Healing is not becoming the best version of yourself, healing is letting the worst version of you be loved.
One of the worst things I know is when I’ve been in crisis and someone has tried to coach me out of it by telling me to be strong, pull myself together or see the positive. Not that it’s not all necessary to change difficult patterns and times. I’ve just always felt a deeper longing to first feel met and loved right where I am. I’m guessing you do too.
It’s as if we can only feel whole when the absolute most unlovable side of us is allowed to peek out and be seen and met by ourselves or others.
It’s hard to love the parts of us that are the most hurt and painful. This is because our psyche, from our earliest years, protects us from acknowledging and being with those sides. Being rejected there is simply too painful and risky. Therefore, we protect against it by becoming very self-critical of the traits that belong to it or by passing on its qualities to others.
No, I’m not lazy/weak/aggressive/greedy/manipulative/dishonest, etc. and neither are you, right? It takes a lot of energy to keep that side of us down by judging ourselves or engaging in conflict with others.
In my experience, creativity has something special to offer when it comes to getting to know the most unlovable parts of ourselves and slowly learning to dare to love them and show them to others so that we can experience being met and even loved right there.
There are endless opportunities to work with what we call the shadow, the version of ourselves that we wouldn’t want to be. For example, you can
Dance/move like it, thus exploring it and releasing some of its energy
Write a story about how this unlovable side of you would behave if you let it
Sing as it would sing, or sing to it
Do a role play where you play that side of you.
Always make sure you’re grounded before you start and know that emotions may come up that you’ll need help with. It’s also important that you plan how you will be there for yourself when you’re done with an exercise like this. And that you have compassion for yourself and know that it takes time to integrate such an unloved side.
In the HEL cards and The Art of Self-HEaling cards, there are a lot of great exercises you can do to help you work safely and effectively on becoming more whole.
I’m also coming soon with a course that supports the learning in the cards – I’ve been delayed by some health issues that I’m getting good help with. And then I can take my own medicine and work lovingly on loving the side of me that gets delayed, sick, or doesn’t quite perform as I think I should. I know that always brings renewed strength and healing, even when things feel difficult and chaotic.
Art and words by Karin von Daler © Please feel free to share with credentials.