In the last article “I am not enough” I was wrong in naming John Bradshaw as the person who originated the integration work. Actually it was Carl Gustav Jung. He was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
Jesus said that whatever you do to the least of these, you’re doing unto me to which Carl Jung asked, “What if I am the least of these?” He changed my perspective on “Love others as you love yourself.” I asked, “How do I love myself?” and “Isn’t love of self selfish?” It’s a mind-provoking thought. In my study, I learned that if I love you without loving me correctly, I am just doing it for show to gain your approval. If I love myself correctly, I will love you without expecting anything in return. We can’t give what we do not have. If we’re forgiven, we forgive others. I found that the sequel to forgiveness is pray for those who injured our fragile hearts. When we pray for our enemies, it seems there’s a shift in the cosmos working around our life releasing us from bitterness and resentment. Forgiveness drives out toxins in our souls. Toxic emotion (resentment) damages our brain – literally. It’s been researched as one of the contributors to mental disorders.
Accepting our most disliked, despised, rejected parts is the same as loving every part of ourselves. Many people find it hard to accept their most unattractive and despised parts primarily because we have been taught to accept only our polarized, righteous “good” self. Over-identifying with the goodness is one of the primary causes for human evil. It creates fanatical polarization that sets up the opposition between us, “the good, and them “the bad.” When St. Augustine warned, “Woe to them who speak of God.” he was naming the dangerous temptation that comes from the belief that a certain religious or moral doctrine is the one truth, and that it bring its possessor a unique salvation. When this happens, we begin to judge those who are not a members of our (church/clan) as wrong, bad, unsaved, or whatever negative term we might use to describe them. We forget that we all “fall short” of the glory of God. Thus integration work is vital if we want to be fully human and fully alive.
Integration is owning, not condoning. Knowing that I can be medecherecher a ngerek helped me to think before I speak. I began to listen to what my loved one says to me or about me. They saw something in me that I refused to see. Instead of fight or flight, I decided to implement what I’ve learned: that to be morally intelligent, I must not fear self-confrontation. I also must remember that I am not a victim of my biology and circumstances. I choose to make that change. Whatever evil I’m willing to own and be aware of reduces my chances of acting it out. Our brain is plastic (changeable). We really can change. It takes discipline and determination to aim for our best self. It takes 21 days to adapt a new wisdom and 63 days to form a new habit.