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* Lammas –

For some reason, trying to jam all these new time-consuming things into my already busy life made me think of integration. Trying to integrate so many things without driving myself crazy, I guess.

Years ago, I talked to somebody who had just integrated an alter. It was the first time I had had a chance to ask what it was like. Her face lit up, and she said, “It’s like falling in love with yourself!” I thought that was so beautiful.

I wish I had a tape of our conversation and permission to share it with everybody who is frightened of integration. So many feel it’s the death of an individual with a personality, a life history, talents, and memories. At the moment of integration, that part will just disappear into the larger, stronger host personality, never to be seen again. That picture of integration makes me think of vampires, and murder, and the disappearance of somebody who has been kidnapped. It sounds awful.

It’s doubly awful if it is coupled with the belief that you cannot be healed if you aren’t integrated. That sounds to me like a cult double-bind. “Oh, so you want to be healed? Then you will have to kill all these parts of you that you love so much. And if you don’t kill them, you are doomed to be miserable for the rest of your life.”

Nobody I have talked to who has integrated parts, whether it be one or many, has found the experience to be frightening. Instead, it has been a happy occasion, a time to relax and enjoy the hard work that has brought increased inner peace.

No, I will take that back. I’ve heard of forced integrations by handlers which was disastrous. In one case, all the integrated alters were first made to believe they were dead and then, in one “body,” were buried in an internal cemetery. Integration, therefore, meant death to the remaining alters and was used as an effective threat. In another case, a bunch of alters who were at odds were integrated in order to keep the system at a constant level of chaos.

The key to successful integration is respect. There must be no coercion, and it must be voluntary for all parts. Plenty of time is allowed to ask questions, express doubt, and talk about preferences and expectations. The planning is done thoughtfully, and all opinions have been discussed. The process is not always totally conscious; much of the work can go on behind the scenes.

Choice is really important to alters who have never had the chance to make choices. Once integrated, they can grow and experiment. Rather than endlessly doing the same job over and over, they can try out different tasks and roles and see whether they like them or not. If they decide they don’t, there are no repercussions – just the opportunity to try something else. That’s freedom!

Integration itself is a choice. There is nothing wrong with keeping parts separate. The key here is mutual respect, communication, and cooperation. I imagine this as being like a smoothly run commune. What difference does it make if you are one or a hundred? What matters is the degree of internal cooperation and communication. Believe me, people who have never been dissociated can be filled with ambivalence and fear, and their lives can be really chaotic. Being “one” isn’t a magic charm that makes everything all right forever.

There is a part of me that is bitching and moaning and groaning about no longer driving. Luckily it agrees with the part of me that says, for safety’s sake, it is time to give up the car. And the part that made the decision to stop, and is proud of that decision, totally gets the loss involved – the loss of independence, convenience, spontaneity, privacy, and time.

I can hold both positions at the same time without conflict. That’s integration enough for me.


Upcoming Holidays

6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/2 Eve
6/24 St John’s Day

7/2 Total solar eclipse. Visible in parts of South America
7/4 Fourth of July/ US Independence Day
7/16 Full moon
July 16 – 17 Partial lunar eclipse. Visible in South America, Africa, most of Europe and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/15 Full moon
8/15 (?) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes))