Have you ever found yourself wondering where the child you once knew went? One day your child can make a decision and the next day they won’t. Or one day they can tell you what they want for breakfast and the next day they can’t? Have you ever wondered why this behavior suddenly came about? Perhaps you’re putting it down to growing and maturing in some way. What if I said there could be a missing link within your family dynamic that might be being over looked… would you want to dig in a little deeper to investigate? Yes?
Well first let me give this missing link some context for you and then I’ll share an example from my own life to help illustrate my point. Suppression of an emotion shuts down that specific communication link with the self. For example let’s take indecision as the emotion that we are suppressing. When suppressed we are left unable to make a decision; a fairly obvious example.
The suppressed emotion, although not being expressed by the self, will be expressed somewhere.
This expression usually occurs three ways:
- Within our body – signs, symptoms, dis-ease, disease
- Via a person
- At times both 1 & 2
It is the second point, ‘via a person’, where I want to dive in deeper using this example of indecision. The expression of the suppressed emotion is usually so close to us that we do not see ourselves suppressing an emotion but rather we see another person expressing an emotion not common to them e.g. being unable to make a decision. More often we wonder why an adult or child is like “x” and set about doing everything we can to control it. This need for control can be emphasized through parenting in particular ways or via medications administered to “mellow” out the behaviour! Quite often however we do not look at our family dynamic to see who might be the one expressing our own suppressed emotion.
Let me share this example with you to make the point a little clearer…
When I had finished writing my award winning and global selling book The Vital Truth a publisher in the USA was looking at picking it up for circulation and publishing. It did take long for them to agree to going ahead. During one conversation they explained to me how they would market the book. As I listened I thought this is not the way I want the book brought to the public and if it is marketed this way it will completely go against what the book is about. They gave me four weeks to make up my mind, in other words to sign and agree to their terms of circulation and publishing. I agonised for the full four weeks. During this time making a decision was one of the hardest things I had to do. On one side there was a lucrative enticement and on the other side was my moral responsibility to speak the truth about health and have it marketed as such. As a person who can usually make a decision in a snap I found myself extremely challenged with making up my mind.
What was interesting, however was what occurred within the family during this four weeks…
I felt like I was taking my time to make the decision, slowly absorbing all the different options. Our middle boy who can usually make a decision in a snap, just like me, became quite indecisive. This is usually a child who knows what he wants to eat, makes smart health decisions, knows when he wants to go to the toilet, knows when he is tired etc. Suddenly he could no long make those decisions. Once a young child with direction seemed, at the time, to be floating along not knowing what he wanted. As a mum I began to get frustrated that his clear decisive self had drifted off. It wasn’t until week four of my own indecisiveness that I saw a pattern being played out in the family – between him and I. I awoke on the last day of the fourth week that the publisher had given me to make my decision. I went upstairs to my office rang the publishing company told them I wouldn’t be going ahead and then came back downstairs with a pep in my step and a calmness within myself for having made the decision. As I went to organise breakfast for the kids out comes our middle boy still in his pyjamas, rubbing his eyes asking for yoghurt and fruit. I turned and looked at him as if he was a different child.
And then the lesson came…what gets suppressed gets expressed!
During the four weeks when I couldn’t make a decision the person who most resembled me at the time was the one that showed up to demonstrate what I needed to learn. Here was our middle boy, who can usually make a decision, like me, who was suddenly not making decisions, reflecting me! As soon as I made a decision about the publishing company our personalities resurfaced. I saw him once again as a person who could make a decision. Remarkable how our lessons come to pass if we are open to learning and seeing the symbiotic relationship we have with one another within our family.
Here are some steps you can take to assist with indentifying the suppression/expression behaviour within your family:
- Grab a few pieces of blank paper.
- On the piece of paper write all the characteristics, traits or emotions you see your child doing that irritates, frustrates or annoys you.
- Take one of the characteristics, traits or emotions and write it at the top of one of the blank pieces of paper.
- Ask yourself “where am I doing that exact same thing in my life” and remember it can be expressing anywhere within your life.
Take the example of our middle boy and I once again…
I saw his indecisive being expressed in the familial area of my life, my indecisiveness however was being expressed in my vocational area of life; my work. So the expression of your suppression is not always in the area or your life where you “see it” expressing in someone else. The person that best resembles you is the person who shows up at the time and that can be in any of the seven areas of life – spiritual, mental, vocational, financial, familial, social or physical. Our middle boy resembles me in everyday life with his decisiveness so of course he was the one that showed up to give me the lesson to assist me with making my decision about the publishing company! Perfect.