In Women God and Food, Geneen Roth writes, “Can you imagine how your life would have been different if each time you were feeling sad or angry as a kid, an adult said to you, "Come here, sweetheart, tell me all about it"? If when you were overcome with grief at your best friend's rejection, someone said to you, "Oh, darling, tell me more. Tell me where you feel those feelings. Tell me how your belly feels, your chest. I want to know every little thing. I'm here to listen to you, hold you, be with you."
Wow, I don’t know about you but I am struck by how profound Roth’s words are. The sentiment expressed, makes me a little weepy. The little girl inside me seems to awaken with longing. I think back to my life and wonder, ‘WHAT IF?’ How would my life have been different if someone had said “tell me more,” when I was in tears for being made fun of, instead of helping me make a plan to lose weight. How would my life have been different if my Mom had said “tell me more” when my parents problems upset me, instead of “it’s none of your concern, don’t worry about it.” How would life have been different if my feelings had been ok and had been welcomed?
My life would have been different, however that’s not the way it went down. Most likely it’s not the way your life went down either. We can wish for what wasn’t or we can become the adult we long for to ourselves.
When we notice a powerful emotion we can make a choice to say, "Oh, darling, tell me more.” instead of trying to push or rationalize it away. We can take the time to be with that emotion. Welcome it, no matter how scary it seems. We can give our selves permission to feel it. We can be intensely curious, noticing how it impacts us physically. We can say to the emotion “I want to know every little thing. I'm here to listen to you, hold you, be with you."
P.S. If you haven't read Women, God & Food consider doing do. Highly recommened Radical Hateloss reading!