To the uninitiated…
This is a generalization of what a DIY self-reparenting therapy session is like…I say generalization because because each time I do this it’s different.
I say a prayer for protection and success and swaddle my body lightly in natural cotton sheets and curl into a semi-fetal position on the bed. Sometimes I clutch a transitional object such as a stuffed animal or a geode or rock I love. I stroke the object, drinking in its self soothing powers.
I imagine God’s love surrounding me–my nonjudging and quiet friend and therapist. He watches with benevolent and protective love as I struggle to birth my true self.
I know he feels empathy for what I’m going through
He watches as I breathe in love from this Source and direct it to my solar plexus chakra just under my navel. I place a warm hand over it the way a pregnant woman places her hand over her bump. I feel that is where my true self resides. I talk to her. I tell her whatever she begins to feel is okay. That it was always okay but something bad was done to her and it wasn’t her fault.
I hear the music, breathe it in, breathe in the scent of lemon mint from the candle on my dresser, breathe in truth, beauty, love.
I breathe in empathy for my child-self and imagine it cloaking her like a protective gauze shield
I breathe out pain, anger, fear, terror, shame, hate, envy, boredom, and cynicism. I breathe out lack of caring and lack of faith. I breathe out the inability to trust anyone. I hold myself and reassure my child-self she’s safe.
I feel different emotions pass through me–some are hard to describe, and some are confusing and unfamiliar. Some are vaguely familiar, like half-dead refugees from a time long in the past. These sublime and uniquely human emotions are to hate, anger and fear, what fine vintage Italian wine is to Mad Dog 20/20. Their beauty and elegance are too painful. The truth is too painful.
I’m an ocean with a deceivingly calm exterior that roils endlessly, silently beneath the surface–a stagnant, sluggish, algae covered surface that hides an ocean so deep the earth could not contain it.
I start to weep. I release anger, fear, envy, grief, and hate. Heaving with the effort of it, yet surrendering to it. I imagine the tears on my face as my ideal mother’s gentle fingers on my infant cheeks. This nurturing, compassionate mother is me. I wrap my arms around myself, rock back and forth, my body reacting and responding freely to everything I feel.
I tell my infant self she is loved and was always enough.
She cries too. These emotions scare her. They make her too vulnerable.
I assure her she is safe.
I tell her to be sensitive is a beautiful and powerful thing.
For each emotion we encounter, I ask her to embrace each one, projecting only love to it, no matter how much it hurts.
She does, at first, tentatively.
Her confidence grows. She comes out more. I ask her to internalize her feelings as they appear, for they are what she is, they are what make her beautiful.
I hold her as she feels each one.
She laughs and I laugh with her.
And she dances to the music of her emotions.
The insights she gives me are her reward to me for for giving her permission to be fully alive, develop her sensitivity to be put to use in the world, and finally begin to grow into a loving, non-disordered adult.