Updated: Apr 14, 2019
(Let go?) As a young adult, I thought I should feel peaceful, loving and spiritual. And I did.
Don’t laugh, it was the 60’s (and I was raised Catholic).
Being such a wonderful person, of course, meant that I shouldn’t feel negative. Toward anyone. Certainly not anyone close, like my Father.
The truth? He was an abusive man, and I grew up with his yelling, sometimes hitting and always longing for a friendly hand on my shoulder.
Yes, I was angry at him but didn’t know it, couldn’t admit it. And if I did get a glimpse of that anger, I felt guilty, because I should not be feeling that way.
My relationship with him was awkward, painful, and I had no idea what to do about it.
Fast forward some decades to the day I finally realized that what I should or should not be feeling had nothing to do with reality.
Even when someone is telling me that I should not feel that way, MY truth is what I AM feeling.
And the relationship with my Father began to change.
In 2 steps:
#1) I admitted that I was angry, very angry, at him, along with a load of other emotions like fear, hurt and sadness.
#2) I turned around and began facing those emotions, feeling them, instead of distracting myself. (See Links below)
After a time, I began experiencing less of the usual anxiety when we were together. I found myself being less defensive with him, more accepting of him and able to share more of myself with him.
Sadly, my Dad died well before I was finished with Step 2, but I continue the process with other relationships, and they continue to deepen.
Facing an Emotional Reality
Facing emotions we do not want to face is often easier and faster if we go slower.
Start by choosing an uncomfortable relationship and then write (just write) this sentence: If I had a negative feeling for (name), what would it be?
Once written, set it out in a conspicuous place (kitchen table, under the remote or taped to the bathroom mirror), and go on with your life.
Each time you see it, you might find yourself tightening up, especially in the stomach, neck and shoulders. Breathe out the tension with each breath and relax. There is NO PRESSURE to feel anything.
If there is a negative feeling there, you will see it in your own time, in your own way. When YOU are ready.
The ONLY Time You Can Love Yourself
(and lift your life)
One of the most amazing feelings we can experience is someone caring about us, caring for us.
It is a feeling that surrounds, supports and lifts; it makes life better no matter what else is happening. And it can give so much that it overflows to those around us.
Free: a simple way to give yourself that feeling more often.
And become you own best friend
Click here to send it directly to your inbox:
More on releasing the past:
Link A: Really letting Go: Release Bitterness (and other negative emotions) Forever
Letting go of that old emotional baggage:
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: