In a previous blog, we explored how Internal Family Systems (IFS) also referred to as Parts Work helps to bring more homeostasis within for increased mental well-being. In this blog, we’re going to explore creating relationships with the four parts of yourself that determine your happiness.
The Parts (Also known as Voices)
The practice of creating relationships with the voices within teaches that if you’re not happy with your life or your performance, chances are one of these voices is running the show.
In this blog, we’re going to do a deeper dive into creating relationships with each of these voices.
Voice #1: Fear
Oftentimes, fear is the voice that is here to keep us safe. In the practice of IFS (internal family systems), we learn about our “Protectors”. The protectors do just that … They are here to protect us.
When listening to the voices within, connect with the voice of fear. Give the voice a name. As you continue this practice, you may come to find out that fear leads to growth and expansion. Use your own discernment if the voice of fear is keeping you safe in a physical sense or if it’s keeping you from reaching your ultimate potential. If fear is a limiting belief, then I’d humbly invite you to lean into that voice and trace your thoughts to get to the origin of this belief. As they say, “the only way out is through”. Can you go through the fear to reach the transformation that’s waiting for you?
Voice #2: Anger
For most of my life, I would label myself as a hothead … someone with a “short fuse”. It’s taken me years to come on the other side of anger and I’ll tell you something … it wasn’t easy. I’m proud to boldly share that anger is no longer running the show in my mind and how I express myself.
Anger becomes a problem when it manages us and we don’t have control over it. So, how do we control the anger voices?
It’s quite simple but not easy. As neuroscience teaches: we have 70,000 thoughts a day, 80% are from the day before and 90% of those are negative thoughts. So, what we really ought to be focused on is creating balance within and we can do so through journaling, breathwork, yoga but most of all connecting with our voices within to fully see, witness and hear them.
Choose a practice that helps you to slow down so that you can be with the voice of anger. Ask the voice what it needs. Give the voice a name and start to build a more harmonious relationship with the voice of anger. You’ll likely come to find that anger is also trying to protect you. But, guess what? You are in control of the temple of your mind. You don’t have to succumb to the voice of anger.
Voice #3: Sadness
Sadness and grief have the ability to be one of our greatest teachers. These emotions can lead us through the depths of our shadow self and past stories and traumas. Although these feelings are some of the heaviest and perhaps darkness we may experience as humans; they are here to help us to slow down, to reflect and contemplate and most of all grow.
When you hear voices of sadness, rather than falling into a victim mentality of “poor me”; can you bring in curiosity? Can you ask this voice what it’s here to teach you? Can you give this voice a name?
Yes, “feeling it to heal it” is imperative to transformation. So, as you continue to create a relationship with this voice (and all of these voices) do your best to not spiritually bypass (fully feel the emotions rising to the surface).
Voice #4: Joy
I love the symbol of the infinity because it so clearly shows us the highs and lows of this human experience. When I am feeling my lowest, I often think back to this symbol as it helps me to “zoom out” and see what this life is all about… which to me is about experiencing it all; the highs and the lows.
Joy, for many of us, is the aim – the elite emotion we want to feel. Next time the voice of joy comes to visit, my challenge for you is to feel the voice in your body. Many times when we are experiencing joy, we are moving so fast in life that we have trouble even being in the moment to soak it all in. Give your voice of joy a name and ask it questions. Maybe ask it how you can create a relationship with joy to help serve you best in your lows.
I’ve been practicing creating relationships with the voices in my head since I was young. As I reflect back on my youth (especially high school), I’m reminded of how I felt different for having voices in my head. In truth, we all have these voices and it’s time we destigmatize the narrative around voices in your head. You are not weird, you are not different and you most certainly are not alone. To feel more whole, more fulfilled and fully embody your ultimate potential; I wholeheartedly believe that it’s crucial to create relationships with the voices within. To learn more about connecting with the voices within and Internal Family Systems, check out this previous blog or schedule a time to chat 1:1.
For more, check out this FREE guide with the 3 Undeniably Simple Tactics to Practice SOUL/Life Balance.
To a More Fulfilling Life,