It was never easy for me to talk about all the emotions I have, the real feelings, the true sensations in my body.
I can go back to my personal story and I can find lots of moments when I felt insecure and even ashamed of my feelings. There were also times when I thought I was the bad girl, because good girls don’t have those kinds of feelings or emotions. There were times I was told not to be connected to my feelings because I needed to be focused on the things that I needed to do.
Up until eight years ago I thought this was a normal life, the normal way to be and to relate, both in and with life.
Becoming a mother was the moment that my world, as I knew it, disappeared. I held my baby in my arms and there was nothing more to hide. I was vulnerable, free from right or wrong, just wanting to connect with her in truth and just be ME, feeling every emotion there was to be felt at that moment!
That was the moment I decided that my family is all about love, about sharing. About being there no matter what, about second and third opportunities, about a safe place to show it all, to tell all, to cry and laugh every single day.
Even now I don’t know how that works exactly, but I know what can help you to take this delicious (exciting?) but challenging road.
Be able to connect yourself with every emotion that you have
Every emotion has a positive intention. In a very simple analogy, each emotion is like a radar that gives you the information about the kind of thoughts you have and the way you are using your body. There are no bad or good emotions, just emotions. Not judging your own emotions is the first step towards not judging others.
Create moments to share
Don’t expect the world to stop for you while you tell your story. It is your responsibility to stop your world in order to share and tell whatever is happening in your emotional field. One of the ways to share your emotions is through a diary. You can create an emotional diary every day and create a ritual of sharing within the family. For example, find a special moment together each month to share what you have written in your emotional diary.
Nothing is worse for your health and the health of your family than accumulated emotions. Sharing emotions has proven to be a very healthy way of helping people heal.
Share in love
Real sharing is an art in itself. Firstly, sharing is different than blaming. Secondly, sharing does not mean that you expect someone else to fix your problem or emotion.
Real sharing works best when you take responsibility for your own emotions. This means that you start with the intention to share without expectations from the other person. Moreover, you share with the intention to work on them yourself.
Open your heart and show yourself completely. This gives sharing the opportunity to clean the emotions.
Listen to others and their emotions
If you want to be listened to by others, start listening to others first. Open the door and your heart. Listening means keeping your thoughts or ideas to yourself, omitting advice or judgment. Just listen!
As a parent, it is sometimes difficult to not say what we think and simply listen with the intention to protect. This is because parents instinctively want to protect their children from danger and getting hurt.. However when a parent does that, the listening turns into a search for protection rather than knowing the child.
When you feel the need as a parent to share your own feeling, share the feeling after giving the child some space. When you share, really pay attention to the words you use. For example, there is a difference between “I am feeling x” and “You make me feel”. The second one is often used, but presupposes a cause effect relationship where the child is to blame. And “I am feeling” gives a better example as a role model taking responsibility for your own emotions.
Expand your emotional dictionary
Some people can talk about their emotions with only four expressions: “I’m feeling good” or “I feel okay”, “I’m not so good” and “I’m feeling bad”. But are they really sharing the emotion, in their words they are. I believe that it would be helpful to increase the adults’ vocabulary. By increasing their vocabulary, they are able to connect different emotions to different words and therefore help the children to express that one emotion.
For some people, being emotionally open with family is really hard and creates lots of tension. The sensation that is not possible to open up and show all the emotion creates fear and with fear, people cannot have healthy and balanced relationships. Showing children that each emotion has a positive intention and is a signal of emotional and psychological health, will allow adults to develop a good level of self-esteem and self –love.
Ligia Ramos * In2Motivation