Self-regulation does not mean not feeling.
As crazy as it sounds, I have had conversations over the years with widows, mothers who have buried their children, veterans who lost their buddies in theatre, so very many conversations, all the while explaining that it’s perfectly okay and normal to feel sad about our losses. I don’t know who started the rumor but not allowing your natural feeling state doesn’t get you an award, a medal, out of having feelings, or a hall pass on more hurting down the road. We are all sentient, intuitive beings that need connection in order to thrive. But connection isn’t the good on paper way of life, meaning none of the following are a guarantee to your happiness, ever:
•a magazine worthy figure
•fulfilling a role
•your age on life’s timeline
•your relationship status
•the number of people in your life
And so much more. But those are the Billboard Top Few of Life’s List Of Common Happiness and Fulfillment Misconceptions. Lemmetellya. No words could be more true.
My job is kind of weird and wildly awesome. I say it’s like being on an airplane. The flight is often an eight hour leg. Every hour on the hour my seat-mate changes, and when they sit down there is no small talk. They deep dive right away into their deepest most tucked away parts, and share with me their innermost hurts and hopes. It’s never dull, I can promise you that.
But what strikes me time and time again is how many people want a way OUT from feeling. Truth is? The way out is by going in. To the center of it.
This is where self-regulation comes in, and like the Billboard list above is quite misunderstood. The buzzword “self-regulate” does. not. mean. not. feeling.
One more time: itdoesntmeannotfeeling.
The act of self-regulation is an act of truth and of mindful attention. A self-loving plan to work through the hurt that is coming up, the hurting in your heart. Our precious human hearts are not meant to live in vacuums. And they are not meant to live without honesty and love. Honesty about how you feel.
To self-regulate is to have a place where you sit with yourself, lovingly. Honestly. Allowing safely what is to arise.