Since we were born and could understand signals from our parents we have learnt that some emotions are not acceptable to feel, that they are bad and should be controlled.
Who can recall a look, or words such as ‘dry your tears’, ‘stop crying’, ‘you don’t have anything to cry about’, ‘if you don’t’ stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about’, ‘pull yourself together’, ‘be strong’, ‘get a grip’, ‘people don’t want to see that’…. and the list goes on.
From a young age we learn that the ‘bad’ emotions should be kept in check that NO ONE wants to see or hear you behave in these ways, it is just not acceptable. And what happens when our behaviour is not good? People won’t like us, we get smacked, sent to our room or some other form of perceived punishment.
So we grow up not knowing how to express our so called ‘bad’ emotions, and we can find ourselves living in a weird shutdown manner, where not even our closest friends or lovers have seen us be vulnerable or upset – why, because if they do, we know they won’t like us. Childhood conditioning can be so detrimental to living a rich and full life. And it is not our parents fault, they did the best with the resources and knowledge they had at the time.
BUT and a big BUT, as humans we are built to express all of our emotions, to feel happy and sad, angry and joyous. So who do you need permission from to feel? I want you to take a moment and reflect on this, mum, dad, a school teacher, a religious instructor, ballet teacher, brownies or cubs master – really think about who as a child, you needed permission from.
And then when you are ready I want you to take a moment, close your eyes and see the child that you were, when you realised that it didn’t make people happy if you cried or had a ‘bad’ emotion, and I want you to give that younger you full permission to feel and experience every single emotion. I want you to let the younger you know that it is ok, that it is their sovereign right to feel all emotions. I want you to let the younger you know that they are loved and worthwhile, that they matter and are important.
What may you have missed out on in life by not being able to fully express yourself, to let someone know the complete you? Give that younger you every permission they needed back then. And when you are finished I want you to say out loud, to the you of today. I am whole and complete, and guess what world I cry and get angry, and I feel things and that’s ok, I am lovable, and totally worthwhile.
You may need to do this a couple of times, but I would love to know how you feel after giving yourself full permission to be you.
Have a great day.