The ‘Internal Family Systems’ 12 steps is a process of the becoming “Self-led”. “Self-energy” (basically, love) becomes the central guiding experience in our lives. When we are active in an addictive cycle, we are blended with parts of us that block us unwittingly off from the endless source of love within us. Through the process of Your Freedom Steps we become “Self-led” instead of “parts-led” or “blended with parts”.
This process is compatible with being in regular 12 Step recovery: both support the other.
It’s my mission for recovery to be:
– Simple and accessible to all people and all parts of us (even the parts that don’t seem to want us to change at first … it’s ESSENTIAL to have all parts be on board with being in recovery, or it won’t work. This process addresses this from the get-go.)
– “Self-led” (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CONmS04zxXs&t=12s)
– Leads to unburdening the horrible feelings inside such as shame, terror, hopelessness, loneliness and despair that are at the heart of our addictive pattern (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7nr8RDeXHs&feature=youtu.be)
– Spiritual: by this I mean creative, mysterious, with love at it’s heart… and mystery!
– Long-lasting and sustainable: we don’t spend our lives white-knuckling as long as we follow some simple guidelines to maintain our recovery.
Below are the first three Your Freedom Steps:
Step 1 of Your Freedom Steps:
‘We came to see that a part of us had been making us [over-eat, drink, etc.] and that this was making another part of us feel unable to manage our lives as it would want. This has meant we haven’t experienced an enduring peace, and we now seek help to bring about positive change.’
[Original language: ‘We admitted we were powerless over …. that our lives had become unmanageable.’]
Step 2 of Your Freedom Steps:
‘Came to experience a natural, gentle energy within us which is curious, compassionate, creative, calm, courageous, clear, connected and confident, which we call ‘Self energy’, or ‘Self.’ Came to direct this energy toward our addictive part and the part that tries to criticise or control it, so that both parts feel this energy in us. Both parts came to share with us what their positive intention for us has been. They both come to believe the other has a positive intention for us too. This restores us to a feeling of ‘sanity’: wholeness and harmony.’
[Original language: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.]
Step 3 of Your Freedom Steps:
‘Our addictive part becomes willing to see that it hasn’t ultimately been successful in stopping the pain and fear of shame and worthlessness in us. The part trying to manage it becomes willing to see that it hasn’t ultimately been successful in stopping the behaviour. Both parts become willing to relax their need to be in control, and allow our Self to lead us through the next steps of our recovery.’
[Original Language: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.]