Paso Robles, CA
“There is nothing spiritual in repressing your feelings.” – Marianne Williamson
There tends to be a belief that, in order to be “Spiritual,” you must be all “Love and Light.”
I call Bullsh***t on that.
Continually repressing your feelings is dangerous. Are you allowing yourself to be an “Exploding Doormat?”
I was on a weekend retreat with my daughter recently. Koelle Simpson, the retreat leader, is a horse whisperer in the truest sense of the word. I believe, she’s also a “human whisperer.” A beautiful being with a gift of intuition that’s off the charts.
One of the participants was sharing a story. She’s a Mom. She’s also full of anger – repressed anger. You could feel her pain…and her confusion.
She had young children at home. She’s not only a Mom…she’s a single Mom. She loves her children yet she couldn’t understand why she kept lashing out at her kids.
It’s the first time I had heard the term, “Exploding Doormat.” Koelle shared that when we suppress and repress our needs over time and continually give to others while allowing ourselves to be walked over, the doormat can’t help but explode. That repressed energy can’t stay down forever. All those buried emotions inevitably come up…and it’s usually not pretty.
The term “Exploding Doormat” was coined by the Fierce and Fabulous, Martha Beck.
My experience in Spirituality suggests that only truly enlightened beings are all Love and Light. The rest of us humans are just doing the best that we can! We have issues. We have pain. We have shadows. We have feelings and emotions, many of which are buried; suppressed and repressed over time. Some because they have to be to keep us safe. Most because of fear and our internal wiring that includes unhealthy patterns and beliefs.
I had tremendous empathy for this single mother. I admired her courage in being vulnerable, allowing her facade to crumble, her shield to rest for a moment by her side.
I sensed most of us at the retreat could relate to the “Exploding Doormat” syndrome. For this woman, it was finely woven into the fabric of motherhood. For me, it was refusing to stand up to a marriage filled with deprecation and emotional abuse. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The retreat was centered around the theme of “Connections.” My daughter and I were “reconnecting.” We’ve been going through a challenging personal situation in our family over the past couple of years. We were both ready to heal.
I sense she could relate to her Mom becoming an “Exploding Doormat” in my marriage. I know I did. The cost of keeping a happy face on for years and years was much too high. I was in an extremely unhealthy marriage that was taking a massive toll on my physical and emotional well being. I was literally “dying on the inside” while refusing to let others know. From the outside, I looked happy. I looked like the woman who had it all. That wasn’t even close to my reality. My inner world was filled with sadness and pain. Most of it unconscious to me as I pushed those feelings down as far as I could, for as long as I could. And then: I would explode in anger…anger I didn’t understand. It was all I saw growing up. I learned to suppress my needs, my feelings, and any and all emotions, at any cost.
I do believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
We have a spirit…a soul at our core…that is the essence of our being. It is our authentic self and it cannot be repressed or suppressed forever. We must be who we are born to be.
Living as an “Exploding Doormat” means chipping away at our soul, little by little. It means denying who we truly are. It means living out of alignment with our purpose and our desires.
You don’t have to be a doormat. Neither did I. I refuse to live that way any longer.
When we express our feelings, our emotions, our wants, our needs, and our desires, we live authentically…and we form healthy relationships through clear communication. Being a healthy human means not repressing our emotions. Being a healthy human means being real, beginning with ourselves.
Repressed anger and suppressed emotions over time lead to illness. Feelings and emotions exist for a reason. We must feel them, to heal them. We must learn to express them in a healthy way. We must learn to ask for what we need.
The human spirit is a powerful thing. We aren’t born to be doormats. We aren’t born to be walked upon. We are born to rise above. We are born to be Fierce. We are born to live and to love…beginning with ourselves.
We are born filled with Moxie.