Many of us were brought up not to feel. You may have had messages like, "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about" or "Why are you so miserable?" or "Why can't you be grateful?" or "Nice girls don't get angry.", or similar.
The focus here is not to criticise those who gave those messages, not at all; our parents or caregivers did the best they could. It is however, to explain how powerful our negative emotions can be. If, we can find the courage to face and feel them, until we get relief, we will find joy on the other side.
Wind the clock back 30 years and I was a broken, insecure sad young woman who had her life ahead of her, but was unable to see that.
A series of life events up until that point, and the unexpressed emotions I felt about each, had brought me to a place where I was emotionally numb. Understanding how those painful circumstances contributed to where I was at, and gradually expressing the emotions I felt in relation to each one, is what set me free. This is the work I did in Psychotherapy.
In 1989, I knew I had work to do. I wanted to save myself. I set about walking that path.
With trepidation, I trundled off to a Psychotherapist I found in the Yellow Pages. In my mind, I thought that if she could just fix me, then life would be good. How little I knew back then. Later, and when I was well into my therapy, I realised that this would need to be a lifelong process if it were to be sustainable. I then made that commitment to myself.
A path of learning about myself and growing ensued. With the help of my therapist I was able to piece together the events that had occurred and examine my feelings. During that time I was able to unravel the mysteries of why I felt so miserable; I was able to realise that it wasn't actually normal to feel so sad and angry and to eat chocolate all the way home from work every day. It took a long time to do this work, but it was worth it.
This however was not where it ended. As I mentioned earlier, if the change was to be sustained, this had to be work I did for a lifetime. Yes, doing this initial piece of psychotherapeutic work changed me, and it enabled me to build a new, secure self, but I still have to work at it. I have the skills, but I have to keep practicing, as we all do.
Recently I came across Dr Joan Rosenberg's work and her book 90 Seconds to a Life You Love. Her works explains what I am talking about here when I say, my emotional work. This work is to fully feel, all of our feelings in order to come out the other side to feel joy, and to be able to build a satisfying life.
Hi I'm Kathryn Price.
I'm a 55 year old post-menopausal woman sharing my journey of Taking Care of Me. I'm on a mission to lose weight and improve my health and well-being. Click here to join me in my Facebook group and let's journey together.