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The Recipe for Wholeness

Therapist, "Do you feel whole?"

Patient, "Well what does that even mean, 'feel whole'? I mean I am one whole piece of person."

Let's start there.   What does it mean to embody wholeness?

In describing the process of identity formation, Erik Erikson described the goal of identity formation as the achievement of a sense of wholeness. In Erikson's theory of development, wholeness refers to having a meaningful self-concept in which past, present, and future are brought together to form a belief and understanding of one's self as an entire person.

Wholeness has been described in the research literature as the belief and understanding of one's self as an entire person, a state that is said to be necessary for maximal functioning in daily life.

In Ashley Patterson's writings on identity and race, she cites the way wholeness is described in the research literature concerning identity.

Wholeness is the ability to feel comfortable in your skin, regardless of your surroundings,...

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Who Put That Idea In Your Head?


I asked, "If your life could be and include anything at all that you wanted it to be and include, no obstacles in the way, what would that be like?

Madeleine responded to my question, "The last time I shared my dream life with Darron (Madeleine's former partner) said 'Who put that crazy idea in your head?" and I felt foolish for even thinking I could have the kind of life I pictured."

Wow. Words can be so powerful that they they obliterate our agency to dream. 

We went on to discuss how Madeleine's family also discounted her ideas and intelligence.  A woman who worked with her hands making jewelry in a family of nurses and doctors, Madeleine felt she wasn't the thoughtful or brainy type. 

Madeleine accepted her family and Darron's opinions of her as truth. As she realized that what she had accepted turned out to be false, she realized it would take time and mindfulness to undue the automatic thinking that aligned with their unfounded opinions.

Has anybody ever...

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