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Integration Metaphors

source: Sara Lambert

Integration work does not require any rites of passage - many multiples report that it can occur seemingly spontaneously. without the intervention of the therapist or the rest of the system. Having said this, it can be comforting to the system, the integrating self, and the therapist, if the act of consolidation is assisted in some way. It can also help remaining selves to see that integration is not something to be feared - that there is no "getting rid of" anyone, but a coming together into harmony and peace. Also, integration can be a wonderful moment and a ritual to celebrate the individual self, the system as a whole, and the process of coming together can provide a memory to treasure forever, in much the same way we do with our memories of graduation days, weddings, and so on.

The following metaphors for integration are merely a small selection of what is possible. Each is an outline - expand or alter them as you wish. Remember, if you are considering partial or complete integration and would like a rite of passage, there is no "proper" way to do this. Go with whatever feels appropriate for you.

  • Imagine each of you has a different colored aura of energy surrounding you. Now step closer to each other, and let those colors mingle. Feel the energy eddy and mix. Feel yourselves getting stronger as your combined energy binds your many shapes into one whole shape. You are becoming concentrated, focussed, more powerful The rainbow colors of you are blending into pure white light. The light shines through the walls between you, dissolving them, and the energy flows freely through you, carrying your different thoughts and feelings and perceptions all on the same tide.

  • Stand in a circle, holding hands. At the center of your circle is a place of comfort, safety, and love. Move slowly towards the center. As you get closer to the center, you feel its peace radiating out to encompass you all. You are getting closer to each other. The empty spaces are filling. You are doing this together. When you are ready, step into the center of the circle. There are no spaces left between you. You stand together on this ground. You share this ground. It supports and nurtures you as one. Its peace and warmth wrap around you, holding you together. Instead of solid dark barriers between you, now there is only one fluid barrier of light surrounding you.

  • Come together in a circle. Closing your eyes, each of you visualize your inner essence as a star in the darkness. Take the star in your hands and hand it into the center of your group - perhaps you would like to have a beautiful, significant container into which you can put the stars. When all your stars have been placed there, take each others' hands for support and comfort. The light of the stars combined grows stronger, brighter, its energy building. It does not explode - it pulsates outward, glorious, luxurious. It washes over you all. You feel yourselves imbued with all the essences of each other. Allow yourselves to sit for as long as you need, feeling the light go through you. When you are ready, feel your "body" or being move into the center of your circle, where the starlight is concentrated. Each of you enter it until you are all together there. The light then recedes into itself again, binding you together, safe and strong.

Copyright © Sara Lambert
Originally published in Team Spirit
Reprinted With Permission