Letting Our Feelings Out — In Safe Places

By Dr. Michael Obsatz – Feb. 2021

It is good to feel our feelings.  Whether it is joy, sadness, anger, fear, frustration, surprise — whatever.

I am watching a series called “Anne with an ‘e’, based on “Anne of Green Gables.”  It takes place a long time ago. The young girl is an orphan, adopted by a middle-aged brother and sister, living on a farm.  Anne is ashamed of how she looks.  She has red hair, braids, and freckles.  She feels “homely” and that no one would ever want to marry her.  She is about 12 in the story.

Anne shares a lot of feelings in the series.  The entire series is about vulnerability and being an outcast.  There is a fair amount of gossiping, bullying, name-calling, and physical abuse.  There is abandonment, neglect, trauma.

We see the world through the characters’ eyes, and see the blatant homophobia, racism, sexism, and classism issues.  While It is not necessarily entertaining, it is fascinating.  We all have had some of these feelings some of the time.  

Most boys in America have been taught not to be vulnerable and not cry.  Be strong, show no weakness, don’t show your hurt.  Girls are usually given more freedom to express emotions.  They are already considered by some to be the “weaker sex.”

I believe it is important to let out all feelings — for boys and girls, men and women.  However, we must find safe places to express our true selves.  Sometimes, showing vulnerability could get us emotionally destroy, even killed.

So — where is it safe to openly share feelings?  Alone in a forest.  With a dear, trusted friend or family member.  In a support group with caring nurturing people.  We can be selective in choosing our special safe places where we allow others to see our true selves, our inner being.  

We learn where and when it is safe to share our inner being.  This discernment leads to knowing that if it is not safe in one place, we can still find that perfect place to be authentically ourselves.

© 2021 Dr. Michael Obsatz, all rights reserved
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