I always thought of myself as quite calm. I was actually frozen. It is how I got through my traumatic teen years and I realize now that the protective freeze took many decades to completely thaw.
This makes sense. Children develop emotional intelligence and resilience through exposure. Like many families, feelings were a no-fly zone in mine. “If we don’t say it, it’s not happening” is a peculiar form of denial! We learn early that we’ll be shamed or ridiculed when we express vulnerability or own up to a mistake. We lock it down and struggle through in isolation and self-blame.
And yet as we move through life, we get tired of living in the grey zone. We realize our protective strategy that was necessary at one time is now robbing us of joy and the juiciness of life and relationships. We begin our inner work.
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