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Something was brought to my attention about myself recently that I was honestly a bit surprised to see. I often write and share about creating space for your feelings and allowing yourself to feel them. I intentionally carve out space for this, especially during those times in life when I’m feeling all the sorts and A LOT is coming up to the surface. So it was surprising for me to see that although I know the importance of accepting and feeling my emotions, I also am really good at dismissing my feelings ….. especially anger. I know anger is a feeling women are often told not to feel and express, so perhaps it’s wrapped up in this old story.

“I often feel anger when a boundary has been crossed.”

As a ‘people pleaser’ I have a pile of examples where I have had weak boundaries and have not expressed my needs, wants, feelings, or simply said ‘no’. I THOUGHT I had allowed myself to feel the frustration and anger that was coming up. But often I would quickly dismiss it as a big deal or something worth getting worked up about. Or I would quickly jump into the other person’s shoes and see where they were coming from. It’s interesting how I can easily see their perspective and naturally feel empathy for them, but at the same time dismiss my own experience and feelings.

When this happens, I’m aware that I’m sending the message that my feelings and my experience does not matter. Sadly, I’m sending the message that I do not matter. I know establishing boundaries, sharing when a behavior is not okay with me, acknowledging that my experiences, feelings, and needs do matter, and saying ‘no’ are all practices I’ll be working on for a long time (and by ‘a long time ‘I mean the rest of my life) and I’m okay with this. I have come far and have grown, but can see where my boundaries are still porous and when I’m holding my truth because I avoid conflict or rocking the boat.
If you can relate to this at all, I have a reminder for you and I both.
You matter.
Your feelings matter.
Your needs matter.
Your beliefs matter.
Your desires matters.
Your presence matters.
All of it ….. matters.