IIC 111: Approaching my Anger from the Other Side: Experiential Exercise
In this live experiential exercise, Dr. Peter leads listeners through an experiential exercise that explores why anger might feel important, necessary, even indispensable for parts. We look at how anger can develop from parts feeling forced to choose between attachment needs and integrity needs being met. Dr. Peter and the audience members share a lively, personal debriefing and discussion of their experience of the exercise.
Dr. Peter: Okay, well it is a pleasure to be with you. It is so good to be with you today. I’m Dr. Peter Malinoski. I’m a clinical psychologist. I’m a passionate Catholic. And this is episode 111 of ‘Interior Integration for Catholics.’ Now, originally this was going to be episode 110. There were some numbering issues that came up because during Holy Week, I just had to put out an experiential exercise for Holy Week about Our Lord’s psychological anguish, his psychological agony in the garden. And so if there are some confusion about numbering, if some people are expecting this to be number 110, that’s okay. This is number 111 because we had that extra one that came out last Wednesday.
In this podcast, we take on the most important questions and the most difficult questions about our human formation. And we’re really not just about getting to the head, we’re also about getting to the heart. It’s not just intellectual information, it’s not just conceptual information, analytical processing–we really want to get to the whole of the human person, and we focus on human formation. That’s really important–we focus on human formation. And so what we are doing here is focusing in on the natural level obstacles of what keeps us from being able to connect with our Lord and Our Lady in a deep, intimate, personal relationship. So that’s what this podcast is all about.This episode in particular is an experiential exercise. It allows us to really get inside of our systems, inside of our interior lives, and to connect with the parts of us that are having some kind of difficulty, some kind of obstacle with anger. We’re continuing our series–those of you that have followed the podcast for a while may know that this is the sixth in a series of six experiential exercises that are coming out on the third Monday of the month. So this is the last one in that series. It’s been a great journey; I’ve really enjoyed being with you; I’m so glad to see so many people with us tonight that have joined us live.So as we discuss these experiential exercises, there’s a few things that I always want to bring up. First is that these topics around anger, this can be difficult material, especially when it gets into anger at God or especially when it gets into anger at somebody that we hold dear, somebody that we’re close to. We want to make sure that we are staying in our window of tolerance. What I mean by that window of tolerance is that zone in which we can take in new information, that zone where we can connect. If we exit that window of tolerance to the upside, we move into hyperarousal–that’s the fight or flight response. And that means that we begin to shut down or if we exit the window of tolerance to the downside, that’s the freeze response–that’s the dorsal vagal response. And again, we close ourselves off to new information. We close ourselves off to the possibility of connecting with others, including God. And so you don’t have to do this exercise, you can stop at any time if it’s not helping you. If it’s not working for you, you can reground yourself. We don’t want to steamroll any internal objections from any of our parts about doing the exercise. We want to really respect the dignity of each part of us and if you are listening to this in the recording, you really need the time and the space and the privacy to do this experiential exercise. It’s not something that you can do very well while you’re driving or you’re cooking or cleaning or exercising or anything like that–you really want to be able to set aside dedicated time for this.So I’m going to invite you to take what’s useful to you. You’re free to go your own direction if you would like. And again, if you’re listening to this as a recording, you can press pause and take as much time as you need to do whatever work you need to do with your parts inside. Really trust that there is a way for this to be fruitful for you. It’s often helpful to have pens and paper, to be able to write things down that are helpful–like in a journal or to map things out. You’re always welcome to move around. Your body position is up to you–whatever works for you, whatever’s comfortable. Eyes open, eyes closed, that’s okay.We’re going to be focusing in, in just a moment on a trailhead, a trailhead about anger. But we’re going to approach it from the opposite direction as we have in previous experiential exercises. So if you go back to episodes 104, 106, 108, we’re going to be looking at this from a different point of view today. Sometimes that different perspective really helps to shed light on what’s happening inside. I’m going to start with some opposites of anger. We’re actually going to start on the other side of the coin. We’re going to look at some antonyms or opposites of anger. And I’m just going to invite you to see if you have any negative reactions to the words that I’m about to offer you. All of these words are considered antonyms or opposites of anger. And when a part of us holds onto anger or when it feels a need to be angry, it might not so much be because of the anger, but what’s on the other side–the flip side, the opposite side.So I’m just going to invite you to notice what’s going on in your body right now. Just to get a sense of your internal bodily state before we begin. What’s happening in or around your body? To just kind of assess where you are with the different parts of your body. What’s going on in your head right now–just noticing any physical sensations, any bodily sensations in your head. Noticing anything that’s going on behind your eyes, in your cheeks, in your jaw around your ears, at the back of your head–I’m just inviting you to really notice.And then I’m going to invite you to notice what’s happening in your shoulders, your neck. I’m not trying to change anything–we’re just paying attention.What’s happening in your arms…your upper arms, elbows, forearms…is there anything that draws your attention in your arms? Or anything going on in your hands?Anything happening in your chest or in your your back as we work our way down? Around your heart, your lungs, your stomach. I invite you to pay attention to your breathing–just notice what’s happening with your breathing right now.Your abdomen, your lower back, your hips. Just anything that you’re noticing in those sensations.In your groin, your upper legs, your thighs, your knees, your lower legs, you calves, your shins, your ankles, your feet. And I’m just going to invite you to remember just what might seem most significant in terms of body sensations. The one or two, maybe three sensations in your body that are most prominent or noticeable to you.And then I’m going to invite you to pay attention to any changes in your body that might occur. As I share with you a list of words. These are the antonyms or the opposites of anger.And it’s possible that you’ll notice some sort of shift in the body. And if you do, I’m going to invite you to pay attention to that word where that happens the most prominently or the most obviously. Now if you’re noticing some other shift in your inner states, if you’re noticing a memory pop up or if you’re noticing a desire come up or a strong belief or some other inner experience–pay attention to that. We’re looking for what are called trailheads, and these are the signals from our parts that try to communicate something to us, usually some kind of distress. You can write down the word if it’s helpful to you where you notice a shift. And we’re going to call any word that you react to internally your target word. Okay.Calm.Cheer.Comfort.Delight.Happiness.Joy.Attraction.Love.Peace.Contentment.Pleasure.Enjoyment.Pleasantness.Warmth.Affection.Alright, so I’m just going to invite you again to notice which of those words had the biggest internal reaction–calm, cheer, comfort, delight, happiness, joy, attraction, love, peace, contentment, pleasure, agreeability (I don’t think I said that one before), enjoyment, pleasantness, connection, warmth. Which of those words caused the biggest reaction? That’s going to be your target word.And now, for this next step, I’m going to invite you, with a big open heart, to see if you can be curious about why there was a reaction to that word. And that reaction might not have been huge. It might not have been something earth shattering or groundbreaking or something that really rattled you or anything like that. It could be subtle, but just to be able to tune into that word and to be curious about why there might have been a reaction to that word especially with that word being an antonym or an opposite to anger. I’m just wondering if there’s a message in that reaction inside–in that trailhead–to your target word. And if it would be okay for parts to share with you, you as your innermost self, what’s significant about that word in their story. If it would be okay for a part of you to share the story around your target word. Calm, cheer, happiness, joy, peace–whatever it was, and also about anger. There could very well be something significant.Can we just hear that story? And if it’s helpful to write down what you’re picking up. Just be really open to learning what might be going on that hasn’t been integrated yet, that you haven’t been able to hear yet.If it’s helpful, you can check in with the body sensation that changed. You can say, “hey, look, what does this shift in my stomach want me to know?” It might be difficult to identify the part right away, but you can focus in on the body sensation, or on the memory, or on the shift inside, the song that came up in your head or whatever it was. “What is it you want me to know about that target word?”And if it’s relevant, about that target word’s relationship with anger.Dr. Peter: We’re going to ask parts not to flood you with their intensity–it’s a safety thing. Ask parts not to overwhelm you with distress or with emotions. You want to be separate but near you, as your innermost self, and your parts.There’s some negativity here, some criticism of your reactions inside, just see if those concerned protector parts can soften and relax back–if they can give you some space so that you, as your innermost self, can connect in a way that’s separate but near to your target part, to the one that may have some concerns about anger or about these words that are antonyms or opposites of anger.It’s amazing how many things can be disconnected inside, how many things might not come into our awareness–that’s especially true with anger. Any of the members of the emotional family of anger.Can we have a lot of space to just hear and accept where a part of us may be with anger or with any of these opposites. And accepting where a part is does not mean endorsing that part’s impulses or desires or their attitudes. Does it mean endorsing or embracing or encouraging any of those inner experiences, but it means that we say, “yes, it’s real, it exists within me.” Even if it might be misdirected or even if it might be disordered in some way, can we accept that that’s real, that it exists within us?And I’m just curious about how old this reaction is–how far back does it go in your life–to what age? When does that story begin?And how might that target word be related to shame, or grief, or despair, or maybe to injustice.Dr. Peter: And what would it mean if you were to experience calm or cheer or comfort or delight or happiness or joy or attraction or love or peace or contentment or pleasure or agreeableness or enjoyment or pleasantness or connection or warmth if some part of you is still angry?Dr. Peter: And can you have a sense of compassion for parts that are struggling with anger or with some of these opposites of anger? Is it okay to be with them?And as we draw to a close, as we come to the end of this experiential exercise, a lot of gratitude for your parts, a lot of appreciation for the good things that they’ve sought for you, the ways that they’ve tried to protect you, and appreciation for your parts as being fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I’m going to invite you to check in with your parts about what they might like you to speak for them–if there are things that they would like to share in our debriefing, in our sharing time after this experiential exercise. There’ll be an opportunity to speak for your parts, to share the experience inside.Dr. Peter: And to know that this doesn’t have to be the end of connecting inside around these themes. This doesn’t have to be a one off experience–there’s a possibility of working with these parts around anger and the opposites in the future.Dr. Peter: So I’m going to invite you to all, as it feels right and good to return to our meeting. Turn your cameras back on, if you wish.Dr. Peter: And as we make that transition, as you come back, I’m just going to make a couple of announcements. First of all, conversation hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays generally, from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. However, I want everyone to know that because I will be traveling, I will not be in on Thursday the 20 of April, or the following Tuesday, which is the 25 of April. So the 20 and 25 of April, we won’t be having conversation hours, but we will on the other Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM EST on my cell phone, 317-567-9594. You’re welcome to call me during conversation hours about any theme that is in this podcast, Interior Integration for Catholics or in the weekly reflections that I write. Right now, we are in the middle of a series on human formation, and so that’s popular to be able to talk about now–human formation or any of the podcast episodes from Interior Integration for Catholics. If you call, it’s usually about ten minutes, maybe fifteen minutes that we limit it at. And just be aware that it’s not about clinical consultations. I can’t provide clinical services when you call. You can reach me by email as well at firstname.lastname@example.org. I ask that you keep the emails brief, keep them short, maybe 100 words, 200 words. I get a lot of email–it makes it hard if I’m reading through 3-5 pages of emails, so I just ask you to keep those short.I mentioned the weekly reflections from Souls and Hearts. You can read those at soulsandhearts.com/blog–that’s our archive, but it’s even better to get them in your email inbox every Wednesday. If you go to soulsandhearts.com, our main page, you click on the blue box that says “Get the Weekly Email Reflections from Dr. Peter,” then they’ll go right to your email inbox every Wednesday.Dr. Peter: For those of you that really resonate with these kinds of experiential exercises, know that our interest list for the Resilient Catholic Community, we are currently finding out who might be interested in joining us for our new cohort–our fifth cohort–and we’ll be taking new applications from June 1 to June 30 of 2024. We open up the RCC to new members every June and December. So we’ll be starting that programing for the June cohort in September.And I just wanted to mention one more thing, especially for our listeners who are single Catholic women aged 35+, on April 24-28, 2023, Ann-Marie Klobe will be hosting another Ready for Love Retreat. She is going to give you five straight days of really excellent speakers–there’s a lineup of more than 20 speakers. I’m involved with it. There’s going to be conversion stories, there’s going to be a path to holiness, there’s going to be a quest for love. I’m going to be addressing this intense topic of anger at God about single status. Anne Marie and I had a really great interview about that, so that’s going to be available as well. So I am personally inviting my Interior Integration for Catholics listeners to join that retreat. You can find the sign up on our podcast landing page. Go to soulsandhearts.com/iic and you can get a free registration for the retreat there. I hope many of you can do that.You can also find the links in the Weekly Reflections from April 12 and April 19. If you’re registered with souls and hearts, those go directly to your email inbox or you can find them at soulsandhearts.com//blog.Dr. Peter: Finally, for those of you that are interested, Doctor Jerry and I will be at the Catholic Psychotherapy Association annual conference in California from April 20-22, 2023. We will also be online and I am doing a breakout workshop with Jodi Garneau titled ‘The Integrated Catholic Therapist: A Compassionate Approach to Sexual Concerns using IFS.’ And that will be on April 21, 2023 in the afternoon on the West Coast. There’s also a virtual option for the conference which you can check out at catholicpsychotherapy.org–that’s the Catholic Psychotherapy Association.Dr. Peter: And so at this point, now that we’ve gotten through all that housekeeping, I just want to open it up to anyone who might like to share something of their experience. You can put up a virtual hand or you can put up a real hand and then Marian will unmute you and we can begin to connect. And if you prefer to send something to me in the chat box, if you prefer to be anonymous, we can address questions or anything about your experience that that you’d like to share.Dr. Peter: It’s really good to see so many members of the RCC with us tonight and others that have been connected with us.Dr. Peter: Anything that seemed significant?Yes. Do share, Marianne.Marianne: “Okay, I guess I just realized that anger can be self-defensive. That was really what came out of that, and it gave me an opportunity to not be so upset about getting angry, but seeing that it has a purpose or has had a purpose in the past.”Dr. Peter: Yeah. To protect and defend–that is one of the primary purposes; one of the primary reasons why parts of us get angry. Yeah. That’s such a great insight. And you said that that was new for you–that was kind of a new thought. Yeah. Excellent. Thank you, Marianne.Dr. Peter: Yes, Mary Kay.May Kay: “The word that you missed, ‘agreeable’, just brought in a lot of, memories of thinking that’s completely what I wanted to be was agreeable. And just over the years how maybe it’s good to be flexible and agreeable, but sometimes that can be overdone. And so it hit home–where probably that overdone part was really showing up at times being too agreeable I guess. So that’s the word that kind of stuck out.”Dr. Peter: Well, I’m so glad we caught that word on the second time around, because it wasn’t in the original list, but it obviously caught something. Yeah, an internal polarization between a felt need to be agreeable and some other things inside that are really important.Mary Kay: “Yeah, because you think it’s the point of connection is just go along with it. And at some point it becomes almost a problem, right? Being too agreeable and kind of losing yourself in that process.”Dr. Peter: Well, yeah, because there can be attachment needs that one part is seeking by being agreeable, holding onto relationships–but there could be integrity needs that are not getting met in that agreeableness. And I’m not saying that’s what’s happening for you, but that is a very common dilemma between attachment and integrity. And some important people in our lives have parts that create us having to have a choice. We can either choose to be in relationship or we can choose individual integrity. But somehow it’s not possible to have both in those relationships.Mary Kay: “Exactly. Yeah. And the frustration that comes from that because like you said, you need both, right?”Dr. Peter: And that can breed anger, right? When parts sense that there’s an integrity loss, that can build up anger. But boy, that can be hard for parts that really want to be agreeable, right? So yeah.Mary Kay: “Yeah, exactly.”Dr. Peter: Thank you for that, Mary Kay.Mary Kay: “You’re welcome.”Yeah, Christina.Christina: “Hi. Thank you, Peter. It’s the first time I’ve done this, but I was getting some images and words that were coming back with some of the antonyms, and the really stronger ones came around attraction and love. And then I also heard affection at the end instead of connection, which is interesting because I saw like a 3 to 4 year old, you know, really sweet child there. But the attraction and love–which is really significant–what came back is this dangerous betrayal and then cruelty. And there was just like a throat tightening. And, you know, then the other thing that comes back–and I’m aware of some of these things and why this is so–but it’s also just this awareness of this great grief that underlies that. So the grief sitting on top of the anger, it’s almost like a suppressed depression, like a tremendous grief that’s like from a sort of a depressed suppression of anger and the rage around. Lots of things around that–and it comes back from because I was just listening to things…I don’t want to get too like involved, but I was listening to things on the Restore the Glory podcast, and the thing that really struck me were those interior states, right? Because I’m aware of some of them and there’s one that like really kicked into this that just made all those pieces come together, which I called the introspect, which is a function of interior observation, that’s a gatekeeper function that sends information out to various more or less healthy, different, you know–some of them are like manager, or and another one might be like a one who gets things done and sets things up. There’s just there’s a few of them–I don’t know them all, but there’s a few of them, and so this is like the introspect who is like identifying and more clearly seeing the combination of those things because obviously anger and fear are all together in that. And as we look at that attraction, love, danger, betrayal and cruelty combination, I can feel that my chest tightening and my lungs tightening at the same time.”Dr. Peter: So you’re noticing those bodily markers, right? That is so important, Christina, to be able to localize that in the body, because there are certain things that happen that are not so easily put into words, especially by parts of us that are really young. And so there may be these communications through the body. And you’re making another set of connections here between the emotion of anger and then experiences, right–betrayal, for example. And between the emotion of anger and other emotions–this intense grief that you were talking about and the rage. And so as we create a space inside where there can be acceptance of whatever’s there, it invites clarity, and it invites us to be able to understand more deeply how these things are related.Dr. Peter: That’s just a beautiful piece of interior work that you were sharing with us. It’s o important to be able to connect inside.Christina: “Thank you.”Dr. Peter: Thank you. Thank you for being willing to share that with us.So we have another another comment here: “My keywords were happiness–unattainable, warmth–numb and attraction–disordered. I have a protector part that says we are supposed to be angry. If we are happy, we are not working hard enough. She wants to intellectualize suffering and trials, and I think that there’s another part that is very afraid of disappointment or maybe loneliness, but she doesn’t want to be reached by me. I also feel similar to Christina–there are layers, a layer of anxiety on top of the sadness, which is all on top of the anger.”Okay, so there is so much to unpack here. This is such a great comment. I really appreciate it. A protector part that says we are supposed to be angry–if we are happy, we are not working hard enough. I see this a lot. I see these kinds of dynamics a lot. That’s why it’s important to try to get into what does it mean? What would it mean if we had happiness? Well, that would mean that I’m not working hard enough–that’s where a part’s coming from for this particular participant. And so then it starts to make sense. It’s not that the part doesn’t want the person to be happy, it’s what the happiness would symbolize; what that happiness would mean. And so often we don’t take the time to really understand that. You know, this part of of of this participant wants to intellectualize suffering and trials, and thinks that there is another part that is very afraid of disappointment or maybe loneliness, but she doesn’t want to be reached by me. So there are other parts involved in this. So often anger is a way of protecting against loneliness or powerlessness or sadness. It’s a way of not being engulfed by some other emotion or experience. And it’s not that parts of us that carry anger want to be angry, per se–most of them don’t want the anger just for the sake of the anger, but they want it for some kind of benefit that seems to come with the anger, like being powerful, like being strong, like not being taken advantage of, like not being exploited. And so with this particular participant, you know, this idea of being disappointed or lonely–and then the layers again, this is a theme that’s come up tonight–a layer of anxiety on top of a layer of sadness, which is all on top of a layer of anger. So you can see these layers can be in different orders. Depression or grief can suppress anger, anger could also suppress depression and grief. The order can vary a lot. There was a Catholic psychiatrist by the name of Conrad Baars, who described in a lot of detail how one emotion can suppress another emotion. Now, I would think about this as one part, carrying an emotion, can suppress another part carrying a different emotion. So think about it a little differently, but the idea is essentially the same: that there are these battles going on inside of us that are full of different emotions and experiences and desires and impulses, where there are parts that are not accepting each other, not accepting the experience of each other, and if we can really calm things down, if we can see if our protector parts can let the innermost self lead and guide the system, then that opens the door to parts being able to work collaboratively and cooperatively under the leadership and guidance of the innermost self.So thank you. Thank you for for sharing that with us–definitely appreciate the need for anonymity. Definitely want to honor that.Dr. Peter: So a request for further resources when attachments are used against integrity. Okay, so what kind of resources are available when somebody has experienced an important relationship–a necessary relationship that is pitted attachment or relationship, on the one hand, against integrity–what do you do in those situations? I sometimes get requests for books on this kind of thing because this is so experiential, usually books reach the conceptual or the intellectual and not so much the experiential. So one thing I would recommend as far as resources would be to go back through episodes 100, 102, 104, 106 and 108. The last ones of those are all about anger, and that’s often where you’ll find the violations against integrity needs. Remember that anger is the ordered emotional response to injustice or perceived injustice, and when that injustice is inflicted against oneself, that’s against the integrity at least of a part, or at least it’s perceived as a violation of integrity against a part. And so anger is often a really good clue to being able to detect where things are as far as integrity goes, or at least where parts are experiencing integrity wounds. There is an IFS lead therapist or lead trainer by the name of Mike Elkin that basically says that all of the major issues are moral issues. Anything that we get excited about or that we get angry about–especially the things that we get angry about–they’re always moral issues. And I think he’s definitely right about that.So we can open this up to anybody else that has things that they might like to share or debrief, you know, speaking for their parts about this experiential exercise. But we can also take up other things that folks would like to be able to address on the topic of anger.Dr. Peter: Linda? Yes.Linda: “You have stirred up a whole pot full of stuff. As soon as I heard happiness, I automatically went into anger because I didn’t use to ever be able to have happiness. But then ran into this part that’s like angry at me because this part wants to be happy. This part remembers being happy, this part is angry at me because my anger keeps this part from being happy. And…I don’t know, the more I sit and listen to you and let these things run around inside me, the more I just have all kinds of anger being stirred up and I’m not real sure what to do with it.”Dr. Peter: Yeah, yeah. Let’s talk about that because when we begin to allow awareness of what’s happening inside of us, it can be disconcerting, especially to our manager parts. It can feel hard to put the genie back in the bottle, you know, once it’s out. And so one of the things that I really do recommend is that–if it’s possible–to have somebody to personally accompany you on the journey, you know, to go with you. So an IFS informed therapist or a coach, some spiritual directors have got some IFS training–so that would be one thing. The other thing, though, is to continue to work with your parts and ask them not to overwhelm you with the intensity of their experience. To be able to engage in a way that’s cooperative and collaborative. You know, because we don’t want there to be such intensity inside that it overwhelms your capacity to function in a day to day basis. You know, that’s not ideal, that’s not the best way to go about this at all. And sometimes parts just are desperate, you know, or sometimes they feel like this is their only opportunity to be heard. But if they know that there is a plan to be able to work with them in a sustainable way, it gets so much easier. Does that make sense?Linda: “Yeah, it does. I’ve just–the last couple of years, I’ve done a lot of interior healing kind of work and, without calling them parts, I have come into contact with all of these parts. And so they have some reality or some knowledge of the fact that they can be heard. And this whole IFS stuff just strikes me as an actual way to allow all of that to happen. I don’t know. It just makes so much sense. And it makes all those parts feel like this is doable.”Dr. Peter: Yes. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m so attracted to approaches that are informed by Internal Family Systems, or by parts work more generally, is that there is a way to. make sense of the internal experience–there’s a way to make sense of the internal conflicts, the polarizations, there’s a way to make sense of conflicting desires. And I sometimes use this imagery of a ship. And let’s just imagine a ship that’s that’s been damaged. It’s sinking. And there are two parts that are in a lifeboat. And one part is very much taking in all kinds of water and supplies, food, rations. And that part is busy filling up the lifeboat with that food and with that water. And the other part is busy throwing all that food and water overboard. And they actually have both they both have the same goal–they both have the goal of surviving. But one part has experienced being shipwrecked without food and water, and it’s definitely not going to go through that again. And the other part has experienced being shipwrecked and having the lifeboat that it was in turn over because it was overloaded–so it experienced being in the water with the sharks. So they have very different experiences and they have very different agendas about what it means to be safe. One is very focused on making sure there’s enough food and water, the other is making sure that the lifeboat’s going to float. And they don’t have the breadth of experience or vision that they could have, if they were much more integrated and connected to the innermost self. They don’t have that that perspective. And so parts are trying really hard. And it’s not that the part that’s throwing the food and water overboard is not wanting parts to eat or to drink. And it’s not that the part that’s loading up the boat wants it to overturn, it’s just that that wasn’t part of their experience. They weren’t the one to bear the brunt of those negative consequences. So if we can bring our parts together with their experiences and their perspectives, if we can bring them into the fold in a way that’s much more integrated and that’s much more collaborative and cooperative and led and guided by your innermost self, then all of those perspectives can be heard and all of the needs can be met in a far more effective way than if parts are working at cross-purposes to one another.”That’s helpful in the thought that–right now my parts feel like they are at cross totally and it’s never going to get resolved. But maybe we can see a way that eventually we can come together.”Dr. Peter: And the parts on their own can’t see it, even though they even though they really have good intentions, even though they’re trying really hard, they can’t see it. They need that perspective of the innermost self. And so sometimes that means that we need to get some outside perspective on board, you know, just to help with that unblending, to help with parts being able to work more collaboratively and cooperatively together. So yeah. Thank you.Speaker6: “Thank you.”Dr. Peter: There’s time, maybe for 1 or 2 more if there are others that would like to share something or that have a question. Yes, Madeleine.Madeleine: “If there’s somebody else who has a question, let them go, because I always kind of speak up.”Dr. Peter: Well, it has been a blessing to have you on these episodes, Madeleine. But yeah, let’s honor that. There’s a part of Madeleine that really wants to create space for anyone else. If there are others that might like to say something or submit something on the chat.Dr. Peter: Oh, I’m seeing more messages having come through. “Will you be doing any more of these exercises? They are so helpful.” So the short answer is eventually yes. You know, we decided to do a series of six just to see how it landed, and it’s been well received. But I like to shake things up and have some new ideas for what we might do, especially for this third Monday of the month podcast. So I definitely want to to be thoughtful about that. I know people really like the experiential exercises. Again, if you resonate with them, I’m just going to invite folks to consider the Resilient Catholics Community. You can go to soulsandhearts.com/RCC and check that out. But yeah, definitely we’ll be doing more experiential exercises and I really do like the live interaction and so we definitely will be doing some more live interaction things as well.And then another one–“A part of me doesn’t think she should have any anger at all. I don’t know my parts well enough, but I try to be happy at all times. I don’t allow anger to reveal itself much at all. Does it seem that this part might be in exile?”Dr. Peter: So a lot to unpack here–a part of me doesn’t think she should have any anger at all. There is so much of that that I see on a regular basis. Parts that are afraid that anger is dangerous. Even feeling anger is dangerous–it’s going to be dangerous to my relationships, it’s going to be dangerous in my interactions with other people, and so it’s not safe to feel angry. That is so common. And so there can be a part, a protector part, that suppresses the anger–that exiles the anger. And so, yeah, it is very common for anger to both be a protector and an exile at the same time. So the anger may be defending against the part with the anger–may be defending against grief or against shame or against a sense of loneliness or a sense of despair. So there’s the angry reaction, that’s an attempt to ward off that intensity, but the anger is too much for some other parts, so another part comes in and suppresses the anger. So the anger is suppressing the grief or the shame, and then the anger gets suppressed by a manager part that says, “we can’t have this, we can’t have you be angry because it’s not going to be tolerated by those people, those relationships that we need.” So that is very, very common. And then one of the themes in the movie ‘Inside Out’ was this part, Joy, that wanted to be happy all the time. That was one of the major themes of the movie. And in that particular situation, Joy was busy trying to exile sadness. Actually, there was a little scene where she drew this little circle on the ground and sadness was supposed to stay in that little circle. And so, yeah, there are parts of us that think that what would be best for us is to be happy all the time. But that’s not realistic. This is a vale of tears, you know, we we hear in scripture–there are going to be times where we’re sad. There are times when Jesus was sad. So yeah, there are parts that don’t want anger to come up or don’t want sadness to come up because often they’ve learned that what other people want, important people want, what they want from me is for me to be happy. And so there is this kind of happy exterior, but it hides so much realness inside, real things going on inside that are much more painful. So yeah, there’s a lot of exiles that can come out of that kind of a dynamic.Dr. Peter: I know we’re a little over time. People are welcome to go, but I just–Madeline, I can’t hear from you. So, you know, if you’d be willing to unmute yourself and share, that would be great.Madeleine: “It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it was a helpful exercise for me because even though I sort of knew it intellectually, because of, you know, the work we’ve been doing in the RCC, but I saw the connection very, very clearly of the, you know, my target word and then the anger and, you know, so all it was crystal clear, which was helpful. The other thing that was helpful for me was when you talked about attachment needs vs. integrity needs, maybe that should have been obvious–it’s not anything I thought about, though, but it really makes sense of parts’ experience where one has been pitted against the other. So that–I would never have thought of that myself. So that was really helpful to sort of understanding, you know, another way of understanding experience. And you know, I can say, Dr. Peter that like a few weeks ago because of where we were in the RCC, you know, anger just became a huge thing for me. I didn’t ever know–I mean, I knew I had anger–but I didn’t know I had specific anger at God. And it was so big for me. And so I just thought of that when it was Linda talking, because, you know, I was so grateful. First of all, I have a therapist. Secondly, I have the RCC and the community. So I wasn’t dealing with that on my own. I don’t know what I would have done because I wouldn’t have known where to go with it, you know, but I was able to navigate it and now I can just see it for what it is. This anger is there, I can accept it, and so it was so helpful for me, you know, just corroborating what you said about having somebody to accompany you, you know, to kind of work through that.”Dr. Peter: Well, beautiful, beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.Dr. Peter: Episode 62 of this podcast is titled ‘Unmet Attachment Needs and Unmet Integrity Needs,’ and so we do review those, but I don’t know how much I get into that about the polarization or the hobbesian dilemma that we can be exposed to by those who are near to us, you know, by the parts of them that somehow seem to force that kind of a choice. And so that’s a huge dilemma for a child, ideally what we want for children and for adults is to be able to have relationships that foster both attachment and integrity–both secure attachment and a healthy way that fosters internal integrity. And that that be able to be shared across parts. So but so often because of our parents’ wounds, or because of the wounds of others–teachers, coaches, pastors, whatever. Yeah, there’s parts that somehow neglect one or both of those.And just a quick comment here: “This really helped me feel better that my anger can come from wanting to be in alignment with others. I want everyone to understand what it means to love thy neighbor.”Dr. Peter: Yeah, I mean, if we begin to understand the motivations of our parts, we’re going to see that those motives are good. And so much of the trouble comes from parts having limited vision. Our anger can come from wanting to be in alignment with with others. Yeah. From frustration that we don’t have the kind of relational connection we would want to have. It could be all kinds of good motivations. There are all kinds of good motivations that can fuel anger. Anger in itself is not a sin. The emotion of anger. Our Lord was angry when he was cleansing the temple of the money changers. Our Lord was angry at the Pharisees. Our Lord was angry at his own apostles from time to time. There is such a thing as a just anger. Anger becomes sinful when it becomes harbored and nurtured and fed, you know, then it can become one of the deadly sins. So there can be a lot of confusion about anger within our parts. And so to be able to hear the story that each part of us has around anger or whatever other emotion or desire or attitude or belief or assumption, it has–so helpful for that part of us to not feel alone. And I think that’s part of what’s so essential in us loving ourselves. Our Lord commanded us in the second great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. If we can love these parts of us that are angry, if we can love these parts of us that are carrying the anger or that are using anger protectively, if we can hear those stories, we can help those parts seek the goods that they want for us, but in a more adaptive way, in a way that’s healthier, in a way that’s less likely to lead us into sin or into trouble.So I want to thank you all for being here. I’m super excited to be able to have spent some time with you tonight and so glad for the good human formation work you were doing tonight. It builds up the entire mystical body of Christ. It benefits each one of us when you do your internal work. So thank you for that.And with that, as is kind of our tradition, I’ll invite you to all unmute yourselves. Our Lady, Our Mother, Untier of Knots, pray for us. St. John the Baptist, pray for us.