How To Achieve Emotional Freedom…

Why Embracing Painful Feelings is the Key to Happiness and Freedom

Alison Sherwood |

emotional freedom

“In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.” ~Dalai Lama

I often ask myself what led me to that place of feeling like I didn’t deserve to love myself.

When I look back to my youth I remember feeling hopeless. My mom, my hero, was sick a lot, and I could tell she wasn’t happy. And my dad didn’t always know how to act around a sensitive little girl.

There was a “funny” story told at family gatherings about how after seeing the movie Mary Poppins, I would sit for hours in my little red rocking chair outside yelling, “Mary Poppins, please come and take me with you.”

I would laugh alongside them at these stories, but in my stomach I’d always feel this sadness.

I had wanted a flying nanny with a magical tote full of exciting gadgets to take me away to that land of dancing penguins, laughing, and flying kites. Away from the anxiety and sadness about my mom’s health.

I felt afraid of losing my mom and not having any control to make it better for her. So at a very young age food became my best friend. It was a comforting to me, and I loved that I could actually control something in my life.

In high school I discovered Dexatrim. This was my secret. And there was shame in that secret. But I got better and better at numbing my real feelings.

I based my happiness on numbers—how much I weighed, how many calories I ate, how much money could I make, how many men could I get, and how many credit cards could I own.

I attracted men who mirrored my thoughts about my body. Feelings about never being thin enough, smart enough, sexual enough, or pretty enough.

All of this was in my head, controlling my life and ordering me around.

So there I was, in my early forties, a successful makeup artist in the film industry. I had “the perfect life”—beautiful daughter, a gorgeous home, a handsome husband, vacations, cute dogs, a nanny, and a housekeeper.

What the hell did I have to complain about? I was living the dream.

But there I was, a middle aged woman who, at the very core of her being, despised herself. My life revolved around constant deprivation, spending money recklessly, and allowing myself to be in a controlling, verbally abusive relationship.

I would love to say that one day I had enough and woke up from this self-defeating fog, but the way I’d treated myself had taken its toll. I was a forty-four-year-old zombie.

I was numb, depressed, and basically dead inside.

One day I heard the familiar voice of my husband yelling at me. Normally I would tune it out and accept the misery of it, but this time I noticed my six-year-old daughter was listening. What I saw in READ MORE:

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