“…how we relate in the inner world will be how we relate in the outer. If we can appreciate and compassion for our parts, even for the ones we’ve considered enemies, we can do the same for people who resemble them. On the other hand, if we hate of disdain our parts, we’ll do the same with anyone who reminds us of them.”
“…as soon as the burdens leave parts’ bodies, parts immediately transform into their original, valuable states. It’s as if a curse was lifted from an inner Sleeping Beauty, or ogre, or addict. The newly unburdened part almost universally says it feels much lighter and wants to play or rest, after which it finds a new role. The former addict part now wants to help you connect with people…each part is like a person with a true purpose.”
“When we blend with burdened parts, we lose all sense of this connectedness and feel separate from one another and from spirit —alone and lonely…After they are burdened, our parts feel lonely and disconnected from one another and from our Self. They don’t realize they are all affected by what happens to each other and are loved by Self. Neither do we.”
“…the Self is already buff with compassion. It merely needs to be released not strengthened.”
“…neither parts nor people are inherently flawed or destructive…We all have these parts. And they’re all valuable until they become burdened and are forced into distorted roles by what happened early in our life…parts aren’t afflictions and they aren’t ego. They’re little inner beings who are trying their best to keep you safe and to keep each other safe and to keep it together in there…It’s the natural state of the mind to have parts—they are not the product of trauma or of internalizing external voices or energies. It’s just the way we’re build, and that’s good because all of our parts have valuable qualities and resources to give us…the simple act of turning your focus inside and beginning to listen and talk to them and let them know they aren’t alone—because you are there to care for them—is quite radical and so welcome to that inner orphanage.”
“Within each of us is a wise, compassionate essence of goodness that knows how to relate harmoniously. In addition, we’re not one messed-up mind, but an internal system of parts. Sure, these parts can sometimes be disruptive or harmful, but once they’re unburdened, they return to their essential goodness. And because this is true, each of us has a clear path in front of us to access and lead our lives—inner and outer—from that essence. In doing so, we realize the basic truth of interconnectedness on all levels, and the natural result of that realization is compassion and courageous action.”
“…compassion is the ability to be in Self with somebody when they’re hurting and feel for them, but not be overwhelmed by their pain. You can only do that if you’ve done it within yourself.”
Richard Schwartz, No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma & Restoring Wholeness with The Internal Family Systems Model
How I Became a Warrior
Once, I ran from fear
so fear controlled me.
Until I learned to hold fear like a newborn.
Listen to it, but not give in.
Honor it, but not worship it.
Fear could not stop me anymore.
I walked with courage into the storm.
I still have fear,
but it does not have me.
Once, I was ashamed of who I was.
I invited shame into my heart.
I let it burn.
It told me, “I am only trying
to protect your vulnerability”.
I thanked shame dearly,
and stepped into life anyway,
unashamed, with shame as a lover.
Once, I had great sadness
buried deep inside.
I invited it to come out and play.
I wept oceans. My tear ducts ran dry.
And I found joy right there.
Right at the core of my sorrow.
It was heartbreak that taught me how to love.
Once, I had anxiety.
A mind that wouldn’t stop.
Thoughts that wouldn’t be silent.
So I stopped trying to silence them.
And I dropped out of the mind,
and into the Earth.
Into the mud.
Where I was held strong
like a tree, unshakeable, safe.
Once, anger burned in the depths.
I called anger into the light of myself.
I felt its shocking power.
I let my heart pound and my blood boil.
Listened to it, finally.
And it screamed, “Respect yourself fiercely now!”.
“Speak your truth with passion!”.
“Say no when you mean no!”.
“Walk your path with courage!”.
“Let no one speak for you!”
Anger became an honest friend.
A truthful guide.
A beautiful wild child.
Once, loneliness cut deep.
I tried to distract and numb myself.
Ran to people and places and things.
Even pretended I was “happy”.
But soon I could not run anymore.
And I tumbled into the heart of loneliness.
And I died and was reborn
into an exquisite solitude and stillness.
That connected me to all things.
So I was not lonely, but alone with All Life.
My heart One with all other hearts.
Once, I ran from difficult feelings.
Now, they are my advisors, confidants, friends,
and they all have a home in me,
and they all belong and have dignity.
I am sensitive, soft, fragile,
my arms wrapped around all my inner children.
And in my sensitivity, power.
In my fragility, an unshakeable Presence.
In the depths of my wounds,
in what I had named “darkness”,
I found a blazing Light
that guides me now in battle.
I became a warrior
when I turned towards myself.
And started listening.
by Jeff Foster