Throughout our lives, we may experience things, feel things, be things that we have great difficulty accepting. When this happens, we may push these parts of ourselves deep into the recesses of our minds and act as if they do not exist. This is not necessarily a conscious process, but one that happens so that we can survive the experience. However, in the process, our wholeness begins to dis-integrate.
The process of integration is the journey of becoming whole, adding it all back in, bringing in all of the parts of ourselves and accepting them as contributing to who we are. Healing means that we turn toward those parts of ourselves that we may have disowned due to not knowing how to cope with the pain/shame/discomfort, and we begin to allow ourselves to see and feel what we were afraid or unable to see and feel the first time around.
The process of leaning into the discomfort is mandatory to come back to the state of wholeness and over time, those disowned parts of ourselves may speak up and demand that we give them the attention that they need to heal and to shift.
The decision to do the work of coming back to ourselves is one that will not bring easy times along the way simply because we have made the decision. This work is guaranteed to bring some challenge and difficulty. However, it is the only way to be able to move forward in life as our authentic selves.
In this process of integration, there are several neccesary steps that we must go through. The first is believing that we have the ability to change our experience in life. After being stuck in the same patterns for years, we can begin to tell ourselves stories about the possibility of change. We may lose hope that there is another way and we may not be able to see how that way could ever come true for us. If we can begin to believe that things can be different, we are opening a door to possibility and to our own power.
Next, we must begin to investigate the patterns we have been stuck in to get to the root of the issue and do the deep inner work of unearthing and, at times, questioning our beliefs about ourselves and the world so that we can begin to recreate and rebuild the model around which we are living our lives. Beliefs are created from our experiences, our views, our knowledge, and what we allow to influence us. Once we can see our beliefs, it can be helpful to ask ourselves things like “who’s belief is this?”, “does this belief still apply to me?”, and even “what am I not seeing?” to create new vantage points from which to see our experiences.
And then we make the decision to lean into the pain and discomfort of changing, trusting that on the other side of the difficulty will be ease and oneness. Who we are today is the result of the patterns we have been living in our lives up to this point. If we want to shift, we must see the pattern and create a new or modified version to create the desired outcome. But, growth does not happen in our comfort zone and we can only evolve as we move through the pain and discomfort as that will forge us into the next version of ourselves.
Integration is the process of coming back to seeing ourselves as one rather than a collection of pieces we are trying to hold together as we move through our lives. It is possible and it can begin with something as simple as looking at our daily habits and how they we feel every day.
For this week, dig into your own journey toward integration and observe what needs to shift in your life. Then, choose one thing you can do to take the first step.
You are not alone in the journey, I am doing the work right along with you. Reach out and we can chat about it if you would like.
Chat again soon,