Make a New Year Resolution: Embrace Self-Energy

Make a New Year Resolution: Embrace Self-Energy

Self-Compassion is a Necessary Component

By Dr. Teri McCann, PhD, CEDS

With the holidays over, many are breathing a sigh of relief as they put the hustle and bustle, preparations and stress of the season behind them. However, for those with an eating disorder or those recovering from an eating disorder the journey towards recovery continues as reactivity, strong emotions, feelings of unease.

Take time to be mindful. Turn off the television. Close down your computer. Put your smart phone on silence. The world promotes an unquiet mind. A great mindfulness exercise which incorporates intentionality is to spend time with those qualities of Self Internal Family Systems refers to as the “8 C’s”: Calmness, Clarity, Curiosity, Compassion, Confidence, Courage, Creativity and Connectedness.

All these qualities of self already exist inside of you. Take a moment and recognize these qualities of Self as your birthright.  Let’s focus on compassion –  specifically self-compassion. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Begin to listen without judgment or overwhelm to the compassionate voice of Self that is beginning to speak to you. What compassionate words does Self convey? Is there a color, a physical sensation, a sound, or a smell associated with the self-compassion that comes from Self?  As self-compassion increases the relationship between Self and parts strengthens and the compassionate dialogue that heals trauma is possible.

Secure attachment of parts to Self

I love everything about me. I am the one I have been waiting for. I am enough. I am worthy.  These are the core beliefs of someone in recovery. When parts are securely attached to Self and no longer seeking love and approval from others – when parts can listen to the voice of Self and the wisdom it carries – true recovery is possible. Welcome your Self – make space for the voice of self-compassion.

All parts are welcomed

Basking in self-compassion is a healing experience. Expressing anger appropriately on the journey toward self-compassion is healing. Having compassion for all your parts — even those parts that may frighten you or the people around you – the ones that have been judged by yourself and others — can creates emotional harmony.  Loving and respecting all your parts — angry parts, sad parts, most of eating disorder parts — is necessary for the recovery journey. Parts exist for a reason. There are no bad parts just as there are no bad emotions.

Spend time with all these parts, letting them know they are welcomed in your life in their less reactive forms, and that you will try to get to know them better. Let them experience your sincere compassion   for them. They might be less angry and less sad and more optimistic if they know that you care for them and that new job descriptions are on the way.

Here is one more New Year’s resolution. Resolve to speak up for your parts. Ask for help if you need help. Love your parts and love yourself. Reclaiming the joy in life takes effort — take your parts along for the journey.

Dr. Teri McCann, PhD, CEDS is the Founder and Executive Clinical Director of Fairhaven Treatment Center near Memphis, TN. Dr. McCann has over 30 years of experience in working with women and adolescents with symptoms of eating disorders of all kinds. Dr. McCann specializes in the treatment of eating disorders that are related to trauma and attachment disorder.

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