Once upon a time long ago when we were little children, we expected the attention, love, and nurturance that we needed to thrive.
“Daddy, look at my pretty painting.”
“Not now, I’m busy!”
At some point we learned that it wasn’t safe to have our feelings. Not safe to be excited to have Daddy rave about our latest creation. Not safe to want his glow and responsiveness. Too shocking to our little nervous systems.
Instead we unconsciously set up internal protection: the inner critic.
Instead of freely expressing our excitement, a responsible inner critic voice would step in to say: “If only I could draw better, then he’d look” or “I’ll do it better so he’ll look.”
Instead of freely expressing our excitement, a shaming inner critic voice would step in to say: “I’ll never draw anything worth his attention” or “I’ll work harder so I can earn it.”
… or any other flavor of inner critic, protecting us from further shock.
Fast forward to adulthood … sometimes there’s a crack in the structure. We feel the pain of these unconscious strategies we’ve employed for so long keeping us safe. We may be ready to reclaim our voice. To be true to ourself.
This time we want to insure that when we speak, we’ll be tenderly received. Held. Heard and safe in our expression. Know we matter. Heal those old hurts.
When we’re met and received, we bloom. Embraced in our feelings and needs. No protection required.
NVC community has been that for me. A safe place. To be received. To understand and reassure my protective voices that I am safe. To re-wire my neuropathways. To learn to trust. To find it’s okay to come out and be me.
Would you like to trust that when you speak, you’ll feel heard?
In peace and love, Teresa
P.S. Our San Mateo Practicing & Learning NVC group is now full. If you’re interested, I am taking names on a waiting list.