Are there people who, for no apparent reason, push your buttons? Psychologist Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” The parts of ourselves that we have denied, when we see it in others, create a strong negative reaction in us because it reminds us of our self-denial.
There are recurring concepts in yoga that point to wholeness. The word “purnam” refers to wholeness, like how the moon is whole even as it goes through different phases. The word “hatha” refers to the joining of the sun and the moon. The gesture “namaskar” where we put our hands together symbolizes the union of the opposites, the left and the right, the masculine and the feminine, the light and the dark. The idea of wholeness is teaching us about acceptance of all that we are— not just the parts we put forward, but the parts we tend to hide.
Think of the image that you project into the world. Who is this “I” you want people to see? Accept that. Appreciate that. See it as part of the whole.
Now think of the parts of yourself that you tend to hide, parts of yourself you tucked into a corner, shadows of your hidden self. Maybe you were once told to change that part of yourself, so it was never brought to light. Now, accept that as part of yourself too. See it as part of who you are. See yourself as the whole made up of those parts that you love, and the parts of yourself that need nurturing the most.
May we accept all that we are, without denying or shaming or rejecting parts of ourselves. May we see that we are whole, not in spite of our perceived flaws, but because of it. Our wholeness is not a goal to be fulfilled, but an unconditional starting point. We have always been whole, we are whole, and we will persist to be whole no matter what.