What’s the greatest gift we can give during the pandemic?
Whether people recognise this or not, since childhood, many have had to adapt their feelings and emotions to fit the environment or situation they find themselves in.
Right now in 2021, we are being urged to reflect upon our lives, via our relationships, our friendships, our communities, via our losses or gains, and with regards to how we work or how we do business. It is a valuable time and one that should not be taken lightly. Herein lies a gift.
Whether people recognise this or not, since childhood, many have had to adapt their feelings and emotions to fit the environment or situation they find themselves in. This may have occurred within the family of origin, at school, at college or university, at work and so on. Doing so does not mean that the deep-seated or heartfelt emotions have gone away. Usually, they just get suppressed and over time, even forgotten. However, suppressed or repressed emotions can suddenly explode, and when they do, it's often at the most inconvenient time.
It is often when people are under enormous stress or pressure, or sadly, it can also be when they're under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And it could leave a person feeling shocked, guilty, ashamed, or even embarrassed. Sadly, when these negative or destructive feelings suddenly emerge, they can have ripple effects on families, relationships, friendships, colleagues or work that are not always healthy. Although it may be exactly what those around you may need to see or hear, it may actually be YOU that needs the wake-up call.
Most people operate from having been disappointed, rejected, abandoned, and some have even lost loved ones at some point in their lives. How they will have worked through the difficult and painful emotions often depends on the level of self-reflection they have allowed themselves to achieve.
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Relationships are risky. Getting to know a prospective partner and asking the right questions early on is crucial to reducing this risk – especially when we all know love can be blind, and it doesn't always recognise the pitfalls.
But also, many don't realise that on a daily basis, you take who you are, with all your unaddressed issues, along with your belief system, what you say, the decisions you make and so on, via your body language and your personality - with you to work every day. No matter how hard you try, you cannot conceal or leave part of who you are at home. And this could affect not only your relationships; it could also affect your career.
Those around you who are sensitive enough will pick up on things. They will sense when something is wrong, even though you may refuse to talk about it. But when things go wrong and you fly off the handle or don't manage things constructively, you may not realise, that this can be a direct result of your past unaddressed issues.
And sometimes it can be uncanny how certain situations will repeat and repeat, or appear out of the blue, to mirror or force you to see what still needs to be looked at or healed. Sometimes repeating patterns can be subtle, but with devastating consequences nevertheless. However, there is a gift that we can offer one another.
By addressing what may have been left simmering for years, or by just becoming more self-aware, you can create a positive shift in your relationships and your career. People are more attracted to those who are relaxed, confident, and emotionally open. Why? Because it's hard to be around people who are continually anxious, stressed, or emotionally clogged up. And it's also hard on one's family - and this includes your children. If your heart is closed, it's hard to be creative, and it's hard to support those around you.
This can be more challenging if you're sitting on a bunch of emotions hovering from the past. It doesn't bring anyone any joy or happiness. But also, remember our body's immune system drops when we are stressed and our hearts are closed. And right now, as Covid may still be with us for quite a while, this isn't something we should ignore.
Years ago, Napoleon Hill suggested, "If you do not conquer yourself, you will be conquered by self." And he was right.
We now all have the opportunity to consider who we are becoming, and if you don't like what you see, there are many ways of doing something about it. And it doesn't have to be expensive. The Internet is a useful tool offering all sorts of knowledge, advice, wisdom, and help, which is free. You just have to make the time.
The greatest gift we can now give not only to ourselves but also to our loved ones, and others who we connect with daily, is our own self-development. And if we set about doing this - we will all benefit as will our families and children.
Deidré Wallace is a relationship coach and educator who has owned and operated a private practice for the past 20 years. For more information, visit her website here.
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