I was raised in a family where this question was rarely asked. There was a guiding principle of conformity and an expectation to fit in with what those in charge wanted.
Denying our feelings becomes a part of being a child of a narcissistic parent or partner.
I grew up putting aside how I honestly felt, and instead, attuned to the needs of others. I became very good at sensing the emotions of others, and how to please them. I did it with my parents and then with my first husband.
I found myself in a career that my father would be proud of, that left me feeling empty and confused.
Along the way I lost touch with how I felt.
This was not the road to happiness, but I told myself that lifestyle was the most important thing.
It took me over 40 years to wake up to what happiness is, and to let myself feel the feelings that had been suppressed for so long.
For those of you in your twenties and thirties who can relate to this, please don’t waste the next twenty years of your lives.
I believe that we all deserve to honor our feelings… the good, the bad and the ugly. To honor them and then take responsibility for them. Even if it is goes against the grain or what others expect.
Those feelings are trying to tell you that something needs attention and understanding.
We all need to be true to ourselves, to honor how we feel, and own our feelings.
This is being real and authentic in the world. Only from here, can we take the right step forward and find happiness.