Internal Family Systems

So, as much as I want to eat mindfully…. I have this part that just will not loosen its grip on food. For a long time, I just wanted to rid myself of this part. It was a bad part. An evil part. It was a part that was ruining my life.

But as Elyse Resch says, “•We don’t do anything for “no good reason”. Rather than judging our actions, even if they appear to be negative or destructive, remember that there is always a pay-off to what we do. Whatever we’ve done is probably a coping mechanism when we know no better way to cope. We just have to ask ourselves whether the pay-off we get from maintaining this coping mechanism is still working or is still worth the benefit. We also must see if we can find or have the capacity for utilizing a healthier coping mechanism at this point in our lives. ”

This is a time to get curious with this part.

This part has protected me from something that to me feels very dangerous and scary. And I don’t really know what that is about.

The part (who is nameless at present) keeps me from dealing with any type of negative emotion.

I would much rather be numbed out and distracted than welcome it, or even acknowledge the protection it provides me with.

But Byron Katie says, “An uncomfortable feeling is not an enemy. It’s a gift that says, ‘Get honest; inquire.’ ”

Enter Internal Family Systems. I’ve been reading about the work of Dr. Richard Schwartz, & his work with parts & personality.

More about that another time….


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Learning to savor food, yoga, & life.
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5 Responses to Internal Family Systems

  1. Gemma says:

    Fascinating stuff…

    Since I moved to CA, I’ve realized just how much my background discouraged dealing with my emotions. I can’t tell you how often I was told “you’re so emotional” in a way that said “you’re emotions are not valid, you’re overreacting, you’re being silly and ridiculous.” As a result, I stuffed everything – negative, positive, you name it.

    As I’ve become part of a different culture, I’m learning to experience my emotions. I’m learning to just say simply how I feel, without fear of being judged. Not only am I better able to live with the uncomfortable, the good stuff is really good, too. And they balance each other out.

    Not surprisingly, my tendency toward emotional eating has decreased, almost without thinking about it.

    You are definitely on the right track! All the best on this journey!

    • Thanks for your comments. I understand what you are saying about your background. I always felt like I was the overemotional one in the family, but maybe I was the one who actually allowed themselves to outwardly express any feelings at all. Scandanavians are not known for being very in tune with dealing with any type of emotionsl I think as one generation learns how to be better, they do better.

  2. Kate @ Walking in the Rain says:

    I can relate! I spent so much time numbing out the negative emotions I miss any potential lessons they could teach. (Just recently was how stress and no self-care can mess up how my body works.)

    This week I took the time to work to sit with what I was feeling, instead of eating and I learned that a lot of the time I eat when I’m bored, and I’m bored a lot at work. Now I need to make sure I’m engaged while I’m working so I’m not tempted to eat!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Kate! What did you do when you sat with your feelings? What kinds of questions did you ask yourself?

    • Kate @ Walking in the Rain says:

      I really just stat and stared at my computer screen, not focusing on what was on it, but paying attention to what was going on inside. I asked why I wanted food when I wasn’t hungry. Then I let the thoughts bubble up and pretty much it was I wanted to distract myself from what I was working on, or I was bored and needed a break. Next time this happens I’m going to pay attention and figure out what non-food activity I could do.

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