same individual is increasingly confronted with emotion rules from different communities in which the individual participates as a member of a globalizing society.” (39)

The American cultural position regarding death aussie pokie and grieving is ‘we don’t talk about it and we don’t show grief’. The Clarke cultural position regarding pain and suffering was one of “be strong, go forward and don’t cry”.

The Dutch cultural position regarding death, as I experience it, is to acknowledge the death of the other, to talk about it and express compassion. My years in Holland have also taught me to experience and express pain and suffering as a part of life. I no longer tried to hide this from myself or others. Yes, I learned to cry and to share my vulnerability with others. This Dutch side of me has enriched my sensitivity to casino online holland suffering and with dealing with things which cannot be changed.

 

So, here I am in California with my brothers in their environment wanting to talk with them about the death of our mother. Somehow it just didn’t work. There were few openings but little response.

I was in need of ‘multivoiced emotion work’:

“Each of these positions represents a different of even conflicting cultural voice that requires multivoiced emotion work, with one voice speaking in ways that are different from and even opposed to how the other voice speaks. “ (40)

And ‘emotion work’ is according to Hermans and Dimaggio:

“A concept that links emotions to social positions is the notion of ‘emotion work’….depending on the positions in which people find themselves, particular emotions are expected to emerge in a particular situation whereas other emotions are expected to be absent or suppressed. “

The cultural stories and positions within me were at odds. I found myself choosing ‘sides’. I was for my Dutch side there in California. I was going to talk about her death. I was going to cry if I wanted to and I was trying to get others to talk with me and express their emotions.

The actual confrontation, not only between my two cultural voices, but also with my family and ‘family-in-laws’, occurred at a Mother’s day dinner, a week after the death of my mother. I met the family-in-law members, whom I had never met before. They all knew that our mother had just passed away, yet no one said anything to me about this! This, of course, only confirmed my judgment of the American way of handling death. My Dutch voice was gathering steam! My American voice was silenced.

To put this process in ‘dialogical self’ terms, my repertoire of voices was becoming seriously restricted and reduced:

“People are motivated to construct narratives centered on themes that help them deal with fundamental life issues while sharing these narratives with others…A significant implication of this view is that some positions or voices in the self become exclusively important and, particularly in situations of anxiety and threat, they receive priority above other voices on emotional grounds moving the self in a monological direction.” (29)

As we sat down to dinner, wine was poured into our glasses, I could no longer keep quiet about my mother. I stood up and made a (tearful) toast to her. All the glasses were held up and even a few people started crying (!). My Dutch voice broke down a barrier for me and for some others. The next day my sister-in-law thanked me for taking this dinner-party to a deeper level of meaning!

 

I have never regretted doing this. {quotes}I listened and trusted my Dutch voice.{/quotes} And in doing this I built yet another bridge between my two cultural voices. Except this time the bridge was built from Holland to California. The direction had changed.

So, there is never really a dull moment in a dialogical self! I still sense a bit of homelessness in me and visitingCalifornia still has a strangeness surrounding it. But, what also happened after the death of my mother was an intense curiosity about my distant Irish roots and the theme of migration in my life. So, it seems some new voice has been born.

 

 

 

Hermans , H. J. M. , and Dimaggio ( 2007 ). Self, identity, and globalization in times of uncertainty: A dialogical analysis.Review of General Psychology, 11: 31–61.

 

 

For scholars, present time is marked by the inevitable and extensive demand for academic publishing. Many are aware of thoughts and feelings of what it is to write an article or a book, while the mental life of the editor for an academic journal is analysed very seldom. The backstage of reviewing and editing processes is not too familiar to a wider public. Although, the position of editor brings with it many positive aspects, as strange as it is, the editors can not avoid the affective turmoil and perplexed internal dialogues the people in our age have.

In this article that is more like a vignette to the construct of the Dialogical Self, I dare to attempt yet a narrowly oriented analysis of my personal experience while being an editor of international peer-reviewed journal for seven years. This analysis will be based on the exploration of dialogue between my internal and external positions in the landscape of post-modern academic environment. The presented discourse will be intertwined with several theoretical approaches, namely, the Dialogical Self Theory (Hermans, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2008, Hermans & Dimaggio, 2004; Hermans & Kempen, 1993), relationships between self and society in late modernity (Giddens, 1991), Kant’s moral philosophy (1785/1993), and Negotiational Self Theory (Nir & Kluger, 2008).

 

I will start with the description of my general and specific I-positions, engaged in the editorial process. The main part of disclosure will offer an insight into the dialogical dynamics of entangled Self, considering the different types of dialogue, recalling the opposite voices while being editor, and testifying to the dominant and suppressed voices. The dilemmas of the editor’s self in late modernity are illuminated in the wider social context of analysis. The article ends with the summary of the results from self-negotiation process.

 

General and specific I-positions in editorial process

 

Let us begin with the account of active positions that have emerged as the set of dominating self-aspects starting with the time when the duties of editor were assumed. {quotes}Some of these positions had already been existent in my internal landscape before entering this new field of work {/quotes}, others were gradually created and maintained in order to meet both the self-instilled and externally confirmed requirements. The dominating I-positions (Hermans, 2001), having direct relationships with the internal position of editor as a safe-guard of quality of academic writing, were the following:

  • Researcher (conducting research, publishing articles, participating in projects, etc.);
  • Teacher at university (teaching courses (Educational philosophy, Research methods, Academic writing, etc.) important for editorial expertise);
  • Educator (in general sense – both instructor and nurturer of values);
  • Doctor of Psychology (having background in Psychology);
  • Auditor/Manager (continuous monitoring/control/leading of the process);
  • Member of faculty/institute (member of academic institutions with specific culture: history, hierarchy, features, etc.);
  • Emotionally neutral person (disinterested and objective evaluator).

 

While the collection of these positions did not change through entire editorial process, each separate stage of editorial process aroused several additional positions coordinated with the specific features of the given stage (see Table 1). The further reflection showed that, actually, the configuration and hierarchy of positions at every stage of editorial process need to be constructed anew. Each stage of editorial process entails a peculiar type of dialogue between a large number of internal and external positions. Besides, the maintenance of the dialogue between this huge diversity of positions asks for sophisticated and skilful management.

 

Table 1. Specific positions at subsequent stages of editorial process

 

1. Reading the paper after submission (internal dialogue)

2. Asking authors for improvements  before  reviewing process (internal/external dialogue)

3. Work with  reviewers (internal/external dialogue)

4. Sending authors the review and receiving the article back with improvements (internal/external dialogue)

Reviewer

Reviewer

Would-be reviewer

Would-be reviewer

Would-be author

Would-be author

Facilitator

Would-be author

Critical friend

Critical friend

Acquaintance of some reviewers

Discipliner

 

Supplicant

Supplicant

Supplicant

 

Representative of state, faculty/institute

Representative of state, faculty/institute

Empathetic colleague

 

 

 

Provider of consolation

 

Several positions are preserved in two or three stages while some of them appear for specific reasons just in one stage. Stage 4 contains the largest number of positions that could be possibly explained by the fact that in this stage the editor should become the carrier not only of his/her own voice but also the voices of the reviewers. The management of the positions during this last stage asks for ultimate care and caution both because of the largest number of positions and their implicitly conflicting nature.

 

Disentanglement of self: Dialogical dynamics of voices

 

In the light of the Dialogical Self Theory (Hermans & Kempen, 1993), the interaction of presented positions is characterised by different types of dialogue. The internal dialogue was carried out 1) between my I-positions; 2) between me (from a certain I-position) and external positions (e.g., with God, the dean of the faculty, colleagues, friends, authors, reviewers, etc.). The external dialogue was 1) virtual (via Internet with authors and reviewers) or 2) actual (face-to-face with the dean of the faculty, colleagues in Latvia and abroad, friends, etc.). Recalling the frequency and extensiveness of encounters, the most active dialogue was the one between my I-positions. The external virtual dialogue and internal dialogue between some external position and me were not so active. The least active and frequent was the actual external dialogue. This leads to the question: what should be the balance of different types of dialogue in order to maintain a healthy and sustainable coexistence of different I-positions? In addition, the self-observation shows that structure or content of external actual dialogue with real individuals quite often does not even resemble the structure or content of internal dialogue with these individuals as internalized external positions.

Beside the fact that all positions mentioned above were engaged in certain type of a dialogue, the relationships between these positions were based on certain equality. All these dominating positions, though hardly manageable and not so easily structured, were useful, to a different extent, for the flourishing of the editor’s position. However, the responsibilities of editor elicited also the notably conflicting oppositions between I-positions either directly associated with the editorial position or indirectly related to dominating I-positions mentioned in the previous section of the article (see Table 2).

 

Table 2. Conflicting I-positions associated with being an editor

 

Oppositions directly related to dominating I-positions

Oppositions indirectly related to dominating I-positions

Doctor of Psychology vs Editor of journal specialized in Education

Perfectionist/workaholic vs Lazy, superficial person

Acquaintance of some reviewers vs Being objective, demanding Editor

Feminine identity (polite, submissive, empathetic) vs Masculine identity (strict, assertive, authoritative)

Being supplicant vs Being auditor/manager

Overstrained efforts vs Disappointment with internal and external rewards

Helping authors with research vs Postponing own research

Subordinated to the administration of own faculty/university vs Attaining authority for authors, reviewers internationally

Actually alone (no family and editorial team) vs Virtual leader (manager) for authors, reviewers

Latvian (nationality and native language) vs Editing journal in English

 

Some of these oppositions worked out creating a successful integration, others were not so easily reconcilable and negotiation between them took longer, while some oppositions gradually became even more distinct and devastating.

After having a look at the dominating positions and those in conflicting opposition, it is time to turn to the suppressed positions while being an editor. Some of these silenced positions already appeared in the tables above, some of them undergone gradually increasing suppression, some of them were concealed from the first day of assuming the responsibility of Editorialship. So, the list of the most suppressed positions would include: woman, Latvian, Christian, emotionally sensitive person, proactive person, researcher, person with non-academic interests, and friend. Some of these voices were suppressed by myself involuntarily, others were muted by internalized expectations of home institution and global academic community. Admittedly, the majority of these positions were also suppressed by the lack of time and mental resources to attend to them or by the inappropriateness of the position for the formal requirements of Editorial position. Though a detailed account of this process would ask for much longer analysis, it needs to be acknowledged that it was also possible to get some psychological rewards or compensation from this suppression.

 

Tribulations of the editor and threat of meaninglessness

 

According to Giddens (1991), “’Living in the world’, where the world is that of late modernity, involves various distinctive tensions and difficulties on the level of the self” (p. 187). It seems that dilemmas of Self, presented by Giddens, could help to substantiate at least some of entanglements of self, mentioned above.

Focusing on the dilemma between unification vs fragmentation in relation to the self, unification is formulated as a possibility to protect and reconstruct the self in the face of unremitting changes of modern life (ibid.). For editor, being connected with a large diversity of persons and places in time and space, rarely allows for the solid and complete integration of self, and the fragmented experience now and then turns into the source of anxiety building. The world intrudes into presence via various channels and sources forcing to lead and interrelate simultaneously several types of dialogue. However, when the self tries to find the resources of resilience, “distant events may become as familiar, or more so, than proximate influences, and integrated into the frameworks of personal experience” (Giddens, 1991, p.189) – and this is exactly how the internal and external dialogues of editor are reconciled and dealt with. The question could be legitimately asked in this regard: What if distant events gradually take over proximate influences and individual is forced to submerge into the virtual and internal dialogues without any hope to fulfil his/her life with authentic face-to-face interaction?

Fragmentation is also fostered by the diversely oriented demands to the different I-positions in any particular situation and conflicting I-positions described above. Should editor “sensitively adjust the ‘presentation of self’ in relation to whatever is demanded of a particular situation” (p.190)? In my case it is illustrated the best by the specific positions at subsequent stages of editorial process (see Table 1). However, here the moral issue rises in relation to when and how the presentation of the self depending on situation turns into becoming exactly as others expect us to be, therefore playing the pervasive game of pretending to be what you are not, disguising the inconvenient I-positions, etc.

Returning to the Dialogical Self play pokies online Theory, the dilemma between the unification and fragmentation could be viewed also from the perspective of centrifugal (multivoicedness) and centripetal forces (the creation of coherence and unity through jeux casino en ligne gratuit dialogue) in a multivoiced, yet substantial self. The idea to balance the unification (centripetal trend) and fragmentation (centrifugal trend) seems natural as both trends can be dangerous: on the one hand, in terms of the ontological unity of the self-contained individualist, on the other hand – causing the risk of neglecting the self as a source of agency (Hermans, 2004).

It seems relevant to refer to the quote from Altman (1987) utilized by Herman (1996) in his commentary on McAdams article:

I must reiterate that neither centrifugal nor centripetal trends are intrinsically “good” or “bad”. One can praise or decry centripetal trends, for example, as reflecting status quo and stagnation on the negative side, or unity, harmony, and stability on the positive side. Similarly, centrifugal trends can be viewed negatively, for example, as indicating divisiveness and disunity, or positively, for example, as allowing for enrichment and exploration of new directions. (…) Rather we should attempt to assess their respective strength, directions, and characteristics in order to adjust to and capitalize on their qualities (pp. 1062-1063).

Consequently, transferring this integrative idea to our discourse, the challenge is to reach the possibility and skills to balance the centrifugal and centripetal forces within the internal and external environment of editorial work. However, recognizing the legitimate nature of centrifugal trend, one should be cautioned against becoming a “flexible and polyvocal performer whose intentions are contingent and context-bound, whose (self-)reflexivity is reduced to a serene awareness of containing potentially incommensurable, relatively autonomous voices within” (Zielke, 2009, p.5).

Presenting the dilemma of powerlessness vs appropriation, Giddens targets the interesting aspect that could be well related to global academic community:  “Even if distance and powerlessness do not inevitably go together, the emergence of globalized connections, together online slot machines with high consequence risks, represent ?????? ?????? parameters of social life over which the situated individual has relatively little control” (p. 192). The project of international journal is a global project involving committed people all around the world, and editor relies and depends on them and their performance of their duties. Evidently, these people also work from their own I-positions and external expectations and their inner dialogue might work telling them what is appropriate or inappropriate to do in their online pokies positions as authors or reviewers.

An editor should vest trust in all his/her partners thereby recognizing his/her lack of power to influence them. Trusting and relegating to others some play online casinos important responsibilities in order to do the common work have to be integrated with the controlling and managing I-position. Therefore, vesting of trust can also generate new capacities. However, sometimes when the power to influence the possibility of proper outcome in relation to the main duty of editor – guarding the quality of academic writing – is lacking, we may speak of engulfment or a sense of total powerlessness.

The last dilemma that is relevant to this discourse is that of authority vs uncertainty.  According to Giddens, “through the protective cocoon, most people are buffered most of the time from the experience of radical doubt as a serious challenge either to the routines of daily activity or to more far-reaching ambitions (p.195-196)”. As an editor having responsibility for journal for many years I was expected to be an authority for authors/reviewers as well as an expert in casino the academic writing and thematic area of the journal. For a young scholar having submissive and obedience-oriented relationships within her own institution, to hide her uncertainty and to present authority in global context is a challenging and complicated process asking for continuous internal and external negotiation.

Having described these dilemmas of self, Giddens warns us against the threat of personal meaninglessness. He rightfully suggests that “the project of the self has to be reflexively achieved in a technically competent but morally arid social environment” (p.201). In fact, scrutinizing such endeavour of late modernity as academic publishing, we stumble upon the necessity to build such an internal referential system of the self that is based on pure technical academic competence ignoring the more sophisticated and intrinsic demands of moral nature for all individuals involved in this project (this does not refer to ethical issues of research or publishing that could also be related to technical competence).

 

Summary: Results of self-negotiation

 

And so, the theoretical concept of dialogical self seems to be legitimate as it helps to adapt psychology’s models to the conditions of a world where inter- and transcultural dialogues have become an every day necessity (Zielke, 2009).

In order to summarize the experiential discourse, the simple thought re-appearing in countless local and global, internal and external contexts could be useful: nowadays quite frequently we have too few internal and external resources for exaggerated, irrelevant, or artificially created social and personal demands. In other words, the resources allotted are not enough for sustaining job demands or personal wishes and needs for a longer period of time. An essential issue is the difficulties fostering an internal dialogue by external dialogue. As it was already mentioned, lack of diverse and prolonged external/authentic dialogue may consolidate the situation of living out of fallacious referential system of the self. Such a situation cannot continue for long, especially if striving for personal meaningfulness is prevalent in individuals’ mental landscape.

According to Zielke (2009) while the constructionist perspective opposes any kind of universal discourse ethics, the moral problem of some voices in dialogue being oppressed or drowned out by more powerful others is not simply evaded. In her article she stresses the pragmatic and regulative criterion for good dialogue – relational responsibility.As “a regulative standard even constructionism is engaged with, it is supposed to install a kind of ethical principle for productive dialogues without claiming universally applicable criteria for the dealing with conflict, difference or social power. It merely invites all participants to be as open for other positions as possible: this will help to enhance dialogue and reduce fixation without imposing universal standards” (p. 4).

However, as much as respecting “a species of curious openness towards all local and general others” (ibid.), the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant could show some turn of thought that seemingly should not come in conflict with the idea of relational responsibility. In his “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals” he wrote that “a person has perfect duty not to use the humanity of themselves or others merely as a means to some other end” (Kant, 1785/1993) and this idea since then has become one of the most wishful values of modernity. In this vein, one could say, grounding on the assumption of significance of all I-positions for person as diverse as they are; if some I-positions are used just as a means for other I-positions, we violate our moral duty and become no better than slave-owner who can do anything he wants with the slaves on the premises that he has the ownership rights for them.

Therefore, the idea of responsiveness coincides with the idea of power relations in dialogical self (Hermans & Dimaggio, 2004) and it “calls for an account of pluralistic, but not indifferent multivoiced dialogues as a special kind ofmeaningful practice” (Zielke, 2009, p.6).

So, looking for resources to sustain meaningful life and feeling the necessity to confirm the non-instrumental significance of internal positions, the only reasonable way to deal with all issues and questions posed in this analysis was to engage in the intentional internal and dialogical negotiation. The Negotiational Self Theory (Nir & Kluger, 2008) says: whenever we experience inner conflict and need to make a decision, our internal dialogue becomes a negotiation process between different and opposing parts of the self (self-aspects). And, just like negotiations between people, these internal negotiations can be resolved either in distributive win-lose, or integrative win-win strategies. In win-lose internal negotiations, dominant self-aspects overpower weaker ones, leaving the needs of submissive self-aspects lacking and unfulfilled. In contrast, in win-win internal negotiations, a creative solution is constructed that allows conflicting self-aspects to be both acknowledged and mutually satisfied.

However, the internal and external negotiations while being an editor, in their majority were resolved in distributive win-lose strategies. Dominant self-aspects overpowered weaker ones, leaving the needs of submissive self-aspects lacking and unfulfilled. Suppressed voices listed above lost their motivational strength and some of them lost even their functional applicability.

And finally, closing this discourse with the outcomes of this entanglement, it should be said that the social, psychological and economic situation in Latvia in 2009 aided as an impetus to gradual re-evaluation of position of editor in the wider context of mental health, well-being and personal meaningfulness: from being in the core of my social positions to being less important entity of my identity. The social context of life precipitated the final decision – resigning from editorial position. The question stays: was it active mastery of life or giving up due to lacking the creative skills of internal and external negotiation or influence of some other factors? Even if we perceive this discourse as the description of failure, sometimes the failure is “the key for perceiving difference which otherwise would remain veiled (…). In this sense failure is a crucial challenge for transformative dialogues” (Zielke, 2009, p.7).

As concerns the unique features of the described case, having additional family roles and editorial team consisting of several experts the self-reflections would possibly take a different turn. It seems that the outcomes could not be evaluated immediately as just good or bad: it is the re-arrangement of personal I-positions and the life will show if this change will prove successful.

This short account included one single aspect of entanglements regarding the editorial position. The other aspects might be analysed in the light of attribution theory, work stress and burnout, work-life balance, professional motivation, etc.

 

References:

 

Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hermans, H.J. (1996) Bridging traits, story, and Self: Prospects and Problems. Psychological Inquiry, 7(4), 330-334.

 

Hermans, H.J.M. (2001). The dialogical self: Toward a theory of personal and cultural positioning. Culture & Psychology,7(3), 243–281.

 

Hermans, H.J.M. (2004, August). The dialogical self: Faces beyond the skin. Keynote presentation at the 3rd International Conference on the Dialogical Self. Warshaw, Poland.

 

Hermans, H.J.M. (2008). How to perform research on the basis of dialogical self theory? Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 21, 185-199.

 

Hermans, H.J.M, & Dimaggio, G. (2004). The dialogical self in psychotherapy. New York: Brunner & Routledge.

 

Hermans, H.J.M., & Kempen, H.J.G. (1993). The dialogical self: Meaning as movement. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

 

 

Kant, I. (1993). Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (3rd ed.). (W. James, Trans.). Ellington Hackett. (Original work published 1785)

 

Nir, D., & Kluger, A.N. (2008, August). The Negotiational Self Theory: From mayhem and inner conflict to harmony and integration within a dialogical self. Paper presented at the The 5th International Conference on the Dialogical Self, Cambridge, UK.

 

Zielke, B. (2009). Failing better. Reflections, comments, and questions considering a social constructionist concept of dialogue. Journal für Psychologie, 17(2). Retrieved May 6, 2010 from Directory of Open Access Journals

 

 

Dialogue in the self may be able to exist in every small action in everyday life. I would like to tell about dialogue which occurred in myself while playing handball. In doing defense in handball game (maybe same as in basketball or football), each defense player is in charge of an opponent offence player. When defense makes mistake or team was made score, we try to clarify who was responsible to cover, in order to stop making more mistakes. If it was obvious the person who had responsibility makes apology and no discussion takes place among teammates. In contrast, when it was not obvious who needs to take responsibility, sometimes players make argument with each other.

When I am doing defense in handball game and the team that I belong to made score, I judge whether or not I was wrong or was in charge for the failure. If I was obviously in charge for the failure, I make apology at the time. However, because there are many reasons and factors for the failure, sometimes I do not think that I was wrong and was in charge of covering the opponent player who made score. In these cases, I behave as the person who does not need to take responsibility for making score. Sometimes teammates accept the fact that the failure was not caused by me, but sometimes one or some of teammates argue that I made mistake and I was wrong. If I did not accept his or their argument, dispute happens. When I accept their argument, I make apology to teammates, to show that I am aware that I was in charge of covering.

If we look at this process of reaching making apology or dispute in relation to dialogical self theory (Hermans, 2003; Hermans and Kempen, 1993), in this process, dialogue between or among positions occurred. Furthermore, in this dialogue, new positions emerge. When facing the failure, an internal position having voice of “I was not wrong” exists in self, and first of all, it is dominant. If some teammates blame me, an external position having voice of “I was wrong” comes into self and contradicts the internal position. This is start of dialogue, and once dialogue starts, a new internal position emerges. The newly emerged internal position has a voice of “am I wrong?”. This voice puts me into being reflexive and I come to be interested in thinking about what happened. At this time, another new position emerges. {quotes}This position mediates between positions of “I was not wrong” and “I was wrong”, {/quotes}and tries to make the judgment of whether I was wrong in doing defense and was in charge for the failure. In this judgmental position that can be regarded as “third position” (Hermans, 2009), discussion takes place among sub-positions having voices of “I did best in making defense”, “I thought that he was responsible to cover” and “it is certain that we were made score by the opponent offence player who I had to cover”. If voice of “I was not wrong” is convinced, I would do make apology, and if voice of “I was wrong” is rejected, I would not make apology.

It is interesting that when voice from others comes into the self, dialogue happens in my self, even in everyday small actions such as in playing sports. In being reflexive, we re-consider or clarify what happened and what we have done. If the power of newly emerged voice is significantly strong, the voice may lead to changing the attitudes or views. Taking responsibility and making apology would be not straight decision but decision evolving from a dialogue. This experience introduced above derives from the context of playing sports. If it would appear in the other context such as in the context of law or politics, the mechanism or content of dialogue would be more complicated. In that context, people have many relationships and their behavior would be influenced by many people, who can also act as external I positions (Hermans, 2003). This would lead to a variety of positions in the self, which are mapped in a very complicated way.

 

References

Hermans, H.J.M. (2003). The construction and reconstruction of a dialogical self. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 16, 89-130.

Hermans, H.J.M. and Kempen, H.J.G. (1993). The dialogical self: Meaning as movement. San Diego, California: Academic Press.

Hermans, H.J.M. (2009, August). The need of a dialogical self in a globalizing world. Keynote speech in the 73th annual convention of Japanese Psychological Association. Kyoto: Japan.

 

 

When I first heard about the Dialogical Self Theory (Hermans & Kempen, 1993), it immediately captured my attention. It was during a course on the Self Confrontation Method (Hermans & Hermans-Jansen,1995) that we received a brief introduction to the Dialogical Self Theory by professor Hubert Hermans. 

The idea of different voices, or ‘I –positions’, composing the self (some of them co-existing in harmony, some conflicting) had a strong intuitive appeal to me. ‘You sound just like your mother’ suddenly lost its negative connotation!

Gradually, I learned to know the I-positions in myself, my mother being one of them. Instead of fighting the I-positions which could give me discomfort (and there are quite a few of those), I started to accept them and to give them more recognition.

 

Moreover, the dialogical perspective liberated me from the search for ‘One True Self’, a title that implies a static, predictable whole. Recently, the idea of finding  ‘one’s true self’ has inspired a huge wave of media attention. As appealing as this idea sounded (probably due to its simplicity), it has also been a source of confusion for me. Would finding the true self mean that one has to ignore some unwanted experiences and reinforce others? And how to make this choice? Personally, it was a great relief to step out of this mental maze and adopt a new perspective, the ‘polyphonic self’. It changed the way I look at myself and people around me and allowed me to make more nuanced judgments.

 

What fascinates me is how easily, and often uncontrollably, I-position switches occur in response to cues in the environment. I have been observing myself for the last few weeks, trying to figure out what my own little ‘society of mind’ (Hermans 2002) looks like. When Agnieszka (Hermans-Konopka) proposed that I write a short article about my experiences with the Dialogical Self, I came up with the idea of describing a day in the life of this ‘society’.  Following the spirit of the dialogical perspective, I wanted to give my story a personal, diary-like form.  In other words, I decided to follow my inner processes for one whole day, to trace the switches between I-positions and to try to connect them with something in the outside world. I chose a day: Wednesday, March the 2nd, 2010.

 

 

The night before

-Going to sleep. Right now I feel child-like excitement about following my I-positions tomorrow. It promises new insights, new discoveries. This is me as an Explorer, a position which brings me much joy and energy and stimulates my creativity. This position is responsible for my job hopping, for plunging into new projects, adventures, and relationships.  I feel light, vital and open to whatever may come.

Morning

-I dreamed about people who change colors and shapes, depending on how they felt. No time to enjoy the aftertaste of this weird dream though. My daughter comes to my bedroom with the usual question, ‘What are we going to do today?’, followed by ‘I am hungry, mommy come out of bed!’. I feel myself being pushed forcefully into the position of a Caregiver. Suddenly a wave of irritation comes over me. I have noticed that irritation usually occurs when the circumstances force me into a particular position, when I would rather be somewhere else. I visualize a mechanism of an old clock, which, instead of moving smoothly, gets stuck, I hear a scratchy noise..this is I as Irritated. I stay in bed for another 15 minutes, this is how long it usually takes for me as a Caregiver to wake up in the morning. Once started, I enjoy the morning chores. Eggs are boiling, tea is ready, the table is set. We are having breakfast and enjoying the warmth of the sun through the window.

I open the window to smell the air – yes, it smells like spring, for the first time this year. I watch people walking on the street, the rooftops of the old centre of Breda and my thoughts take me to the trips I and my friend used to make to Barcelona and Madrid . We woke up very early in the morning to take a walk in the sleeping city. It was amazingly peaceful, almost like a church. For a few moments I am once again in this careless, peaceful state of mind. I am a Dreamer now. I inhale the air deeply and feel how my muscles relax and my thoughts become very light.  It is only me and my world, no strangers allowed.

I sit down to capture this moment in words when another voice intrudes. I know him well, it is the critical Censor.  ‘Who needs your article, who needs to know what you think? Is it not plain narcissism, do you need attention? People will think that you simply need attention. Or that you are trying to be smart, but are you smart? Because if you are not, they will notice’. This voice will probably make me direct and redirect every sentence in this text and let out things which –to him - sound too personal. But it is not just the Censor..also the Exposed. Censor and Exposed make a powerful duet. In terms of dialogical self theory it is called a coalition (Hermans & Hermans-Konopka, 2010).  Feeling exposed, unprotected is something which comes from my childhood. A serious operation has left scars on my legs. In the following years, each time I had to undress in front of others (for example, on the beach), I felt strong tension, shame, fear. Being in the company of strangers sometimes triggers the same old feelings in me. That is when the Censor gets in control and holds back everything that may sound too revealing, too personal.

Afternoon

It is my day off. I call a good friend and we decide to take a walk with our daughters. We have known each other for years. One of the important things we share is our longing for a big, warm family. Both divorced, we enjoy the moments spent together with our children, the four of us. Today we go to the forest, the sun is still shining. I soon become mellow and sentimental. All I want is to lie down on the ground, under the sun, watch our kids playing and talk about simple daily matters with my friend. Where does he buy his bread? And did he like the apples he bought last week? This is I as Family.  But my friend wants to talk sociology, his favorite subject. I am only half listening, feeling how the irritation arises (I as irritated again). After trying to keep up with him for half an hour, I join the girls in their princess games.

Evening

When my daughter and I come home, I’m caught by a familiar anxiety, even fear, and I notice it in my breathing. My boyfriend is not home yet, so we’re coming back to an empty apartment. The quietness strikes me when I open the door. I feel tired, lonely, and disconnected. Quickly and efficiently I make dinner for myself and my kid, take her to the shower, read her a bed-time story.  When I am done with that, I turn the TV on. I sit there on the couch and I want nothing.  My mind is full of pessimistic thoughts, doubts,  and insecurities. I feel isolated from the rest of the world. This is I as Abandoned. The heaviness of this moment presses on my chest. So I take a glass of wine and then one more and go to sleep early.

Night

This night I dream of a new house. I recognize the place, this dream comes to me often. The house is standing in a large green field. It seems that it is in the middle of nowhere, but I know that somewhere within a walking distance there is a huge entertainment centre, an exciting and mysterious place. The house has many rooms and doors and I am walking through it, planning what to put where and how to decorate.  I wake up happy and I feel that there is an important meaning in this dream, that it tells me something about my deeper needs.. I open the window and smell the wet asphalt. It has been raining. {quotes}This smell immediately takes me back to my childhood, to the streets of a provincial town in Russia, where the Dreamer in me was born.{/quotes} I feel connected again, connected and glad to be here in this moment. I look forward to a new day.

 

Well, that was it. An honest recording of one day, the second of March. After writing everything down, I am surprised to see that the I-positions I have experienced are very familiar to me.  They probably accompany me every day, some more intense, some more in the background. The Explorer, the Dreamer, the Caregiver, the Censor, the Exposed, the Abandoned and the Family.  Knowing these positions and appreciating their diversity is what gives me a truer sense of authenticity and vitality. Moreover, seeing my inner world as a story with different characters and plot lines is a source of flow and inspiration. As I finish this story, I am feeling happy and mellow as in, surprisingly enough, I as Family.

 

References

Hermans, H.J.M., ( 2002 ). The dialogical self as a society of mind: Introduction. Theory and Psychology, 12 : 147–60 .

Hermans , H. J. M. , and Hermans-Jansen , E. ( 1995 ). Self-narratives: The construction

of meaning in psychotherapy . New York : Guilford Press .

Hermans , H. J. M. , and Kempen , H. J. G. ( 1993 ). The dialogical self: Meaning as movement. San Diego, CA : Academic Press .

Hermans, H.J.M., Hermans-Konopka, A. ( 2010). Dialogical self theory: Positioning and counter-positioning in a globalizing society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.