IIC 100: Embracing God's Love for Me: Experiential Exercise


In our 100th episode, we celebrate by going inside in an experiential exercise. Recorded before a live audience, Dr. Peter guides you through an experiential exercise to help you connect with parts of you that resist God’s love. We create a space where you can much more deeply understand the negative, distorted God images that some of your parts may have — mistaken ways they see God, and how those misunderstandings came about. With gentleness, kindness, and love for your parts, your parts might be ready for your innermost self to be a bridge between them and God and Mother Mary. Come join us on an adventure inside, where we work to overcome the human formation obstacles to embracing God’s love for us. At the end, audience participants share their experiences with Dr. Peter and he answers questions.


[00:00:11] Okay, so I am Dr. Peter Malinoski, clinical psychologist, passionate Catholic, and I am the voice of this podcast, Interior Integration for Catholics, part of our outreach of Souls and Hearts at soulsandhearts.com. In this podcast, Interior Integration for Catholics, we take on the most important questions, the most difficult questions about our human formation–clearly, directly, honestly, we overcome obstacles and hindrances in the natural realm to being loved and to loving, all as part of us becoming more integrated, more resilient so that we can love our God, our neighbor, and ourselves as the Lord directs us in the two great commandments.
[00:00:57] And so let us travel together on this road of salvation. Let us travel this narrow path to union with God in heaven. That’s what we are all about in this podcast. This is our 100th episode, of the Interior Integration podcast, 100 episodes, and you made it all possible. Today we have a live audience with us. There’s scores of our listeners to come together live, in the present moment, in a special way, and we are celebrating this milestone together to approach God and to approach our Lady to allow them to love us even more deeply, to help us embrace their love for us.[00:01:35] So as many of you know, I’ve decided to weave in an extra podcast each month starting this month. The first Monday of the month will be our standard IIC podcast, a long form solo cast episode where I present new ways of understanding the human person, bringing the best of human formation, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, other fields–harmonizing all that with what we know to be true by divine revelation in our Catholic faith. This podcast, Interior Integration for Catholics is unapologetically Catholic.[00:02:07] So, episodes out on the first Monday of the month–those are going to be great to listen to while you’re driving or while you’re exercising or cleaning out your closets or the garage or multitasking in other ways. Those will be the odd numbered episodes. But what’s new is this third Monday’s episode. Every month on the third Monday for the next six months, you’ll get a bonus experiential exercise to help you get more deeply in touch with your own inner being–with your own parts. And this is going to take more attention. It’s going to take the presence of your whole being. So no driving, no operating heavy machinery, no eating lunch, no scrubbing the bathroom during the experiential exercises, okay. I’ve worked in these experiential exercises in the past. You can see them, for example, in episode 93 and at certain points in other episodes. So there’s a clear distinction between the more conceptual material in the odd numbered episodes and the experiential exercises in the even numbered episodes.[00:03:04] So I’m really happy to have you all here. Thank you for being in this human formation journey together with me. And now we’ll get into more of the exercise. So a couple of cautions to begin with, this topic of being loved by God–it can bring up a lot of intensity for some of our parts; a lot of emotion. We can move into leaving our window of tolerance to the upside–a fight or flight response, sympathetic activation revving up. Or we could leave our window of tolerance to the downside that’s getting into that freeze response where there’s dorsal vagal activation, shutting down, numbing out. So if you notice that that’s happening, go ahead and take a break, reground yourself, and you don’t have to do this exercise–you can stop at any time. If it’s not for you, that’s okay. We don’t want to steamroll any internal objections that you might be experiencing. Pay attention to the to those voices within from your parts. I’m going to be bringing in God from a Catholic perspective, which may activate some parts in some people, and so we want you to have the time and the space and the privacy to be able to do this.[00:04:15] Again, these are experiential exercises–these are guided meditations, this is not therapy, this is not counseling. We don’t provide any clinical services from Souls and Hearts. And so we’re not trying to resolve unmetabolized trauma here, we’re not trying to run and fix yourself. What we really are doing is trying to understand, trying to connect with our parts inside. So as we begin, I’m going to invite you to take what’s useful to you. If I offer you something that’s not helpful, let it go. You don’t have to do it. If you find that you’re really engaged in something really important and deep and you find you’re not listening to me anymore, that’s great. Work with yourself in a way that’s deep, if you find yourself doing that. And you know, if you’re listening to this as a recording outside of our live experience, I encourage you to know that you’re free to pause the audio, to really settle in and do extended work and restart that audio when it feels like it’s best. If you have pens and paper to write down things, that can be helpful like a journal or to map out things, that can be helpful too. And as you do this, I’m really going to encourage you to be physically comfortable. You can move around, you can close your eyes, you can shut your cameras off if that’s helpful to you, whatever is most useful to you.[00:05:39] And a lot of gentleness with yourself as we begin this. There’s a moment here for you really to care for yourself. Luke 10:27, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are supposed to love ourselves in an ordered way, and that means loving the parts of yourself that are in need–really taking care of them, being compassionate.[00:06:03] These parts, they’re like separate, independently operating little personalities within us. Each part has its own unique, prominent needs and roles in our lives, its own prominent emotions, body sensations, guiding beliefs and assumptions, typical thoughts, typical intentions and desires, interpersonal style, a whole way of looking at the world, a whole worldview. And each part of us also has an image of God–some way that it understands God.[00:06:43] Now, if you get distracted, that’s okay. That’s really common. If you can refocus, great. But if not, that’s okay too. Focus in on the distraction–maybe you can get curious about why a part of you may feel the need to distract you.[00:07:04] So I’m just going to invite you to notice now what’s happening in a moment. I’m going to say a little three word phrase, and I’m going to invite you to see how that three word phrase, those three words, land in your system. And so I’m just going to invite you to really notice what’s going on in your body right now–what’s happening in your body, around your body. You notice if there’s any muscle tension, any headache, any stomach pain, fatigue, tingling, warmth, coolness, whatever is going on in your body. Just want you to get a sense of what’s happening with your body now as a baseline.[00:08:15] Okay, and here are the three words. God loves you. God loves you.[00:08:45] And what I’m curious about is what did you notice in your body when those three words landed? If you noticed a shift somewhere in your body, I’m going to invite you to focus in on that part of your body, because there might be a message there from some part of you that has something that it wants to say about the love of God–being loved by God, taking in the love of God, there may be a story or a message in that bodily reaction. We call that a trailhead. A trailhead is where there’s an experience inside that is a communication from a part–could be a communication of distress, it often is–and so I’m wondering if you can be with that body experience and really listen in, if you can be curious about what might not yet be spoken, but exist in your body.[00:10:14] Can you listen to the message by listening in to that body sensation? Can you sense what the message is?[00:10:47] Now, maybe you had an image or a visual image or a memory come up or some other experience inside–you can go with that too if that seems more prominent or it’s much more, you know, much more obvious. But whatever you’re experiencing, see if it can lead you to that part and what that part believes about God loving you.[00:11:40] And you might be getting into contact with that part. Can you sense that part? Can you look at that part of you? Is there some sort of visual representation of it? You as the innermost self.[00:12:10] And if you notice any negative emotions toward that part, any criticism, maybe the parts that are critical of that part can give you some space. Maybe parts would relax back so that more of your innermost self can be present now. With the big open heart, we’re going to ask that none of your parts flood you with their intensity–that’s a safety thing. We don’t want parts to take you over and overwhelm you if they are experiencing a lot of intensity. We’re looking for you as the innermost self to be separate but near to this part of you that’s connected to that body sensation, so that you can have a relationship with that part.[00:14:06] Can you sense that little part of you? Maybe it’s becoming more apparent. You can ask the part how old it is. Some parts of us can be very, very young phenomenologically, even pre-verbal. But to see if you can accept that part, really listen to that part, what it wants to share with you. What it wants you to know.[00:14:54] How does that part see God?[00:15:20] How does that part make sense of God’s love?[00:15:30] And again, in listening to the part, we’re not endorsing its beliefs, we’re not adopting its positions. Any part that is separated from the self or any part that’s not in right relationship with your innermost self is going to have a distorted God image. It’s inevitable. And one way, the best way to be able to overcome those is for those parts to be seen, heard, known and understood in love.[00:16:25] If it’s okay, can we hear what that part feels about God and God’s love?[00:17:00] What about thoughts or assumptions or beliefs that this part has? We can ask other parts not to censor those beliefs, just so that we can understand how parts have made sense of their experience. They have very limited vision, but if they can become more connected to the self, it opens up all kinds of possibilities for it being different.[00:17:57] What kinds of impulses or desires does this part have regarding, receiving or embracing the love of God? Impulses to hesitate, to refuse, to rebel, to flee, whatever those may be, can we understand those? Can you hear them as part of the story?[00:18:57] And I’m just going to invite you to see, sometimes this happens–sometimes there’s a concerned protector part, trying to speak for your target part, like a spokes-part who wants to interpret the parts experience. And let’s just see if that concerned protector part can soften and relax back and let the target part speak for itself.[00:19:29] What does this part need from you? From you, the innermost self. Maybe there’s a need for felt safety and protection. Maybe a need for feeling seen, heard, known and understood. Maybe a part needs to be comforted or soothed by you, reassured, or to feel cherished and treasured.[00:20:36] What does this part need from you? Let’s just listen in and see if this part of you can connect at just a little deeper level, if that’s okay.[00:21:31] Maybe that part doesn’t understand God very well. Maybe he hasn’t had much connection with God. Maybe he has never felt God’s love.[00:22:20] Maybe there’s concerns about the costs of being loved by God, the way that might change things inside.[00:22:52] Maybe a part is trying to keep you safe from God because it sees God as dangerous or harmful–distorted God images.[00:23:22] Maybe there’s a sense that you as a person aren’t worthy of God’s love. Issues with shame.[00:23:46] There could be difficulties with vulnerability, a sense of being exposed, being revealed to God if you accept God’s love.[00:24:09] Maybe there’s a lot of fear of God.[00:24:31] Maybe there’s a lot of anger at God, a desire to rebel against God, a sense that God’s been mistreating a part of you. Can we hear those concerns?[00:25:11] And if you are in a good place, if you are in a space where you can really feel compassion for your part that’s struggling with God’s love, if you are in a place where you can feel connected to that part, where there’s genuine interest and curiosity, you have a big open heart, clarity is coming in, there’s courage, there’s confidence, a sense of creativity, a sense of connection with that part. If you have that, then you might check to see if that part wants to know about God from you, about God’s love, from you. If it wants to hear something different than its felt experience–the way its made sense of its experience.[00:26:24] I mean, it’s possible if your part’s open for you to be the bridge between that part and God. If it’s okay with your other parts, and that’s a big ‘if’ because parts may be really, really concerned. If we’ve got parts that are really concerned about God coming in here, we want to honor that, we want to be careful, we don’t want to steamroll parts. We want to work with the cooperation and collaboration of parts. But if your parts are okay with it, might they be interested in you being the bridge to God–you as the innermost self.[00:27:23] And if so, to God the Father, or to Jesus, or to the Holy Spirit, you can pick one, if that sounds good. And if you pick Jesus, you can also pick what age. I have a part who’s about five years old, who loves to be with Jesus when Jesus was eight years old. So if that’s helpful, some parts find it to be much less threatening to be with Jesus as a baby. There’s different ways that you can connect with God.[00:28:03] And maybe that’s too much for a lot of people it might be too much, but there could be a way they might connect with Mary. Mary as our Mother, or maybe Mary as a friend, as a young girl. Or with another saint, or maybe with a guardian angel.[00:28:39] It’s an opportunity to learn more about what God’s love is actually like.[00:28:53] And you can also regulate how close to allow God to get to the part, because that can be really frightening for parts. Remember, it might be a whole new relationship. But we really don’t want to rush. It’s really important that there be a sense of safety and protection. If there’s not, I’m going to invite you to let this part of the exercise go. Just see if you can stay with your parts and not worry about connecting with God right away–they might need to really build trust with you as the innermost self first. And if you’re really blended, that’s okay. That’s okay. Work with those parts that are blended with you. See what their concerns are about this whole God issue. For many people, this is really, really new. It’s really different.[00:30:20] I’m just inviting you to see if it’s okay. We’re not going to be in this exercise much longer, just so parts know. But might they be able to see God or to see Mary or your Angel, or another saint, through your eyes? Totally different when seen through the eyes of your innermost self.[00:31:17] What are you noticing in that part?[00:31:36] How is that part doing now?[00:31:52] Can that part sense that you are with him or her–with that little part, present, caring, curious where you are with compassion, connectedness and calm.[00:32:33] Now I’m going to invite you to write down, if you want to, what you what you learned, what was helpful. Sometimes it can be really a good thing to give your parts a voice on paper. You can always do this exercise again. It’ll be available as episode 100–we’ll have it up on our website. You can do this exercise again with a different part.[00:33:04] And a lot of gratitude for all your parts. All the parts have good intentions. All parts are trying to help. This doesn’t have to be the end of connecting with your parts. This doesn’t have to be a one off experience. You can check in with those parts again. You can reach out to them again. You know, there are various ways–it’s a lot of what we do in the Resilient Catholics community. You don’t have to be alone in doing this internal work. That’s the reason why the Resilient Catholics community exists. If this kind of exercise is helpful to you, we have almost 100 of these kinds of exercises in the Resilient Catholics community already. There’s 120 Catholics like you already on board.[00:34:00] And as we wind up this exercise, I’m just going to invite you to be able to make that transition to come back. And if you can stay in touch with your parts, great. Some people have trouble with that, but to be really grateful for the space.[00:34:29] You’re welcome to get in touch with me if you have interests about this. Conversation hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM EST, but not November 24–that’s Thanksgiving; I won’t be answering calls then. You can also reach out to me at crisis@soulsandhearts.com, that’s my email. I’m much I’m much quicker to respond to phone calls than I am to email. I’ve got some email that’s backed up–I will be getting to as much of that as I can, but I’m really excited about the RCC, the Resilient Catholics community. I really feel like it’s an opportunity for us to be on a pilgrimage together, to get to know our own parts, and to come to love them, and to help them accept love and to be part of loving in a much more wholehearted way.[00:35:18] So that’s the end of the exercise. And I know we’ve got some time just to be able to field questions. I do want to let everybody know we are being recorded–we are planning to post the recordings and so forth, so you will be on the regular podcast if you speak up. So if you want to ask, then [00:35:41] Marion can [00:35:41] definitely get your voice on here, but you can also let us know through the chat if you prefer to be anonymous with what you wanted to share about your experience. I invite you to check it out with parts to make sure that you’re not overexposing any of your parts and we can just open a discussion together.[00:36:07] “Dr. Peter, you already had a question earlier about whether your notes would be available on soulsandhearts.com.”[00:36:17] The notes like from this presentation, like the outline?[00:36:21] “Yes”[00:36:21] Yeah, I will post the outline that I was following as well.[00:36:29] And let’s see here–some people were saying that literally nothing seems to be happening. No bodily changes–comfortable and relaxed. You know, that can happen sometimes. Sometimes we don’t have a lot of reaction right away. So I would just stay with it–if you stay with yourself long enough in your parts, something will happen. Something will happen. So just a lot of patience with that.[00:37:08] Here’s a question–“What do you do if you’re not at all sure that yourself actually has the understanding of the part needs?” And I would say, look, it’s okay. Let’s just see what happens when you do approach that part with some compassion and with some love. You know, from an Internal Family Systems perspective, the self has an innate capacity to to love the parts, to be attuned and I found that to be true–I think we have some inherent capacities, God-given capacities. Sometimes those are constrained, they’re occluded by other parts. St. Teresa of Avila has this image of the soul as like a crystal that’s occluded, that’s got, you know, dirt or grime on it–if you clean that off, it can shine through. So if parts can give you the space, I’ve not ever seen it fail that there can be a real attunement from the self to the part.[00:38:19] “Is it important to notice if the Father is not the one the baby is not comfortable with, but Jesus is?” Yeah, it’s really important. We can relate with any of the three Persons of the Trinity, and sometimes it’s so much easier for a part to connect to one Person of the Trinity than with another. And when you’re starting out with this, I’d say let the part connect with the person of the Trinity who is the least threatening, the one that they’re most drawn to. Because the Trinity is one in three.[00:38:58] “What if your part has a fear of baby Jesus?” Well, at that point I wouldn’t try to do some sort of exposure therapy, counterphobic type of thing or something like that–absolutely not. What I would do is see if the part would be more comfortable with Jesus at another age, or with another Person of the Trinity, or with Mother Mary, or maybe with a saint. For example there are some people who have experienced a lot of bodily trauma, betrayal trauma, other types of trauma, and they have a very difficult time relating with any embodied spiritual figure, any saint or Jesus because of his body. That seems really dangerous to them. So sometimes we start with the guardian angel because the guardian angel doesn’t have a physical body, so there can’t be any bodily harm like that.[00:39:52] Can a part be a five year old version of yourself? Absolutely. A lot of parts are very young.[00:40:01] And then, “I like bringing in the saints–I feel this to be comforting, like St. Faustina and St. John Paul II.” Absolutely. You know, we are all one body. If you are working with somebody as a spiritual confidant who is in the Church triumphant in heaven, that person is part of the body of Christ. We’re all one body.[00:40:29] Someone asked, “How long does it take to normally have a real conversation with a part? I’m in touch, but haven’t been able to talk with any part.” Well, you know, I think of that as what St. Francis of Assisi said. He said, you know, ‘preach the gospel, use words if necessary.’ I’m not so concerned about conversation as I am about connection, you know, because some parts might be pre-verbal. They don’t really have a lot of access to language, but they need to be held or they need to look at you. And as they get more integrated, as they come into a deeper connection and relationship with you as the innermost self, they’ll have a greater capacity to put things into words, you know, so they’ll be able to access parts of the brain that foster expressive and receptive language and so forth. Those neural pathways are starting to become more established. So, yeah.[00:41:26] I got a question; “how about a mystical interaction such as the Transfiguration?” That’s a little hard to answer in one sense, because it depends on whether you’re trying to form a relationship with an event or whether you’re trying to form a relationship with the person. So what I would be thinking about if you’re in a scene from the Gospels or in a scene from Scripture, is ‘can there be a personal connection?’ Here’s what I really want to get at: that these God images that parts have can only be corrected by experiencing love. That’s what’s curative. The love is what’s curative, and if they can experience that from you first–you, the innermost self loving the part, that’s very ordered. St. Thomas Aquinas is all about that. St. Thomas Aquinas argues that you have to love you first. That’s where the first love is, before you can love anybody else. And you, as the innermost self, can help that part also receive God’s love not only through you, but through other people, through the saints, through our Lady, and then can facilitate that relationship with God himself. So this isn’t about some sort of narcissistic [00:42:50] navel gazing. [00:42:50] “I’m okay, you’re okay.” You know, psychological day spa stuff. This is really more about like you actually being able to embrace the love of God, because then things change. There’s really two ways that God images change–one is the experience of God as he is in his love, and the second is faith–the supernatural virtue of faith. But so many parts don’t have faith–we didn’t talk a lot about this in this in this exercise, but sometimes parts can connect with the faith of the self–that infused virtue, the faith, and can connect with that too. I tend to work more on the side of parts actually coming into contact with the living God and seeing that he’s not who those parts made God out to be. He’s different.[00:43:47] So we have a question here, “is it better to start learning to love and to be loved by myself before I try to love and be loved by God? If God is too scary, even for myself?” You know what? If love is authentic, it has its origin and root in God. So I look at what’s the easiest way for a part to take in the love of God. What’s the easiest way for the part to take in the love of God if it’s from the self, okay. Ideally it starts with our parents–ideally we learn something of the love of God from mom and dad, but moms and dads always fail in some way, unless you happen to be in the Holy Family, unless you were raised 2000 years ago in Nazareth–and you weren’t, there’s going to be failures there. And the reason I think God allows those failures is because he plans to make up for them with being our Father, with our Lady, being our Mother. God our Father and Mary our Mother, those are our primary parents. Your earthly parents are secondary parents. God our Father, Mary our Mother, those are your primary parents. And so any deficits in the parenting that you got from your earthly parents, God intended to make up for. He’s got a plan for that. And the greater the deficits, the more that he will make up for it in his providence.[00:45:24] But I’m curious if somebody’s willing to ask a question out loud. I mean, we’ve had a lot come through the chat, but I’m wondering if there’s somebody that would like to put their hand up and get on here live with me. No pressure though.[00:45:40] Let’s see…”can a part of you heal a mother wound?” Well, here’s the thing: a part cannot heal another part. Not on its own. I do believe there’s some healing that can happen when the love of God comes through the self. So when the self loves a part, I think healing can happen. But so often parts are trying to help other parts, parts operating independently of the self, and that doesn’t work. And you can see that when parts have agendas, they’re trying really, really hard to make it all right, but without the connection to the innermost self, I don’t think parts have the capacity to really love another part. That’s why St. Thomas Aquinas was so big on internal integration, on unity. I talked about that in some of the weekly reflections from October 2022 that are on our blog at soulsandhearts.com/blog–those are the weekly reflections I send out. I’ve focused on those in October–how Thomistic this is. But that unity is really important for being able to be in union with each other.[00:47:15] As far as a part hurting another part, we had a question about that–absolutely, parts can hurt other parts. Absolutely. Parts can hurt other parts. Parts can hurt other parts in our own systems, and often do, and parts can also hurt parts in other people.[00:47:37] “We have a question.”[00:47:38] Great, well, let’s go with that.[00:47:41] “Okay, well, here you got a live one, so I’ll go for it. So what is it you want? What do you want to ask? Do you want me to tell you what my experience was or what?”[00:47:55] Yeah. If you’d like to share what your experience was, we’d love to hear it. If you have a question, you know, it’s really kind of an open forum here. So whatever seems to be helpful.[00:48:04] “Okay, so what would I felt was I felt that physical sensation in my jaw, which I hadn’t noticed before. And when you said, you know, ‘God loves you,’ there was just this, the thought came in my head, ‘Oh, but it’s not emotional.’ It was really kind of a negative thing, and I am aware that when I think of God the Father, I think of him very far off and, you know, not happy. I remember there was a one time, mostly mad, mostly sad, I don’t know. And then when you asked like, ‘what part of you is feeling that’ or whatever, I just sensed a kind of like a little plastic doll, not even like very lifelike. And I know that was me, and then you meant you said something about let that part of you connect with kind of like the real you, the real self. And that’s where I felt a huge like cavern of light and love, and that little one could get closer to that, but really wanted to move away from God who just seemed dark and angry. So that little part feeling comfortable with, I guess, me, and then when you asked about can you bring that part to to God and which person of God–I already knew, I can be the bridge to bring that little part to Jesus who took that–then it was like I put a baby in Jesus’s arms, and it was no longer a doll, it was a little baby. And they did fine and I was there. So that’s the whole thing that I went through during that guided reflection.”[00:50:08] And if, if I can ask, did you notice changes in your body, like in your jaw?[00:50:13] “Yes, that went away that really not. And I was not grinding my teeth, it was just like I felt that–and then as soon as that self came, you said kind of like the compassionate heart filled. Then I noticed that that was gone. The jaw thing was gone.”[00:50:30] So that might be like a tell or a trailhead for you, to notice your jaw. Because sometimes–I actually have the same thing. I have two parts that lock up my jaw. When I’m when I’m not in in a good place, when I’m when I’m not centered or I’m not recollected, so that’s a really familiar sensation for me. And then such beautiful work. Yeah, remember that it’s hard for us to come into relationship with God. Even when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, after having conversed with God, he wore a veil over his face–just the reflected glory of God was too much for the Israelites. And so to remember that we sometimes have to like allow parts to experience the love of God mediated in some way–through the through the innermost self, through other people, through the saints, you know, So yeah, you were, you know, you were in a place where you could help that part of you experience God in the way that that little part of you could best receive it, does that make sense?[00:51:40] “Yeah, and there was also a part of me that was my conscious mind saying, ‘but that isn’t what God–I know that that’s probably not what the Father’s like, but you have this false image, right?”[00:51:55] Yeah. We often will have parts of us that are like that have gotten better catechesis, you know? But they’re still not connected emotionally. And I have had a part like that defaults to a God who’s got a sort of sterile charity–kind of a cold kind of charity. You know, he created me, sustains me, keeps me in life, but you know, it’s more than that. Can we come into contact with a God who cherishes us, who delights in us? It’s not that kind of, like, distant stuff, but we. We don’t know that yet, experientially, and we don’t know it yet enough by faith. Such beautiful work. Thank you for sharing that with us.[00:52:46] We have a couple more questions. I’m going to unmute whoever is J. H. J.[00:52:54] “It’s me. I’m Joseph. Good evening from United Kingdom, Dr. Peter. And hello, everybody taking part, God bless you all. I’m very interested in your work and the work on parts, and I picked up on the word mediation or mediate–perhaps God mediates through another person, and I wonder if we could explore that for a little while, please?”[00:53:20] Sure. Sure.[00:53:22] “Thank you.”[00:53:22] So we know that our Lord Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man, right? So he is the primary mediator. Some people have said, ‘shouldn’t the parts just connect with Jesus?’ And I’ve done some consultation work with evangelical Christians who are therapists who try to connect parts directly with Jesus. And, you know, one thing that that I would say is that there is this core center of us–it’s alluded to in Vatican II, the secret sanctuary, the core of our being, and God respects that. There’s got to be some organizing principle within us that can help lead and guide all of us–all parts of our being. Remember, in the great commandment, our Lord says to love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, right. Not just the acceptable parts of us or the bits of us, but the whole of us, and so I see that the self as having the capacity to be able to organize, and to be able to help the parts work collaboratively, and to be the bridge or the mediator between our Lord and the parts. Because again, I don’t think God wants to just come in and intrude and invade. There’s too much respect for our dignity, too much respect for our boundaries, our personhood, to do that. So that’s in a nutshell what I would say.[00:54:56] “Thank you, Dr. Peter.”[00:54:58] You bet.[00:55:01] Debbie: “Hi.”[00:55:08] Hello, welcome![00:55:09] “This is really the first time I sensed anything. I haven’t seen any part, but just now sensed light that was, I think myself reacted with surprise. I didn’t know if I was imagining that. Prior to that, I think I felt a sense of warmth, and I didn’t sense anything negative. That’s pretty much it!”[00:56:01] Debbie, did you notice any changes in your body with the warmth or the light? Did you notice any shifts inside at a body sensation level?[00:56:11] “No.”[00:56:12] Okay, you know, it’s interesting–as you were talking, the Bible verse that came to mind is, I think from Isaiah, you know, “the people that have walked in darkness have seen a great light.” I think a lot of times so many parts of us have not been included in the spiritual life. A lot of times the spiritual life in serious Catholics is governed by one or two or maybe three religious parts, spiritual parts. So it can be really surprising when other parts somehow come into contact with something of love or something of God. I mean, it can be really eye opening. And so it’s not unusual for there to be surprise at there being a sense of light or a sense of warmth.[00:57:09] “Thank you.”[00:57:10] Thank you for that.[00:57:12] Katharina: “When you’re asking for body sensation, I was looking for like pain, but the only thing I felt was just this joy. But it was like, really in my center of my chest sort of, and I was really surprised. It’s like, ‘oh, okay!’ And I think what I’m curious about is maybe if you could speak of–what I, what I heard was that he is captivated by our brokenness. And I was like, ‘oh, what does that mean?’ Because there’s a certain integrity that’s desired, right? Like that we want to become whole and we want to have this unity inside, but then to hear that, like there’s this sort of captivation, and this sort of beauty in our brokenness that he finds–it’s like, it’s like not just going to the lepers or the prostitutes, but actually having this desire for that what we know to be ugly, but that it’s attractive. Does that…?”[00:58:51] The hardest–in the spiritual life–I was talking with Peter Martin, psychologist, Dr. Peter Martin. The hardest of the the attachment needs  in the spiritual life for so many people is the sense of feeling cherished or treasured by God. And the reason oftentimes people don’t feel cherished or treasured by God is there’s so much shame, there’s so much hiding, so the idea that even in our brokenness, God could love us. Even in our woundedness, God loves us. In fact, our woundedness moves him, right? I mean, we’re in need. That’s why our Lord came to the earth, right? You know, to save us so. So to begin to experience something of joy, sometimes that’s a whole new experience for a part. To experience joy of God, to be delighted in by God, to actually feel that. So thank you for sharing that with us.[01:00:13] “Thank you.”[01:00:14] And our last hand raised at this moment is Tim.[01:00:20] “Hi there, Dr. Peter Malinoski.”[01:00:23] It’s good to be with you, Tim.[01:00:26] “So I have trouble focusing on the parts. Like it seems that as soon as I get a grasp on maybe accessing that part–maybe it’s ADHD or I’m not sure what it is, but I lose it very quickly and kind of like start exploring, you know, other things. So I don’t get a whole lot of feelings or like a good attachment. And I guess in my vision, you know, as things progress and getting better at this, that that attachment will be more longer lasting and probably more rewarding. So, your thoughts.”[01:01:22] Well, let me ask this, okay, and you don’t have to answer this, Tim. I’m not trying to fish for an answer, but one thing I get curious about is–these distractions, I mean, maybe they’re biologically based, maybe there’s a neurological issue, but often what I find is that it’s a part. It’s a distracting part. It’s a part that’s really worried about what might happen if you were allowed to focus on some particular thing, you know. So one possibility might be to explore that–is there a part of you that really is concerned about you being able to focus on what was coming up in the the experiential exercise. You know, so much of attention issues, really, you know, some of that is biological, some of that may be may have to do with neurochemical regulation, neurological patterns, and things like that–but a lot of it in my experience is really parts. You know, parts that are really concerned. Firefighter parts that come up to try to protect you from things getting too heavy or from you connecting with other parts. So that’s another possibility that we usually consider when we’re thinking about the multiplicity of self and parts.[01:02:58] “Could there be a part that easily gets frustrated with something you’re struggling with, trying to understand or trying to figure out? And so there’s a part that’s like, ‘yeah, that’s just–it’s too frustrating and we’re out of here.'”[01:03:15] Absolutely. Absolutely, and there’s always reasons for what parts do. Even when parts are doing something that’s pretty maladaptive, you know, that could be really harmful physically, morally, spiritually, there’s still a good intention behind the impulse or the desire. And so what I what I try to do, in working with my own parts and working with, you know, in working with the exercises in the RCC with my own clients is to kind of get at what is the good intention. What is the good that the part is seeking for you? And can we find that good somewhere else? Is there another way that we can actually have the benefit without it being harmful?[01:04:08] “Thank you.”[01:04:11] Well, I want to thank everyone for being here. I know we had some technical issues–I apologize for that. This is a new, you know, technology that we’re trying to use. And, you know, things go wrong. But so many of you were able to make it and I’m really heartened by this and super excited. This will come out on Monday morning on the 21st of November as episode 100 of the IIC podcast. We’ll also put it up on our websites, and also if you’re in the Interior Therapist community or the Resilient Catholics community, you’ll get it in there as well.[01:04:51] So much gratitude for you–thank you for being here. You really are the ones that have made it possible for us to get to 100 episodes. I’m really surprised by that in a number of ways, so thank you for that.[01:05:11] And I’m going to invite you to unmute and we’ll do the closing invocations together, if you’d like to.[01:05:22] Our Lady, our Mother, Untyer of knots, pray for us. St John the Baptist, pray for us.