Do you like TED talks? You can join me for a 15 minute relationship talk online on the PDA.
When we are in a relationship, we often give up certain parts of us which seem to be threatening to the relationship. David loves motorcycles but Lisa is afraid of him having an accident. Lisa on the other hand loves dogs but David dislikes them. In order to be together, David has exiled his freedom loving part that wants to ride a bike, and Lisa has exiled her pet loving part that wants to get a dog. If there continues to be no room in their life for these parts, this can sabotage the relationship.
Our partner can be an invaluable “Tor-Mentor”, a person who mentors us by tormenting us. Inevitably, our partner will act like an early caretaker who hurt us, and we will have a strong emotional reaction and experience what Richard Schwartz calls an attachment re-injury. These triggers are an opportunity to heal our wounds and create more empowered and truly supportive relationships.
Sue frantically tries to reach John through words, emotions and body language. One moment, she reaches out to him lovingly and patiently, the next she gets angry. Nothing seems to penetrate his stoic and unemotional wall. Neither touch, nor loving words, nor angry ones, nor tears, make a difference. Sue and John are caught in a pattern, a vicious cycle.
Helen got the opportunity to do a creative video project. She was excited. Yet, instead of starting to work on it, she cleaned up the entire house first. Then she started cooking a meal. Then she thought she should return some phone calls. She realized she was procrastinating. Does this sound familiar? Would you like to know how to shift out of procrastination and other blocks?
Within each of us is a family of sub-personalities, which in Internal Family Systems Therapy are called “parts”. How does working with our protective parts and our wounded younger child parts, help us to show up differently in relationships?