Emotion....ah that word that is filled with all sorts of possibilities. At Moral Compass Kids we teach about the importance of allowing ourselves to feel and honour our emotions; that no feeling is bad or good.
Last week at the dinner table Hannah started off by saying, "no offense Mom, but I think it would be best if Dad takes me to the hospital for surgery". (Covid/pandemic rules at Sick Kids Hospital means that only one parent can accompany a child at each appointment and the thought of not being able to have both of us there, has been hard on us all). I smiled back at her and said, "that's ok, I understand", and I knew it likely had something to do with my emotions (even though I had been really good lately at holding my emotions in for her sake).
Here's where things start to play on my mind a bit.
Like I said at the beginning of this blog entry, I have always been an advocate, reminding people that emotions are normal and completely okay to experience and move through. I even have gone as far to believe that those of us who try to hold our emotions in too much, will result in something far worse down the road (personal experience). I've been told in the past, "don't cry, don't be so emotional" (and no, this wasn't my parents saying these things, they were perfectly okay with emotions as I grew up). What I've learned is that people say these things because they've been conditioned to refrain from letting emotions be shown to others. Somehow it has been seen as weakness rather than strength. When people say these things I believe it is because they are uncomfortable with it themselves. My children all know that I fully embrace the entire rainbow of feelings and emotions and I believe it is very healthy and strong to be able to talk about them.
So to get back to my thoughts on all of this...I've been trying so hard to be "strong", so even though I believe that it is healthy to share our emotions and to not hide them...I've been hiding them as an attempt to remain "strong" for Hannah in her upcoming surgery. However, the simple fact that she is choosing to have her dad go with her for surgery reminds me that even though I've not been showing my emotion around her, she knows that I am the one that would be emotional if I was sitting beside her in the waiting room that day. Here's the thing, whether I hold in my emotion or not, my children are all very in tune with the energy that comes without even having to say a word. I could look confident and yet my children can sense the fear and uncertainty in my invisible cues. Powerful right? We are all energy, we all send off signals that others can pick up if they are sensitive enough to.
This is a moment when I am reminded that it is okay for us to feel all the feels. It is also okay for us to talk about our feelings without it having to be too heavy for others. Speaking from our own perspective is healthy and courageous, and allowing others to do the same is just as healthy and courageous.
On Friday when my husband is with Hannah before surgery, I know he will be feeling all the feels too. He may exemplify certainty and stoicism and that is exactly what Hannah needs that day and it is perfectly okay. I am not sad that she wants her dad beside her...in reality, I know it is best for us all. I am grateful that as we raise our children that Cam and I both bring such a wonderful mix of personal superpowers to the table. Our kids know exactly what they need and they know which parent/friend/family member is best for each job. I believe that if we allow our children to speak from their heart, without us taking things personally, we are allowing them to be in complete alignment of their own journey and their own needs. Their feelings and decisions are valued and respected.
How often as parents do we step in and do what we believe to be best for our kids? How often do we ignore their requests and force our desires upon them?
This entire journey for Hannah has been one of so much strength and resilience. She has walked this path in full alignment of her own decisions. Parents know how tough it can be to step aside and let go of the control in all situations, but it helps our children grow and fly to allow them this choice.
Emotions are unique to us all, we all experience things differently, we all process things in our own time frame, we all make decisions based on how we feel and what we believe to be true (if we are empowered to do so). What I've learned is that even if I try to suppress my emotions to try to make others around me feel better...those who know me really well, know that I am still emotional (can't fool anyone), so allowing myself to show emotions at times isn't wrong or weak...it just shows that I am human in my own unique way.
What emotions are you trying to hold in right now? What emotions do you feel need to be shared with someone you love? Suppression isn't healthy, we are not protecting anyone just because we hold it all in. It is okay to let it be shared and if this is still not your thing to do, I am not shaming anyone at all. Some of us are built to hold our emotion in, some are built to let it out. No shame in it, the only shame would be in being critical of one over the other. If it feels good for you...keep doing what you do. Alignment is everything. When we force ourselves to be a certain way because we are trying to fit a mold in society that is where the true disconnect comes from. What feels best to you? Keeping your emotion in or letting it out? This is how you will know by the way it feels. I know I just feel better when I can share my heart. Emotion for me; when let out, helps me move through things so much faster. So it feels great for me to talk about it, to let it out. Thank you for reading this far. I hope we inspire you to consider how emotion affects you and how you personally process your own.