However, to acknowledge and embrace your feelings is the root of true healing. Ownership empowers yourself with choices that produce favorable outcomes. From this self-responsible point you enable appropriate interactions. And communicate with others through sharing perspectives–and with ease.
Living Your Truth means abiding by how you feel at all times. By allowing your emotional state to reveal itself, this opens a doorway to accessing your truth within; finding true happiness; and accepting what is.
To illustrate this perspective: I had a four year estrangement from my adult children after divorcing. Those years challenged my belief systems to great lengths and beyond. I constantly railed against the question of WHY? My children and I had always been very close. They even encouraged the divorce over the years. Yet when I enacted it, I became their nemesis. It took a long while to discover it wasn’t about WHY it happened. “IT” was about my evolution. (Years later the WHYs were revealed.)
During those estranged years, I had work to do on ME. Namely, about getting my learned behavior- and thought patterns rearranged. And so, I dove deep. Into my entrenched beliefs. One that embedded deep-seated patterns from my family of origin and white-washed into my own. This unraveled profound emotions I had long denied. In retrospect this time out afforded me to complete this critical task.
My generation of women grew up with expectations of our place in society; and in our families. It was one of subservience. We denied our own feelings. In putting others before ourselves we diminished our own self worth. Tradition held we followed in our mother’s footsteps. As independent, capable and accomplished as I had been in my life; I started over. Dissecting my beliefs one by one. Examining circumstances I helped co-create. Letting my feelings and emotions out of my box to explode.
There was no blaming anyone, but myself for how I felt. I had to own my enabling participation in this estrangement dance. And troll out my life long habits. There was one big lesson in the midst: my feelings were perfectly valid- and natural. They were mine. And not to be buried or denied anymore.
The gifts were great. In care taking my feelings my interactions changed with my children. However, living my own truth was not always easy. Even after reconciliation. It challenged all of us to transcend our old ways. To become the next best and higher version of our self.
Thereafter, I set firm behavior boundaries. For my own health. There was no falling back to antiquated paradigms. No more blurred innuendos. No more allowing expectation setting from others. Adopting a self-less modality allowed cooperative conversations. Communication with clarity emerged. Owning my feelings meant I took responsibility. “I statements” explained clearly to others how I perceived their actions; and how it affected me. This act is powerful because it allows others the opportunity to reflect without blame. And hear your requests. “I Statements” are key to healing all communication upsets.
Years later my son told me that I had always put my loyalties to the family above my own happiness. His statement spoke truth. I knew this in my heart, but denied myself all along. Life lessons that slam hard are meant for us to take ownership. Of our behaviors and thinking habits that may no longer serve us. BUT! It is our feelings when acknowledged that will pave the way to our truths.
Changing life-long feeling denial takes practice to re-habituate. Use feeling-awareness to familiarize and rewire new habit patterns. Be cognizant that different situations will arise to test your new found truths. Lessons will repeat in diverse ways until your psyche becomes accustomed to this new healthy normal. Learn to recognize the hooks. Don’t take them personal. Acknowledge and validate your feelings and emotions. And know that these synchronized ‘tests’ are reminders to help you live your truth.
Below are books that offer related perspective, guidance and support. (Covers are linked.)
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No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.