Becoming one with parts of ourselves we don’t want to claim is the fastest way to a sense of peace.
Recently, my experiences of integrating aspects of myself have led me to some new/old awarenesses.
I sense that each of us is being given many opportunities to see what we don’t want to own about ourselves. Whether we’re being shown through interactions, through accidents or illnesses, through events that occur seemingly at random, or through our own moods, we are getting reflections of where we are. And where we’re not.
How can we be “away” from our own selves? Easy! It happens every time you feel a prickle of tears and decide not to cry. Every time someone speaks unkindly to you and you want to set a boundary but swallow your words. Every time you decide to be a different person than you really are.
I find that some parts of myself are easier to claim than others. I feel comfortable owning that I am a good cook. I feel less comfortable owning that I have a big destiny in this world. Thinking of myself in terms of my gifts and greatness seems like asking for a “giant smack down” from the universe. I am more afraid of my own power than I am of getting sick of getting some awful disease!
We all get “smack downs” from the universe in the form of our authority figures as we grow up. We learn that it is best to hide out, to conform, to cheapen ourselves, to settle. Our survival strategy pays off in the short term because we live through something intolerable. But in the long run, the parts of ourselves we hold at arms length may be the very thing that saves us.
James Hillman wrote a wonderful book called The Soul’s Code, published in 1997; in this wonderful book, Hillman describes a kind of blueprint of the soul, sort of like an acorn holds the potential for a mighty oak. He described how this blueprint is part of us from the beginning and is revealed in our calling and life’s work when it is fully actualized.
His philosophy includes the empowering stance that, although we are indeed impacted by our childhood environment, there is an equally strong factor of our actualization in the individual soul, which is responsible for much of our individual character, aspiration and achievement. The soul, or psyche, is never lost. He suggests reconnecting with this superior factor in discovering our individual nature and in determining who we are and our life’s calling.
The discovery of self is my most passionate quest. It is like the hunger for the next horizon, the push to find the edge of the frontier; I am a treasure-hunting pioneer in the landscape of my psyche, and my happiness is absolutely connected with the re-finding of aspects of myself I threw off in my attempt to fit in. I have found no greater joy than in being reunited with long lost parts of myself.
And as I piece together those parts of self, like I do in my collage work, I come into greater actualization of my blueprint, the purpose of my being here. The more I claim my whole self, the more I can show up in the world.
Take a little psyche/soul inventory:
- What are aspects of yourself that you had as a child that you haven’t seen in awhile, but perhaps you get a glimpse of every now and then? Qualities like innocence, fearlessness, independence, curiosity, or unapologetic joy?
- What kinds of myths/fairy tales/stories interested you?
- What kinds of questions did you ask? What were you curious about?
- What reflections are being brought to you, over and over, that make you uncomfortable and want to hide from the truth inside yourself? There is an important key here to owning your greatness.
My experience shows me that these qualities are qualities of my psyche, my soul, and are with me always. And they are the blueprint of who I really am.