Too often, when someone is on a healing journey, they’re told to eliminate certain aspects of themselves. To “conquer their shadows” and stop feeling anger toward those who have harmed them.

This rhetoric does not lead to healing. In fact, it can hold people back and even worsen their difficulties.

When someone is bullied, abused, or otherwise mistreated, it almost always includes an element of rejection and of showing or overtly telling the person that they don’t matter and deserve to be treated poorly. Abuse and bullying are destruction. They demolish self-esteem and self-perception.

Having been rejected and taught that you don’t matter, why would you try to heal by rejecting parts of yourself and acting as if they don’t matter? How could doing to yourself what others have done to you bring about any type of healing?

The key to healing isn’t to “eliminate shadows” or deny feeling certain emotions. It’s learning to embrace those aspects and work with them. Healing means accepting all parts of yourself, even the ones you might wish didn’t exist, and developing skills and tools to manage the problematic behaviors caused by those aspects and emotions while still accepting the aspects and emotions themselves.

Progressing in a healing journey means progressing toward being whole. If you eliminate or refuse to acknowledge any part of yourself, you are not whole. Healing requires balance. If you reject and deny things about yourself, you are in a state of imbalance.

Being human means having both beneficial and detrimental qualities. It means feeling a full range of emotions. It means that sometimes we screw up, but we can apologize and make amends when that happens.

Most importantly, being human means that we are abundantly deserving of existence–every single part of us. As we work toward healing, how could we do otherwise than to accept the things about ourselves that the Ultimate Source loves in us?

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