“Thank you for sharing your thoughts,” has become a genuine reply that both calms me, and also feels true when parsing my way through this cultural great divide. Engagement, can otherwise feel like entrapment/ entanglement, if we are not loving and holding ourselves well. Centered.
Take responsibility for the way you are showing up in relationship right now, for the way that it feels to be in connection (this is the mirror to your deepest Self). It is not novel to feel “unsafe” to show up in emotional transparency. In families we are taught early that some thoughts and feelings are welcome, while others are not. We learn to withhold sacred and scared pieces of ourselves in order to fit in to the mold of “rightness” requisite to a sense of belonging, lest we upset someone, become a burden, or are ultimately “sent to our rooms without dinner.”
Before you sacrifice yourself and what is true for you, for a seat at the family table, ask yourself this; ‘What do “I” believe? What do “I” feel? What do “I” need, and ‘What is at risk if I say so?”
These are becoming the deepest and most polarized of times. Contrast of feelings, ideologies, and needs, are the out-breath of the very air that we need to survive. Community. Family. Connection.
Hold gently all pieces of all things. Our willingness to hold ourselves and each other unconditionally in these variations of being, will reveal to us who we are as a People. Will we be the frightened children of our histories? Will we be the shaming parents of our youth? Can we be brave enough to stand for the things that forfeit our seats at the table, in order to build a True Home for ourselves within the wise and peaceful sanctity of our own unconditional hearts. Who will you choose to become?
Hold Yourselves and Each other Well.
Toni-Cara Stellitano, LCSW is an artist, Holistic Psychotherapist and traumainformed creative arts practitioner. She specializes in body-based (non-medication) interventions to support the healing and wellness of women, children, and families.