I Believe You

I Believe You. Those three words are so helpful to hear when I’m struggling with self-acceptance. As a child I wasn’t believed. I would describe what I was feeling and promptly talked out of my experience. I was told not to cry, be quiet and don’t upset your mother.

Simple directives became an emotional prison. My inner critic was born, standing at attention, pacing the perimeters reminding me to follow directions if I want to survive. Plain and simple.

I learned early on to deny my emotions.

I grew up ignoring my feelings.

I am an emotional being.

An internal war began.

In 2014, I was working a particularly stressful job supporting the office of an interventionist dealing with clients in crisis. I had demanding tasks. I screened telephone calls, sort of a hotline, for people in dire need.

I was in dire need.

My daughter was spiraling down in her health. My elderly dogs were showing signs of transition, and my main support system was 3,000 miles away. I was barely coping holding it together.

I learned a fundamental lesson that stays with me to this day.

Honor my emotions.

Every hour has 60 minutes.

I focus on my tasks for 50 minutes of every hour

I focus on my emotional needs 10 minutes of every hour.

I set my alarm.

Made a plan

Paced myself through the day

Hour by hour

At the designated time

I laid my head down,

Closed my eyes, cried if I felt like it,

Worried, sagged, whatever I needed.

When the timer rang, I pulled myself together