We speak of a person being self-possessed, self-controlled, or in self-command.
And usually when we do, we picture a person behaving outside socially-accepted norms – too jovial, too aggressive, too this or that.
We mean that they’ve pulled back in to a socially-accepted range of emotions, words, and actions.
However we may feel about it, people have their preferences on how we show up. And they bring sanctions against those who don’t conform. My use of resentment as a tool to manipulate outcomes is an example of behaving along these lines.
Leaving aside the controlling and manipulating aspects of these ways of being, there is a side I just stumbled on that is profoundly useful.
I just saw how self-command also reveals our ability to “command” ourselves in the matter of how we relate to ourselves.
I saw myself feeling equivocal about feeling happy. I didn’t just allow myself to feel happy because I could get the back of a hand for being too … whatever. I’d have gone outside my Dad’s preferred boundaries.
And I saw a role for me in encouraging myself back to life in this area. I began to encourage myself to feel happy. I congratulated myself when I did feel happy. I acknowledged myself and applauded myself. I never knew I had this ability. I became the new voice on the block.
And I saw that I had an important role to play in ensuring my mental health by supporting and encouraging myself, actively and ongoingly. I had never noticed this before.
I agree to take on this role. I see this as a promising step forward which I plan to develop. I already know the love I seek is to be found in my own heart. Now I see that the encouragement I feel I need is also to be found within my own power to give.