What are Protector Parts and Vulnerable Parts?
In Internal Family Systems we work with both Protector Parts and Vulnerable Parts. But what are they? Parts are aspects of our personality. Our parts help our True Self navigate the world around us. They are what makes us human. Help with interactions. And make up who we are in the world. They work with True Self. There is no hierarchy. We need our parts as much as we need our True Self.
We are born with our parts just like we are born with our True Self. Each part has a job or role. However, our parts take on new jobs or roles based on what we experience. Other parts take on burdens from traumas and become exiled away. This is done in an attempt to protect the system. Protector Parts are in the conscious level of our brain and Vulnerable Parts are in stuck in the subconscious.
A part becoming hyper-critical attempting to keep us from “messing up” again. Or you made mistakes, getting in trouble for that. So, a part begins to feel unloved, and ashamed, so another part takes on a perfectionist role, trying to prevent that feeling from happening again.
If something happened in our childhood that caused feelings of shame, hurt, pain, that hurt part takes on that burden and is exiled away becoming Vulnerable parts. Where as Protector Parts step in making it their duty to not have that feeling of shame, hurt, or pain happen again.
When parts take on new roles,
it is as if the Protector parts have blinders on. No matter what they continue to do this job even though we have grown up, are no longer in situations that caused hurt, pain, or traumas, and have learned how to handle things differently. The part is stuck in the past, often thinking that we are the age it took on this role. We respond and react differently now than we did at age 10. The part doesn’t know this.
What doesn’t work-
When we attempt to change the way the parts behave on a conscious level by trying to ignore them, try to only think positively, or other attempts at mindset shifts, we invalidate not only the Protector part trying to protect the system, but we are invalidating the hurt Vulnerable part that has been exiled, burdened with the hurt, pain, and shame that began this whole shift in roles and jobs for our parts. This is why these things often don’t stick, and result in us feeling worse about ourselves instead of better.
Instead, we can work with our parts. Build awareness of our internal world. Befriend and build trust with the Protector Parts, which will eventually allow us access to those Vulnerable Parts so we can unburden and heal them while in True Self. This is what manifests harmony within our internal world. This is how we become Self-led, with True Self in the lead and our parts working with us and not for us.
What to do with Protector and Vulnerable Parts-
We can be mindful of what is going on inside. Begin identifying what triggers feelings of hurt, pain, or shame. Instead of ignoring it or trying to push it down, face it with curiosity, compassion, openness. Become aware of what you want to do because this was triggered.
What Protector Part is coming up, attempting to take control? Can you begin talking to this part of you and asking if it is willing to try something different? If it can trust that you can handle these feelings? This is how we begin to fully accept all parts of ourselves. How we begin to stop self-sabotaging behaviors that have kept us feeling stuck and in low self-worth. This is the foundation of successful manifestations.
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I know you want to be successful with your manifestation practice. You feel called to manifest everything you want!
However, parts of you have picked up limiting beliefs and behaviors throughout your life that prevent you from connecting with your True Self. There is a lot of fear, judgment, past programming, and conditioning, taking a toll on your self-worth. This prevents you from being in alignment with your True Self.
This is why your manifestations aren’t coming through.
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