Saturday, April 7, 2012

And What About Me: Giving Myself Love and Respect, Letting Myself Be Real

When emotions and feelings are running high, expressing them in private isn’t just about releasing the  energy, it’s also about taking ourselves seriously, letting ourselves be real in a way that is safe, and giving ourselves love and respect.   It’s about learning to stand up for ourselves, and building our entitlement and self esteem.

Doing it in private is the first step, because it can be hard to be real in relationships and express our emotions, say what we want and need.  I couldn’t let myself be real when I was married.  That was partly because he didn’t want to hear about my emotions and feelings or my needs. 

But also, I was afraid.  I knew he would walk away from me if I asked for anything, or if I showed him I was angry or hurt or even just sad.  Plus, I had grown up with the message don’t make a fuss, don’t annoy, don’t interrupt.  Don’t exist, pretty much. 

For some people isn’t physically safe, for others it’s an emotional thing.  We can already know from painful experience that if we speak up we’re going to get punished in one way or another.  In that kind of situation our entitlement and self esteem are so low and we are so disempowered, it’s as if we have absolutely zero options. 

Except for this one thing - we can find a private space and let our emotions out.  Nobody can stop us.  We can acknowledge to ourselves that we are important.  It can be the only thing we’re able to do that’s about making a positive choice for ourselves.  How important is that? 

Monumentally important, I’d say.  It reminds us in an experiential way that we do have power, the kind that nobody can take from us.  Nobody can stop us making this choice to know, deep inside our hearts, how important we are.  Nobody can stop us from speaking out when we’re in our safe place.

We all want to eventually be real in our relationships, express ourselves when we’re with our partners.  It starts with learning to be real with ourselves and hearing ourselves say out loud what we need to say.  We experience ourselves making a choice for us where nobody has ever before, and making it in a place that is safe, where we can’t be punished so there are no negative consequences. 

It’s the start of learning that claiming our rights is something we deserve reward for, not punishment, that we’re not doing anything wrong.  Later, when we get better at it and more confident that we’re allowed to be real, allowed to express our emotions and feelings and meet our needs, then we can start being assertive about them with our partners.

To buy my ebook And What About Me? Am I Into Him? on how to get real love and respect and be real in relationships,  Click the title.