Have you ever worried that your feelings are too big or "too much" to be acknowledged... much less shared out loud with another human being?
Today I'm sharing a personal story and a practice I use for sharing my emotions despite this fear so many of us adopted in childhood that our feelings are not valid and thus, not worthy of being shared.
I call BS.
The truth is that our feelings are data. They are not "right" or "wrong" so much as they are information -- a glimpse into our inner world.
So many of us grew up having emotions like sadness, grief, confusion, jealousy, and rage dismissed or denied by often well-intended but misguided adults who were never taught how to listen to, empathize with, and/or regulate emotions themselves.
Like the majority of adults on the planet, the friend I wanted to share my emotions with was raised in a family system that believed emotions were:
- not valid in and of themselves
- and thus, NOT safe to feel
In this video, I share my experience of having my adult friend dismiss and deny my emotions when I shared my feelings, and how I responded.
In the above 12-minute video, I walk you through:
- A short centering exercise (1-3:00 min)
- My experience of being dismissed (3-4 min)
- How this tied to my childhood (5-6 min)
- Feelings as sacred (6-6:45 min)
- How I "permitted" myself to feel (6:45 min)
- A mantra to help us hold space for our kids (8:45 min)
We can learn to acknowledge ourselves and validate our own emotions. And, in modeling these things, we can teach others how to affirm and validate emotions as well --- making it safe for the next generation and for ourselves to feel.
We don't control the people in our lives or how they react to our sharing --- but we DO control our thoughts, words, and actions.
I hope my experience helps you feel more confident in expressing your feelings regardless of how they will be met. Because this numbed-out world needs more sensitive people.
If you believe every child deserves to learn about their emotions, please check out our Reparent Yourself Membership, a community for change-makers like you, where we do not view the past as our destiny, but rather, our curriculum!