Can you imagine what contentment feels like? Waking up feeling good, instead of being weighed down by angry or anxious mind chatter? All of which is based on fear and emotional pain.
Learning emotional skills
Ideally, as children, we learn the skills needed to understand our emotions. We are encouraged to find good solutions to problems. We learn these by observing our family and socialising with other children. If this is successful, we become familiar with the feeling of contentment. We know how to return to that feeling after an upset or argument.
So what happens when a child observes fear, anger and arguments and feels the tension and pain of the adults? The child learns that the world is an unsafe place. That there is more misery than joy. A bit like an episode of Eastenders but without the ability to switch channels.
The good news is that we can re-educate ourselves emotionally and nurture ourselves into the resilient, happy adults that we want to be. The slightly less good news is that it takes a lot of effort and patience to learn new skills to replace the ones we observed. Think of it as collecting a new set of tools because the old set makes everything hard work. As we’re all unique you need to gather together tools that resonate with your inner wisdom.
I believe we also need someone in our lives who provides unswerving, unconditional positive regard. That’s the professional version of love, so you learn that you’re valued even when your actions are not. Twenty years ago I found a therapist who I clicked with and started my journey. Looking back I know I couldn’t have made this journey alone.
So, if you’re willing to put the work in, you can move from the darkness of emotional trauma to the light of contentment, first in snatched moments, then in longer, more sustained periods. If this resonates with you, I would love to provide you with unswerving support.
If you get angry and impatient with yourself, using harsh words towards yourself that you wouldn’t say to a good friend, it’s time to start improving your relationship with you.
Download my free eBook now and learn 5 ways to stop beating yourself up today