Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it? – Caroline Myss
Speaking your truth about how you really feel can be a daunting experience for many. Many people are terrified of expressing emotions verbally because they have never been taught how to use their words to communicate in difficult or awkward circumstances. When you do not speak your truth you hold it inside and often end up creating resentments against others and yourself. These resentments towards others can build up and make us react, causing pain and unnecessary hurt. These resentments towards ourselves fuel our self-limiting beliefs allowing us to become triggered more easily.
When you are able to communicate how you really feel in the first place, it becomes easier to speak with integrity and vulnerability. You may never master the art of communication but you will get more skilled at witnessing yourself make new choices that come from a place of love.
To express your emotions and to communicate honestly, you need to follow these 3 steps
- Accept & Acknowledge
- Interact, Don’t React
Accepting the emotion allows the body to respond more harmoniously towards it. Acceptance requires looking at the emotion from a distance, rather than attaching to it.
I am feeling anger is looking at the emotion from a distance, with positive non-attachment.
I am angry is becoming attached to the emotion and allowing yourself to become emotional.
When you can feel the emotion in the body, you are accepting that the emotion is there AND now you are acknowledging what you are feeling to yourself. By bringing awareness in, you give yourself permission to take a momentary pause, so you can acknowledge what has changed and how you are responding towards it. The most important lesson in all of this is to allow the emotion to be there and to not push it aside. Emotions come up for a reason, when you ignore them, you are ignoring the lesson.
We are taught at a young age to stop crying when we are upset or to put on a brave face and get on with it. These emotions end up being filed for later. They never go away. If you never process your emotions eventually you are bursting on the inside with so many unprocessed emotions. This leads to emotional outbursts. Irrational rage. Then what happens? You end up having an extreme nervous system ‘break-down’ because it has become too overwhelming to deal with. The most important next step is to process.
You have to process every emotion or they get stuck. Processing the emotion requires vulnerability. It requires you to be honest. To say I’m not fine. I’m not okay. I am feeling anger and sadness with what has just been said and I need some time to process this. Right now I’m in the emotion, I’m still attached to the anger and sadness that has come up so I need some space to work out why this has come up. When you begin processing the emotion, the next step is to express it by interacting but not reacting. Be truthful, be honest with how you are feeling but allow yourself the time and space to process it.
Interact, Don’t React.
If you are having a conversation with a friend and suddenly you have felt anger come up, allow yourself and your friend to know how you are truly feeling. This requires vulnerability, and almost everybody is scared stiff about revealing our sensitivities. Allow yourself to be honest with integrity. Simply interact with the other person in conversation and let them know how you are feeling.
‘I am feeling anger come up with what has just been said. I don’t know why it has come up but I would like to acknowledge this and I need to give myself some space for now, because I don’t want to react to the anger and lose my cool.’
There is great power in being real and honest. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you create greater connections and deeper relationships with your friends, loved ones and most importantly, with yourself.
When you allow yourself the time to process the emotion, you give yourself a deeper understanding to why you are being triggered and what belief is hiding underneath the layers of emotions. Take your time to find out why you have been triggered and what the healing lesson is for yourself.
Emotions will continue to come up until you have processed the lesson. Many emotions are linked to a limiting belief that you have about yourself such as ‘I don’t believe in myself’ that gets triggered. These beliefs are what you can change. If you feel challenged or overwhelmed with being able to handle your emotional baggage, seek help from a professional. Asking for a little help is the most powerful and courageous act you can do for yourself. It takes time and patience with yourself. Be gentle and loving. Forgive yourself every step along this journey with love and kindness. There is so much reward to be gained when you begin working deep on those limiting beliefs and rewiring them into positive, powerful self-actualisation beliefs. You then start to create new wiring in the brain so you don’t get ‘triggered’ anymore. The old self-limiting beliefs become erased and replaced with positive beliefs instead. This is the juicy good stuff you want more of.
- How do you self-sabotage yourself?
This question brings up a lot about how honest you are with yourself, how clear your personal and professional boundaries are and how much self-respect you have. Be gentle, kind and loving with these answers. Take your time to reflect on each aspect of your life and write honestly.
- Relationships– e.g. I never speak my truth, I always say YES to others and NO to me
- Work– e.g. I work over-time, I never take a lunch-break
- Health– e.g. I don’t rest when my body needs to. I don’t exercise regularly.
- Physically– e.g. I don’t eat enough vegetables, I don’t drink enough water
- Emotionally– e.g. I deny how I’m really feeling to myself, I don’t schedule any ‘me’ time during my week
- Spiritually-g. I don’t spend time doing the things that I love- being in nature, painting, singing, and meditating.
Naturopath & Resident Retreat Leader, Bali
Hi I’m Lola. I help others to transform and rediscover how truly amazing & incredible they are. I love seeing people transform and find a deeper connection to themselves- embodying self love to it’s most healing capacity. I support clients with opportunities to connect back to themselves, to be empowered, supported and nurtured, so they can create positive change in their lives.