Why Your Inner Child Will Kick Your Ass If You Don’t Learn To Negotiate With It.

Via on Jan 19, 2012
(Photo: StockXCHNG)

“I don’t get it. I start off the week with good intentions. I’m going to eat less. I’m going to do more exercise. I’m not going to drink, and I’m not going to smoke. I start off well enough but by the end of the week I’ll be boozed up, smoking my brains out and stuffing my face.”

“That’ll be your kids.”

“I don’t have kids.’

“Not those kind of kids. I’m talking about your kids on the inside.”

“Inside what?”

“You.”

“Me? You mean like my inner child? Isn’t my inner child about being playful and not so serious. Why would it want to drink, and smoke, and overeat.”

“It’s not just one child and it has to do with the way they’re formed.”

“That doesn’t sound like my inner child.”

“When something traumatic happens to us as kids we kind of shatter on the inside.”

“What kind of traumatic are we talking here?”

“Physical, sexual, mental, they would be the most extreme, but it’s not just limited to them. It could be anything we found traumatic as children; from a stern look, to not getting our own way, to getting a smack for being naughty. Trauma is a very relative experience.”

“So that time I did my, “I’m a little teapot,” routine and everyone laughed at me, would that count as traumatic?”

“That was at your office Christmas party, wasn’t it?”

“It was still traumatic.”

“I don’t doubt it, but I’m talking about how we deal with trauma as kids. One of the ways we cope with a traumatic event is to try and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“You can say that again.”

“We do that by figuring out how we caused the event in the first place.”

“Hang on, we’re just kids right, what if we didn’t cause the event?”

(Photo: StockXCHNG)

“That’s the way we think as adults. We know what we’re responsible for and what we’re not, but as children we think everything happens because of us, we’re responsible for everything, so we figure out how we “caused” the event, and then we try to make sure we never do it again. It’s too important try and remember so we make it part of our instinct.”

“Our instinct?”

“Yeah, we set it up so that we automatically avoid doing it again.”

“It?”

“Whatever it was we think we did to cause the event.”

“Right.”

“It’s like we take part of ourselves to one side and tell it to make sure we never do this thing again. Then we put that part in our instinct and forget about it. The rest of us moves on, we have new experiences and grow but that split off part doesn’t. It remains frozen in time. The process repeats itself with each new trauma so that by the time we hit puberty we have all these different freeze-framed. . .”

“Is that a word?”

“It is now, . . . parts of ourselves running around on the inside. Very powerful but with very limited experience.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, they have the power to make us do things but the experience of a three year old to judge the consequences of those actions. It would be like asking a giant baby to make a decision about your income tax.”

“Okay that’s a weird mental image but I’m still not really getting what impact all this has on me now?”

“Well it shows up as apparently irrational behaviour, like drinking too much, smoking too much, eating. . . .”

“I get it now. What can I do about it?”

“The first thing to do is to stop giving yourself a hard time about any irrational behaviour you might engage in. It doesn’t help, if anything it makes it harder.”

“How so?”

“Well as I said, those freeze-framed parts of you haven’t moved on, so they don’t really know about the new improved, more experienced, wiser version of you. They have remained the same; faithfully doing whatever job you asked them to do all those years ago. When you give yourself a hard time, you’re really giving a very wounded part of yourself a hard time and that doesn’t exactly make it inclined to talk with you.

“It can talk to me?”

“Well it might if you stopped bad mouthing it.”

“How can it talk to me?”

(Photo: StockXCHNG)

“It takes time and patience on your part. Think of it like this; you’re sitting in an armchair in the dark. Above you a single lightbulb casts a circle of light on the ground around you. The wounded parts of you are running about in the darkness beyond the circle. You can hear them and feel their presence but you can’t see them. They’ve been listening to you bad mouthing them, and raging about what they do, for years. From their perspective, they are only continuing to do what you asked them to do years before so now, understandably, they think you’re stupid.”

“Lovely.”

“Your job is to encourage them out of the darkness; to gain their trust; to have them sit in your lap and tell you their story. Once that starts to happen you can begin to negotiate with them.”

“Negotiation about what?”

“Okay let’s say you find yourself wanting to eat a bucket of ice cream late at night. You know it’s not going to help you with your weight loss goals but you also know, from past experience, that that won’t make any difference. One or more of your kids will be involved. They will be hurting in some way and see ice cream as the only thing that will stop them hurting. You’ll register this as a strong primal feeling in your gut which, if you could express it in words would be, “WANT ICE CREAM.” I’m going to assume that you’ve already done the groundwork and have gained their trust enough that they will at least talk to you. The first thing you need to do is find out what you are really negotiating about.”

“Ice cream?”

“No, you need to find out what’s upsetting them. One way to do that is by talking with that gut feeling and getting it to express itself in more detail. You need to get behind the desire for ice cream and find out what’s really going on. Be prepared, what you discover may be very sad and pathetic.”

“Why?”

“Well you’re dealing with very old and hurt parts of yourself. So it could be something like, “I’m lonely.” or “No one likes me.” or “I’m scared.” or “I’m horrible.” or . . .”

“Right, I get the idea.”

(Photo: StockXCHNG)

“Once you know what’s bothering these parts of you, you can ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them feel better right now? If they respond by saying that a bucket of ice cream will make them happy you can start to negotiate about it. You might offer to eat a small bowl of ice cream there and then, on the condition that in the morning you will do something that will also alleviate the underlying pain.

“Like what?”

“Well let’s say those parts of you say they feel lonely. You could ask them what you could do so that they wouldn’t feel so lonely. They might say they want friends, or to go to dinner with friends. They might say they want someone to play with, or they might say they want to go to a party. Once you know what they want you can use the power of your maturity to help them get it.”

“The power of my what?”

“Your maturity. You may not feel mature, particularly if you’re about to act irrationally, at that moment it’s easy to feel you’re at the mercy of something you have no control over, and in a way that’s true, because if you try to force these kid parts of you to do something by an act of will you will loose every time. Your real power is in your years of experience, which have led to your wisdom.”

“Wisdom! Steady on.”

“Well you’re wiser now than you were when you were five years old, no?”

“True.”

“You can use your wisdom to demonstrate to these kid parts of you that things have moved on and are not as they were.”

“How do I do that?”

“Well you can start by getting them to consider the possibility that things are not the way they were, just the possibility, you don’t have to try and convince them. Once they begin to allow the possibility that things are different it will be easier for them to change. Then your demonstrations will have more impact.”

“My demonstrations?”

“Well let’s say these kid parts of you are very anxious about something like public speaking, for example, and you have to give a presentation at work. When you get talking to these parts of you, you discover that they are actually afraid that the people are going to ridicule you during your presentation.

“Well that’s dumb.”

(Photo: StockXCHNG)

“You won’t get anywhere with them if you approach them like that.”

“But it is dumb, people don’t ridicule you during presentations.”

“True, you may know that as an adult but if we all truly believed that then public speaking wouldn’t be the number two fear in the world after death.”

“Fair enough.”

“When you’re negotiating with these parts of yourself, get them to allow that there’s a possibility that the people at the presentation won’t ridicule you. Once the presentation is over and assuming you didn’t do your, “I’m a little teapot,” routine again. . .”

“Cute.”

“. . . you could bring it to the attention of these parts of you that you weren’t ridiculed and that the presentation went off well. In that way you’re demonstrating to these parts of you that things are different. You’re also gaining their trust because things were as you said they would be.”

“Okay I think I got it.”

“Hang on, there’s one more thing; when it comes to making deals with these parts of yourself its really important to keep your word. Whatever deal you make you have to keep it because if you don’t you will never gain their trust.”

“Well of course I’d keep my word. What makes you think I wouldn’t?”

“Because it’s so easy not to. When you’re in the negotiation the stakes are high. You really want these parts of you to stop hurting, or stop sabotaging, or stop whatever it is they’re doing that has led you to negotiate with them in the first place. But once the negotiation is over and the pressure is off it’s very easy to forget the deal.

“No . . . “

“For example. Let’s say as part of your negotiation you say that in exchange for not eating the bucket of ice cream you’ll do something about the loneliness. You promise you’ll go to a party at the weekend. As soon as you make this deal the desire to eat the bucket of ice cream will fade away and you’ll feel much relieved. With the pressure off, the deal can slip from your mind and within a couple of days you have forgotten about it completely. The weekend will come and go without you going to a party. Next time you find yourself at the fridge door at 4am and you’re trying to negotiate, they won’t believe you when you make promises.

You’ll find that if you do keep your word that over time you’ll be able to gain the trust of the kid parts of yourself and will be able to talk them out of some of the worst kinds of self-sabotage by negotiating short term surface relief coupled with long term relief for the deeper reasons.”

“Well thank you Mr Smartypants.”

About John Dalton

Born in the craggy foothills of suburban Dublin John Dalton staggered along the spiritual path until he got himself enlightened in 1996. Deciding against a career as a celebrity guru he became a cranio sacral therapist instead. His first book Why Do We Get Sick? Why Do We Get Better? A Wellness Detective Manual is an undo-it-yourself book for sickness and unhappiness and is popular with people of all ages. His latest book Maya Noise describes what happens after enlightenment and what it's like to live an ordinary life with extraordinary knowledge. It reads like The Power of Now meets Pulp fiction and has become a firm favorite with spiritual teachers and gurus the world over. Passionate about cranio sacral therapy he oversees a project called Open Source Cranio which aims to provide free online cranio sacral training resources for people in developing countries. He lives in Dublin, Ireland with his wife and smiles a lot when cycling. You can see all of his Elephant Journal articles here. He also tweets and has recently discovered talking about himself in the third person is disturbingly easy.

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16 Responses to “Why Your Inner Child Will Kick Your Ass If You Don’t Learn To Negotiate With It.”

  1. Love this, John! Just posted to the main facebook page. Cheers!

  2. John Dalton John_Dalton says:

    Happy Birthday Boysen! You have the same birthday as my wife so it's celebrations all around.
    It's great to hear how you have negotiated with the kid parts of you and how you are sharing that work with others.

  3. Jill says:

    Hi John, I am curious about whether you are, or have been a student of the Internal Family Systems Model, aka parts work, founded by Richard Schwartz in the US? This dialogue/negotiation is a wonderful example of how the IFS model works so beautifully. Thank you for this! -Jill, a psychotherapist and student of IFS in the US

  4. John Dalton John_Dalton says:

    Hello JIll, I'm glad you like the article. No, I haven't heard of IFS. I figured out this way of working through a combination of my work with people as a cranio sacral therapist and looking into my own irrational behaviour and making friends with my own inner kids.

  5. John! This article is great! Inner Parts Work is my spiritual path. I really appreciate your explanation here.

    As Jill and Boysen mention, this meshes really well with both Voice Dialogue, an Inner Parts method developed by Hal and Sidra Stone, and Internal Family Systems, developed by Richard Schwartz. Both have awesome techniques for working with inner parts. Dennis Genpo’s Big Mind, CRR Global’s “Inside Team,” and The Coaches Training Institute’s new “Captain and Crew” model are a few other healthy-multiplicity, inner parts paradigms I’ve come across.

    I hope that eventually this meme–of befriending your inner parts and negotiating with them for change–will become an everyday concept. Thanks for spreading it! I’m with you!

  6. John Dalton John_Dalton says:

    Hello Melissa, I'm glad you liked the article. Yes, it will be good when the idea of talking to the different parts of ourselves is more popular.

  7. Jeanne M Harper, MPS says:

    Part ONE of a couple of replies due to length

    Chapter Nine in book Discovering your Inner Strength (purchase the book at a discount price (retail $19.95) of $15 (plus shipping – 10% to Center for Self Leadership (Richard Schwartz, et al) or get an emailed full version of the article through Jeanne at address below)

    Keeping His Fire Alive Within
    As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.—Psalm 42:1
    An Interview With…
    Jeanne Harper
    1113 Elizabeth Avenue – Marinette WI 54143-2514
    715-923-9549 cell — jmharper1964@gmail.com
    …..David Wright (Wright) interviewer:
    Today we are talking with Jeanne M. Harper. Harper compassionately and
    effectively addresses issues of life, grief, and death in a participative, creative, and
    practical style for the public and professionals as a life coach, spiritual director,
    speaker, and consultant. Before retirement as a psychotherapist in 2008, she
    specialized in trauma counseling for twenty-eight years. She has authored numerous
    published articles, a book, Hurting Yourself: After an Attempt, and a chapter in the
    acclaimed book, Death & Spirituality. Through thirty-three years of speaking,
    counseling, and coaching, she considers herself privileged to journey with others as
    they turn their “problems” into “creative opportunities for growth.” Her mission is
    to journey with and help her clients find the inspiration within themselves to move
    forward in life. Jeanne encourages the celebration and appreciation of life—every
    moment!
    Wright
    What recommendations would you give to others who want to discover their
    own inner strength?
    Harper
    It takes a large step forward in holiness when you are discerning your vocation.
    Realizing that the way you look, walk, serve, receive—everything you do—must show
    the love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, to those you are called to serve.
    Internal Family Systems© (IFS) theory, developed by Richard Schwartz, is
    something that helped me along the way in discovering my inner strength. It helped
    me to understand how sometimes I could have such hardened ways with some, and
    others I could show and reflect the face of Christ. To know I had these “parts” within
    me that could be so hurtful to others created anxiety within me. After numerous
    experiences of suffering in my life, I learned to listen to my parts and to “hear [them]
    with my heart.”
    I became so very grateful to the IFS process. A major assumption is the concept
    that our mind is naturally divided into parts. Parts demonstrate different beliefs,
    feelings, thoughts, sensations, behaviors, temperaments, talents, desires, ages, and
    gender. Dr. Schwartz writes, “another assumption is that the parts form an internal
    family system within you. Each part, in its non-extreme state, wants what is best for
    you.” see Part Two next comment…

  8. Jeanne M Harper, MPS says:

    part two comment….

    More on IFS Theory: Dr. Schwartz names the various parts. “Exiles” are usually
    very young, vulnerable parts that hold stories. “Managers” are those parts that may
    scare the Self into thinking it needs the Manager to protect us from feeling or
    experiencing other parts—either our exiles or our “firefighters”—and once we begin
    to feel our exiles, our firefighters are parts that get us to do things to avoid feeling
    the anticipated pain and suffering from the exile parts, such as using drugs or alcohol,
    shopping, gambling, cleaning, anything to avoid feeling or hearing the story of the
    exile parts. “Manager” parts may try to keep things in control—pushing or hard
    working. They may be very organized. They tend to be articulate, intelligent, and
    energetic. They may appear normal, successful, and independent, but they may not
    allow your other parts to experience the vulnerable burdens it may carry. Exiles can
    be easily overwhelmed and can carry burdens—worthlessness, perfectionism, sadness,
    pain, shame, responsibility, etc. Exiles may have positive, hidden, or expressed
    parts—joy, hope, playfulness, humor, freedom, creativity.
    Dick gives us the following example of IFS: “It is like a well directed orchestra.
    Each part with unique talent, playing its special piece at the right time; in unison and
    harmony with others, discovering each its own vision and preferred roles, allowing
    the core Self—the Self leader—to be the conductor who has established credibility,
    trust, and a shared vision with each part.”
    Internal Family Systems is an applied systems thinking and technique to be used in
    the human system “within us.” It is more than a set of techniques . . . it is a way of
    thinking about the world and people. The “system,” Dick says, is “You” and “Your”
    human system within. IFS therapy restores balance and harmony to our Self, releasing
    our Natural Healing Capacity.
    Wright
    Are there different ways or thoughts of understanding “the Self” and of “hearing
    with the heart”?
    ¶Harper
    “The Self,” Dr. Schwartz writes, “is natural . . . an innate resource we have within
    us from birth. The ‘parts’ develop as we encounter life.” I see this innate resource as
    being developed as a result of our partnership with God, wherein the Self becomes
    fully enflamed with the Love of God so that it becomes God’s hands, feet, and voice
    to those we serve.
    Speaking of the self-concept, Aldous Huxley said there is “in the soul something
    similar to, or even identical with divine Reality.” Huston Smith (1989) expands on this,
    saying, “Unconsciously dwelling at our inmost center; beneath the surface shuttlings of our
    sensations, precepts, and thoughts; wrapped in the envelope or soul . . . is the eternal and
    the divine, the final Reality; not soul, not personality, but All-Self beyond all selfishness; spirit
    enwombed in matter.” It is in this sacred space that we discover our inner strength.
    Smith says “. . . spirit is the Atman that is Brahman, the Buddha-nature that appears
    when our finite selves get out of its way.” Fr. Thomas Keating says the practice of
    contemplative prayer “begins to make us aware of the divine presence within us, the
    source of true happiness.” Grigg, in The Tao of Zen writes, “Tso-wang, sitting with blank
    mind, finding the mind within the mind—the still place in the center of consciousness.”
    Habakkuk 2:1–2, is about how Habakkuk was going to “open the eyes of his heart, and
    look into the spirit world to see what God wanted to show him.” Zechariah 7:11 says,
    “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull. And their eyes dim. Otherwise,
    they might see with their eyes. Hear with their ears. Understand with their hearts. And
    return and be healed.” So if we did come to “understand with our hearts”—we could be
    healed, according to Scripture.
    See part three of next comment….

  9. Jeanne M Harper, MPS says:

    “Hearing with the heart” (according to http://sfhelp.org/pop2/listen.htm) is to
    “empathically sense what our partner [God] thinks, feels, needs, and perceives now without
    judgment.” What a powerful experience that can be—to sit in this “cathedral” space
    listening to our Lord and with our Lord listening to us speak.
    Wright
    How does one truly listen to the inner self so to develop hope within?
    Harper
    In prayer, in silence, I became aware of my “parts within.” I was fortunate to have
    a spiritual director/guide through these processes, Sherry Graham Nelson—another
    Gift from God in my life! In The Rule of the Society of St. John the Evangelist she wrote,
    “Silence is a constant source of restoration. Yet its healing power does not come cheaply. It
    depends on our willingness to face all that is within us, light and dark, and to heed all the
    inner voices [sic ‘parts’] that make themselves heard in silence.”
    My authentic self for me is the self I am as a Child of God connected directly to
    the power of the Holy Spirit within my very own “cathedral.” For me, listening—
    truly listening—in self energy (the co-creation of God and me) through the voices
    and into the silence, I was able to seek what IFS theory refers to as my exile parts
    and began recognizing my manager parts who were working overtime believing they
    were protecting me from these exile parts, as well as understanding the process of
    how and when my firefighter parts were being activated and how they thought they
    needed to derail my attention from the pain and suffering, hurt and anger of my exile
    parts.
    Through this process, I recognized that in discovering my inner strength, when
    God and I become partners and I sit in the Self Energy (one of Curiosity,
    Compassion, Calmness, Clarity, Confidence, Courage, Creativity, Connectedness,
    etc.), my inner voices/resources can be heard. Ephesians 1:18, states that the inner
    Self comes alive, “so that, with eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what the
    hope to which He has called you is.”
    Portia Nelson wrote a great Autobiography in Five Short Chapters about the process
    of listening and hearing our parts and coming to an understanding as to why they
    acted as they had in the past. It is amazing how this short poem catches the meaning
    behind parts, works, and the option of freewill given by God to us—choice. Choice is
    truly a gift from God to see things as Creative Opportunities for Growth instead of
    Problems:
    I
    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
    I fall in.
    I am lost . . . I am helpless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes me forever to find a way out.
    II
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in the same place
    but, it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.
    III
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in . . . it’s a habit.
    My eyes are open
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.
    IV
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.
    V
    I walk down another street.
    Wright
    What last reminders do you have for those beginning this journey to discovering
    their inner strength and learning to keep the fire alive within themselves?

    see part four of next comment for conclusion.

  10. Jeanne Harper says:

    part four — one more part and…then comes a response to John's INCREDIBLE article!!!

    Benjamin Disraeli states, “We are not creatures of circumstance, we are creators of
    circumstance.” So it is God and us as partners, as we listen in Self during the
    discovering or discernment process, we hear those inner voices/parts and it is by
    choice we become creators in this life we live—energized and peace-filled and no
    longer “creatures” reacting to our parts’ needs. Marcus Aurelius is quoted saying
    “Life is what our thoughts make of it!” So choice is and can be the “lifeblood” of your
    soul! The choice is yours! An ancient Chinese proverb says, “Whatever is Flexible and
    Flowing will tend to Grow. Whatever is Rigid and Blocked will Wither and Die.” So choosing
    to be flexible and flowing can become our practice in discernment.
    Ira Progoff, in The Well and the Cathedral, talks about going deep within into the
    “Cathedral” that is within each of us, there is the presence of God, or a “higher
    power” as some may name. Through the discovery or discernment process,
    “Disruptions that seem to be disasters at the time, end by redirecting our lives in a
    meaningful way,” writes Bernie S. Siegel, MD, a physician who worked with livingdying
    patients.
    Catherine Taylor in The Inner Child Workbook, states, “It is our choice to become a
    student of your suffering, rather than a victim to our pain!” My friend, Jennifer, in
    reflection on the “suffering,” states “. . . as a Christian, it is in our weakness that
    God’s power is most manifest.” Jimmy Dean continues, “You cannot change the
    direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails to always reach your destination.”
    So it is that when disasters occur in our lives and we go within to discover our inner
    strength or to seek discernment, we have choices to continue in the same direction
    the storm of life has paved for us, or adjust our sail and get back on track to what we
    believe and know to be our path in life.
    In Hearing with the Heart, Farrington talks about the body and how it needs to be
    noticed and to be heard, as well as, “learn prayer practices and attentiveness to our
    bodies, dreams, gifts, all of which help us listen for, understand, and open up to God’s call.”
    In IFS, we recognize that our parts can create havoc within our body system,
    making them ill, creating feelings of pain, or just carrying the pain of the trauma
    within—an environment vulnerable to disease later in life.
    Therefore, the process of going into discovery or discernment and “hearing with
    the heart” is clearly a way of healing our parts and getting all of them onto the same
    page so that we have the renewed energy that comes from using our gifts to better
    the world within us and around us! Learning to sit in Self—just you and God—
    listening to your inner voices (parts), it begins to feel like a metamorphosis is
    occurring. You are the same, yet different, from crawling around, lost in your own
    world to coming to know yourself better than ever before and feeling a sense of
    freedom, peace, hope, and renewed energy to continue your work of serving those
    living in poverty and/or desperate need.
    Wright
    What are your closing beliefs or statements you would like to share?
    Harper
    I recognize the path for my spiritual direction is in the hands of the Lord, and, as
    Mother Teresa said, “I begin by picking up one person—maybe if I didn’t pick up that one
    person I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000.” Therefore, I begin by making one home visit
    as a Vincentian and measuring that against what I know true discovery or
    discernment is—that to which we are called, as listed in Galatians: “love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
    I believe wholeheartedly that serving those living in poverty and/or desperate
    need through the Vincentian mission is “the hope of God”! St. Vincent said, “Let us
    love God, my brothers [and sisters], let us love God, but let it be through the works of your
    hands, let it be by the sweat of our brow.” Sr. Rosalie reminds us that the poor are our
    “lords and masters.” She would say, “The poor will insult you. The ruder they are, the more
    dignified you must be; Remember, Our Lord hides behind those rags.”

  11. Jeanne Harper says:

    Part five — final comment is next — this is in regards to John's specific Incredible article…

    There is a prayer for the Fire of Vincentian Charism that I have come to
    appreciate. It speaks about the discovery of your inner strength—and His fire of
    renewed energy:
    “O God, your love ignites our hearts, captures our imaginations, shapes our dreams, and
    awakens possibilities. Make us disciples on fire with your love so that we can become true
    followers of St. Vincent de Paul. Help us, O God, to enkindle in others a sense of hope that
    transformation is possible . . . and give us the Grace to transmit to others the Fire of the
    Charism of St. Vincent.
    “When the heart is on fire, light comes from within. With the eyes of an enlightened
    heart we can see the hope to which we are called. By responding to the call to be a
    Vincentian, we proclaim that the quest to be a servant of the poor is the fire of our lives.
    “The path to seeing with the eyes of the heart is discovered in the journey of discipleship.
    It is not an easy journey. It is an ongoing effort to live the Gospel with integrity—always
    trying, sometimes succeeding, often failing, recognizing the need for patience, and then
    trying again.
    “. . . We remember those in our lives today, whose flaming hearts have encouraged and
    touched us on our journey. God of Fire, fuel us into thankfulness.
    “. . . May God the Father who made us, bless us. May God the Son send His grace
    among us. May the Holy Spirit move within us and give us eyes that see, ears that hear,
    hearts that love, and hands that do God’s work.
    “May the God of peace watch over us and lead us as we walk together, as Vincentians,
    into the future. Amen” (Vincentian Celebrations & Rituals p. 150. Sr. Kieran, National
    SSVdP).
    There is a song refrain in Babbie Mason’s album, The Finest Hour (2000), written
    by Babbie Mason and Cheryl Rogers, “We can make a world of difference, with the love
    of God we can change this world. We can shine the light that overcomes the darkness.
    Spreading hope across the land. Heart to Heart and hand in hand. We can make a World
    of difference.” I believe that the difference I am to make in the world is through The
    Society of St. Vincent de Paul, serving those living in poverty and/or desperate need.
    How will you make a difference—the world is waiting! The world is your stage!
    Find your inner strength and move it into action to better our world! It can only
    become a reality one person at a time. This final quote from Mother Teresa reflects
    the process of moving “inside” to discover your inner strength:
    “In the silence of the heart, God speaks.
    Let God fill us, then only we speak.
    Do small things with great love.
    The Fruit of Silence . . . is prayer.
    The Fruit of Prayer . . . is faith.
    The Fruit of Faith . . . is love.
    The Fruit of Love . . . is service”.

  12. [...] Being a long time meditator I was used to hearing my mind go on about all its worries and negativities. I saw it as mind chatter and was more interested in the silence than what it was chattering about. [...]

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