As I prepare for the year ahead, I’m deeply steeped in the work of Internal Family Systems. My parents have agreed they no longer have the capacity to fully take care of themselves and need more support.
Last week, I shared how the healing work you do regarding your family of origin directly impacts how you show up in romantic relationships.
Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorite stories from the book, “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Today, I wish to share it with you:
Imagine you have inherited a magical kitchen, where you can have endless quantities of any kind of food from anywhere in the world.
This food is nourishing, satisfying. Because you feel held and loved unconditionally, you feed your children with great generosity. You never use food to punish or motivate. Your children trust in their worthiness. There are no fights as there’s always plenty for all. You give freely to all who need it, just for the pleasure of sharing.
One day, a person shows up at your door offering a steady supply of pizza and candy in exchange for taking care of them emotionally, controlling your life, doing as they say.
This feels like a clear no.
No one can manipulate you with food. You have plenty of your own and don’t see this exchange as pleasurable.
On a different day, another person shows up at your door. They are happy. Attracted to your magical kitchen they don’t NEED what comes from it as they have their own food they like to cook.
Your children love playing with theirs. They know and trust they’re fully taken care of. You decide to share a home, love how you enjoy each other’s cooking and your children relish in the mixed cuisine.
Now imagine you don’t have a magical kitchen.
You have very little food to offer your children. Because they are starving, the youngest cries and begs you to find someone to feed them. Their desperation drives you crazy. You lock them in the basement so you are not reminded of their suffering (because that’s the way you were taught to handle problem children.)
Even as you ignore them, you can still hear their sobs through the floorboards. The urgency of their need is a constant gnawing in your mind.
Your older children lose trust in your ability to care for the family and take on adult responsibilities. They prod you to work harder, try to contain and calm the others and search for food. Because they aren’t equipped to handle the responsibility, they become rigid and controlling. They’re critical of your habits and performance, and expend vast amounts of energy keeping the basement children at bay.
When the pizza/candy person comes to your house, they smell the food even before it arrives. They go insane with joy at the prospect of being fed and the possibility of being released from exile.
The offer of measly pizza and candy might sound mighty tasty.
Despite the demands and poor quality of food, you agree to satisfy their emotional needs for steady meals.
Even when stingy, unpredictable and at times even abusive, the addicted children fight you when you want to leave.
Now, imagine that instead of food we are talking about Love.
When you can connect to the abundance of it in your heart you have the capacity to give and receive of it freely.
Whereas when you’re starving for it, you’ll give too much for too little and compromise yourself in exchange for a false sense of satiation.
People are starving for love, not knowing their heart is a magical kitchen.Don Miguel Ruiz
Being willing to discover your factory installed inner magical kitchen you get to learn to discern between happy and pizza offering partners. It takes mastery. And mastery takes practice.
Love is something you must begin with yourself.
The magical thing you might have forgotten as you navigate the rocky terrain of family of origin and romantic relationships, is that without this step there is poverty of the heart. And those pizza and candy offering people will find their way to your door, and you will let them in.
I’ve made it my mission to heal my internal family system dynamic so I may experience the kind of Love I’ve always wanted. I have successfully done so not only for myself, but for many others who’ve been willing to travel that path. Although the work is simple, it’s not always easy. It takes willingness to be in process on an ongoing basis.
If this kind of work resonates with you and would like to know more about the 7 step process i use with my clients, click here to set up a complimentary 1-1 Discovery Call with me.
You deserve to experience abundance in all your relationships.
May love be your decision today and always,