I find it helpful to look at parts of me as an animal. Whether these parts are emotions, impulses, sensations, or the body.
Some of these animals have been rejected, pushed away, battled, wounded, and traumatized. Some of them have been rejected my whole life. They are scared.
So how would I relate to a scared animal? With kindness. Patience. Love. Respect.
Why not relate to these parts of me as if they were a scared animal? Why not relate to them with kindness. Patience. Love. Respect.
It may be especially challenging at first. It means going against an old habit, and one that society (for the most part) has taught us is the way to do it. It’s a bit like going into a jungle or zoo full of scared and wounded animals.
It may be helpful to start, and sometimes continue, with the guidance of certain practices, such as tonglen, loving kindness, ho’oponopono, and natural rest. (Natural rest is a form of love. It’s noticing and allowing. It’s the reverse of rejecting and pushing away. It’s an alignment with the allowing that’s already here.)
And it does change. It’s transformative. My inner world changes. The animals relax through this patient attention, presence, and love. There is a softening.