How 12 Step Slogans Support Part Work



 Keep coming back-

To the abandoned ones, the exiles, the lost children who are in need of your attention,  over and over. They need to see that you are different, that unlike many before, YOU will come back.

To the protectors, the devoted, loyal, exhausted ones who have worked overtime with honor to keep you safe. Keep coming back to let them know how much they have helped you and that you couldn't have done it without them. They were how you survived and are able to breathe and read this today.

So all the parts realize now they don't have to do this alone

To the sensations in the body, this is where we hear voices in the form of wordless pain, tension. This is where the tissues hold burdens in and speak freely about what's still there. This is the language back to feeling.

To the deeper awareness that what's bothering you at the surface so intensely is really not about what you think it is. Keep plunging deeper, keep coming back to your core fears, beliefs, instead of believing that worry or rumination or obsessive thinking are your true self..

Keep it simple-

Start exactly where you are

Whatever is coming up is what is supposed to be shown to you

If you have a question ask

You can't think your way out of this one-

Start talking. One word at a time. 

Its not a complicated spiritual or existential philosophy, while interesting, its not going to get you there. It's simply talking, trusting, and feeling.  

Simple question, devoted consistency: Repeating over and over what does this part need?

Take what you hear and see at face value. No need to analyze which complicates things and is the opposite of keeping it simple. However taking things at face value means not just taking in the facts that the other person is showing you, it's including your own intuition and discernment based on what you are picking up. Keep it simple. You know. 

All parts have good intentions

All parts want to be heard

Simple gestures-a hug, a loving stance, eye contact, gentle asking, validation. 

Asking- What do I need right now and how can I give it to myself?


One day at a time

-parts that feel stuck have felt that way for what may feel like an eternity because they have been disappointed repeatedly, chronically and fear things will always be this way. We have to unblend the layers slowly, letting go of a time frame or an expectation that things should take shorter than they do. They take as long as they exactly need to. 

-Taking on all our suffering from the past and all our suffering from the future is impossible to do and incredibly overwhelming. Life with pain is painful enough. Take it one day at a time, one moment at a time.  

-All we have is today, the present, there is no past or future. When we've been really hurt, wounded, or traumatized we start to feel our pasts bleeding into our present and then we fear it's always going to be this way. This is a natural reaction to grief. Each day changes which is why one day at a time is so helpful.

-Therapy takes longer than we think because of therapy and healing myths perpetuated by society. That there's a quick fix. That we can speed up our own process. That if we are still feeling pain we are doing something wrong. Let go of the timing and simply come back to one day at a time.

-Sometimes the only trust we have to go one day at a time is that there is someone whose been through IT reassuring us this won't last forever.

Little manageable bites over overwhelming lumps! We need to chew through our experiences to get the proper nourishment. One day at a time breeds mindfulness.


Progress not perfection

-Worth repeating and mentioning because it is so important and our inner timekeeper and inner critic is always trying to steer us away from the process by focusing on timing.

let go of timing- parts that are concerned with timing actually keep vulnerable parts sheltered from healing bc we can only heal what we fully witness

-set realistic expectations for parts, many many parts will need to take time to build trust and come out of denial as well as go through the stages of grief. Protectors have been doing their jobs for so long that it is very terrifying to drop that role in an instant.

-progress is not a straight line, neither are emotions, and you can spiral over and over which makes it seem like you are going backwards or stuck but you are actually making progress with the level you are at of witnessing the pain and burden

-progress is also not comparable and you can't compare the timing of your healing journey which is why it's so important to keep it simple and take one day at a time. Some parts will be ready to surrender and you want to stay present with their progress and not compare it to other parts healing. This goes for other people and where they are at in the process! As a friend of mine says, this is a solo journey. We can share the journey but no one will be living uniquely as YOU.

-as long as you are improving in awareness of patterns that's a success

-it's not a black and white thing, you will continuously, though at the beginning you may not notice or it will appear slow, that you will increasingly come back to center more quickly over time.

-you are allowed to grow, there's no such thing as a mistake because everything you've done or experienced was with the highest knowledge you had at the time. As our consciousness deepens you can make amends but beating yourself up for where you've been is the critical part/shame part.

-it's all happening as it's supposed to  


Ask for help and get it

-we can't do this alone

-help from your higher power, friends, family, other parts, self energy, parts to self energy

-coming out of isolation is what heals, and what is revealed can be healed. Isolation keeps secrets and perpetuates shame and patterns with an inability to see when we are stuck or triggered clearly. 

-outside help allows perspective

-Unmanageability cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created it

-surrender takes time, don't beat yourself up

-asking for help can feel really hard when you are use to being self sufficient and doing things on your own. Or when feelings are coming up from an inner child from your past who never talked about these things....ever! It doesn't feel natural. 

-it's scary to ask for help when you have repeatedly done so and no one understands or is present enough or clear enough to get it. This perpetuates the abandonment and the neglect

-as a child the brain starts with the brain stem which is a nonverbal state and therefore if caregivers don't understand how to listen to cries, sounds, body language and facial expression (often due to their own lack of recovery, stressful life events, and addiction and dysfunction) the child learns to shut down asking for help and dissociates from their own needs (feeling shame and that their needs are bad and therefore I am bad). This is why it brings up a lot of shame to start asking for help

-reaching out to people who have been through what you have is helpful for them too

-it can be confusing the balance between taking stillness w your self (instead of reaching out to others) and If that's isolating or not. This takes time to discover.