When Loving Anger Includes the Self

This is an incredibly personal piece.

It was a reflection paper on what I thought of my life purpose before and after a Spiritual Wellness course in my counselling training. I’ve often pushed in my work from a sense of responsibility and obligation, but in the past 6 weeks, I have learned to honour another significant aspect of life. And by honour, I don’t mean to know it intellectually, but to embrace it with my full integrated self and live it out every day. I share this with my community as this transformation of my life purpose will manifest in ways that will significantly shift my approach to this work moving forward. And I share it with you to be transparent of the healing work that I myself am going through in order to be as effective of a counsellor and coach that I can be .

With gratitude and vulnerability,

Ji-Youn Kim


To contribute to individual healing for universal healing.

Because fear and lack of emotional processing is what causes insecurity, defensiveness, hatred, which is what leads to violence and systemic oppression.

Because my fellow humans are not only suffering but are killed, abused, traumatized, and dehumanized by other humans, both individually and systemically.

Because social justice seems too big and overwhelming for my one human soul to try and influence.

Because systems and institutions are composed of individual humans, and the individual level, I can manage.

Because there's so much pain and suffering in the world, it would be irresponsible of me to not do anything about it as a fellow human.

Because as an individual living in a global society, I am a puzzle piece in a larger puzzle that people may or may not see.

Because whether or not we recognize it, we are all interconnected and thus we all have inevitable impact on each other.

Because no one is free until we are all free.

Because pain and violence is fucking real and I make meaning of minimizing pain and violence.

Because small acts of kindness and “niceness” won’t help us unlearn racist, misogynistic, ablest, colonial, elitist, consumerist thoughts when we’re living in a system that has taught us and continues to feed us these messages.

Because I’m so familiar with my own violence and my own pain.

Because maybe if I do my own individual healing and help others through theirs, I won't want to die.

Because I feel so hopeless about humanity and if I don’t stop doing and working and healing, I don’t know how else I would survive.

Because I’m terrified and angry, and I don’t know what else to do but to heal.

But apparently it’s gotten to a point where I feel like a fish drowning in water.


Apparently taking on other peoples’ pains is not interconnectedness nor empathy.

Apparently I’ve been waiting for a violence-free world in order to feel safe and belonging, and that’s not going to happen in my lifetime, if ever.

Apparently healing can help process fear which can lead to acceptance but acceptance is not equivalent to love.

Apparently love is a state of being that I can not “try.”

Apparently joy, belonging, and safety are things I can choose to experience by allowing, and not fixing.

Apparently I must let go of pain in order to experience pleasure.

Apparently joy is not work. Love is not work. Purpose is not work. And I don’t have to always be giving, doing, and growing.

Apparently I do not have to finish my healing in order to be in my loving and joy.

Apparently I have the choice to just be.

And perhaps I’m exhausted now. I don’t want to try and “save the world” in order for myself to feel safe. Maybe my best is good enough. Perhaps as I recognize, once again, both my limitations of control AND my freedom of choice, I can feel content with the work that I do and allow myself to just be. I wish for joy and love for others. And I guess I’m worthy of that too, even before I feel like I’m “done.” Because I’ll never be done, so I might as well start to experience it now. Give myself the permission now.

To contribute to individual healing for universal healing. And to embrace my joyful, loving Beingness.


P.S. I am currently not taking on any clients for the next 3 months during my own training + healing, but you can receive updates on what I’m up to through my newsletter.