When we push away big feelings, we often push away wisdom.

Have you ever said, “oh I am just talking to myself” only to hear someone reply “as long as you don’t answer yourself….”? It can be a funny little moment, but it implies that having a back-and-forth dialogue with yourself means you’re crazy.
Well then…I am crazy, and I hope you are too in this sense. Why?
Because consciously having this kind of back-and-forth with different parts of yourself helps with a very important thing called Inner Diversity.
Inner diversity means that we have multiple parts, and we allow these diverse parts to co-exist. It’s another way of saying wholeness. 
Most of us hide parts because we have been told in one way or another that showing these parts will cost us. In essence, showing these parts kept us from receiving praise, approval, affection, attention or love. Even worse, showing these parts may have brought criticism, abandonment and abuse.
Maybe you were made fun of for being too sensitive so you try like hell to hide that part of you and only show up as tough. Pop culture likes to portray sensitivity as weakness so even more reason to keep that part in hiding. Not!

Not only did these sensitive parts get sent away, some original wounds might not have gotten the proper care and tenderness they deserve. A double whammy – or better put – a big double ouch! You were not too sensitive. Other people were not sensitive enough.
Many of us were even taught to hide part of us from God for similar reasons. We were told God would be upset with us for behaving a certain way (our “sins”) or for not believing a certain thing. God might even punish us, and if we show parts that have been deemed really bad, we might end up in hell for all of eternity. Where is the eyeroll emoji when I need it?
Many people hide their sadness for various reasons too. For some, when they try to share their sadness, they are met with stories about how others are worse off and told they should be grateful. Sometimes people immediately start giving advice on how to feel better to people who feel sad, which makes being sad something that needs to be fixed. Either way can lead people to hiding their sadness because when they simply want to be heard or maybe held, they are told how to fix what isn’t even broken. They are left feeling more alone then when they started.  Their sadness doesn’t get witnessed. It gets analyzed or explained away.
Even something like jealousy is put in the bad category. Definitely don’t show that. It means you’re insecure (God forbid we admit that we are insecure) and less evolved. You are supposed to be happy for everyone’s success, not jealous. Rather than exploring how jealousy might be directing you to work for something you want, we are taught to not feel it.  

Jealousy sometimes is pointing out how pop culture marginalizes part of us because they don’t fit conventional standards of beauty, health, success, fitness. In this case, jealousy might be teaching us to take our own side more, but we don’t get to that because we aren’t supposed to feel jealous. This makes me wanna vomit! When we push away big feelings for the sake of being “good”, we often push away wisdom.
Maybe you were told you were difficult when you expressed anger, so you learned to hide that part too. Maybe you saw people express their anger in horrifying ways, so somewhere along the way you decided anger was bad. Or maybe it is because in our world today we hear more about the violent ways people express anger than the healthy ways they do. Anger gets put in the bad category along with sadness, jealousy, and others. We tend to hide these parts because we think they make us flawed. 
Maybe you were told you were too loud. You get the picture.
Let’s be honest, we are being taught to hide our humanness. Even in religious and spiritual circles we are supposed to be solemn and pious, giving more than receiving, and we are told this is more evolved or more spiritual. That’s bullshit. We put divinity in the good category and unconsciously put human in the bad category as if these two things are separate. Our humanity is a doorway to the divine. 
This is why Inner Diversity is so important. When allowing diversity in us to exist, a wholeness happens. When we take off the masks and shine light on the parts of us that the world tells us should never see the light of day, the parts that supposedly make us unlovable, unsuccessful, unhealthy, unworthy – healing happens over and over again.
Even if God or the divine is not your thing, this Inner Diversity will help you care for yourself in deeper and more life-giving ways. It also teaches us how to allow diversity of people, thought and opinions around us.
The more diversity we allow inside of us, the more whole we are.
So talk to yourself – especially the parts  you usually push away. Next time you catch yourself trying to distract yourself from a part you usually push away, see if you can instead invite it to share with you. For example, you can say “oh here is that sadness again. I see you sadness. I was about to push you away, but I am trying not to for these few moments. It is safe for you to show yourself to me.” Then ask it what it would like to share and write it down. Let the sadness talk. 
You can allow sadness to speak without interrupting for 5, 10, 15 minutes. Then you can go back to distracting yourself if you want. Maybe you won’t feel you need to, but if you do, that is fine too. 
For further reflection: What part or parts of you do you find yourself pushing away the most? When reading this today, what stood out to you most? Make a note about that and allow yourself to ignore everything else. Go with what spoke to you most.
Wishing you a more diverse and whole inner world,