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The Blog

​​​​​​​Lessons from Infancy: Emotions are meant to be shared!

Emily Porta

How many times do you stuff down what you are feeling? Or maybe you don't even know what you feel sometimes. I can't tell you how often I hear (and sometimes from my own mouth) people excusing their feelings and rationalizing their way out of embracing themselves and their truth. Ever heard "well it could be a lot worse," or "it wasn't THAT bad, at least I am not as bad off as this other person"? Those are red flags that we aren't just accepting of our simple emotions. I say often: they are just emotions, they won't kill you. 

Babies get this...to the core. If they are sad, they cry. If they are happy, they coo or giggle. If they are scared, they show it. These are feelings, simple feelings and they understand the importance of sharing them. If they don't share them, then their parents won't know how to respond to them. A healthy parent and child relationship looks something like this: Mommy tickles baby, baby laughs so mommy continues to tickle baby as long as baby shows enjoyment. There is an expression and a response. With unhealthy attachment, their is a lack of expression OR a lack of response. While as adults, we know we cannot anticipate the response of others or have control over it, we can choose our own behaviors and expressions of emotions. We also can choose who is safe to express our feelings to. When baby cries, Daddy holds the baby, comforts the baby and listens for why the baby is crying. If you are a parent you know that not every cry means sadness. Sometimes babies cry out of tiredness, boredom, fear, or hunger. 

That brings me to another point, the shades of emotions are important. How often do we cry and say we are sad. In reality we might be WAY more than sad. There can be layers of emotions and they are nuanced. The more we express them, the more we understand ourselves. If you don't give a voice to your emotions, your body will speak for you - which is why we get upset stomachs, random pains, headaches, increased blood pressure or nightmares. Babies don't want any of that. They know the importance of expressing emotions. 

The reason I started this series is because I want you to know, we all used to be babies and we were born with a lot of wisdom and greatness. Sometimes therapy is a way to awaken us back to what we were originally born with. So the next time you want to dismiss your feelings, STOP and really think - what is the harm in saying "I am angry, lonely, scared or frustrated?" These are your emotions, that need to be shared and heard and typically when they are...they lose their power over us and we find ourselves, valuing who we are and what we feel.