Individuation means becoming your authentic self. It means reaching your full potential by accepting and embracing all of your parts. It means having a deep understanding of yourself and using that understanding as a platform for expansion. I’ve always thought of it as the expression “of being in the world, but not of it.”

Carl Jung brought this term to light and wrote about it at length. Individuation would be the goal of any person seeking health and wholeness. The modern day term closest to it would be self-actualization.

“Psychologist Carl Jung described this as individuation, the process by which the personal and collective unconscious are brought into consciousness to reveal one’s whole personality. In short: it is the process of becoming self-actualized….The individuation process leads one ever closer to the person he is meant to be, with both a sense of awareness and a sense of wholeness. This journey is not just one of becoming whole, but also one of expansion. Through individuation, boundaries of who we are and what we allow ourselves to know and feel, extend even further out into the far reaches of what is possible: our potential.” (Dr. Gross, Huffington Post, 12/30/2014)

Knowing that you are an empath, acknowledging it and embracing it as a true expression of self, is a huge step in individuation. We think and feel deeply within ourselves, but we can also feel the emotions of others and intuit many experiences of the collective unconscious. Empaths have a special place to realize in the world. Treasure your gift. Value yourself. Expand your boundaries.

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