Acceptance – The Biggest Gift of Self Love
In my experience, acceptance is one of the most important keys to wholeness. Acceptance is where we are able to embrace and love all our parts, especially the ones we don’t like or have pushed aside. Jung calls this part the “shadow”. The integration of the shadow for me continues to be the toughest journey and yet the most crucial in coming back to Love.
As we grow up we learn very quickly from family and our peers what is or is not “acceptable” behaviour. We adopt values and belief systems from our family of origin, culture or religion. For some of us the primal need is to be loved and accepted. The conflict arises when what is acceptable to us or our inner child goes contrary to the belief systems of our parents. If our “child” is resourced, with strong self esteem and self-honouring, the clash of belief systems will be water off a duck’s back. The challenge, and this has been my own personal journey, starts when the child is so attached to receiving love at all costs that she compromises and suppresses herself and her beliefs in order to be loved.
This is where the plot thickens.
Each of us have suppressed ourselves at times to fit in, pleased others in order to receive love. So what happens to that “suppressed part”? If you are artistic and the message from your parents is that art won’t get you anywhere, it won’t be uncommon to enter a profession that they value and in doing so abort your dreams. You may find yourself in law, accounting or in a profession only to notice you are frustrated and angry a lot of the time.
How does this angry part form?
I believe it is the creative part or the “true self” that cannot be expressed. It is trapped energy, frustrated and it goes into the shadow. There it lurks, hiding for a while. Yet its energy cannot be denied. If it can’t be expressed healthily, it will find an unhealthy way of expression. The creative energy is relentless. It will create despite you. It may create an illness, a chronic health issue, a tumour. If it consciously can’t find expression, a shutdown or blockage may happen in the physical body. A shutdown is literally that. Creativity has no-where to go. It is not allowed. It becomes stagnant. If disease is to happen in the body, it is most likely to happen in the area of the shutdown.
So various scenarios take place.
Suppression of creative energy leads to:
- Anger – (creative part is angry as it cannot self-actualise).
- No where to go, must create. Creates unconsciously, illness, destructive behaviours, tendencies.
- Depression. Shutdown. Stalemate occurs.
- Unconsciously you attract a healthy person as a partner who is creative. You are attracted to the part of them that you have suppressed in yourself. You resent them . You really resent yourself for not having the courage to own your suppressed parts and self-actualise.
- Fatigue – Extreme tiredness. There is so much energy expenditure in shutting down creativity, keeping the lid on it, that the part of us doing this becomes exhausted in keeping this up.
One of the most common layers clients experience when they undergo and emotional Journey process and uncover layers of feeling, is a huge exhaustion. Sometimes this is a numbing out or zoning out from feeling a strong emotion. At other times it is the fatigue experienced from holding onto a value/belief that doesn’t serve us anymore. The behaviour may well be past its use by date and off on automatic pilot. All of that life force engaged in “shutting down”, huge energy expenditure, could be used somewhere else in the body for healing. Often it is just not available as it is being used up in keeping an old game going.
When awareness expands and some truth is revealed, we let our games go and our shadow parts become integrated. We reclaim our creative nature and we stop denying who we truly are. We become more alive and physical energy, prana or life force becomes available to the body.
Personally, I carry the archetypes of The Mother, The Teacher, The Healer. I also imbibe The Goddess, Aphrodite, High Priestess. For many years I believed the sexual energy of Aphrodite could not sit side by side with the “Good Mother” and she was denied, always aware of this potent sexual energy. The truth is I can be mother and Aphrodite. In the words of Tori Amos “Every woman holds the key to her sensuality and sexuality. Nobody should be telling her that just because she’s a mother and has a nurturing side, she doesn’t also have an erotic side“. Since I have been working with my Aphrodite, she feels accepted, seen and nurtured. She is not a symbol of shame anymore. In fact the mother in me encourages her to come out and play. Because she is free to be fully herself.
Acceptance in a vaster context is the biggest act of self-love.
Accept every part of you and become aware of the gift each part has for you.
What if it were all a divine play? Embrace your parts, tread lightly and I am speaking to myself here!!