Integration of Fragmented Aspects of Self
There are many ancient spiritual teachings and practices concerning “fragmented” aspects of ourselves. Many shamans practice “soul-retrieval” for holistic healing. In psychology, we see that “split personalities” are very real, and manifest in ways that aren’t always obvious or extreme. But what does this really mean for the individual?
I’m all about keeping it simple. In the past, when you were faced with a trauma that was so intense you weren’t able to fully process the emotional impact of it in the moment, you had a “split” in your consciousness. This has happened to everyone, at least in childhood. Even small childhood traumas can cause these kind of splits. Your psyche automatically “splits” itself so that the trauma doesn’t completely annihilate you or “crack you up”. In other words, a chunk of the painful emotions aren’t fully experienced and get repressed to be processed at a later time.
This means these emotions don’t just go away; rather they “hide” in your mind only to come up again later in life when you are able and safe to completely heal and deal with them. That is why things from your past, sometimes things you think you have already dealt with several times, tend to come up again at certain times in your life. Please know that spiritually, these pains are not meant to punish you but actually to develop your character for evolution. We all have different pains to work through in life without exception (ie. self-worth, anger, fear, depression, trust, manipulation, addictions, etc.). These are all examples of “fragmented” aspects of ourselves that “split” from our consciousness so that we could cope with life in the past. However, as you evolve on your spiritual journey, these split aspects have to come up so that you can heal, integrate them, and be whole again. This process is very essential on the human journey and should be held not in fear or blame, but in great reverence for your self.
We often have a “knee-jerk” reaction when we see these things come up… because they are uncomfortable! It is not uncommon that when old beliefs, behaviors, addictions, or emotions arise, our first reaction is to spiral into self-blame and fear that we are regressing back to our old state. This is not the case though. Only when you allow yourself to get stuck in that reactive fear towards your past will you loop into these low states again.. but eventually you will always come out of them as your destiny and growth is inevitable.
The real kicker here is that these old aspects are coming up, not to take over your life again or ‘punish’ you, but simply to BE SEEN and integrated back into your self. When they arise, these fragmented, hurt parts of you need you to see them, accept them, and integrate them back in to yourself so that you can be whole. We are always reaching higher and higher degrees of wholeness in life, and it is this higher level of wholeness that is always worth the effort.
How to Integrate the Pain of the Past
Like always, let’s keep it simple here. Emotional energy is intense so it is best to keep it simple.
To integrate these split aspects of yourself you only have to see them, acknowledge them, and feel them fully, with eyes and heart wide open. This is a courageous act. Remember that it is important to have deep compassion for these hurt aspects of yourself. In every trauma you’ve experienced in your life, you did the best you could with what you had. Instead of getting fearful or angry when these fragmented aspects of yourself arise, recognize them in full conscious awareness as you are now and give them your LOVE. That is all they need, because when they arise it means that you have what you need within you now to heal these split aspects. Invite and allow them to come back into yourself.. not so that they can control your life again like in the past, but so that you can be WHOLE. Integration is key to wholeness, for these fragmented aspects will never go away until you can lovingly embrace them. When you do this, you are truly able to heal at the root and embody a higher potential than ever for yourself. This is very meaningful and life-altering work.
As I mentioned in my article Game Changer: Emotional Health Hacks, feeling is healing. As you allow these aspects back in compassionately, you will feel them… this is simply part of the healing process. As you continue to do this, you continue to integrate into higher degrees of wholeness.
Tip: You never want to come at these hurt aspects with judgement or condemnation, but complete acceptance and compassion, similar to how you would treat a hurt child. These aspects are not who you are, they are only a part of you. On our human journey, we all have trials and tribulations that help us to learn and grow into new incredible beings. Without these depths, we would not be nearly as interesting and beautiful as we are. For a more in depth description of this process, please watch the video above on integration.
May this be a simple and helpful teaching in the ways of healing and wholeness. Like many things, the key to integration is being kind and compassionate with ourselves and getting out of our own way so that the natural process of healing can flow. The art of healing, though certainly uncomfortable, need not be as confusing and hidden as many think it is. It is actually quite natural and simple when we get out of our minds so much.
We all will be doing a lot of healing for a long time, so it is best to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You are far more powerful and resilient than you know!