Monday Morning Pages: Denial & Integration

by Rebecca A. Watson on May 5, 2014

in change, Monday Morning Pages

On Saturday night I went out with a few friends, one of whom used to be a basketball player in the Netherlands. She asked if I’d been following playoff basketball in the States, and I said no. Then she asked if I’d heard about the words of a seriously disturbed man who also happened to own an NBA team, to which I responded, “Of course.”

When she brought it up, I covered my face with my hands and just felt such a sense of shame and embarrassment (or fremdschämen as the Germans call it) that 1) This guy could have those feelings and be so rich he didn’t think it would matter, and 2) These feelings are still prevalent throughout the U.S.

The thought that ran through my head at first was God, I wish we ignore these kinds of people. That kind of thought comes up often when I read about leaders of countries bombing their own people or tribal wars running rampant, leaving innocents slaughtered in their wake.

Lately though, something else bubbles to the surface instead. And my 2012 morning pages says it well:

Denial is so tempting. I am blown away. I wish I could just erase parts of my life but I know better. It makes me me.

It’s tempting to ignore the parts of this life, big and small, that don’t suit us or rub salt in our wounds. The world, after all, is just a larger version of our consciousness, if you buy into that sort of thing, and I do. But those parts play an important role, and I catch glimpses of this in 2013.

I really like [meditation]. I use it every day and I think it’s helping my anxiety and setting me on a path for success. It’s all about integrating all my parts, which I like because a lot of what I’m reading tells me to destroy or ‘get rid’ of this stuff. But I just disagree. I think every part of me is valuable … I think it’s a relatively new way of thinking, which is why old [self-help] books don’t resonate.

There are things I didn’t like about myself, that I would deny in myself, and it split me apart. We are a heap of beliefs and experiences and not all of them jive. If they did, we’d be living in harmony with ourselves and utopia would be possible.

chocolate raspberry birthday cake

Also cake would be as good for you as vegetables.

So consider the part of me that didn’t want to admit that I had anxiety. For god’s sake, I already deal with depression. Why would I be OK with accepting another diagnosis?

Or the part of me that wants to remain small and hidden and not say a word? That’s not me! I love to write and express myself.

As soon as I start to recognize those parts of me, I start to heal. Think about it this way: Say you spent several years with your family and then one day they acted like you didn’t exist. They ignored your pleas as though they couldn’t hear you and didn’t set a place for you at the dinner table.

Do you think you’d just walk away? Or would you put up a fight, doing everything and anything, because your survival depended on it?

I think a lot of those ignored, denied or unclaimed parts of us are creating havoc and chaos in our lives for that very reason. They want to feel heard. They want acknowledgment, want to heal and want to be part of the whole, where they belong.

I’ve been trying harder to be aware and accept all the different parts of me. But it doesn’t mean I have to tolerate the beliefs they hold.

There is a big part of me that says I don’t deserve to be treated equally. I can accept it without agreeing with it. It’s there, and I’m doing my best to create new ideas to counter it, but I’m not denying it anymore. And every day that integration is making me feel more whole.

And I guess that’s what the great advocates of the world did and do. The ones that change things for the better and make lasting impact don’t deny or hate those who disagree or want to live differently. They see what they think needs to change, accept it as reality and work toward creating new paradigms that shift conciousness. I guess I’m finally being an advocate for myself.

Do you have parts of yourself you pretend don’t exist? I encourage you to start saying, “I see you.”

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nameless Here May 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks


Rebecca A. Watson May 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for the comment NH! I love love love that poem, and it must really be in this time of year, because I wrote about it in June 2013. It’s beautiful isn’t it?


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