All survivors of child abuse and trauma are afraid to feel, accept, trust, and appreciate their uncomfortable or negative emotions. And there is a reason.
We fear and avoid these emotions because we never had a positive role model to teach us how to express sadness, grief, overwhelm, anger, pain, and anxiety in a healthy way. Instead, we got hurt when the adults in our life felt these challenging emotions. So we have no reason to believe that there is a safe to feel them.
However, developing the ability to feel, accept, trust, and appreciate all your emotions (the good, the bad, and the ugly) is a vital step on the healing journey. It’s impossible to heal if you skip over feeling the bad ones. You can't selectively numb feelings. When you numb the bad, you are numbing your ability to feel the good too.
So where do you start?
Feeling begins with awareness. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But it's not for survivors. The human brain is programmed to avoid pain at all costs. Child abuse taught us to equate pain with emotion, especially uncomfortable emotions. Because of that, we usually need support to help us identify those risky emotions. We simply can’t “see” them in ourselves.
Willingness unlocks the door to awareness. If you’re willing, answer these questions the next time you feel uncomfortable. They will help you to identify the emotion you’re feeling.
The process of feeling, accepting, trusting, and appreciating your emotions helps you connect to your own wants and needs in a way you’ve never experienced before. And best of all, it creates a sense of inner peace. And inner peace is the primary goal of the healing journey. We want to feel at peace in our bodies and we want peace of mind. It is something we’ve always craved but we never knew how to get for ourselves.
Well, this is how you achieve it. You can do it, I believe in you. This is possible for anyone and everyone. All you need is your willingness to heal and change. The rest will come.
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