We all need to express ourselves. This isn’t a luxury, this is an absolute necessity. To be fully free and completely ourselves, we must feel comfortable enough to outwardly express our emotions. Whatever form they may take.
When we deny our feelings, we are denying our truth. If we aren’t living truthfully, then what kind of life ARE we living?
Most of us grew up believing that expressing hurt, disappointment, frustration, or anger was wrong. When we are sad, our parents tell us to be happy. When we are negative, we are told to look on the bright side. If we cry, we are considered weak. If we get mad, we are ignored. When we are upset, we are told we aren’t supposed to feel that way. Our society only re-enforces this. Schools & companies ask us to be positive, play nice, and get along with everyone.
We are told that we can’t let other people control our emotions. Which is true, but that doesn’t stop the feelings from showing up! Social personas of being sweet and kind and friendly are everywhere and only work to reinforce the false appearance of having it all together. Families strive to show the world they have a perfect life with happy, healthy kids. Homes are built and made to look like the most beautiful on the block.
This can lead some of us to start internalizing our emotions. That’s where the problems come in. As we get older, we start to perfect the internalization of our emotions. We can start to feel resentment which is often covering up the fear we have of truly expressing ourselves.
We start denying our feelings, and telling ourselves that any negativity we feel or experience is bad. If someone does something that hurts us, we feel it deep inside our bodies, but we say nothing. We instead start to feel resentment toward that person, that thing, that whatever that evoked that emotion inside of us.
In some ways, ignoring our feelings has its advantages. If we keep our feelings hidden and unexpressed, then we don’t have to risk messing up our relationship with that person. We don’t have to deal with the confrontation, the misunderstandings that might arise. We can avoid, ignore, and keep moving. Not dealing with the confrontation is fear driven.
So what if we look past the fear? If we take a closer look, we may see that the fear is really us avoiding potential rejection. If we do decide to speak up, we may be faced with something that we think we can’t handle.
This fear can stop us in our tracks. It can prevent us from truly expressing ourselves. Our fear of rejection can act like fuel to a fire. Maybe one time in the past we found the courage to tell someone how we felt and let them know how they hurt us, and maybe it didn’t end well. A bad experience combined with social conditioning of having to always act happy teaches us to be quiet. To say nothing. So we don’t. We don’t want to hurt someone, we don’t want them to not accept us, so we suffer in silence. We become scared to express ourselves.
The thing is that everyone needs to express themselves! It must be done. To be fully free and completely ourselves, we must feel comfortable enough to say what we have to say. There are healthy ways we can learn to do this.
1)Feel the emotion
So yes, it is true that we can’t control what other people do and that the only control we do have is how we respond and react to it. When we decide to express ourselves fully, we become more confident, stronger, and more aware. With self-expression comes truthfulness. That is living our best lives.