Can I be honest with you and share that from time to time I struggle with feeling unsafe being and expressing my true authentic self.
This feeling of being unsafe is usually triggered when I allow myself to be vulnerable and freely share my truth or show others who I am or who I choose to be and they judge, condemn or reject me.
Whenever this happens I usually feel myself recoil, shut down, close off and somewhat regress to being the little girl who felt rejected for most of her life.
In moments like these, once I recognize that I am triggered, I call on my adult self to soothe my inner child, who is the one that was really triggered and engage in self love, acceptance & assurance.
What about you? Have you ever felt like it was not safe to be yourself, to express your thoughts, beliefs, ideas, choices, preferences, proclivities or to just be you?
The feeling of not being safe generally stems from our childhood. Perhaps we may have shared aspects of ourselves, made a choice, or held a belief that was different to those around us – and we were continuously condemned, rejected, ostracized or even punished for it.
These experiences overtime, would have created the association in our mind that who we are was not acceptable and it was not safe to be ourselves. This inevitably led to hiding aspects of ourselves and to the creation of what I call the Survival Self, as a way of surviving our childhood.
This is still true for some of us even as adults, where we feel compelled to hide aspects of ourselves because we don’t feel safe enough to express who we are.
And for those of us who have done inner child work to bring healing to those parts of ourselves, sometimes we still feel triggered and unsafe to be ourselves.
In moments like these, it is important for you to spend time soothing and assuring yourself that who you are is exactly who you are meant to be and even though other persons may not agree with who you are, that’s ok, you are not meant to be everyone’s cup of tea.
I know this is easier said than done, especially when you feel the accompanied avalanche of emotions, but with time, healing and awareness it will get better. Eventually you may begin to notice that you are immune to other people’s opinions or thoughts about you.
Today, I am sharing the same process I use if ever the ‘unsafe to be me’ wound is triggered. It helps me to center myself and re-affirm the truth of who I am and that it is in fact safe to be me.
Step 1: Breathe- Take a couple deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly for a count of 4 until you feel your body calm down.
Step 2: Close your eyes and allow an image of yourself between ages 4-7 to come into your mind’s eye.
Step 3: Once she/he allows you to reach out and embrace them. If not, simply sit with them and say these loving affirmations to them, based on which ones resonates:
It is safe to be yourself.
It safe to be who you are.
It is safe to see the world the way you do.
It is safe to think the way you think.
It is safe to share your thoughts and ideas.
It is safe to talk the way you do.
It is safe to make the choices you make.
It is safe to choose the path you have chosen.
It is safe to love whoever you choose to love.
It is safe to dress the way you do
It is safe to be you.
Step 4: Say these affirmations to your child for as long as you need to, soothing him/her until your child calms down and you feel yourself relax and centered.
Step 5: Check in with your child and yourself by spending some time journaling any insights for future reference.
I truly hope this process serves you as much as it has served and supported me.
Remember, when we learn how to fully and radically love and accept ourselves, even the parts that are not accepted by others, we step boldly into our truth and power; we give ourselves permission to be our true authentic selves, which is our unique contribution to this world.