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Havening all our parts.

A dear therapist friend introduced “parts work” to me years ago. Basically we don’t need to have “multiple personalities disorder” to acknowledge the fact that we contain multitudes. Different parts within ourselves often have competing or conflicting needs, desires, priorities, vulnerabilities, hurts, fears, frustrations, etc.

In a recent private havening session, in which I was on the receiving end, I got in touch with a part of myself that was deeply frustrated and mad at another part of myself for not changing. This angry internal place had no access to compassion or patience, in fact it was decidedly impatient and fed up!

Havening allowed me to both unearth these feelings and release them to the point that I could actually begin to hear the part of me that’s been resistant to change, to listen and care about its fears and concerns, and start to let them go without fear of being internally yelled at!

This approach to internal healing and transformation resonates so deeply with me. I mean, if bullying myself worked, I would have changed a long time ago, but the reality has been that self-acceptance, compassion, and self-love have only ever been what’s helped me make any kind of shift in my life.

One strategy I’ve used often and share with clients who recognize this inner battle is a writing exercise I learned from my same friend.

You start by naming the two parts and invite them into a written dialogue. For example, if one part is frustrated about an internal resistance to change, the other part is that voice of resistance, the “saboteur”.

The sample dialogue looks something like this...

Frustrated Part (FP): It drives me crazy that you keep doing the same thing over and over! We are suffering as a result of your unwillingness to change. I’m scared for us because the consequences of not changing are becoming really scary.

Resistant Part (RP): I know you're mad and I see all the things you see but I’m also scared of how uncomfortable I’ll be if I make this change. Your anger also scares me and adds this intense pressure that feels unbearable at times.

FP: I’m sorry for getting so mad at you and not listening. What are you scared of? What discomfort are you imagining? How can I support you, and even help you be willing to try?

RP: I appreciate your apologizing. It makes me feel more open and safe. I’m scared of feeling...etc.

Alternatively the conversation could go something like this…

Frustrated Part (FP): It drives me crazy that you keep doing the same thing over and over! We are suffering as a result of your unwillingness to change. I’m scared for us because the consequences of not changing are becoming really scary.

Resistant Part (RP): I’m sorry for not being willing to change. I’m scared too. I don’t want you to think I don’t care. What do you need from me to help you release that anger?

FP: I guess I needed to hear that you even care. I’ve been so frustrated because it just seems like nothing I’m saying matters to you, and it makes me feel like I need to yell at you louder to get you to listen. I’m really sorry for that. I hadn’t really stopped to consider what’s going on for you.

RP: I sooo care. I just need help. And I think I need to feel more of your love and approval, not just judgment and impatience. I know you’re looking out for us, but these changes feel scary to me and I think feeling your frustration has made me scared to even approach you or anyone for the help I need to get past my fears...

This example is obviously abbreviated for teaching purposes. Writing out a dialogue like this usually takes 10-15 minutes or a few pages, but hopefully you get the point.

The exercise gives each part a chance to speak, and be heard. When the goal is finding resolution, as opposed to being right, our parts can start working together, generating a sense of internal cooperation, forgiveness, support and peace.

The havening component goes even deeper to clear the emotional baggage each part has held from deep within our nervous systems so we are free to approach this inner dialogue with all the love and care we deserve and need to feel safe.

Does this concept of parts resonate for you? Do you feel resistant to change or frustrated with yourself, or BOTH?! Is there a part of you that needs more air time, that’s been squashed by the need to “keep it together”?

I would love to help you in the same way I have been helped through havening.

If you want to give this writing exercise a shot first, go for it! If you do I’d love to hear how it goes. If you want to try havening to help you move through a current challenge, I would love to share this healing modality with you.

In our often touch and oxytocin deprived lives I believe we need more access points for self-love and self-care through the healing power of touch. Havening is a good one.

And if what you’re looking for is an empowering self-care practice to support you in feeling more calm and grounded in your daily life, join us for the next Self-Havening for Self-Care Practice Group Series.

The Havened Birther is sponsoring another low cost 4 week series to help you develop a touchstone practice for your self-care with havening touch.

Get all the details here.


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