Self-Love Realization: It's Okay to Feel all The Feels
7 years ago I found myself in my therapist's office at the tail end of a really bad relationship… the kind where you find out your boyfriend was cheating on you the whole time you were going through breast cancer… degrading bad. I was SO angry. So angry I couldn’t contain it. I’d spent a lifetime, at that point, passively accepting patterns of abuse. But this time I found myself acting out and I really did not know how to deal.
There I sat, whispering to my therapist that there was an angry girl that had taken over my body and I didn’t know how to get her out. And that I needed help. Seriously.... I whispered to her. I honestly don’t know how she kept from laughing. God bless her. After a bit more conversation she explained to me “that girl” had always been a part of me ~ she had just remained dormant until now.
My therapist lovingly explained "that girl" was a protective force and my power and I needed to learn to make peace with her, thank her, and learn some tools to use her strength wisely.
I was blown away. That was the first time I had been told that all my emotions were valid. For many of us, something in our young years causes us to form a belief that some, if not all, of our big emotions are a source of shame, not to be shared, or are invalid. The intentional or unintended punishment of self-expression can be traced back to many situations: an emotionally unavailable parent (or early partner), all forms of violence witnessed or inflicted, narcissism, and substance abuse to name just a few. There are many ways in which we are taught to bury emotions of all kinds. We learn not to trust ourselves to be honest about feelings with others and with ourselves.
Feeling your emotions is not only allowed.... It's a necessary part of the process.
The healing work is in:
1. Recognizing all your emotions are a valid part of your human experience.
2. Learning to find the proper balance of emotion.
3. Forgiving yourself for the imbalance before you had awareness.
Our unmanageable, unexpressed or under-represented emotional states are a product of self-preservation and protection mechanisms; patterns often created before we were even old enough to be consciously aware.
Finding a safe space to be vulnerable in the practice of using your voice and in those early steps of creating emotional balance is imperative. Be kind and gentle with yourself through the process in the same way we allow little ones to gain their footing. Yes....baby steps, because it takes a while to let go and unlearn, trust the unsteadiness of yourself, and then to love and accept all the parts of your experience.
I am thankful everyday for those who helped me with those first steps in my journey of self-love and self-empowerment. And, ladies, I SEE YOU and your "feels" definitely matter.
If any part of this message resonates with you, I invite you to please consider joining me for a small group weekend women’s retreat this Fall. The weekend will be filled with discussion, reflection, connection and relaxation. We’re going to be talking about: letting go of old stories, trusting our Intuition, creating Flow in our lives, self-compassion and Growth Mindset.
Registration is open now. There are two sessions available and I'd love to have you join us!