We can do soft things, too

May 12, 2023 | Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Dear Friend,

Because you found resonance with it, I listened to this podcast:

I admire Glennon’s commitment to tread the rough path of recovery from anorexia.  Yes I do. And no doubt this IS an important topic to be exploring together.  Yet Glennon’s manic, insistent tone makes me uncomfortable.  Sounds to me like a survival fight within between Parts.  Subject YES!  Object NO!  I’m trying to understand the wrestling match provoked in me around this topic.  Might life’s motion always consist of the rocking along between subject and object?  Might the nature of the relationship between the two matter more to how we are experiencing than the status of either?  And might it be the container for both that determines the nature of the relationship?

Makes me want to remind you, Friend, of our container: the field of compassionate interest that welcomes the one or ones within who were shamed early on, and took on a burden of negative belief as a result, and the one or ones who took over for the parents to be the Shamer who keeps the Shamed one(s) under control.  This is the wrestling match going on.  While it takes place IN the body, and its conflicts trigger the nervous system reactions of anxiety and depression in the body, this match isn’t ABOUT the body.  It’s about those young Parts needing the help to disconnect the vulnerability to judging and shaming that was real and life-threatening back then, so that both camps can unload their burdens.  To remind you that the body can thus naturally become the happy habitat for Parts free now to live in the present, in harmony.  To remind you it’s about teaching the Parts inside that contrary to long ago original experience, there is a Presence available ~~ NOW ~~ that is gentle, supporting, and can be trusted to have their best interests at heart.

It’s about doing the soft thing of meeting the pain and shame with understanding, curiosity, and compassion.  Over and over.  Til trust can rewire the old survival battles.  Oh yeah, and doing this soft thing together can make the good container better than Parts duking it out alone.