Have you ever said any of the following to your partner: “I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m defensive. I”m anxious. I’m depressed. Or I’m not good enough?”
I’m guessing yes. And it’s true. Well part of it is true. Yes, you are feeling either angry, hurt, defensive, anxious, depressed or not good enough. That part is true. Those are your feelings. Now the other part. It’s not true.
What??? Michael. I thought you just said the feelings were true? Now you’re saying it’s not true that I’m this way. What’s up with that. Make up your mind already!
Well it’s true! (I know another true.) These statements are all true for a part of you. It is true that a part of you is feeling angry, hurt, defensive, anxious, depressed or not good enough. And it is also true that this is only a part of you. It’s not all of you.
I know you’re thinking this is just semantics so get over it Michael. I don’t agree. From my perspective when you start off expressing your feelings with an ‘I’, you’re not only telling your partner but you’re also telling yourself that all of you is this way. Then where do you go from there? I mean if all of you, is angry, hurt, defensive, anxious, depressed or not good enough, then you’re stuck. There isn’t any part of you that can help yourself. There is no other part when you say, ‘I’ because ‘I ‘is singular.
What if I told you that in this case, ‘I’ is plural? I’m sure if I had told Mr. Schmidt my amazing 8th grade English teacher this, he would have looked at me like I was still in elementary school.
What if there isn’t just one part of you? What if besides the part of you that is having these difficult feelings there is also a part of you that can feel these feelings without becoming these feelings? A part of you that is willing to take 100% responsibility for either causing these feelings or take 100% responsibility for learning how to manage these feelings. A part of you that can connect to your source of strength whether it be your Higher Self, a Higher Power, nature, or an energy and bring through compassion from your source of guidance. A part of you that can move into an intention to learn about your good reasons for having these feelings and then explore these good reasons. A part of you that can identify the truth about your beliefs and identify and take the loving actions to make you feel higher self-worth.
When you acknowledge that only a part of you is feeling these unhappy feelings, you give yourself the opportunity to shift into another more loving part of you that can stay in control of your feelings rather than allow your feelings to control you. A stronger part of you that can comfort and heal the hurting part of you.
If you had a child who was throwing a temper tantrum, you wouldn’t throw a temper tantrum too right? You wouldn’t become your child. As your child’s parent, you would have the inner strength to not take your child’s behavior personally and to feel compassion for the hurt your child is covering up with his tantrum. You can do the same for the part of you that is hurting too. You can embrace, love and calm the part of you that is being triggered.
So the next time you’re feeling angry, hurt, defensive, anxious, depressed or not good enough with your partner, try saying to your partner, “A part of me is feeling angry, hurt, defensive, anxious, depressed or not good enough and there is a larger part of me that wants to learn why I’m feeling these feelings.” Then either on your own or with your partner explore your good reasons for having these feelings. Then when you have learned what you need to learn and are back in control of your feelings, you can share with your partner what you learned about yourself and your relationship. Then sit back and notice if not only you feel higher self-worth but also if your partner is able to listen to you without getting triggered into his angry, hurt, defensive, anxious, depressed or not good enough part.
When both of you are able to stay in this healthier, stronger, connected and more loving part of you, then you can share love and work together as a team to co-create your life together.