I am actually a little shocked that I haven’t written about this before. I might even have it teed up as title for this year’s article titles. I do hope that the blogging is fimly back on my weekly to do list. I’ve missed it. Things seem to be settling down again and I am very pleased for that. It gives me and increased sense of emotional safety. I keep saying it like I can’t quite get over it myself it’s been a wild few years. I feel like I have a lot to fill you in on, like I didn’t have enough to do already. Here I am charging through my final thing on the to do list for today before loadshedding hits. I just checked to see if I had written a post about loadshedding too and it also seems not. So loadshedding is now added to the list of article titles for another time too. I am supposed to be writing about emotional safety and I supposed for me writing about emotional safety is where my journey starts with emotional safety.
You see I have a very active mind where the thoughts pile up like a car crash most days. Especially when I haven’t been able to write for ages or power through my to do list. I have to do my upmost to not let the ideas that I have run away with my life and indeed take over my thought processes completely. Writing is a wellness strategy for me. Mainly because there just isn’t enough space in anybody elses life to help me process my thoughts effectively. So I write and because I am then able to process how I feel without having to bother anybody to much. Writing it gives me and increased sense of emotional safety as well as a sense of emotional control. Don’t worry i do have friend I can always reasch out to and a long term therapist too. It’s just writing is my way of managing overload, writing give me clarity.
Emotional safety occurs when we feel safe to express ourselves fully. Which would seem obvious and yet it is not. Too many of us have grown up oppressed and denied our emotional processes leaving us repressed, neglected, isolated and self gaslighting; believing that we are too much, too difficult or complicated. When we are reduced to having to give convenent, emotionally contained one word answers to the very nature of our being it’s difficult to feel heard or even seen. Which can lead to a lot of anxiety, distress and emotional discomfort. Not feeling heard or seen can leave us feeling emotionally unsafe and scared about what we can and can’t say. Growing up and working in spaces where we aren’t able to fully be ourselves affects our ability to relate both safely and authentically and it’s common.
A lot of my work with emotionally safety has specifically grown out of working with women and specifically women of colour in past-apartheid south africa. Women of all colours have been and continue to silence as part of the legacy of apartheid. However men too also feel can feel societaly impacted by this kind of silencing, having to maintain gender sterotypes that are embued with toxic masculinity that only account for one emotion anger. If you are trying to understand emotional saftey and how it impacts you I would suggest that you take the time to explore your own emotional landscape. How many emotions do you feel capable of feeling, sharing and expressing, especailly in the company of others. Do feel able to tell people that you are feeling sad, angry or depressed? Or do you think that showing emotion is a sign of weakness and emotionality a source or personal shame? Once again it’s common to feel this way and it’s isn’t something you choudl feel alone with.
The way to creating emotional safety is to quite simply allow yourself to feel your feelings, you’re entitled to your feelings and whatismore it is good for your health. What can’t be expressed gets repressed and held in the body and can eventually make you physically sick if not properly addressed. The way through difficult emotions is to find friends and form relationships with people who do make you feel safe. That allow you speak and not only speak; speak all the way to the end. It really is that simple and it’s one of the reason that talk therapies can be so successful. Often we just don’t have the right people to talk to. To share our lives and our problems with. If you don’t feel that you have anybody that you can talk to whoo might share your world view of work through your stuff with it is almost certainly time to get a new friends group. Creating emotional safety is really easy once you find the right people who are willing to listen. More than this you will develop healthier relationships where you to can become a reliable person to hear someone out. At first it can feel really challenging to reach out and it might feel painful if you don’t make the right connection straight away. it might be hard but it absolutely worth. After all humans are both social and emotional creatures and we need healthy interdependent relationship to both survive and thrive in this world.
If you are interested in exlporing your emotionas further you can vist my ko-fi shop for some inspiration.