I have conversations with myself or different parts of myself, inside my head. I suppose I’ve always done this–we all do, I guess. Those conversations used to be a lot of oh, you are so stupid, you are so bad. But I’ve made a very conscious effort this year to speak kindly to myself. This week my internal conversation seem to be variations on two themes: it’s okay to be where you are right now and I’ll look out for you.
#1 – Conversation with my Anxious Parts
You’re feeling kind of anxious about all the new commitments you are making in your life: a new, large contract in your consulting business, the yoga teacher training you just started, and a more comprehensive exercise program. You’re suddenly a lot busier than you have been for the past year. This can all be a sign that you are doing a lot better, but makes sense that you would feel nervous and worry you might be taking on too much. Overwhelm and exhaustion have thrown you into serious downward spirals before, so of course you are uncertain. I promise to watch out for you, to check in on how it’s going. If the work is too much, I’ll look into hiring a subcontractor to help. If the yoga teacher training feels too demanding, remember that you don’t have to go for the certification. You can just do as much of it as you want and take it as a chance to deepen and enrich your own experience of yoga. The exercise program we can adapt as we go along; we can build it up over a longer period of time. I’ve learned a lesson about what happens when I don’t pay attention. I don’t intend to repeat that.
#2 – Conversation with my Young Child Self
I see you are still feeling that longing for physical comforting, for being held by someone who cares for you. You want to be rocked, to have your hair stroked, to lean against a maternal figure.
I know it’s sad that E isn’t going to change her boundaries and provide this for you. You would love for her to give you that. I wish I could make that happen. The best I can do is help you imagine that. We can lie down and think together about how comforting that might feel.
Right now I know you are doubtful whether a professional cuddler who doesn’t really know you will be able to meet your need. The second time we tried didn’t feel as soothing as the first time. Maybe it’s because we talked with her too much. It’s not conversation you need. You can think about whether we want to give that another try. If you think that will help, I am happy to take us back again. I genuinely want to help you meet this need.
The other day in therapy, E suggested we go back to the idea of asking dear husband for this kind of comfort. I know you don’t think he’s motherly enough. And I’m not sure I want to be a three-year-old with him. But sometimes E has good ideas that we don’t think are good right away. This is something else we can think about.
It’s okay if we don’t have all the answers right now. I’ll sit with you with this longing. I’ll see it and name it and validate it. I won’t run away from it, even though I find it challenging.
# 3 – Conversation with my Sexual Side
There is no real conversation with my sexual side. That side has gone underground. My personal sex ed project is completely stalled.
Dear self, I’ll try not to be impatient about this. I have faith, most of the time, that you will come back above ground one day. Aren’t we lucky that dear husband is so patient about this? In another marriage, this could be a source of serious conflict. But he says he can wait. So I can, too.
This getting healthy, really emotionally and physically healthy, takes a long time, doesn’t it? But that’s okay. It also took a long time for things to get messed up, so it makes sense that untangling it all doesn’t happen all at once.