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Extreme Support Challenge: Day 17: Making Inroads with Under-Loved Parts

Ever since quarantine started my inner world has gotten louder. Or maybe my outer world simply quieted down.

It’s not uncommon for me to hear my parts speaking through me. Sometimes in jubilant joy. Others in tragic cries for help.

It’s the tragic cries for help that understandably garner the most attention. But they’re also the thing I’ve acted on least.

That’s probably a good thing, given how some of these parts feel. If parts of me want to die but the bulk of me has a strong desire to live, it’s not easy to negotiate a compromise. So I just keep on living, while those parts of me keep on suffering.

Recently though, I’ve discovered a new response. When I hear a part crying out for help, I find myself saying, “How can I make inroads?” “How can I support you?” And I actually get a response.

“Love me. Hold me. Tell me everything’s going to be OK.”

Honoring these simple requests goes a long way. It really does feel like soothing a child who’s going through something you can’t immediately alleviate. I may not be able to immediately change the conditions that stir fear in these parts, but I can build a loving relationship with them. I can choose to truly be with them so they don’t feel like they’re going through this alone.

The more inroads I build toward these under-loved parts, the more safe I feel as a whole. Perhaps because these parts are more easily impacted by decisions the rest of me thinks it can safely ignore. Like the rich living safely above flood levels, not caring how well the levees are built.

The more I listen, the more I build system-wide safety and invite these parts of me to contribute to a more prosperous future for all of us. And that’s a future that every part of me is excited to co-create.

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