What's REALLY behind your Unmet Needs, your lack of self-trust, and your difficulty making decisions. (And how to safeguard your children from the same)
Unmet Needs and lack of self-trust come from stuffing emotions. Rejecting some or most of your emotions would have become a part of your every day experience pretty early in life, and that's rough, since your emotions are always sending you messages about your deepest Needs and how to get them met.
Rejecting your emotions was most likely a strategy taught to you by your caregivers - and they probably had no idea.
There are 2 things that are happening with parents who stifle emotional expression in their children >>> these things are likely EXACTLY what was going on with your parents, and their parents too.
The suppressing of emotions is actually the passing on of a survival strategy - similar to how we pass on instructions to our kids for getting out of a burning building, or the importance of looking both ways before you cross the road. Only the type of survival strategy I'm talking about is done on a subconscious level.
Here are the 2 things and they are things your parents learned early in life:
1) EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION PUTS CONNECTION WITH CAREGIVERS AT RISK - this definitely feels life-threatening to a child's animal-brain, so it would feel like an incredibly important survival lesson >>> "Some emotions simply aren't safe". This causes parents to react swiftly and strongly to certain emotions in their kids without even thinking first.
2) THE WAY TO DISCIPLINE CHILDREN IS TO TAKE AWAY CONNECTION - This includes time-outs, spanking, yelling, the silent treatment, and more. All feel very effective for controlling behavior in the present moment, because of the drive for survival and the fear they produce and so they get commonly used. Common use is simply why this strategy gets passed on. It can literally look like the only option. And when do kids usually get disciplined? When they are expressing an emotion in a way the parent doesn't like.
The way to release this unhelpful strategy from your life (and your family line) is to reconnect with your emotions on a deeper level. Basically feeling like you can celebrate the messages they are sending, whether you LIKE feeling the emotion or not.
You do that by simply ACCEPTING the emotion and that, my friend, is MUCH easier said than done. It's all good though, because I have a simple and effective strategy to share with you for that!
In my Language of Listening® coaches training, I learned that the same 3 tools we teach for parenting are perfect for using with yourself too - so get this for you and you've safeguarded your kids as well!
STEP 1: To initially ACCEPT the emotion, simply ACKNOWLEDGE it - you can even include acknowledging whether you LIKE it or not.
You do this using the first tool of Language of Listening® called SAY WHAT YOU SEE®. This is where you literally reflect back to yourself by describing out loud what happened, and what you are THINKING and FEELING about what happened.
You must include ESPECIALLY the taboo things you'd probably never want to admit. As much as you might feel ashamed of them, that shame is simply that survival strategy rising up. You don't need it anymore, so breathe deep and get SUPER honest - especially about what you LIKE and what you DON'T LIKE.
This all might sound something like this: (and, yes you want to speak to yourself using the word "you")
"Whenever your mother comes she ALWAYS has something to say about your appearance! As if how your hair looks is more important than how incredibly EXHAUSTED you are! You'd LOVE to be able to do your hair, and being a mom to a newborn makes getting that time extremely difficult. At first you felt shocked and then ashamed of yourself, and now you can feel the sadness, and exhaustion. Anger is ready to come rushing in too, you can feel it in your arms and shoulders! Why doesn't she offer to help? You feel anxious every time she comes over. You are never good enough for her. And you HATE IT ALL."
Just like when we use SAY WHAT YOU SEE® with our kids we create a safe place for all their thoughts and feelings to come out so we can get them listening >>> Using SWYS with yourself creates a safe space for your heart to send you messages that you actually hear. These messages are always ultimately about meeting your Needs.
And so, once your heart sees you are listening, it will share even more deep truths about THOSE NEEDS which gets the messages the emotions are carrying into your awareness!
The result is, that you finally hear yourself saying what you REALLY think. This will lead you to uncovering what it is you REALLY want...
STEP 2 - Start speaking out all the things you WANT and WISH for.
Perhaps you want your mother to speak kindly. Perhaps you want to finally feel truly good enough. And probably you'd especially LOVE to feel like you are FREE to ask for some help so you CAN wash your hair and not feel like a bad newborn-mother for wanting 30 minutes to yourself!
Now, you are at a place where you are connected to what you actually want and Need. Plus, you have given it airtime which starts to send the message that WHAT YOU WANT MATTERS.
And there are so many non-selfish, beneficial things that can come when mama gets what she wants!
STEP 3: Acknowledge all the good inside of what you WANT.
Kinder words means a closer relationship with your mom is possible - good for you both.
Feeling truly good enough means showing up in the world with authentic confidence. More confidence means taking more risks to share LOVE - beneficial for everyone!
Having the freedom to ask for support when you are a mom (or anyone for that matter) is necessary for getting through life. There is a reason humans live in community, it's how we SURVIVE. When mama can express and get her Needs met, the whole family benefits!
I have literally seen the moms I work with go after things they are afraid are TOTALLY selfish, and they are FLOORED at the ways other family members benefit! When mama makes space for her Needs, it literally makes space for everyone to get their Needs met. And then all that guilt and heaviness around meeting Needs starts to dissolve.
So, listening to your emotions helps you connect with who you are and what you WANT. Giving your WANTS airtime gets you knowing what they actually are so you can go after them and knowing that what you WANT matters means mama, and ALL the family members, get their Needs met more frequently!
You really do start trusting yourself through ACCEPTANCE of your emotions - and you wouldn't want to stifle any one of your emotions, or miss out on its message, even if the emotion is painful.
Truth is it's probably only painful because your brain is still telling you that you'll risk your relationship with your caregivers by letting that emotion show! That fear and pain will fade as you practice ACCEPTANCE.
In the end, ACCEPTANCE is the real way to get the emotion to move on anyway. That's because your heart is always fighting for you to hear what it has to say about YOU and what you NEED. Those emotions will keep coming, or they will fester inside, but they never go away until the message has gotten through. Your heart will never stop fighting for you.
Mama, get your emotions heard and your kids' emotions heard in my 12-week intensive for moms who want to stop making the same mistakes their parents made, and create self-trust for themselves and their kids.
In 3 short months, I get you knowing and holding your boundaries in ways that make your relationships feel CLOSER (including getting your kids expressing their emotions in ways that you LIKE and in ways that benefit their relationships). I get you swimming in the knowledge that you REALLY CAN TRUST WHO YOU ARE and that everything you Need is already in you. And finally, I get you transforming the overwhelming emotions of motherhood into powerful messages to get your deepest Needs met!
Moms who work with me start to see BIG changes in parenting and in getting Needs met after our first call. Things only get better as we work through the 12 weeks.
If you'd like to see if you're a good fit for my program, pop over to my ABOUT page and scroll down to the bottom to drop me a line! In your message, let me know what your #1 struggle in motherhood is.