Did you ever hurt yourself when you were little? And it was really sore? And all you wanted to do was cry and be comforted?
And then your Mom or Dad or a teacher came over and said –
You’re ok. Just dust yourself down. Come on – don’t cry now. It wasn’t that bad.
I remember distinctly holding back my tears. Swallowing my hurt or sadness. Putting on a brave face and pulling myself together to be ok.
Why? To make the adults feel better? To be less of an inconvenience? To not make anyone else feel bad? To not be a sissy? To not be a drama queen?
A more “adult” version of this is – “If the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Just suck it up. You’ll be ok. It could be worse. Don’t be so dramatic. Let’s just sweep every single shitty emotion you have under the carpet and pull yourself together and everything will be just fine. I promise.
I could carry on.
The world is focused on a quick fix. It has been for decades. Let’s focus on the positive and move on from the feelings of discomfort or angst. And you will never ever have to deal with them. Until maybe, you actually come to a breaking point one day. And then it’s a long way down.
Parenting is one of the easiest places to fall into the trap of just move on and make it better. Why – because so many parents have been parented this way by their own parents. And so many parents are unequipped with the tools to process and self-regulate their own emotions in a kind and compassionate way for themselves.
We have not been taught to handle our emotions with sophistication. And if we unconsciously repeat the pattern, we won’t teach our children to handle their emotions with sophistication either.
And it’s tough. Trust me. I have to catch myself often. My 21-month old toddler hurts himself all the time. He seeks comfort often. And it’s easy to say.
Ok ok – sssh ssssh. You’re ok now. Don’t cry – it’s not so bad. I love you. It will all be ok.
But instead, I catch myself. I go down to his level. I help him name his “owie”. I say wow that looks sore my love. I ask him if he’s ok? I kiss it better. I say I love him. I hold him if he wants to be held. I let him cry if he needs to. And I check-up on his owie throughout the day until it’s a game and it becomes less and less of an owie. We go through the pain. Because it is pain to him. It is a trauma to him. No matter how insignificant to me, relative to his world, it is a big deal. I validate that. Because as a parent, my job is to teach him his reaction is valid. He is valid. His emotions are valid. We go through his emotions. We don’t avoid them. And like that, we deal with them in the present moment. And they are over so much quicker than if we were to avoid them. Because one thing is for certain – what we resist will persist.
So stop right there. No, I am not saying your parents are awful. It’s important to remember in this space that we operate from a place of truth. And in observing the truth, there is no value judgement. It just is what it is. The reality of what happened.
Our parents did the best they could with what they had and the information and capability they had at that moment in time.
But that does not mean it served us. Or them. And as adults it is now our job to notice the spaces and places we were perhaps mis-parented, become conscious of the impact, and take accountability for our own lives, our own wounds, and our own healing.
Triggers. If you’re not conscious of what your wounds are, they will dictate the life you live. And we all have them – I promise. If you’re not conscious of them and you don’t do the work to heal them, you will consistently come up against the same problems – in different environments.
You can’t run away from yourself. Sorry. I’ve tried. Many times. And now I am here.
This looks like someone who says their work environment is toxic. But so was their previous work environment. And so will their next work environment be. Until they become conscious of their trigger.
This looks like someone who always dates the same awful person. They’re different people but they have the same characteristics. And they date them again and again and again. Until they become conscious of the trigger that leads them down this same path every time.
It’s a broken record.
But the good news is, you can step off the pattern. You can become conscious. You can heal.
But the accountability lies with you and you alone.
So instead of sweeping your anxiety, your slight unease, your overwhelm, your annoyance, your disappointment – or in short – yourself – under the carpet. Acknowledge your feelings. Lean into them. Be curious about what they are telling you.
One really beautiful tool I use is around breathing love, kindness and compassion in from the world for yourself and out into the world for yourself. Take a look at this video where I show you how.
It’s a small way as an adult you can start to learn to come back to yourself. Love yourself. Be gentle with yourself. And acknowledge the emotions and feelings that are there to teach you, give you information and point you in the direction of alignment and living the very best life you deserve. And the only person that can make that happen is you.
All my love always. Would love to hear how this was helpful.