Meryna uses ‘integration’ to firstly mean personal integration, namely, to accept different aspects of the self, in order to feel whole, healthy and to live with integrity. Secondly, and alongside this, we use integration to mean the process of belonging to a community, and wider society. So I can work to integrate the different parts of myself, and find ways to better integrate myself with the world around me. Both reply on a degree of acceptance and respect, or in the least, tolerance, which we encourage as part of our creative-therapeutic approach.
The word integrity comes to mind, with the meaning of a state of being whole and undivided; echoing the common expression: ‘the sum of the whole is greater than its parts’, so I am more than the combination of the different part of me. In relation to immigrants, diaspora communities or/ and those of mixed-cultural heritage, this is particularly important in working towards a healthy and balanced sense of self and belonging.