I can’t mean anything to you until you see me and seeing me takes emotional courage because if you REALLY see me you’ll see my feeling, my frailty, my sadness, my courage and every possible feeling I have…which may also stir up some in you.

Most of us live in denial 

We are sold positivity in posters, wall hangings, and cute sayings. But this addiction to only that which is cute, and positive is destroying us and our country because we refuse to see what’s really happening and we refuse the fullness of our ability to feel everything life offers. It destroyed my early life. My mother took her last drink minutes after I was born and my father left when I was nine and never returned to the place he had never really been.

I left home at age 11 and I became strong. No scary feelings for me! Not when I was raped, not when my mother died, not when my father died and not when I had four children. I focused on food on the table and a roof over their heads — one step in front of the next. I never knew the power of real courage and I lost the emotional connection I should have had with my children.

After years of grief over this, I just realized why my children love me, but they don’t like me. They never knew me, and it grieves me to the core to own that. Susan David calls this dilemma the ‘Tyranny of Positivity’

Just push through, don’t feel any negative feelings. Be positive if you have cancer. Be positive if you get left, someone else will come along, don’t grieve too long after a death, it’s not good for you.

The cost of that belief is too high. Our greatest emotional teachers and the very source of our emotional courage is being ignored. I forgot…. I never knew vulnerability, tenderness or emotional courage until I went to school to become a therapist. If I was going to ask that of my clients, I damn well had to become that, embrace it myself. And we all need to learn it now.

Our most important emotional teachers are being ignored and the consequence is our emotional courage is going with them. It’s time to invite grief, anger, sadness, sorrow, shame, every emotion we run from, in — and ask those emotions what they are here to teach us about ourselves. 

When I realized the truth of why my kids love me but they don’t like me, I was devastated and I don’t even know if I will be able to repair that before I leave the planet. 

However, knowing it has pushed me to a place of embracing openness and vulnerability to the fullest extent that I can. Not a bad start for my next life and hopefully with some work I will find a way to show my children I am not just the emotionless woman who put food in their bellies and a roof over their heads. I am the woman who did not have the tools to show them I loved them more than life itself and would have laid down on the tracks of an on-coming train to give them one more breath of life. This column is letting you see me, my own vulnerability, regret, and shame. It is a gift to me and hopefully to you.

The moments sitting with your feelings are gold. When you embrace your own emotions, you are standing in your most important truth and your true purpose in being here which is …to find your best self. When you are able to embrace your deepest emotions, you are also able to embrace them in others. You begin to see yourself and see them as well and they become more real and precious to you.

This is an opportune time to embrace the whole assignment….right now. That is exactly what all this chaos and drama is about. It is pushing us to wake up. It’s time to find our true selves and stand profoundly in that truth. I want to see you. I want you to see you because you are amazing and the world is waiting for you to take your true place in it.

Dr. Dina is a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist and Consciousness Counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. She has also won national acclaim as a human rights advocate. Visit www.drdinaevan.com or call her at 602 571-8228.