Being True to your Authentic Self

Being True to your Authentic Self. Gabor Maté is a trauma specialist and medical doctor who stated:

“You should be happy when you feel sadness, guilt or depressed, because this means you are connecting to your authentic self.”

This is a quote I share with many of my clients. Society has conditioned us to repress uncomfortable emotions. Many times, when people cry, they apologize as they say, “I am sorry because I am getting


We should not have to apologize when we express our true emotions. Why do people apologize for crying? Is it because they do not want to make others
uncomfortable? In western society we have been taught to hide any ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘negative’ emotion. Cortisol is the stress hormone that rises in
our bodies when we experience sadness, stress, or overwhelm. Scientists have tested the tears released when humans are experiencing an increase in cortisol levels. What scientists found was that cortisol was found in human tears.

This means that our body’s natural way of releasing stress is through crying. Have you ever noticed how you feel after you cry? The next time you cry you may notice
you are feeling calmer and more regulated. This is because our bodies need to release cortisol in a natural and healthy way.
To experience grief and sadness due to a loss is also misconstrued in western society. Often people have been told they need to ‘get over’ the death of a loved one or the loss of a relationship, for example. It can be very difficult when people experience sadness or emotional pain when they are grieving. Due to the immense
discomfort, we have been conditioned to think it is negative to feel emotional pain.

The question is though, why are you experiencing such an intense emotional reaction when you think of what or who you are mourning the loss of? This is
because you had a deep connection with them. Humans require connection with other humans to survive. When you are grieving the loss of a person, you are
grieving the loss of the connection.

The connection will never disappear especially if it was a true genuine one. We should provide ourselves with grace and
appreciate the fact we had the opportunity to connect with another person so deeply. Of course, we are going to miss the deep connection we developed with
someone else as it fulfilled a strong emotional need.

Being authentic and true to yourself means accepting all your emotions even if they feel uncomfortable or
painful. Our emotions provide us with information and inform us of what our values are and what is important to us.

We deserve the comfort of what acceptance and gratitude can provide to us when we accept all our emotions.


Written by: Penny Solinger, MSW, RSW
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