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  • Writer's pictureMarie

The lie we tell ourselves

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

How are you?

If you're anything like me, you have an automated response to that question, regardless of how you're really feeling.

Mine is something along the lines of: 'Yeah, not too bad thanks'.

And I am willing to bet that more often than not, how you say you feel bears very little resemblance to how you actually feel.

There are of course many reasons why we tell people we're fine when really we aren't.

We may not want to burden others with our problems; we assume that they are asking how we are out of habit and that they don't really want to know what's going on with us, it's just a conversational pleasantry. And that's ok.

Perhaps we don't trust them with our feelings; we might only feel secure sharing our emotions and worries with a select few. And that's totally fine.

Maybe we don't trust ourselves; we fear that once we open those floodgates, all our innermost anxieties will come pouring out and this might not be the time and place for you to do that. And that's ok too.

Or maybe we don't really know how we feel because we've heard ourselves say 'yeah, not too bad thanks' so many times that we've begun to believe it. It is the lie that we tell ourselves. And that is NOT OK!

Denying our feelings is our brain's natural defense against an upsetting truth but that is only ever intended to be a coping mechanism for a short period of time and refusing to acknowledge and accept our feelings long term can be very damaging.

As frightening and uncomfortable as they are, our thoughts and feelings will not disappear just because we ignore them and will likely intensify and be harder to deal with the more we shield ourselves from reality. And in addition to the thoughts and feelings we have been suppressing, denial is going to bring with it yet more tricky emotions like isolation, anxiety and sadness, brought on by the fact that we are forced to become somebody else entirely and cannot connect with our authentic self.

One way to start examining and accepting our feelings is to check in with ourselves. Ideally, this will be done daily but just try it on now to see how it fits.

  • Start by stopping, closing your eyes and just focusing on your breathing for a moment.

  • Next, ask yourself how you feel and verbalise or write down what comes up.

  • Then sit with those feelings for a while without trying to judge, change or get rid of them.

  • Finally, ask yourself what you need and do something to help yourself, no matter how small.

My dear friends, let us be brave.

Let us unearth and confront those buried memories, those pushed aside thoughts and the difficult feelings that they bring about.

Let us speak our truth, if only to ourselves.

May we feel the relief of being honest and the strength of showing ourselves that we can face up to anything.

And may we be reunited with our beautiful, true selves, ok or otherwise.

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