Here I highlight some of my posts that are specifically about the different parts of me that reside in my internal emotional house. That work has been very healing for me over the past several years. But first–bear with me–a poem that never fails to move me.
The Guest House
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Sometimes I access and understand my feelings better when I see personified, just a group of roommates living together in my emotional house. Some of the particularly important people in my house,in 2015, were Anxiety, the wounded girl, and the Nurse. In 2016, I spent some time getting to know Self-Loathing. When in 2017 I finally encountered Rumi’s poem, The Guest House, I was moved to see the same ideas expressed, hundreds of years ago, so beautifully.
Many of you who read any of these posts will recognize what’s going on–it’s just parts work, definitely influenced by Internal Family Systems but not adhering too closely to the way Richard Schwartz talks about it. I’ve come to like it a lot. It feels both playful and imaginative, but at the same time deeply meaningful. Bringing my parts together to help each other has been powerfully healing for me.
This page brings many of my posts about the house and its inhabitants together in one place, starting back with the early days when I was just starting to work this way with E and running up to earlier this year.
Rearrange the House (8/25/15) – I rearrange my internal house to make room for Doubt to exist there too.
Rethinking the House Already (8/26/15) – I’m confused about who does and does not belong in the house.
Done With Denial (9/2/15) – I throw Doubt out of the house because she’s so troublesome.
The House for All of Me (9/8/15) – I describe some parts of this internal house where my parts live.
In the Morning (9/9/15)
The Girl and Me (09/12/15)
Just Hanging in There Until October 1 (09/19/15)
Inside the House These Days (09/26/15)
Time for the Girl (10/1/15)
A Walk with the Puppies (10/2/15)
Let Anger Speak (10/13/15)
Calming Down My Friend Anxiety (10/25/15) – I finally found a way to get Anxiety to settle down for a little while.
All Right, Let’s Talk Anxiety (11/11/15) – I invite Anxiety to tell me what exactly is going on with her.
Anxiety Writes Back (11/12/15) – Anxiety responds with some harsh truths.
Anxiety, You Are So Quiet (12/22/15)
We’ll Take Care of You, Phase 1 (12/26/15)
The Return of Self-Loathing (06/11/16)
She Needs To Follow The Rules (06/12/16) – If I’m going to deal with Self-Loathing, she needs to agree to some basic rules.
Those Big Boots (06/14/16)
The Visitors To My Porch (7/29/16)
The Many Faces of Self-Loathing (08/23/16) – I explore what SL might be doing to help me.
Doubting My Own Abuse History (Again) (06/29/17) – I try to make some rules for Doubt so when she comes around, she won’t derail everything.
The Needy One (02/09/18) – My three-year-old self wants to be cared for but there’s no one who will do that.
Forward, with the Bear (07/14/19) – I realize I can, in fact, tolerate really intense emotions. This was a momentous session for me.
The Little Girl in the House (11/14/19) – Elaine helps me reach the little girl part I feel cut off from.
Torn Between Doubt and the Girl (12/19/19)
Just Let Her Be Freaked Out (04/23/20)