Recently a colleague of mine told me about a choir she was in and how they were going to be singing "Stabat Mater", a choral work that I particularly liked. "Oh I love Stabat Mater!" I exclaimed, "We did it when I was at school." "Why don't you come along, the choir meets on Tuesdays and we could go together," she replied. I know enough these days to say that I would think about it.
I could see that there were two parts of me: one who was tempted by joining the choir (the part who enjoys singing) and wanted also to please my colleague (the People Pleaser) but equally there was another part who hates going out in the evening (especially in the dark and the cold) and prefers to be at home on the sofa with my cat and a cup of tea (the Lazy part of me). I allowed each part its space and say within me, trying not to be swayed either way and eventually a decision was reached: the lazy part of me won out as I knew that Tuesday evening would arrive and I would resent having to go out. I felt very complete about the whole process and knew that I had made the right decision for myself.
This might seem like a rather simple example but before training in Voice Dialogue I would often judge myself for my indecisiveness (the Inner Critic). I would sometimes force myself to make a decision because I couldn't bear the feeling of vacillating between two opposites, and then find myself doing things which I later regretted. I have a feeling that I would have forced myself to join the choir, judging the lazier part of myself as "lesser" and something to be overcome and then regret it when Tuesday nights came because I would much rather have been snuggled up with my cat!
Through the practice of Voice Dialogue I have been able to identify and observe the different parts of myself and really allow the decision to come through without putting too much pressure on myself. I find that if I allow the different "selves" time and space, a decision arrives on its own and it is usually a decision which feels right.