4. AWAKEN THE VOICE OF CURIOSITY
With therapy giving me an understanding of the world of possibilities that can exist in a given situation, I began to look at what hurts from a place of curiosity.
At the outset, the voice was insistent and oppressive. But the more time I allowed, it turned lighter and more genuinely inquisitive.
“Do you know what would make you feel better?”
“Can you see how these words make you feel?” etc. are the kind of questions I began to use as my internal compass.
5. BE PATIENT
Anyone who has seen drastic shifts in their life or has tuned into their self-awareness acutely, will tell you how difficult change can be. The path from unfamiliar to familiar comes fraught with slowness and setbacks.
So, be prepared to spend months or even years allowing the inner ideal parent to bloom, to talk kindly, to listen and to be there when you’re in crisis. To be patient is a commitment I had made to myself and I am sure it can be of help to you too.
6. ACCEPT VULNERABILITY
The journey of healing through self-reparenting isn’t easy to begin with. In my case, I noticed my own resistance to feeling anything else other than what I had allowed myself to feel, over time. If anger had been a go-to emotion, without it I felt helpless and lost.
However, with some patience and contemplation I found that it was exactly this sense of being lost that I had to welcome. I was losing old ways of working and this meant I had to embrace newness, however odd it seemed.
7. CREATE ROUTINE
The quiet, internal change between old and new can feel strange. I remember wondering if from a place of wounding I was going into a place of disconnection. Yes, that’s how it felt, especially because I was not able to work through every bit of it, with and without my therapist’s help.
This is when it occurred to me that creating structures around me that would feel nourishing and helpful, could be one of the answers. And worked they did, as I began to put more of myself in the way I planned my food, exercise and rest.
8. MAKE TIME FOR EXPRESSION
It is not criminal to want to have close friends and family show interest in your journey. It is a human need to experience social and emotional connections. When it comes to intricate self-work though, it might be challenging for you to take loved ones through all the minutiae of your process.
Personally, I discovered writing to be a form of support. Soon, I was carrying a small notebook wherever I went and recording my feelings and inner talk. For you, the medium of expression could well be something else. Some people find drawing and sketching closer home, some like to dance it out in freestyle movement.
Pick a form for yourself and make time for this practice as you grow into it.
As I have already mentioned before, self-reparenting isn’t a cakewalk. The process often is more complex than imagined.
Real-time support in the form of therapy can be a timely and wonderful intervention, though it is entirely your call. Once you’ve processed your emotions through such support, you can then slowly look at striking out on your own through self-reparenting.