It’s time to start claiming all your parts.
Let’s take a moment to get really honest. How do you feel about yourself, right now?
Do you love yourself with wild abandon? Or are there some parts of yourself that you embrace fully and others that you’d rather keep hidden in the back of your closet?
Most of us have parts of ourselves that we don’t like.
So what do you mean by parts exactly?
They are sort of like aspects of ourselves. According to Internal Family Systems Therapy (Schwartz), there are three primary categories of our “parts”. Exiles, Managers and Firefighters.
Exiles are the younger parts of self that hold emotions, vulnerabilities, needs and and memories that went ignored or are unresolved.
Managers are the ones that keep the person “going”.
Firefighters are extreme versions of “managers”, they act more impulsively and engage from a desperation to make any pain or hurt go away.
When I go to break down some of my parts, these are what quickly come to mind:
- My little miss perfect who hyper focuses on the details, and needs everything to be or look perfect. (Manager)
- My inner critic who is constantly trying to improve or fix me, my acting, my writing, my work. (Manager)
- My inner brat who resists and has a full on tantrum whenever I really want something and start to go after it. (Firefighter)
According to IntegrativePsych.co, “working with your inner parts allows you to uncover the most beautiful elements of yourself, that often have been buried. When unleashed, you access a newfound ability to shine, connect and relate- to self, others and the world.”
The Purpose of All of our Parts
The thing about all of these parts of myself is that even though there are aspects to them that feel completely undesirable, there are aspects that have really helped me and served as vital protection at some point in my life.
Now just because I’ve gotten older, wiser, and don’t need this protection anymore for whatever reason, doesn’t stop them from showing up. Whatever trauma caused this part of myself to emerge, needs to be healed in order for this pattern to be released.
And as much as I would like to release the pattern by wishing it away, getting angry at it, or flat out rejecting it, that simply isn’t how it works.
We need to recognize the parts of ourselves that want to be expressed. They want to be heard, loved, and seen. They want to be reassured that everything is, indeed, going to be okay. Just like small children.
So how does this relate to self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is a result of an internal conflict between your conscious desires and the parts of yourself.
When we don’t recognize the parts that want to be expressed, they turn into rebellious teenagers who will sabotage us until they get the attention they need.
If you’ve ever had performance anxiety during a big audition or presentation that prevented you from doing your best, you know what it’s like to be taken hostage by a part of yourself that needs to be seen.
But what if you have an unruly teenager on your hands and you have no idea what triggered them? And you can’t even begin to describe their personality?
You’ll want to engage in a process of recognizing the feelings, thoughts and behaviors that are coming up with your ‘teenager’ from a place of curiosity and love. Stay with these feelings and try to avoid judging them. Then you can begin to explore what may have triggered this pattern or why this pattern is showing up.
Once we’ve identified the source and what the pattern looks, sounds and feels like, we can begin to heal.
There are a lot of ways to begin integrating these disparate parts into our lives but one of my favorite ways is through embodied parts work.
Using the information we have gathered, we can now embody that part. Only then can live fully expressed in our bodies. We also check in to see what else it may need to feel fully seen, loved, and taken care of so that we can fully integrate it into our present self.
This work is creative and surprisingly fun. Even if the experience that caused this part of yourself to emerge was deeply emotional and fear-filled.
While you could do this work on your own, with a therapist, or in private coaching, I’ve found it to be even more impactful in community.
I’ll be walking a group through this process as part of my next Full Moon Embodiment Circle happening on Sunday February 5th at 7pm EST.
The Full Moon is a particularly poignant time to do this work. It’s a spiritual and energetic pinnacle of whatever you started when the sun and the moon united at the new moon. There is no more poignant way to do this than by re-connecting to and integrating the parts of yourself.
I can’t wait to see you there!
PS: If you know you want to join, be sure to sign up now. Commiting to show up for you is such a positive step towards loving your whole self.