A crucible to wholeness

My spiritual director’s words refrain in my being on this calm Tuesday morning.

It is a quote from Carl Jung. I render it this way:

When we were born, we’re like shattered glasses. And our mission, as we journey on, is to piece back our little fragments and shards together. So that as we join our Creator, we are good as one.

Shattered pieces. Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

Shattered pieces. Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

These fragments, these pieces which I need to put back together, are various facets of my personhood which I tend to set aside—or at a certain point, even hide—because they do not only tend to distract me away from what I think (and I hope) who myself is, but they also make me afraid of what they could do to me and in which places they could drag me to.

Hence, the most convenient thing is for me to bury them to a place faraway so that they will not give me trouble, or so I thought. Living in a context of a religious community makes me see not only the face of God, but also reminds of the ‘faces of my many devils’ I attempt to run away from.

The shadow—a Jungian category—can be so powerful that it can even show itself through the people I am with.

Just like I mentioned above, I tend to get rid of my shadows. Hence, I tend to disregard people who manifest my own shadows which I escape from. Writing the previous sentence, I noticed that these shadows are not only theirs; ultimately, they are also mine. And I cannot make myself whole by leaving them out.

In my struggle to make myself integrated, I need to acknowledge them. To embrace them as a part of who I am means I am ready to face that I am wounded, fragile, and imperfect.

Indeed, a daunting challenge.

It is another way of saying that I learn to love myself first—with its warts and all—before I seek out and declare that I am ready to die for another. The ‘another’ here may be the Creator or just another creature, or both. But the idea should be solid that my love for another is just a mere flatus vocis, a flat voice, if it is not rooted in one’s acceptance and love of oneself.

It makes a whole lot of sense, really, that song which has got one of its line “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

For to learn how to love oneself truly, genuinely, authentically, is a journey which lasts for a lifetime.


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