Focusing Tip #677 – “Parts of me are truly unlovable.”

Focusing Tip #677 – “Parts of me are truly unlovable.”
October 16, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
“It feels like a really difficult struggle to accept my shadow parts as truly lovable.”

Focusing Tip #677 – “Parts of me are truly unlovable.”

Do you find it impossible to love the parts of you that have done hurtful and irresponsible things? Read on…

Jim writes:

I have a question about “unlovable” parts. When I look at my dark parts – parts that have behaved in ways that are profoundly irresponsible, that could have lead to disaster, that have hurt and possibly damaged others – those are the parts that are unlovable.

I accept them, in the sense that I cannot deny they are part of me and I accept the reality that I have let them dictate my actions. But it feels like a really difficult struggle to accept my shadow parts as truly lovable or myself as worthy for having them.

Dear Jim:

I think you are actually talking about regret.

I’ve written before about regret, which I find a painful and complex emotion. For example here, where I respond to a man who felt he had sabotaged his life.

The Twelve Step program has a step of acknowledging that we have hurt others, and then making amends. Nelson Mandela created a Truth and Reconciliation process for his deeply divided country. Reconciling the fact that we have made mistakes in our life, sometimes quite big ones, is not easy.

Here is what has helped me with my regrets:

  1. To remember that I was younger then.
  2. To see that I was missing some essential resources that I would have needed in order to make better choices.
  3. To understand that my actions that hurt and possibly damaged others (yes I do have regrets like that) were taken by a part of me that was desperate for something it thought it couldn’t get any other way.
  4. And to know that if I were faced with that same situation now, with the perspective and the resources I have now, I would certainly make that choice another way.

So that one in me… the younger me… who took the actions I regret… is definitely someone that needs my love.

Remember, loving someone (or some part) is not the same as agreeing with their actions! I love her… because I deeply understand her… AND I would do it differently now.

Would you like more help working with regret?

I have a low-cost, on-demand webinar that can help:



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