Sometimes when we share ourselves with someone, parts of us become hurt through painful relationship experiences or losses. Or in the course of life, we experience difficult or even tragic events that seem to shatter us. We are then faced with a choice (which is not always conscious). Do we cut off those hurt parts of our self, never to face them again? Or do we begin the slow, sometimes difficult, but ultimately rewarding process of reclaiming those parts, nurturing them, and inviting in healing? The latter can help us move towards wholeness.

In addition to our inner world of thoughts and feelings, our physical surroundings and activities can give us clues about parts of self that need to heal. Are there places, spaces, activities, or belongings that have negative connotations? Are they triggers for anxiety, dread, sadness, or shame? When the time is right, with care and gentleness, these hurt places can be approached, allowing you to reclaim valuable parts of yourself and to let go of that which no longer has a place with you.

In a similar way, do certain experiences, people, places make a forgotten part of you come alive? Follow that impulse.

The work of integration may occur as we walk the path of grief, heal from trauma, or make sense of the multiple identities we’ve embraced on life’s journey. All parts of you are valuable and serve a purpose. Notice the opportunities for the healing work of integration as you consider your heart, your soul, your body, physical reality around you, and your activities.


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