*Emotion: An instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
Vulnerability: Willingness to show emotion.
**Authentic: Not false; genuine.
Included in the definition of emotion is the phrase “an instinctive state of mind.” To be human is to experience all of the emotions, but for many different reasons, such as society, social media, culture, etc., only certain emotions are “acceptable” or promoted as the ideal of what you “should” present to others. This also conveys the following message: “Forget the experience of the emotion; that’s to be kept buried inside.” This is very invalidating, especially if the individual is going through a rough circumstance or change where it would be odd to NOT experience distress.
As the individual wrestles with their emotions and what to do about them, the following might be experienced:
- Emotions are happening and the more I try to push them away, the longer they linger.
- My emotions are very much in-line with how I really feel, but I try not to pay attention to them.
- I am getting stressed out with having to put on a facade that I feel okay, when I really don’t.
- If people knew how I really feel, would they want to stick around or will I be rejected?
- What does how I feel say about me?
- I’d like to be more authentic, but I don’t know how, and doing so scares me.
Validation starts from within. Acknowledging your own pain and suffering is the first step to healing; allow yourself to feel the emotions because they are valid and yours to have.
You’re not defective. The emotions are calling out to you because they would like to be held and nurtured in a helpful way. It is possible to nurture and attend to your emotions while also moving forward and living the life you want to live and becoming the person you would like to be.
*”Emotion.” Oxford Dictionary. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.
**“Authentic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authentic. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.
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Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. The topics being discussed are meant as a self-help tool for you own use. It is not psychotherapy or counseling. This information is to be used based on your own judgment. If you need to speak with a professional, you should find one local to you and contact them directly.