I often mention the importance of self love and unconditional acceptance of all our parts. But I will be the first admit that not all parts are easy to love and accept. Sometimes I ignore a part because it makes my stomach crawl to consider I might embody those feelings. I have to work hard to bring them in to my awareness and embrace them with the same love I give the parts of me I can accept. I have so much trouble in accepting some parts it is hard to write it down here. But I know there is a chance that others struggle with accepting the same parts. So I will do it … for my survivor friends.

1) My inner cynic. I know how important it is to embrace what is and stop using all my energy to resist life. But I have one heck of a cynical part. There are days when I can feel the negative energy rising up in me. Sometimes I just want to watch a Matt Bellasai video and cheer him on. Sometimes I need to resist it all. Sometimes I need to complain about every little aspect of my life that isn’t perfect. And if I explain that away, I am resisting my resistance.

2) My inner serial killer. I wish this was a metaphor for something else, but it isn’t. You see, there are two types of rage. There is regular rage. I don’t have a problem with that. I can scream in my car. I can throw pillows. It helps me know when a new memory is coming. As long as my rage doesn’t come out sideways at others, I can be friends with it. But the white rage is a different story. It is some nasty stuff. It is the part of me that fantasizes about the deaths of my abusers, sometimes in detail. And while I know I will never act on it, it scares me to feel those feelings. I have learned that as humans, we embody everything to some extent. And I know we all have the part that is capable of murder. And accepting that is the ultimate form of self love.

3) My inner judger. I refer to this part as Judgy McJudgerson. (Don’t judge me about that.) She comes out in the grocery store sometimes. I don’t know what my problem is with grocery stores. Maybe it is the food. (I have never had a healthy relationship with food). Maybe it feels like driving on a highway where everybody is rude and cuts me off. Except in the grocery store, there is no large metal frame in between myself and others, so cursing at them is not an option. In these moments, I find my inner judgment getting louder. “Can you believe that woman is wearing that? Why are they stocking this shelf during the busiest time of day? When is this guy in line behind me going to get some boundaries and back his cart off my heals? Maybe I could give him an ‘accidental’ nudge.” There are plenty of judgments to go around. So I let them run their course, but I stay aware of where it is coming from.

4) My inner victim. As you may have guessed, this part is prevalent for me. I cannot count the number of hours, days, months I have spent with the feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. And I have to be honest, I hate those feelings. I hate them so much. My strong willful side wants nothing to do with it. I am an action-oriented person. And the dichotomy is enough to leave my head spinning. I can sit on the couch for two hours in a state of paralysis while listing my tasks over and over in my head. To me, this is what hell must be like. I just want to move on with life. I don’t want to sit with it any more. But my resistance will never make it go away. I know this. I must allow my inner victim to express her pain.

5) My inner sexually-confused part. I learned very early that I was only good for one thing. If I wanted any form of love, if I wanted to calm down a raging caregiver, if I wanted to be appreciated in any way, it must involve sex. When combined with an inability to say no, it was destined to be a problem. Unfortunately, those beliefs caused problems for me in my young adult life. I would flirt with authority figures. And it sometimes led to more than flirting. There were affairs I am not proud of. There were people I dated even though I had no interest in them whatsoever. All of it was an attempt to be accepted by those in power. These days, I don’t act out those beliefs, but I still see them running below the surface of my conscious. And they are shrouded in shame. That part of me needs my acceptance to stop feeling so much pain about her past decisions. She blames herself. And while she was an adult at that time, I know where those decisions came from. And I know it takes two to tango. So I give her a break about it. I let her know it is okay. And she is happy not to be judged … for the first time ever.

I know these parts need what everyone needs. These parts need love and acceptance. They need to know they are okay too. While I might cringe at the thought that I embody all the bad with the good, I must allow it and accept it. In doing so, I will release the trauma and the true strengths lying below the dysfunction will shine through. In doing so, I will be whole again.