In order to acknowledge your feelings, you must know your rights. You have the right to feel. It is your right for your voice to be heard. Healing is your birthright.
Never make apologies for exercising these rights.
A psychologist once said “the lack of self-care is the beginning of psychological issues”. The onset of psychological issues paves the way for physical harm to oneself and others. In order to properly care for yourself, you must address your physical and mental needs. Unresolved emotions may lead to your isolation, erosion of self-confidence and minimized awareness of available options. Such dire consequences can definitely manifest themselves as physical ailments.
You have the right to feel angry. You have the right to feel betrayed. You have the right to feel grief. You have the right to feel lost. You have the right to feel broken. You have the right to feel like crying. You have the right to feel unloved. You have the right to feel dissatisfied. You have the right to feel undesirable. But… you also have the right to feel happy. You have the right to feel that justice was served. You have the right to feel joy. You have the right to feel stable. You have the right to feel complete. You have the right to feel a smile as it crosses your lips. You have the right to feel loved. You have the right to feel satisfied. You have the right to feel desired.
Your feelings belong to you. While your feelings may be affected by the actions of others, your feelings are also contingent on your thoughts. A popular song urges lovers to “smile though [their] heart is aching”. This method is actually effective. A smile is contrary to an aching heart, but acting in a manner contrary to how you feel can improve how you feel. The physical act of smiling sends a signal to your mind that you are happy, in spite of recent events. In order to react positively to your negative feelings, you must exercise your right to feel and be positive in spite of the storms you are facing.
No one can tell you how to feel. The people closest to you may unknowingly send you a message that your feelings are not as important, simply because your feelings are not aligned with their feelings. Do not fall prey to this trap. While your feelings may be swayed by the actions of others, such changes don’t transfer the possession of your feelings to another person. You still own 100% of the rights to your feelings. Never allow someone to rent your feelings out in efforts to use and abuse you. Mental manipulation is real. Your feelings matter. Retain the rights to your emotions.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you feel. Your inner-most thoughts are not written on your forehead or scrawled in red on your social media pages. No one knows everything about you, because you retain the rights to your private thoughts. Even if you handed someone control of your mental state, by allowing them to belittle or upset you, the person is not owed anything. You may have momentarily given up the reigns to your feelings, but, even then, you retain control. At any moment, you have the power to disengage. At any moment, you have the right to shut your abuser out by owning your feelings.
Forgiveness does not require apologies. Apologies are a formality. Forgiveness merely requires a willing heart and mind. When you forgive, it is more important to do so in action than in word. Your attacker may spew apologies daily for the next decade, but how would you believe an apology that you never see in action? What is the meaning of words that don’t align with actions? When you forgive, you don’t have to act in a manner contrary to your heart. In order to move forward, you have to learn how to let go of the people that you forgive that mean you harm.
Forgiveness is a restoration of your mind and spirit, but you must challenge people to earn their position in your life. Do not discount your value by “casting your pearls to swine”. A pig will never know what to do with a fine pearl. The pearl will end up in the mud, dirty and damaged. In order to heal, you must forgive the “pigs” who did not see your value, and limit their presence in your life.
Your voice is critical to forgiveness. You have to be able to say “I forgive you” to those who hurt you, and actually mean it with every fiber of your being. If you are unable to forgive, you will carry the negative emotions as baggage in your daily life. Those who love you will help you carry the burden of the baggage or help you unpack. You are wholly responsible for the total release of the emotional burdens you carry. Do not attempt to shift these burdens to those close to you. Instead, plant the seed of forgiveness and reap the rewards of a peace-filled existence. By doing so, you will positively affect your relationships with strangers and those near and dear to you. Don’t be weighed down by the burden of a lack of forgiveness. Use your voice to forgive, and be set free.
It is your right to use your voice. You may cry. Your body may tremble. Your voice may shake. Speak without apology for your feelings. This is your truth, and it must be heard. This is not about the listener. This is about you. This is about your right to guard your body, soul and mind. Do not discount your feelings by sugarcoating the truth. You have an obligation to yourself to speak up and get the closure you deserve. You have the right to speak about things that made you afraid or uncomfortable. You have the right to recognize when you aren’t being treated right and provide feedback to the person who is not treating you right.
Your feedback is important. It is imperative that you maintain control of the volume of your voice while stating your truth in a clear, concise manner. Your message should be delivered in the most respectful manner possible. Avoid using profanity. Minimize the use of hand gestures. Maximize eye contact. Respect the space of your listener. Adhering to these simple rules will not guarantee a positive response from your listener, but this is your practice run in effective communication. With each trial you face, you will become better.
As a woman who does not mince words, you are often accused of being too judgmental and overbearing. You’ve been known to say things that other people would never say, only think. To date, you are still refining your communication techniques. Do you notice that recipients of your message respond better when you speak from your heart and mind, instead of just speaking your mind?
When you speak about your heart, you are not referring to the beating physical organ inside of your body. Rather, you are referring to the spiritual factor of your being that manifests its greatness through your conscience. While your mind prefers logic and numbers, your heart commands you to love and empathize with others. Your heart’s instructions may never reconcile with the logical demands of your mind. Your mind may instruct you to abandon someone at the same time that your heart instructs you to care for them. Your heart may demand forgiveness while your mind guides you toward a path of resentment. Your mind may tell you that you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough and rich enough, while your heart states that you can conquer your trials, because you are enough. In fact, you woke up good enough.
It is pertinent that you guard your heart, because your heart is your internal guide. When your heart has not been properly guarded, it may lead you to destruction. An unguarded heart does not consider history. As a victim of domestic violence, you suffered from an unguarded heart due to self-esteem issues. Your heart did not properly weigh and assess the lessons that you learned from your history with various abusers. Instead, your unguarded heart caused you to turn a blind eye to every negative aspect of your relationships. You could not see the controlling ways of your abuser. You could not see how your negative self-talk manifested in your life. You could not see how your negative thoughts translated to negative words from your tongue and negative responses from others. You could not heed the warnings of concerned family and friends.
The best remedy for your unguarded heart was self-love without apologies. You started paying attention to what made you feel good, as well as what made you feel bad. Daily, you would focus on feeling good. Then, you would fight to conquer the bad emotions. You experienced days where you could not see an end in sight, but you kept going. Growing weary is a part of your human condition. Don’t stop when you grow weary. Stop when your work is done.
Resolve that you will love again without regard to how broken your heart is right now. Do not allow your warm, compassionate heart to experience the coldness that accompanies resentment. Your heart must be relentless in the pursuit of care. You deserve to be loved in the most raw and genuine way. You deserve someone that recognizes that your heart is pure and your intentions are to love and be loved. Your journey to restoration may be slow, but it’s important to remember that you are walking a winding path, not a plank. Your days of drama and negativity are behind you. Feel free to savor each moment without apology.
Do not be overcome by desire. Quality is better than quantity. Focus on surrounding yourself with people who deserve to be in your presence. These are the people who have earned their place in your heart and life by encouraging and supporting you. They bring out the best in you. Their efforts align with your efforts.
As there is no apology without action, there is no love without respect. The way that you treat yourself is a great example for others who want to know how to treat you. Consistent self-respect is the boost that you need to be able to honor others.
Generally, one who cannot respect himself will find it difficult to respect others. Making the choice to do right by oneself will lead to the decision to do right by others. Falling short of dignity can lead to poor relationship choices, depression and harm. Be good to yourself. Do not tolerate situations that promote negative energy in your life. Doing so stunts your emotional growth. Do not regret one moment spent loving on yourself. Do we ever regret the rainbow after the rain? Do we scorn the bountiful harvest after the labor? You can’t change the past, but you can begin to impact and change the future right now. Love yourself relentlessly, without apologies and regrets.