Go ahead & cry about it
By now those of you who have been engaging in my posts have realized that there is a high level of transparency, disclosure, and personal experience reflected in my writing. I thought this would be a good time to reflect on why I find this to be such a useful practice in not only my own process, but also those whom I work with. Let's be clear this is not an apology for my authenticity or my emotional expression, but an opportunity to understand WHY this is such an integral part of my rhetoric.
Emotional expression of any kind is often looked at as, bad, not ok, inappropriate, unprofessional, weak... and the list goes on and on (you have heard me mention this before). This is by far a strong cultural view that we have integrated and conditioned ourselves to believe is the necessary way to succeed, sustain and ultimately survive in this crazy world. Guess what... WRONG!
Our emotional experience whether reflected in our actions, words, or behaviors is a part of us that deserves the right to be expressed. If I asked you, would you feel ashamed about expressing your happiness, you probably would answer NO. So why is it that all those other feelings, mad, sad, scared, anxious, depressed etc. get a bad rap?
The reality is we all feel things differently. Some of us our more contained and internal, while others crave the external, "big" expression. Regardless of your style both are important. I have recently received mixed feedback (some of this being my own self-judgement, and doubt but more on that later) about my need to put my emotional expression on a "public forum" like this. There is no answer to this, but rather a statement. I chose to live my life with my emotional experience as my priority, my heart on my sleeve, in effort to empower others to do the same. We are too shut down in this world, too distracted, too scared of what it may possibly mean to get closer to our true selves.
I have had many experiences with my clients where there are has been the utter necessity to candidly express aspects of my life, that I find may be helpful or therapeutic to them. And WOW, I cannot even begin to tell you the connection that can emerge when we are both in this place, being honest, real, authentic.
For most of my life I have been referred to as "emotionally sensitive." I often hear parents I work with describe their children like this too, and have often asked what does that even mean? To which they provide me with some lengthy description of meltdowns, tears, tantrums, power struggle, anxieties... strangely this isn't abnormal, it just all a part of our human experience. WE GET TO CRY ABOUT IT IF WE WANT TO. This exploration of emotions in whatever way we choose to do it, is the essence of our growth, development, and depth.
My "emotional sensitivity" is my gift. I will not control it, hide it, or fake it. I will allow it to flow through be freely and effortlessly. It is a part of me. It is me. I engage parents with this idea on a daily basis, of allowing their child's ability to feel in such a big way, could perhaps be their gift too. I know that this gift engages me in human experiences that offer abundance, connection and trust. We may be a small community trying to pave the way with this message, but I wholeheartedly believe that our future is contingent on our ability to feel what we feel, this is what allows us to succeed, sustain, and survive, So let your emotions fly this week (and every week really) and see them as a gift, a beautiful messenger, a compass, a guide... or whatever else calls you to allow this part of you to shine.