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Accepting parts of ourselves that ‘don’t work’ can enable us to have better relationships

There are parts of ourselves we like, and parts of ourselves we avoid

All of us are at home with the parts of ourselves that we like. These we elevate and present to the world. Yet this is not all of who we are. We often don’t have a good relationship with the parts that ‘don’t work’, and have separated some places into ‘No-Go’ zones. So, in order to cope with our lives, we don’t embrace some of our painful emotions that are not working so well in us – like our fear, remorse, guilt. We find it hard to appreciate those unlovely places. We might fill our empty spaces with noise and obligations so that these emotions get quietened or at least pushed down again. For we do not feel comfortable with our powerless feelings.

So how do we begin to be at home in ourselves without these blocked off areas? We need to stop judging ourselves, trying to live up to the ideal which we carry in our heads. We have all learnt this separating because we were seen as lacking if we didn’t measure up.

Moving towards accepting the parts of ourselves

Yet, Jesus wants us to be an integrated self, and to shift our way of seeing, to come into alignment with how He sees us. He holds and loves each of us and knows how we have formed around hurts that have made us wounded. God does not condone sin in us, but He does not withhold His love for us because of it. He calls us to come to Him as we are.

Receiving God’s invitation to accept the parts of ourselves

If He doesn’t question if we qualify for His love, doesn’t He want us also to begin to accept all of ourselves and to believe His picture of us? We have enormous power to give life by becoming fully integrated people, those whom God has called into being. He invites us to take the risk, and says, “Trust me. Come. Let’s look at your wounds and with me they can be transformed into your gifts to this world.”

God understands what we’ve gone through and why we’ve closed off certain sections of our hearts. The gift He will call forth from our pain will both surprise and delight us, for we will see the fruit of His healing work within us.

3 thoughts on “Accepting parts of ourselves that ‘don’t work’ can enable us to have better relationships”

  1. Thanks for this inspiring and thought-provoking article. I’ve been resisting showing my dark side to the world for ages, and I am aware that my internal filters have probably censored my self-perceptions, so my dark side might be worse than I think. I am scared to damage my outward facing image, after all, I spend a lot of time and effort maintaining it! I will start some tentative opening up to those closest to me – although, it might be easier to open up to a complete stranger! I look forward to a detailed “how to” guide on all this!

  2. This feels really well written, succinct, inclusive and a good representation of what I understood the teaching to embrace. Great photo too!
    Thanks for this Relating team,

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