Babies have Real Feelings - Part II

Written by Marion Rose PhD

I wonder if you’ve ever done rebirthing or something similar?

I wonder if you’ve ever explored how your early life has influenced your adult life?

I wonder if you’ve ever been to a counsellor or healer or therapist or bodyworker and talked or cried about your early experiences?

The wonderful thing about our psyche is that we can heal from things that happened 20,30,40 years ago and more!

And that can be a really helpful thing to remember as a parent – that our children will be able to heal and have heard feelings that we weren’t able to heal and hear, when they are adults.

AND, can you imagine if you could have shared the feelings that you shared with a counsellor, therapist, healer, bodyworker, partner, friend or empathy buddy, with your parents when you still were a baby or a child?

Imagine what a difference that would have made if you could have shared your feelings about your birth with them, as they held you in their loving arms?

Imagine the deep feeling of relief and safety and unconditional love you would have received if you could have told them about all the different experiences and feelings you had?

If you could have told them that you were scared at times, and they had been able to hear your fear, and be with it, and stay with you through it, until you expressed your fear and came out the other side.

Imagine how it would have felt if you could have shared your experiences of overwhelm with them, and they could have held you calmly in their arms, looking at you with love, and really hearing what your experience was like, without trying to stop you.

Imagine how you might have felt if you had been able to share your experiences of frustration, like when you were learning to grasp or sit up, and they could have heard you with their full presence, knowing that there was nothing wrong with you and nothing they need worry about – and they mirrored you with the look in your eyes, whilst letting you know that all is well through the relaxation in their bodies.

Imagine if, whatever feeling you were feeling, and however intense it was, that they could stay relaxed and calm, confident that you were expressing feelings rather than having unmet needs, and you could feel a deep sense of trust that ALL of your feelings are welcome, and that it is safe to feel them, and that in feeling them fully and wholeheartedly, you would move through them, and come out the other side feeling calm and relaxed and so peaceful in your body?

Imagine if you felt a deep sense of unconditional love for all of you? For all of your needs, all of your feelings, all of your wants and desires, all of your behaviours?

Imagine if the mirror of your parents’ eyes was one of unconditional love, seeing the divine being that you really are?

Imagine if you could have shared your most painful feelings with them, the deepest parts of your soul, and known, from their calm, peaceful, relaxed, warm, loving response, that every single part of you was welcomed, and ideas of something being wrong with you were something you could never even imagine. 

I wonder how you feel when you imagine that kind of welcoming for your feelings?

The beauty is that however old your baby or child is, it’s never too late to listen to more of their feelings.

The key to being able to listen to more of their feelings is being able to listen to our own feelings.

If we aren’t able to be lovingly present with our own sadness, disappointment, frustration, rage and fear, it will be very hard for us to be authentically present with those same feelings in our baby.

The key to our baby experiencing a deep sense of her feelings being welcomed, and for her knowing that there is nothing wrong with her or her feelings, is us feeling comfortable and relaxed in our bodies when we hold her when she’s experiencing those feelings.

And if you’re about to judge yourself here about not being relaxed, I invite you to set a loving limit with self-judgment.

Self-judgment won’t help you or your baby or child. All it will do is will give you more emotional bruises to be with for yourself.

Deep self-compassion WILL help you and your baby or child.

There are two main ways that we can become more comfortable with our own feelings.

The first is having someone listen to them now who IS comfortable with those feelings.

When we are sad and crying and are with someone who can calmly be present with sadness and crying, and can calmly and lovingly hear us and see us and give us empathy, and mirror us accurately, then we receive the physical, emotional and mental message that those feelings are safe and welcome and natural.

And the more we experience these mirroring, relaxed, responses to our painful feelings, the more we internalise those responses, and are able to feel calm, present, relaxed and compassionate with ourselves.

The outer response we receive becomes internalised and becomes our inner response.

The second way is listening compassionately to our own uncomfortable feelings.

We will generally need to receive that from the outside first, before we can start giving that to ourselves and being that with ourselves.

And THEN we can change our inner dialogue, through choice.

Instead of judging our feelings or distracting ourselves, we can increasingly stay present in our bodies with the sensations and feelings and thoughts.

We can increasingly bring a sense of warm compassion to an increasing number of feelings.

For me, it’s my Inner Loving Crew that do that. They love me unconditionally. However I’m feeling, they give me empathy and unconditional love and acceptance. 

And, there is an inter-relationship between being present with our baby’s feelings and our own feelings.

We don’t need to learn to be present with ALL of our feelings before we can hear ALL of our baby’s feelings.

We might phone a friend and be heard in our sadness, and then when our baby next cries when all her needs are met, we might then feel relaxed enough to hold her in our arms, gaze into her eyes and tell her, “I’m here, sweetheart, and I’m listening. I love you. I love to hear your feelings.”

And whilst we are listening to our baby’s feelings, we are also listening to our own baby-self feelings.

And after listening to her feelings, we may also feel more comfortable with those feelings in ourselves.

It’s like a cycle of increasing unconditional love for all feelings. 

And again, I want to remind you that it’s never too late to listen to more feelings.

Given that we can start listening to more of our own feelings as adults, we can definitely start listening to more of the feelings of our babies, children, teens or adult ‘children.’

I wonder how you feel when you read this?

I wonder if you would like to listen to more of your own feelings?

I wonder if you would like to reach out to have your feelings heard by others who can hear them and see you?

I wonder if you would like to listen to more of the feelings of your baby, child, teen or adult child?

It IS possible.

You CAN listen to more (if you want to).

It’s NEVER too late to listen to more feelings!

Feelings are waiting, just waiting, to be heard!