Expression vs. Suppression

I have a saying that there is more energy held in suppression than in expression.

By this it is meant that when we hold back from living life fully, from fulfilling our dreams, and being true to ourselves, we expend much more energy than when we flow with our gifts and desires.

We all do it in one way or another. We hold back disclosing a part of our beliefs because we expect others to criticize them. Or we resist pursuing our passion to become an artist because it may not bring the same paycheck as an office job.

Whether we hold back due to opinions of others or because of our own fears of inadequacy, starting over, being exposed, or being vulnerable, that resistance to the expression of your true nature requires a tremendous amount of energy.

In what ways have you found yourself resisting the temptation of pushing the envelope, taking a risk, trying something new, fulfilling a life dream, or making an overdue change? What do you suspect is the toll that is rendered by that limiting behavior?

Do you think that people would so expectedly go through a mid-life crisis if they were tuned into their innate nature and living their lives accordingly day by day throughout their lives?

According to Psychology Today, “Midlife transition” is natural and happens around 40 years of age. This period of a person’s life may include such feelings as discontentment, boredom, restlessness, wanting complete change, confusion about identity and where your life is going, and questioning prior decisions and the meaning of life.

I am curious whether these symptoms would be so natural for a person who was aligning themselves with their highest values on a moment to moment basis, and showing flexibility throughout their life to make the appropriate changes necessary to allow that desired fulfillment to enter their lives continuously.

Psychology Today goes on to delineate the stages of midlife transition based on work by Carl Jung, as follows:

“Accommodation—presenting ourselves as different people (personae)
based on our situation.
Separation—removing the personae we wear in different situations and
assessing who we are underneath; rejecting your personae, even
if only temporarily.
Reintegration—feeling more certain of your true identity and adopting
a more appropriate personae.
Individuation—recognizing and integrating the conflicts that exist within
us, and achieving a balance between them.”

From years of working with clients, it has become apparent that everyone has some area of their life that they are restricting. There is some wish or desire that is suppressed or a part of their personality that is left unexpressed.

Naturally, there may be negative traits that need to be held with discipline until they can be worked out of the system, such as anger, rage, and other dysfunctions. Here we are referring to positive character traits.

For just a moment, close your eyes and think about your own life. What positive trait or nature is being suppressed? What would you truly like to do that has so far not been allowed to be expressed?

Symptoms of suppression can range from boredom, anxiety, irritability and anger, to addictions, weight gain, affairs, and self-questioning.

Steps in Gaining Greater Expression
In a meditative or contemplative state of mind, imagine going into a room where you could be your true natural self, and could follow through with your heart’s desire. It could be that you would like to be an artist, a hero, partake in an adventure, try a new career, or live more passionately.

Allow yourself to imagine spending time doing that in this special room. What would you notice? How would that feel? What in your life would be different if you were to live your life like that?

Ask yourself what you are gaining by the suppression, and what you would gain from expressing your true nature.

Ask yourself whether there would be a down side to making the necessary changes to allow your life to be more fulfilling.

And then, ask yourself what it will take for you to align yourself with your true expressive self.

It may be helpful to make a journal entry about your experiences and your findings.