Becoming Whole

Often we hobble through life, assuming there is no other way of moving forward. We are confronted by difficult feelings and stymied as to how to deal with them. In our quest for fulfilment, we face decisions that at times feel arbitrary. It simply does not occur to us that something can exist, a path, a process that answers the unanswerable. Or, if the question occurs to us, we cannot fathom a possible answer. We might consider therapy, but that carries with it deep stigma. Something must be flawed about us if we reach for therapy. So we carry along, contend with what we have, compare our limping to that which is graver in others, and momentarily feel better. Nothing much changes. But that’s okay, until we look. Or shout at those close to us, and repeat our patterns, frustrated and defeated.

Only being whole affords us true happiness – that unfurling of becoming more of ourselves, with trust in our spontaneity. The truth is that there are ways to integrate our ugliest, most hurtful, or shameful, or weak parts of ourselves. Equally, we can accept and integrate every need that fuels our actions, including our wild, masculine, feminine, mischievous, creative, reflective, child-like, alive, or you-name-it parts of ourselves. We can thrive, beyond surviving, and therapy can hold out the process.

When engaged in a meaningful conversation with a skilled professional, a person begins to hear one’s longings and needs, discover words for what is churning inside, explore and connect the unresolved to past experiences, make sense of things, fine-tune into one’s self, and discover choices. As one of my leading teachers, Dr. Les Greenberg, puts it, we need to arrive in order to leave a place. And learning how to work with emotions allows for that arrival.

This article first appeared on the website of Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher Grace van Berkum - Gracious Living.