missing signposts

December 15, 2009 at 5:00 am 2 comments

I’ve been asking myself, and you, to parent according to your feelings, to live by following the sensations of your heart, and to re-design your entire life by identifying what feels right to you, but what I am noticing, and hearing, is that there are so many of us that do not know what we feel, and therefore cannot honor these emotions.

Here is a  simple process if you do not know how you feel:

Identify:

  • Sit quietly for a moment; you might want to close your eyes, and then wait and see what you notice from inside.
  • Notice how different areas of your body feel.
  • Notice whether any thoughts, images, feelings, memories, sounds come to you.
  • If nothing comes, that’s okay. You may still want to continue.
  • Ask yourself how you’re feeling, and be aware of what comes up.
  • You don’t have to figure anything out, just be aware.
  • If nothing comes to you, that’s okay. Sometimes that happens. You may still want to try again, another time.

Acknowledge:

  • If you know how you feel, let yourself know that this is how you are feeling right now, and that’s okay.
  • You don’t have to know where it’s coming from.
  • You don’t even have to know what to name it; you may simply know that you have a lot of pain in your chest.
  • Breathe.
  • Let your feelings just be there.
  • You don’t have to do anything with them, just accept that this is how you feel.

This is from a site by Kali Munro, M.E.d.

Does this sound scary? Yes, looking at our feelings and letting them out of the dark places where we’ve stored them can be absolutely terrifying, but think of the lightness of spirit, the emotional de-cluttering that can set you free. It is worth it.

As further consolation, as you walk this path and allow yourself all of the feelings that you have, or have ever had, you will naturally begin to accept the feelings of others, as simply feelings. When your partner feels upset about a choice you made in the day you can see it simply as an emotion, like we all have, and that it can simply be there, you do not have to fix it or apologize. And because you are in touch with your feelings you will be able to empathize, and allow the feelings of everyone involved to exist.

And each time that you “let” your child scream, cry, rage in fury, without trying to stop the feelings or shame their outbursts, you will know that you are sparing them the task of rooting out their feelings later, at the age of thirty or forty or fifty. They will already be aware of how they feel because they have had no reason to hide it.

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Entry filed under: life lessons. Tags: , .

u turn i feel…cozy

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Angela Malson  |  December 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    oh my, how this resonates with me. i have been trying lots more lately to “let” them scream, cry, rage in fury. so hard. i hate to hear my kids cry, i cringe, do anything to stop it, but i have noticed sometimes they just need to let it out. today, my two year old screamed for 20 minutes straight, and screamed loud, nothing worked to stop it. not trying to validate her feelings, not holding, not even nursing. when she was done, i asked if there was a reason for her screaming (i know, i know), but she answered… red pants! she didn’t want her red pants on and i had started to put them on in an attempt to get out the door to get to the post office before they closed. even after i said ok no pants right when she started, and did not put them on, it was the attempt, and i guess she just needed a good scream. she was fine after it all, and went willingly with me to the post office, and we got there with probably two minutes to spare, but oh my, red pants. i have to get better at this letting my kids scream thing.

    to be fully aware of how they feel because they have had no reason to hide it is a beautiful thing. i guess i wish i learned that when i was little, there was so much i felt i had to hide.

    Reply
  • 2. Marina  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:54 am

    natalie, the last paragraph really hit home for me. this is how i was raised, always hiding, not knowing how i felt, always in my head rationalizing and escaping into the future. and it’s exactly how i don’t want to raise my daughter. i know you know since you did my map, but i just wanted to tell you how your words hit home so much of the time. i am slowly going through your blog, and so much of it touches me. sometimes i read it over and over again. yesterday, i sent one entry to my mom. who knows, it might help. but if not, at least your blog gives me a way to express how i feel to my parents. sometimes they need to read something from an outsider to get it. anyways, thanks again.

    Reply

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