Welcome back to the Therapy Spot! Every February, we tend to focus on our relationships with others — that’s why I made a calendar of 28 ways to say “I love you.” But the relationship we have with ourselves needs nurturing, too.

This week, I’ve reissued an earlier podcast for two reasons:

  1. To explore why it’s so important to get to know your parts, and
  2. To discuss how to connect with your parts in a loving way

If you’re a newer listener, or you’ve been struggling with negative emotions, this podcast is for you.

A Love Song From Your Vulnerable Parts

When I think about vulnerable parts, I hear the old Bryan Adams song, “I Do It For You.” But I don’t think of it as one person singing to another person. Instead, I hear my parts singing to my Self. I’m sure you remember the lyrics:
You know it’s true
Everything I do,
I do it for you

Every single one of our parts, from firefighters to managers to exiles, only wants to help us. Unfortunately, sometimes we dislike the way they go about it. We may feel scared, or anxious, and try to avoid and ignore those parts. As many of my clients right now could tell you, this is a losing battle!

One of the easiest ways to feel better is to simply listen to our inner voices. If you’ve been avoiding your vulnerable parts, this might make you nervous. The truth is, many of us try to ignore negative feelings because we’re scared they will take over. Luckily, you can connect with those feelings without getting overwhelmed.

Think of your parts as messengers who bring valuable information about you, to you. Sometimes, you might need a translator, and that’s where IFS comes in. Through the Internal Family Systems lens, we can get to know our parts safely. In fact, I even wrote a workbook for people who want to do just that! Be the One to Heal Yourself will help you write from your parts, and connect with them in a loving way.

When you’re better connected with yourself, you’ll connect better with others. Getting to know your vulnerable parts is an important step towards building a healthy relationship with yourself. Or, as Bryan Adams would say,
Search your heart,
Search your soul
And when you find me there, you’ll search no more

What’s not to love about that?

Image Credit

Self-Pity” by Flickr user Jellaluna, licensed under CC BY 2.0.