Honoring my feelings without letting them ruin my life.
I think for the longest time I’ve battled with my feelings. Wondering if they are real, valid and/or acceptable. I’d lie about how I felt to protect people’s feelings. I am still working on my abandonment issues. I used to hide my feelings out of a fear of abandonment. I’d be scared to tell someone that what they did hurt or upset me in fear they’d abandon me for speaking up. So I kept quiet about my feelings.
Of late there’s been a shift in me. Somehow the spotlight has been on my fear of abandonment so that’s something I’ve been working through. I was chatting to my boyfriend the other day and I felt like he didn’t want to talk to me. I don’t even remember why I felt that way but that’s how I felt anyway. He came to pick me up, we hung out all the while I was struggling with feelings of rejection from him seemingly not wanting to to talk to me.
A couple of hours before he brought me back home I decided to take a risk and tell him how I felt. My romantic relationship has been my safe space to grow. I have allowed myself to be seen in a way I haven’t before. It’s taken me a while but now I can safely say I truly feel secure in it. So I reminded myself of all of that before I expressed my feelings. To prove to myself that it was safe for me to share my true feelings. So I did. My boyfriend was surprised cos he hadn’t felt that way let alone thought about it. He was probably just distracted by one of the trivial things that sometimes consume his mind.
That experience was so reassuring for me. I feel like I’m walking alongside my inner child right now. Showing her that contrary to what she’s believed for a long time, she is safe. My inner child thinks you get chastised or at worst abandoned for expressing your feelings. So my adult self had to do it to prove to her that indeed we are safe now. We are loved as we are. We do not have to be perfect to be loved. We will not be abandoned for speaking up. We are safe.
I think about that day fondly because it was a seemingly small thing that happened but it was big for my inner child. I’ve been feeling a bit meh this week. Lethargic, weepy, tired and sad. It’s probably due to my hormones. I’ve lived in this body for long enough to know that sometimes my hormones just ruin my life. I was so sad that I even considered quitting my job. That’s when I knew I’d let my feelings get the best of me. So I brought out my journal.
I wrote to acknowledge my feelings. I described to myself everything I was feeling. And then I wrote that whatever was true the day before was still true that day even though it did not feel like it. I still had a good life. I was still loved, worthy and incredibly lucky. Somehow that made me feel warm inside. I extended compassion to myself acknowledging how real my feelings were. I was really sad. I took a hot shower, cried, put on clean pjs, popped a sleeping pill and slept.
I woke up still feeling sad but less sad than I felt when I went to bed. My inner child is starting to get secure and I feel like a proud momma to myself. I still pause before I express my feelings because of fear. But I’m quick to reassure myself so I can get past the hurdle. It’s working wonders for me. I feel secure in myself. Home within myself. I’m noticing that even the way I communicate with my colleagues now comes from a space of self assuredness. I haven’t met most of my colleagues in person because I joined the company during a pandemic and have therefore been working from home.
I was worried about being liked. Now I’m only concerned with making sure I’m always myself in spite of who I’m talking to. I owe myself that at the very least. I’m practicing positive reinforcement with myself. The feeling of being safe is my reward for speaking up. It is like nothing I have ever experienced. It feels like all the good things happening to me all at once. I love it here.
I acknowledge and honor all my feelings. They are valid. However they aren’t always true. As the adult in my life now it is my duty to teach that to my inner child. What a gift it is to be able to do that for myself.