As Inside, So Outside (010) Transcript
<voices overlapping, music in background>
Oh! Good morning — oh! Do we have to get up?
Keep it down; I’m trying to sleep.
Yeah, we want to make that recording.
What are we going to record today?
What? What recording?
You know, the one about multiplicity.
You know, the usual — we’re trying to make a difference in the world or something.
Well — I just really wanna help people!
I have no idea what to say.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have really good questions, and need really good answers.
Why talk to them? It’s not like anybody gives a shit.
Well what makes us an authority?
I don’t really think it matters how long we’ve been multiple, or how long we’ve known we’re multiple — we’re multiple!
<Aliessa laughs richly>
Welcome to Many Minds on the Issue, the podcast about Dissociative Identity Disorder, by and for multiples, hosted by The Crisses.
As inside, so outside and vice versa. The permeable membrane, internal organization and integrity.
In this episode I want to talk about the cause and effect of being a team player, things that go on inside your body versus outside your body and how it affects one another, acting out outside of the system, what you do in the external world and how that affects internal reality and vice versa: how the stuff that you do inside sometimes is reflected outside of your body. And a little bit of tips about how you can impact the co-ownership of your shared life based on this principle.
So, "As inside, so outside (and vice versa)" is a little saying that I came up with to describe a group of correlations, I guess, between internal reality and external reality. There's this way things have of passing between external and internal life. One of the things that you can find in in popular culture is this idea that a messy room or messy desk indicates a creative mind.
The internal reality of the person, even a singleton, is reflected in their external environment by perhaps some disorganization, but also they've found the other way around. You can take very creative people, put them in a neat room and they're less creative. In that way, you know, the more busy I get, the more disorganized I get, the more messy my environment because I don't have time to clean it, but at the same time, the more messy my environment, the more creativity there is.
There's this boundary between our internal and our external reality and what we know about boundaries in general, and I haven't talked about this on the podcast, but there's going to be a whole episode on boundaries, but boundaries between one thing and another — the thing that separates one thing from being another thing — can be permeable. It could be flexible, it could be inflexible and hard and rigid, and it can be hole-y. It can be a broken boundary and have big gaping holes in it that things can pass through wholesale unchecked.
We have a boundary between our internal reality, our internal landscape, our mindspace, our headspace — whatever you want to call it — our internal reality and our external reality. There is a boundary between them. They can be flexible, inflexible, permeable, or it can be hole-y and things can go through wholesale and so on, so a healthy boundary between internal and external would be permeable and selective things can pass between the two. That kind of suggests that it's normal. Just like the messy room. It is normal for the external environment to affect our internal environment. It's healthy, in some cases, and don't also be unhealthy if you walk into a messy room and it bothers you too much. That might be a hole-y boundary where things are passing through unchecked.
If you walk into a room and it doesn't bother you at all, that may also not be a healthy boundary. That might be a rigid boundary, and nothing is allowed to pass through. That's a very brief summary of boundaries, but we have this permeable membrane between our internal reality and our external reality. That means things pass through that membrane, much like things pass through cellular membranes, pass through kind of by osmosis. Things in our external world effect our internal world and things in our internal world can affect our external world through our behavior or through the things that we leave around in our environment. So ways that external reality can affect our internal reality is by adopting real physical mechanisms and equipment into our internal landscape or using an external reality we like to inform the decoration, the looks, the objects, the places that are in our internal landscape.
We also do this,, sometimes when we find things in the external world and the external reality that resonate with internal residents. So you end up with fictitious in systems, for example, perhaps because they resonated so strongly with a character, they modeled themselves after the character. You know, I'm giving that as one potential explanation. You know, if you really love Cinderella, maybe you have a Cinderella in your system who is modeled after Cinderella. Other things that can be going past this boundary are things that affect your mood and your stability or things that affect your ideas and your values. So this boundary is permeable and it should be, and sometimes it's permeable in ways we don't want it to be — in which case it may be broken. And of course everything in this episode is a sweeping generalization, just based on my observation and those who I've shared this idea with, many people are finding this idea helpful.
So that's one aspect of "As inside, so outside (and vice versa)" is this permeable membrane. The second thing is, well, partially due to this permeable membrane, but also just simply — let's it sociology — the sociology is the study of how people behave in groups and you can go into organizational behavior and stuff and delve deeper into basically how the psychology of individuals becomes the psychology of groups, and group management and group facilitation, running organizations, running businesses, running support groups, working in nonprofits, running schools or how a classroom works — all different places where you get groups of individuals in a situation.
There are things that go on, and I'm talking about external organizations at this moment. So you have external organizations. You get the ability to actually study and predict behavior in these external organizations based on the composition, whether they have a strong ethic, whether they develop a strong culture, whether they have good leadership, whether there's a lot of team buy-in from the subordinates or the people that are followers rather than leaders. Are they, are they strongly bought into the idea of this group? How well the rules are defined? Whether or not there are consequences for breaking the rules, how well the rules are monitored.
There are all kinds of sociological, I guess, mechanisms for running organizations and groups and they're pretty well known and you can go into organizational behavior classes and you can learn about them. Most of those will be studying corporate organizational behavior, but it really does filter down to every level. I've done a whole lot of group facilitation with regard to support groups and special interest groups and having rules and having people to monitor them (that they're being followed) and then discipline regardless of who breaks the rules and things like that. Being consistent. These are all very important aspects of running a group, so what happens when you're not a group? As inside, so outside (and vice versa).
Let's look at outside groups. Just as an example. When these things break down, when the organization is no longer organized, you end up with a sick business. You end up with bosses who are bullies. You end up with children getting hurt in the playground. You end up with chaos. Basically. You end up with anarchy. You end up with riots in the streets when the system that'd been enforcing the rules breaks down, when people aren't listening anymore, when people are acting as individuals within a group rather than team players. These are the kinds of things that we see happen. You end up in war zones, you have guerrilla warriors, you have a lot of misbehavior, and a lot of people who are acting in their own self interest rather than the interest of the group. You might be able to figure out where this is leading: "As inside, so outside (and vice versa)…"
When you see an outside group without rules, a lawless group, a group of entities who is living in anarchy, it's like hell on earth. It really is. People are misbehaving. People are treating each other like dirt. You get people who are hurting each other, abusing each other, stealing from each other and it's ugly. It is probably the ugliest thing we see in humanity is this lawlessness and what can happen in the lawlessness.
What happens in lawlessness if somebody stands up? Hey, let's take like The Walking Dead or maybe even The Lord of the Flies as an example: when somebody stands up and says, "I have something else I believe in. I want to do this differently." You can band together with others and you can try to make something more organized in the chaos. In a situation that's that dysfunctional — in a dysfunctional family and in a dysfunctional culture, in a dysfunctional business — you need somebody who's willing to say, "I'm not willing to be dysfunctional. I have my own set of rules and ethics and morals, and I'm going to live up to them. Does anybody else want to join me?"
It's very, very difficult being the one person willing to stand up, stand out and try and do what's right. You don't want to end up with a Lord of the Flies situation where the people who are chaotic and anarchistic are outnumbering the people who've decided to buy into rules and follow a leader, so you do need to reign that in to try and get as much buy-in as possible from people to turn around and stand up to the misbehaving people and say, "We're not doing that. We're doing this differently."
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Now back to our episode.
So welcome to being a group entity — to turn that on the inside, a multiple can have just as much dysfunction as any external organization can, or as much harmony. We can choose whether to run ourselves as more of a business, a business group, a support group, a nonprofit entity, whatever. Pick some kind of group you like, how they behave, and you can say, hmm, we want to be more like that. TED talks. I mean, it doesn't matter. Something more organized, something with more leadership and more control and more rules.
There are all these books and movies that show this horrible conflict that's possible. Well, that's what we're doing in our head. It's kind of like everybody's moved into a college dorm all at once and there's no RA. There's no, whatever they call them, something advisor, there's no room advisor or, or area advisor to try and reign them in and there's no rules that anybody's following. Could you imagine what that would be like? It's horrible. It's horrifying. You're all like moving into a place and nobody has got a room of their own and you just got like all this stuff your parents are bringing in from the car, but so basically you're bringing your baggage, but you don't know where you're putting it and it's littering the hallways and nobody has a key. Nobody has any idea when classes start and nobody knows who they're rooming with and you know, imagine that, that's horrible. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. A bunch of strangers moving in together — it's worse than the odd couple. Right?
I really do think that we can turn it around and become more organized inside just as if we were an external organization. Okay, yeah, we've all been thrown into this situation together and we didn't choose it necessarily, but we can choose what we do from here on.
Leaving is not an option. You know, a little Walking Dead-ish or whatever. It's like, you know: we wish the Zombiepocalypse went away. No, sorry, you're stuck in the Zombiepocalypse. Now, what are you going to do about it? That's kind of what it's like in our head, right? You know, you got this group of people and by the way, there are no zombies in your head, but we'll get into that some other time, or actually we got into that last week.
There are no zombies in your head, but you are in a walking dead situation where it's like you've been abandoned, there's absolutely chaos, there's a lot of fear, there's a lot of prejudice, there's a lot of misunderstanding going on, nobody knows who they can trust and it's time to just try — try to reach out to each other because in this horrible survival situation, nobody lives on their own. Nobody lives well on their own. It, it becomes impossible. The only way to survive is to band together and become organized and make rules and really respect each other and find what one person's strength is going to be and how that can help the group, and another person's strength and how that can help the group. And if you don't have any particular strengths, at least vote, show up to the meetings, discuss, help. There are ways to participate without having a specialized skillset.
Welcome to being a group entity. I see a lot of multiples who misunderstand one another, and when you think someone else in your system is acting out and you label them or you lock them up, remember — on their end — they're looking back at you and they're thinking you're abusing them and you're oppressing them and you're locking them out of front and you're stealing their time. So everything has a flip side.
There are no good guys, there are no bad guys. There's just a whole bunch of people who don't understand what the heck's going on. That said, we have to always act within our integrity. Always, always. If we want to be a leader, if we want to start making change in a positive direction, we have to really look at ourselves and say, "Am I in a place where — where I'm being a great role model, where I'm always acting — because they're always watching — am I always acting in a way that I want to be seen by others in the system? Am I always doing something that I wouldn't mind them doing to me?"
We're role models. Everything we do, they can see and they can act on so we better give them good behavior and positive outcomes to look for rather than negative behavior. Just like in the outside world, how many organizations run well from a boss or a leader who is backstabby or who is domineering or a bully, or punitive (when somebody is a little out of line, if they punish them)? If you see that somebody made a stupid mistake on the job, and they're fired, that doesn't instill any confidence in you. We're all human. We all make mistakes. You start feeling like, Geez, if I slip up, I'm going to end up out and — I'll tell you right now — fear is not a cultivator for creativity and it doesn't build trust within organizations to behave that way.
I'm not a big fan of Microsoft, but one of the amazing things that they do is when somebody makes a mistake, they embrace it and they say, "Great, you made a mistake. You probably learned something from that. We're going to keep you on." Okay? So you got to kind of have that kind of an attitude with yourselves and say, "Fine, you made a mistake. So how can you learn from it? Can you not do it again? Can we at least try and figure out how to not repeat exactly that, you know, we understand you may make a similar mistake, but can we not make the same one? And can we learn from it and build on it? And, and what new rules do we need to handle that?"
You've got all these eyes watching you. So every single relationship you have inside of you and outside of you get seen and interpreted. So when you treat people outside of your body well, then the people inside feel a little more like maybe we can trust you, maybe you won't hate us, maybe you'll be friendly, maybe you'll treat us nicely too. Ah, but then that also becomes an issue because we have good cause to be happy and unhappy with different people in our life. We've been through a lot of abuse. (Most of us have been through a lot of abuse.) A lot of it that we don't want to list. We have a hard time forgiving, even though we may not remember everything, we may know who did things, we may have a little bit of knowledge, we may come to the point where we learn more about what's going on or what happened, and we may resent someone and that's okay. That's okay to resent them, and it's okay to protect yourself from them.
Okay? Everybody inside of your system is going to understand if you're like, look, you know, I can't let that person near me. They hurt me. That's fine, in fact, that's modeling terrific boundaries to recognize somebody is taking advantage of you. Somebody is hurting you, whether they intend to or not, that somebody is hurting you and that you're vulnerable to them and you have to keep them at a distance in order to protect yourself. That's perfectly fine. But where it's not so fine is blaming, where you're excessively hating someone, where you're resenting somebody for being a hurt person who hurt you, where you can find no forgiveness. See, I'm perfectly fine with completely forgiving somebody who knows what they did wrong and doesn't want to do it again. I'm not so okay with forgiving and completely forgetting when somebody is in denial over what they did, when they don't realize they did something wrong, when they're probably on a track to do it again. That's not okay. Those are the people. I'm just going to keep them at a distance. I understand they probably have some issue. They probably have some background. They probably were hurt themselves, but I don't want to be anywhere near them, and that's acceptable. That's something my system can understand. It's like, okay, that person doesn't know what they're doing. That person is likely to do it again, but I'm not hating the person just because they're damaged. I'm not hating the person just because they did something wrong to me. I'm actually not hating them at all. I'm just like, sorry, you can't come near me.
So those kinds of external relationships reflect better on the internal relationships — then the people inside of my system feel more like, "Wow. Even though I screwed something up, I can actually get on your good side again. All I have to do is be aware of what I did wrong, and be ready and willing to change, and be ready and willing to work really hard not to do that again, and you're going to like me again or you're going to have the possibility of me redeeming myself. You're going to allow me back in. This isn't a forever distance. I realized what I did wrong and I'm fully cognizant of it. Can we sit down and talk about it?" That becomes a strengthening of the relationships in my body.
If I'm able to talk to somebody and explore why we had a problem with each other outside of my body then the ones inside see, "Hey, you know they're really willing to sit down with people and work things out and discuss things, and this is great."
You can have relationships inside of your body, affects your external life and I think that's probably pretty obvious: if you have a bad relationship in your body than they may be sabotaging relationships outside of your body and stuff like that. Or they come out at inconvenient times. They forget things. They lose things. It can be frustrating, but when you work on the internal relationship, that's going to affect how you are outside, too.
So there are some ways we can use this permeable membrane to our advantage and I mentioned a few of them, but I can reiterate a few just so that you have a little more solid of an idea. With some thought and care you can use this "As inside, so outside…" as a launch pad to do some very interesting things while working on your internal and external life.
When you're more careful with your external interactions, it can positively impact internal interactions. You will role modeling and so on can affect everything. One of the things that I've found that's really interesting is that while I'm doing a head map or an internal landscape map, I can actually change it on purpose and have it take effect on the inside, so I can be drawing a map, change features in the map deliberately, and it'll change things inside. That's one terrific example of how you can use as inside, so outside and vice versa to effect changes. So some other things that you can use on purpose is a preference for negotiation, cooperation, trust, working on paranoia — the less paranoid you are outside of your system or inside of your system, the more it will affect the other one, so if you're less paranoid about the people inside, you'll find that maybe things loosen up outside too. So you can find ways of leveraging "As inside, so outside…" as a launchpad for effecting change inside your system or in your external life.
If you need more functionality outside, well then, if you work on your functionality inside it's going to have an effect on how functional you are on the external side as well. One of the things I love is when my head is a mess and I've got too much going on, I clean my desk. Straightening out my desk and filing things and filtering things helps clear up the cobwebs in my head so that I have more mental room to do things. So you can actually use this to effect changes on both sides.
One of the things that I've done also is I worked on external jigsaw puzzles and imagined it being "putting things together inside of my mind", making things a little more functional, forming things more solidly inside. I had this external metaphor for what was going on inside of my head. It was a little bit of a mindfulness meditation, too, which really helped — and the more of us that actually work on our internal relations, maybe the outside world will become a better place. Maybe there'll be less wars, endless fighting if more of us aren't fighting inside. If more of us are at peace inside, maybe that reflect on the outside world in a larger way.
So we can take these principles and work on ourselves and maybe cause a ripple effect. Maybe we'll we'll do something that creates more peace and — collaboration I guess is a better word — outside.
That's the essential nugget of the "As inside so outside (and vice versa)". There may be an aspect or two of it that I forgot to mention or left out, but overall when I say "as inside, so outside and vice versa", I'm looking at some aspect of this, how to use it to our advantage, the integrity, being a group entity inside, just like there are group entities outside, or this permeable membrane, how things pass from one to the other.
So there's ways that you can use this principle to help you be a team player and to work with the external world in concert with the internal world, and vice versa.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of Many Minds on the Issue. Your Patreon support will keep this podcast coming. You can find more information, resources, and our Patreon link at K-I-N-H-O-S-T-dot-org Kinhost.org.