You’re surrounded by people who love and care for you. They are well-intentioned people who really do want to support you in life in the best way that they can. They want you to be successful and happy. Ever feel like you can’t tell anyone how you really feel? You want to tell them how you really feel. There is a compulsion to share your deepest most private inner emotions, but you push them back and lock them away. Why?
Learned the Hard Way
You may have learned over the course of your life, that when you’ve been open and honest about your feelings, it did not fare well for you. You might have suffered for sharing your true feelings. Maybe you were shamed, belittled, bullied, or punished. It doesn’t take long, and you learn that hiding how you really feel is a good survival tactic. If you keep your mouth shut, nobody bothers you. Keep your head down and keep moving forward, how you feel doesn’t matter.
The Only One
Then there’s the, “I’m the only one,” syndrome. You know you are having intense feelings about something but you’re certain that no one could possibly understand how you feel. It’s as if, you’re the only one feeling this way. You were probably already feeling like you don’t fit in the world around you, now you’re really isolated and alone.
Again, you have learned, that if you do tell someone how you really feel, you know by experience that no one really cares what you think. You get accused of overreacting, your position is devalued if not totally rejected, or your attempt to share those deepest concerns is met with the nonchalant eye-roll followed by, “Pshaw, just get over it.”
This is when you realize again that keeping your mouth shut and ignoring the impulse to deeply connect with someone is just not in the cards for someone like you. It’s not that you don’t matter, you just try to find comfort in knowing that you are not one of “them” and you never will be.
What if your worst nightmare is being naked in public? This is what it feels like to have your innermost thoughts exposed to others. Whether it’s true or not, you may feel like you have lost people in your life due to expressing yourself openly and honestly. I know you wouldn’t do that to someone else you cared about. I mean, to distance yourself just because someone felt something different than you did. But to be rejected, devalued, abandoned, or abused for how you feel is not a good experience for anyone.
You may put more value on keeping up appearances than expressing your true feelings. This is a learned process as well, a survival instinct. You may have a perceived persona that you want to maintain, so you surround yourself with traits that are congruent to the image that you want to present to the world. Not a bad plan, but the downside is that when you are experiencing moving feelings that are incongruent with your public persona, then what?
You cannot turn to anyone in your inner circle because they might begin to doubt your capabilities or resolve. They have become dependent on your maintaining your strength of character and to falter would be perceived as instability or weakness. The pressure is on, and you have to do whatever you can to suppress your feelings to maintain the status quo.
There is a lot of polarity in our world today, and you might find yourself as a more tolerant type of personality, encouraging others to embrace their individuality. You might be comfortable with loving and caring for individuals who have two different polarizing beliefs about something (maybe anything, really) but you know that if you were to tell them about how you really feel about “this” or “that” is would cause you a great deal of grief, as you would be accused of “picking sides” thereby alienating the person(s) who didn’t agree with your point of view, and you don’t want to do that. You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you because you know you have the right to believe whatever you want to believe and you expect people to respect that. So, you take the high road, supporting other’s rights to do say, but for you and how you really feel? Mum’s the word.
Plus, you don’t have time for all that drama. You know that being honest about how you feel about any polarizing ideal will waste valuable energy and effort trying to defend your point of view. You’ve got better things to do with your energy and your time. So, you zip it.
You are a victim of this life in general. You know that no matter what you do or say, nothing will ever change. No one will be able to appreciate your concerns or your point of view. You know this from experience. So, you’ve given up any hope of being open or honest, and you just want to blend in until you are rescued by death from this life that doesn’t care about you or how you feel. Resigning yourself to just be one of the sheep is not that b-a-a-a-ad.
You are empathetic, and this means that when someone expresses how they feel deeply about something, you actually absorb their energy. That’s why they come to you to share how they are feeling because after they’ve done so, they feel better, but you feel awful. They’ve transferred all those awful feelings to you. Now, you’re left to deal with it.
In fact, you’re so busy carrying the burdens of others and finding ways to alleviate yourself from their pain and suffering, that you don’t have time for you, your feelings. Its as if whatever is meaningful for you just doesn’t matter and become the martyr. You sacrifice self for the greater good of being the shock absorber for your family, friends, community, or the world at large. Otherwise, you don’t matter. But,
You Do Matter
You know that you need someone you can reach out to, someone who has your back, someone who won’t judge you no matter what. Someone who won’t freak out because you’re having a moment of weakness. Someone who will support you in your time of need. Someone who will let you express yourself any way that you want to, any way that you need to, te effectively release all that pent up emotion.
Do it, whatever you must do, get it out of your system. Why?
Because it’s killing you. It’s compromising your immune system, causing premature aging, and can lead you to an early grave. And while that may seem like an upgrade on the surface (they dying and subsequent release of all the burden of these suppressed emotions), you are doing a disservice to yourself, your work, and your legacy by checking out prior to doing your best work.
You need someone you can rely on, lead you through this process of clearing the crap, that stuff that’s been buried down deep, smoldering, and pulling you down, and doesn’t just leave you there as an empty vessel, but lifts your up, filling the void with all your strengths, gifts, and abilities. Then helps you rise up in sacred space, where you can emerge victoriously, embracing your Purpose, Message, Passion, and Mission (PMPM) in this life.
You are never too old for this work, and there is great value in recognizing who you really are and exploring your true potential. This is the work that we do as Olympian Life Coaches.
Do yourself a favor and find someone who has your back in this manner and find a way to let go and let God get you back on track to answer your true calling.