I believe that integration, in the context of becoming more of who we really are, is one of the most healing exercises any of us can take on.
Integration is about honesty and letting go of fear.
I can remember a day many years ago, sitting at my desk, staring our the window. It was a day of feeling very unsettled and fragmented. It was like none of the parts of me fit together in any smooth or harmonic way. That day, I identified that feeling as the cause of a good portion of my day to day stress.
I wish I could say that I had an instant epiphany of glorious origins, with trumpets blaring, heavenly lights streaming down and the hand of a godly – or at least alien – being patting me on the top of my halo graced head. But… LOL
So much for that ‘guided feeling.’ That is and always was the truth of it all. Personal evolution and self discovery is just like the rest of living on this planet, a matter of inspiration, reflection, hard work and determination.
The truth is, I spent many weeks pondering the meaning of those feelings and it was months later that I finally found a way to see the relevant picture. The reason I felt unsettled and fragmented was because that is how I ran my life - in parts that were separate from each other.
As always, it would be really easy to blame other people or my circumstances for my fractured existence but I needed to face it; my life was run that way because I was scared. I was afraid of what others thought about the different parts of my life.
For example, my spiritual life was cut off from all the other parts of my life because of my fear of being judged inappropriate in a Christian society. I was also afraid that I might be prevented from having certain jobs or not be liked by some family members or maybe even loosing some friends. Then there was that biggest reason of all: What if I’m wrong? One of the most difficult things for most humans to deal with is the feeling of being wrong. MY ego definitely had a hard time dealing with the idea that my spiritual stance on life might be wrong!!
Integrating my spiritual life into my life as a whole, being open and honest about what I believed, that was the trickiest point for me. It was RISKY business.
In the end, what I learned was that for the most part, few cared what my spiritual stance was and most either didn’t notice or didn’t understand in the first place. A couple of my friends made a few jokes but they didn’t delete me from their friends list. It has come to my attention that most folks ain’t thinking about me. Folks tend to spend their time wondering what other people think about them…
Employers are often the worst culprits for encouraging us to separate parts of our lives from other parts. It’s unfortunate because I believe that employees that are made to feel like they are part of a bigger family where their spouse and children are important, tend to be more loyal to their company. I know some companies do try with in-house day care and including spouses in company Christmas parties etc. As a culture though, we have a ways to go.
Those of us who have worked toward making a living from home; artists, writers, internet business folks and the like; we stand in a good place, we can easily integrate our lives more fully.
One other place where it may be a little simpler to integrate is in bringing your social life and family life closer. I’ve noticed that most of us have friends that are appropriate to our family situation but not all of us. I certainly had some work to do on that front. I had a child at the time and yet, I had friends who didn’t like children or taught my son inappropriate things. In the end, it was a fairly small matter of leaving those un-supportive relationships behind and forging new ones. The interesting thing was that years later, some of those people came back when they began having children of their own. They even understood.
The bottom line here is; your life is your life and it’s all one thing. We are happier; were happier in other times when we didn’t feel the need to separate things. It’s all in how you view it and how seriously – or not – that you take yourself.
It’s also about priorities. Is your priority to be healthy in your own lifestyle or what others think about your lifestyle? It’s about choices and about being brave enough to make the choices that serve you in your view of what your life should and could be.
You may even want to consider that by standing up for who you are, you are actually making an example for other people to follow. You are healing others around you while, and because you are healing yourself. How cool is that?
Your life is your life. Enjoy it as all one thing!!