Were you ever punished as a child for being interested in something your parents didn’t allow?

Were you ever shamed in high school for dressing provocatively or for your love of anime?

Have you ever had a lover call your newfound interest in crystals, tarot cards or Mala beads “lame” or “stupid?”

As a young child, you may have experienced an interest in boys or girls early on. You may have experienced empathetic/psychic abilities before you could even talk. You may have always felt an interest in dark and creepy things.

Instead of having a conversation on ​what to do​ with that interest in boys, you may have been shamed (both inside your household and outside). You may have been called ridiculous for those psychic abilities, so you learned to shut them off (as much as you could– they were always there, though). You may have forced yourself to turn away from Salad Fingers and Tim Burton films that nourished your desire for dark goodness.

I invite you to think about this question: “Who were you not allowed to be as a child?” 

What parts of you were labeled as ​rebellious, dangerous, weird, stupid, creepy, immature, freaky, slutty or bad​?

As adults, one of our biggest accomplishments in life is to find that part of ourselves again and love them deeply. ​​If you were not allowed to be interested in your own body, it’s time to explore sexy solo time and “dive deep” into her juicy goodness (pun intended). If you were not allowed to have the tomboy clothes you loved, it’s time you find ​your​ own dapper style. If you were not allowed to meditate or talk about gurus, it’s time to hit up a meditation studio nearby and immerse yourself in their community.

That’s the amazing thing about being an adult– you can give yourself the thing you were deprived of as a kid. Or ashamed of. Or the thing you hid away.

I can’t tell you how many men and women I meet who tell me that their whole life they could feel the energy of others and they were incredibly empathetic but they were told it was “made up” in their heads. And so, in order to fit in with the rest of the family, they tried, tried and tried to turn off their empathy to feel normal.

And where does this normally lead? You got it– depression.

Turning off your ability to feel others means turning off your ability to feel yourself. Depression is a lack of feeling. It’s a void of true emotion and connection.

So what does all this mean?

There is good news and “bad” news. The good news is, you are completely in control of whether or not you bring back these parts of yourself that were shut down. The “bad” news is…you are completely in control of whether or not you bring back these parts of yourself.

It’s no easy task– and I wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes it felt like a full time job. Parenting yourself is like that. It’s a lot of work– even if your parents didn’t nourish the aspects of you that they didn’t understand, they tried their best, doing what they knew how to do.

Now the rest is up to you.

Here are a few suggestions for getting back in touch with the parts of yourself you feel disconnected from:

1. Sit down and journal your answer to the question: “Who was I not allowed to be as a child?” 

Take your time and give yourself plenty of space to do so. Remember, this is an exercise that is meant to bring you ​closer​ to understanding yourself, not take you ​further​ away from the people who raised you. They were doing what they knew to do, and it is not their responsibility to bring back those parts of you they dismissed. That’s your job, my love.

2. Create a bliss list.

Write down a list of things that bring you bliss, or things you know ​once​ brought you bliss. Maybe you love to bake funfetti cake or color outside of the lines. Maybe you listen to the Rent soundtrack in your PJs while looking at DIY magazines. Maybe you ​love​ pink glitter and high heels. Or black paint and glow-in-the-dark stick-on stars for your bedroom walls. What brings you bliss?

3. Think about how you want to ​feel​.

What is a feeling you have neglected? We love the things that we love because they make us feel a certain way. Maybe you want to feel more free…more excited….more nourished….more loved….more adventurous. Your bliss list can help you feel those things, but you don’t ​need​ to do anything to feel a certain way. You can experience that right now.

4. Think about how you ​don’t​ want to feel.

Think about the feelings that you often neglect or push away. Those feelings I ​also​ encourage you to be aware of…and allow back into your life. It’s normally the feelings we turn off that are our biggest roadblocks to the feelings we finally want to feel again. You want to feel more freedom? You also need to allow yourself to fully feel your restriction. You want more joy? You first must allow yourself to fully feel and express your sorrow. You want more adventure? Give yourself permission to sit with your boredom and routine.

Today I’m releasing a podcast episode with the one and only Matt Kahn– and I must say, this episode is phenomenal. Not only is Matt a huge role model of mine now, but he’s a role model to hundreds of thousands of people across the world. Matt is a spiritual leader who has the gift of speaking directly into your soul’s core essence.

To begin listening, head on over to the show notes HERE or subscribe to the Mind Body Musings Podcast on iTunes or Spotify.

Comment below: who were you not allowed to be as a child? And how are you going to embrace this aspect of yourself as an adult?

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