Lesson #1: Embrace and express your emotions freely.
I’m not sure if all 3-year olds are as dramatic as my Grace, but man can that girl express herself! It was a sight to behold. As I got to understand her more I started to really appreciate the beauty of her expression. She was able to fully embody whatever emotion she was experiencing whether that was joy, sadness, anger, hurt, etc. And most of the time just as quickly as she went into each emotion, she would come out of it. Like a whole new person. Ready for the next experience.
When she was sad or hurt Grace would throw herself onto the floor (which includes some of the drama), wail loudly and allow her big ol’ tears to stream down her face. Sometimes she preferred to have this experience on her own, sometimes she would want a cuddle from Auntie. When she was filled with joy she would laugh with her whole body and usually want to share the experience with me, delighted in whatever it was that brought her joy.
As adults, we've been taught it isn't appropriate to express our emotions freely. What would it be like if we could embrace our emotions fully, feel them and move on? How would our lives be different? Like Grace, just be in them, release them, and be open to the next experience that comes along. Grace didn’t have a critic voice in her head telling her she was being “too much”. She didn’t question her experiences she just was in them. Somewhere along the way to adulthood we lose that freedom. As adults, we can be discerning about with whom and where it is safe to express ourselves (not likely to get the results we want if we throw ourselves on the floor wailing in the grocery store or our bosses office)!
Brene Brown says, "People earn the right to hear our stories". Which means we get to have boundaries when we are feeling our feelings. How very adult of us!
I believe that healing ourselves as individuals and the world as a whole will come when we are able to embrace and express our emotions. Freely. Without judgement. Honestly. Openly. When was the last time you did that?