Contrary to what we may believe about our inner parts, they are committed to an evidence-based life. They work hard to draw their conclusions about the world based on as many real-life experiences as possible.
This started very early in childhood and continues to this day. This may sound like a solid approach to life. But there are problems. First, the conclusions we make as children are based on abuser’s lies and a child’s limited capacity to understand the world. Second, the childhood expectations and beliefs are influencing what continues to happen in adulthood. This may happen through conscious actions. This may happen through unconscious choices. But their experiences are directly impacted by what they expect to happen.
This can make the process of re-wiring our brains particularly problematic. If we can’t change our expectations without having new experiences, and we can’t change our experiences without changing our expectations, we aren’t going to get very far. But there is a way to make progress. We have to take small leaps of faith to shift the way we see the world. We have to take chances and try new things. We have to look for evidence that goes against what we have always believed. This is difficult work because our parts will fight it.
I have been building up my new evidence base over the past 10 years. It has been slow-going if you ask me. But then again, this recovery never feels fast enough. My inner parts can be rigid in their beliefs and they have LOTS of evidence. And when I get ready to take a leap of faith, I have NO evidence. My controller is very quick to remind me about that too. “You have no proof this is going to be okay.” “You are making irresponsible decisions based on a hunch.” And those statements are fairly accurate. Following my intuition requires having faith and trust in the universe and that is incredibly anxiety-provoking. But it has also created a new and growing database of evidence. This evidence is getting harder and harder for my controller to deny.
Have we reached a tipping point in my re-wiring process? I think it is possible because of a conversation I just had with my controller. It is something that has almost left me speechless. I wasn’t sure it would ever be possible to have this conversation honestly. The catalyst for this conversation was my recent travel experiences. That is not surprising because there is nothing more fear-inducing for my controller than travel. It is a significant leap of faith. But when no fears manifest on multiple travel experiences, it has left my controller in a state of confusion. In recovery, confusion is a good thing. It means other options are being considered.
I admit that nothing went terribly wrong. I admit there aren’t any major repercussions on the business. I admit it was not the big disaster I predicted and the fjords were sort of pretty. But seriously, look at all that money we could have spent on other important things we have to pay soon. And we haven’t saved a dime. SHIT! That is scary. I know you will find a way to work it out. You seem to always do that. You seem to have some kind of favor with God that I never had. I have to admit I don’t really understand it. It doesn’t add up in the life I have led. It doesn’t make sense based on the rules I have lived. Things should have gone drastically wrong. Planes and trains and buses should have been missed. The car should have crashed into a barrier in all that snow. It should have been a mess and it wasn’t. I really don’t get any of that. Maybe there are rules that apply to you, but don’t apply to me. I don’t know. But it doesn’t change all that we have to do now. It doesn’t change how exhausting it is to travel across the world with two little kids and come back to the same amount of work we always have. I know you guys seem to love this shit – maybe every part but me – but is it really worth it? All that money? All that time? All that effort? Wow! It is so much! But what can I say? You seem to have this life figured out in a way I don’t. I don’t know why it all seems to work for you. I am not saying you don’t have any problems, but you don’t have the problems I had to deal with. Things like that don’t seem to happen to you. It makes me hate you a little (sometimes more). But it also makes me feel a little better for a minute or two. Maybe we are not doomed. Maybe we aren’t going to fall apart if we trust the universe just a little. It is all so difficult for me to figure out though. I don’t really get it. I just don’t.
Dear controller, Thank you for this vulnerable writing. I have never heard you speak this way, but I am happy to hear it. I promise I don’t have any more favor than you. I am you. I just look at life in a different way. I have decided the past doesn’t necessarily dictate how it will work in the future. I have decided to take some risks and see what happens. I know that terrifies you. I know it. But so far, we have been okay. And when I say “we”, I mean “we”. You are a part of me. You are me. We are in this together. I NEED you. I need you to help me with all this planning. Travel and business don’t happen without lots of planning. That incredible trip would not have happened without your attention to the intricate details. Your 7 page word document with every link and all those printed receipts kept us on track. Seriously! You could have been a professional travel agent with how well you managed that shit. The kids have no idea how good they had it last week. So we will do this together. The freedom fighters can provide the inspiration for the cool ideas. The inner children can bring their spirit and love of life. And you can make all the details happen. How wonderful would it be to have all of us working together like that? It sounds like heaven on earth to me. Honestly, it is all I have ever wanted.
Written By Elisabeth Corey, MSW