Understanding emotions – my personal journey

Dany Griffiths Birthing Programme, Blog, Prenatal Parenting Programme Leave a Comment

Dany Griffiths as a young girlToday I am going to share something personal with you. It’s about my own journey with understanding the true messages of our emotions.

Because I have come on such a long journey myself it is a subject I am very passionate about sharing with others. It is the reason why understanding emotions is such a big part of The Wise Hippo Bond with Baby workshop.

My journey starts back at the month before I was born. My mum sadly got a knock on the door, the worst knock on the door you can receive. My dad had died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 40.

Needless to say this was not a great time for my mum.

Moving forward a couple of years and my mum met my dad who brought me up. I didn’t find out that he wasn’t my biological dad until I was 17.  Some say that my mum made the wrong decision to withhold this information from me but I am in two minds about this. He was a fantastic dad and I like that I never think of him as my step-dad. I don’t know if I would have looked at him any differently but in that respect I don’t mind that I didn’t know. Whatever my feelings on the subject my mum made the best decision she could at the time and I respect her for that. 

But let’s rewind again to as far back as I can remember in my childhood and then all the way forward to when I first started studying the subject of emotions when I was about 38. I was always frightened that I would lose people I loved through death 

I’m not talking about the fear that I think we all have a bit of. I mean terrifying fear that caused me to follow certain rituals and routines and a pattern of worrying which I felt would keep people safe because “bad news always comes as a shock doesn’t it?” Remember for the first 17 years of my life I didn’t know what had happened to my biological dad or my mum for that matter and yet I still ‘believed’ this.

The true message of FEAR is “I want to feel safe”.

Imagine for a moment that you have no fear of ANYTHING!!!! It doesn’t bear thinking about does it, let alone imagining? Fear slows us down, forces us to stop and think and avoid danger. Often our gut instinct has even perceived something long before the conscious brain understands what and therefore FEAR “keeps us safe”.

We are very sensibly taught about fear when we are young so that we can avoid danger. But unfortunately we can sometimes learn lessons wrong. I was never taught that although (as in my mum’s case) tragedy can occur, it is very rare. 

Excessive worry and anxiety is fear gone wrong. There was nothing about my fear that was keeping me safe from danger.

This was a light bulb moment for me and I started my journey to recovery from this terrifying fear of loss by simply asking myself the following question when it arose (which was almost constant to start with).

“What danger am I in?” 

The resulting answer “I am not in danger” gave me the space to start letting go of the fear.

Then a couple of years later I saw a great talk which included a technique from The Sedona Method and I adapted that technique to use for myself and went on to share it with my clients.

I call it the ‘Flip a Coin’ technique and I will be sharing it with you in my next post so check back in a couple of days to learn it for yourself.

I don’t believe my mum did anything wrong by not telling me sooner about my biological dad. She did what she felt was best for me at the time with the information that she had.

I do believe that if she’d known about how babies learn about emotions when they are in the womb that she would have talked to me about how she felt and perhaps would have made a different decision about whether to share earlier about what happened to my biological dad. 

We cannot make sure that everything is perfect when we are pregnant or for that matter after our babies have been born but we can teach them about the true messages of their emotions. 

If you’d like to learn more about this amazing subject check out our Bond with Baby workshop.

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