I Should Not be Different: The Radical Practice of Self Love

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
C.G. Jung

One of the most transformative practices we know of is conscious self love. All of our self-parts deserve love and our whole self flourishes with his integration. Especially the “shadow” parts of ourselves that we have pushed into the darkness of our unconscious (parts we have learned to dislike, be repulsed by, and chosen to deny, abandon, judge, or disown) become forces for goodness and abundance when we allow ourselves to re-discover and see them, accepting, welcoming and loving them as they are. 

I wrote this poem after a recent morning meditation surfaced sadness, anxiety, and shame…. each of these emotions is an opportunity for me to listen and find new parts of myself ready to be integrated.

I love the parts of my self that want to escape, unwind, relax, disconnect from everyone, and take things lightly. The part of myself that drinks wine and that emails and wants to rest into busyness and distraction. I love the part of myself that so desperately longs to connect, to merge, to be seen, to bind, to be moved, to be loved. I love the part of myself that is afraid, afraid to be loved, afraid to be left, afraid to be hurt, afraid to die. I love the part of myself that longs to disappear. I love the part of myself that disappears by being on stage. I love the part of myself that takes things personally and sees connections in everything. I love the part of myself that loves and cares so much that I neglect to take care of myself. I love the part of myself that imagines I don’t need rest or downtime; that believes resting makes me unworthy of love.

I love the part of myself that is a workaholic. I love the part of myself that is afraid to do my best for fear it might destroy me – the part of myself that finds no sense in balance and integration, the part of myself that chooses to subscribe to black and white thinking and win-lose trade offs.

I love the part of myself that loses my temper and yells with stiffness and venom at my small child. I love the part of myself that lives in agony and tension and revulsion while I listen to his complaining and whining and tears, and I love the part of myself that feels fear when my yelling is followed by affection and good behavior. I love the part of myself that cracks down to reprimand low self control while contradicting that very lesson.

I love the part of myself that feels sexy on the outside yet avoids sex on the inside. I love the part of myself that believes I am an artist and the part of myself that is afraid to do art. I love the part of myself that strives for awareness and the part of myself that shuns awareness and chases a sense of freedom through non-consciousness. I love the part of myself that angers me, that triggers me, that reminds me of my father, that reminds me of my mother, that is cruel and weak and impatient and stubborn and short sighted.

I love all of these parts and I welcome them today. Welcome, welcome, welcome. I am here as a friend: ready to play, ready to learn, ready to work together.

Let’s bake a cake, let’s sing on the swing set, let’s throw post-its on the wall. Let’s plan a party for all of us to giggle together. Let’s lie down and rest, in the sun, on a soft blanket of fresh young grass, and sigh together with ecstasy as the breeze brushes over our toes and through our hair. Let’s hold hands and relax and feel that expansive pang of love of childhood that feels like forever. Let’s come together and be born and grow and win and get sick.

Let’s die together, knowing that we lived a full and messy life, where we missed nothing, and gave everything, and know that we never left each other’s sides. And then let’s turn to dust.

One Reply to “I Should Not be Different: The Radical Practice of Self Love”

  1. Until we learn to listen and love all our parts, we cannot feel free to just be in the moment. Our unconscious needs as much care as our conscious and it will resurface on and on until we look at it and listen to it.

    All starts with self love.

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