Little Jane grew up in an environment in which she got very little attention. This was sad, but over time she got used to it. Now, as an adult, Big Jane seems to prefer (not enjoy) living without much attention but didn’t have much self-awareness around the issue.
Unwittingly avoiding attention leads Big Jane into an isolated and lonely life, depriving her of important emotional needs, Yet, this is who she believes she is. The lack of attention is so familiar. It’s more comfortable for Jane to feel isolated than it would be to get lots of attention.
Other parts of Jane are dissatisfied but tend to ignore Little Jane, the isolated inner child. The frustration is palpable.
If she loses weight, she will get more attention from friends, family, and even strangers. This reality is terrifying to Little Jane, who prompts to her do things to keep weight on and avoid doing things to take it off. It’s not about the weight – but the frightful attention from others that Little Jane anticipates.
Jane sat in wonder at how this little part of her – an inner child – could be so powerful in her life. And she admitted she was indeed terrified at some level of the attention she was sure to receive as a thinner person (right or wrong).
When Big Jane and Little Jane met (one the inside), her world transformed. As Big Jane listened to her inner child, tears came to her eyes. How could she have ignored this part of her for so long?
Well, it’s easy to ignore these part of ourselves, isn’t it? It’s what we were taught to do by those who ignored our needs in the first place.
Aware of this vulnerable part of her and how it acts out when fearing too much attention, Jane can now learn to talk to herself in a different way. Having felt self-compassion, her inner tone changed. And now that she could direct her self-talk toward Little Jane, she began to reparent herself, which is a matter of speaking to the inner child in a healthy way, like we all wanted our parents to address us.
Several healing opportunities result from this.
• Little Jane can learn to trust and tolerate attention.
• Big Jane can learn self-compassion.
• Jane can talk herself through those tough times when she wants to avoid exercise or overeat, knowing where the symptom comes from.
Do you have a part of you that acts out? Does some less mature part of you hijack your consciousness from time to time, inspiring impulsive, self-sabotaging decisions? This part of you needs something. It might sound strange to talk to a part of yourself but its stranger yet to live in conflict with yourself.