I take my clients through an exercise that is so simple, yet so transformative, and often times the first time we’ve ever felt truly heard and understood. It’s called having a loving conversation with yourself.
Having a loving conversation with yourself starts often times with the most insignificant irritations. Let’s take for instance your alarm going off in the morning.
You know you have to get up early before the kids to do your self care and shower but you’re also fighting it because you really want to sleep. There’s a dialogue that begins in your mind. The internal conversation typically goes like this, “get up, get over it, you need to just get up” and “I don’t want to, I’m tired, stop telling me what to do”. This is the unloving conversation. Here’s how to shift into a loving conversation.
Instead of allowing these two parts to continue fighting with each other, what you want to do instead is separate both parts and talk with each of them separately. The first part inside of you is saying to get up, the second part is saying don’t tell me what to do. Let’s first talk with the part that is saying get up.
Imagine that inner voice of “get up”. How does it feel when you think that? Where do you feel that in your body? What are the sensations? Now imagine that sensation is a person. How would you talk to that person? Here’s an example:
“Get up” feels pushy, bossy, unkind.
I feel “get up” in my stomach.
It feels tight, tense, constricted.
If I were to imagine constriction as a person, it would say, “I feel constricted, I feel suffocated, I feel trapped.”
You (talking to constricted): “I hear you. I can see how trapped you feel. That must feel so uncomfortable.”
Constricted part: “It does. I hate feeling like this. I need more space. I need freedom.”
You: “I hear you don’t like feeling this way. I hear that you need more space and freedom. I want to help you.”
Constricted: “I need help. I just need a few more minutes to breathe and get centered.”
You: “Great, I can help you with that. How about we set the timer for 5 more minutes.”
Constricted: “That feels lighter.”
Then you move into the next part of you that was feeling like “don’t tell me what to do.”
Don’t tell me what to do: “I hate when you yell and push me. I am going to rebel if you force me to do things.”
You: “Wow. I hear you. I can see how angry you are. I bet that feels awful to be pushed around and forced.”
Don’t tell me what to do: “It does feel awful. I hate being pushed. I want to be able to choose.”
You: “I hear that. I like to choose to. What would you like to choose?”
Don’t tell me what to do: “I’d like to have a few more minutes or maybe I need something other than what we normally do.”
You: “We can do either of those. I just want to make sure we’re doing something that is going to nourish us because I know how good that makes both of us feel the rest of the day.”
Don’t tell me what to do: “That makes sense and I appreciate you looking out for me. I want to feel good too.”
You: “Great, what would you like to do today, that is different? What do you need?”
Don’t tell me what to do: “I need to spend more time meditating and don’t really need exercise today.”
You: “Great, we can do that because meditation makes us feel good.”
What you can see is that both parts of you are actually feeling the same way. Both parts don’t want to be told what to do, both parts of you want to have a conversation, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to be understood.
You can apply this tool to other feelings, upsets, triggers, wounds, limiting beliefs that you want to heal and learn from in order to grow on the spiritual line of life.