I admit it. I’ve been obsessing about the coronavirus. It is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of fear. It is not unreasonable to take reasonable precautions. But after days of adrenalized, active preparation, I took some time to look within and I’m glad I did. May you find my process helpful as you work through your own worry.
Using the tools of Internal Family Systems, I connected with 3 important parts inside me (click here to learn more about parts).
1) An obsessive Protector part who was working overtime to research constantly so I would not feel the pain of making an unforgivable mistake that would hurt my family and I.
2) An ashamed Protector part who wanted to protect me from looking paranoid publicly to others.
3) An exiled part that was burdened with the wound of shame from making unforgivable mistakes in the past.
Following the IFS process, I went inside myself and healed my part that carried an Unforgivable Mistake burden that developed through several traumatic life experiences. Then my vigilant protectors agreed to relax and trust me to lead from Self (where we embody calmness, compassion, courage, clarity, connection, etc). I will remain aware of what needs to be done to protect us but not from such a polarized, panicked place. It doesn’t mean my parts will never be triggered but I am in the process of healing. I trust I will either know what’s best to do or recover from any mistakes I make learning along the way.
I am SO grateful for the tools of IFS to help me through troubling times such as these. These tools can be self-taught or learned with the help of an IFS therapist, which I will one day be. As I prepare for my IFS training in Portland this weekend, I look forward to planning from a more centered and confident place. May we all find inner peace, healing, and support in the face of the continual uncertainties we experience.
Wishing us all wellness,
Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP