What do you supress and why? What’s holding you back? What’s standing in the way of your true expression? Is it shame, guilt or fear? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you show the world your true colours? How other people will react, if you speak your mind? If you express your feelings?
For many years, self-love for me equalled self-work. I thought that if I tried hard enough, I’d be better and would love myself more. But this is not love. Love is all encompassing, love is pure presence and the ability to be with what is alive in you here and now, both your light and your shadow.
Love has no expectations. Love is nurturing and full of compassion. She doesn’t judge, instead she offers support. Easier said than done. Society trained us that we should be less like this and more like that, that certain behaviours, ideas or feelings were bad. Hence, we supressed them. Why? Cause as children we needed attachment. We needed our parents to support us, to feed us, to love us. In their own, imperfect way.
We scarified our authenticity. We chose attachment over being true to ourselves. We silenced anything that we thought our parents (or any other significant adults in our live) did not accept. We tried so hard to fit in. We disconnected from our bodies and our hearts.
This was a healthy and valid choice. It helped us to survive, to be fed, loved and supported, we could not do differently, we did our best. And so did our parents. This is not about blame, shame or guilt. This is an opportunity to reconnect with our inner children, offer them love and let them express all these intense feelings they weren’t able to externalise.
Now’s the time. How long will you stay away from yourself? How long will you repeat same vicious unconscious cycles of your childhood trauma? I resonate with the below quote:
“Trauma is a psychic wound that hardens you psychologically and then interferes with your ability to grow and develop. It pains you and now you’re acting out of pain. It induces fear and now you’re acting out of fear. Trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you. Trauma is that scarring that makes you less flexible, more rigid, less feeling and more defended.”Gabor Maté
One of the misconceptions about trauma is that it only happens to others, or that it needs to be really serious, like sexual abuse, physical violence or that it only originates in profoundly dysfunctional families or environments (addictions, war zones, etc.). Yes, this is all trauma, but trauma is also a lot more.
Recently I watched a documentary called “The Wisdom of Trauma” and I loved it! It featured people suffering from trauma (many are or were homeless addicts or ended up in jail), social workers and medical doctor Gabor Maté. I liked the way doctor Maté described addictions: as coping mechanisms, rather than genetic disorders. This film is mind and heart opening, informative and profoundly human. I encourage you to watch it as soon as you can!
I believe that trauma informed society is a healthier society, where we tackle root cause of many issues like drugs, consumerism, or workaholism.
Addictions (including emotional co-dependency), according to Gabor Maté, numb inner pain, caused mostly by childhood difficult experiences (trauma). They provide temporary relief, yet they bring along many challenges: financial, relational, and health-wise. To better understand this concept, watch this short video entitled “How Childhood Trauma Leads to Addiction”.
The only way OUT is IN. The solution lies within your own heart. When supressed emotions come to the surface, you’ll learn how to be with them, instead of going away and searching relief via your usual coping mechanisms. You’ll learn how to be in touch with your body, heart and soul. You’ll learn how to love yourself. All parts of your unique being: the bad, the good and the ugly (according to your own judgment).
Being supported by a professional therapist is vital. They will hold a safe space for you to reconnect with yourself, express what needs to be expressed, learn from it and release it. It’s a deep process, simple yet not easy. It requires trust, commitment and courage. And it’s worth it.
And you, what are you supressing? What parts of you are yearning for your love and need a voice? Become radically honest with yourself. What is alive in you here and now? How do you feel? When did you feel this for the first time? Does this come from your childhood?
Someone wise once said: “the issues are in our tissues”. Supressed emotions stay in our bodies. Expressing and releasing old emotions (we have layers and layers of these, at least me!), frees our bodies. It’s a path to true liberation. And no, once on this journey, you won’t become a monk and experience only peace and joy. Rather you’ll become more human and more connected to your heart and body. You’ll feel more. You’ll become more vulnerable but also stronger. You’ll learn that expressing your feelings is a skill, act of courage and that it’s worth it.
Below you’ll find a poem that I wrote after watching the film. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
Being present to yourself is an act of self-love. Wishing you peace and courage to express what is alive in you! Day in and day out!
Your greatest teachers
The way you cope is beautiful
How you deal with your suffering
Touches me deeply
It feels somehow familiar
We’re all in this together
We’re human species – not machines
There’s no shame
There’s much more space and strength in your heart
Then you think
Your pain does not make you a bad person
You have the right to suffer and the right to heal
Your trauma created a persona
But it’s not the real you
You’re pure, innocent and invincible
Allow life to guide you
Wake up – become radically honest
Do not disconnect anymore
Take one tiny step in the right direction
Trust the process
Show up for yourself and your kids
They will suffer for sure, c’est la vie
So you’d better teach them
How to embrace their humanity
How not to resist the pain anymore
But rather hold it, hear it, be with it
So that it’s processed and digested fully
This is food for the soul
And nourishment for the heart
Pain and trauma are your greatest teachers
They’ll keep coming back
Until you finally decide to listen
So don’t waist a second
Breathe in, breathe out
Welcome your emotional, vulnerable and bodily nature
Connect with the part of you who needs your love
Mother yourself, be the father you wanted so badly
The hurt and the cure lie both within
You hold the keys to your own prison
Open the door and leap in the dark
The universe will catch you
Let the sun defrost your past
You don’t need to repeat the cycle anymore
And yes, it’s a journey that never ends
So enjoy it and be brave
Trust your inner wisdom
The next step is all you need
Remember – you are a life’s playground
She explores, experiments and discovers herself through you
What remains when resentment, rage and regrets are finally purged?
When the energy is released, cleared and honoured?
Your unique light shines brighter than ever
No longer afraid of your own shadow
You become whole again
This is the sweet perfume of your essence
This is presence
“If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.“Maya Angelou
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, please consult your healthcare provider, prior to using any of the tips mentioned in the article.