The definition I align with for emotional safety is: “In psychology, emotional safety refers to an emotional state achieved in attachment relationships wherein each individual is open and vulnerable.”
In my parenting, I made a commitment to put my eggs in the basket of emotional well-being and support for my daughter to emotionally mature. What this required was I had to “grow” myself up and take responsibility for being the adult in our relationship. It was challenging at times because I’d come to the conclusion, as a child, that being open and vulnerable were dangerous.
It became clear I couldn’t be open and vulnerable until I was willing to set healthy personal boundaries. I’d convinced myself it was OK to bind and limit my daughter so I didn’t have to set a personal boundary to take care of myself.
I was putting all my energy into controlling her behavior instead of turning inside to offer kindness to the stories and feelings arising.
Every time I chose to bind and limit her it was because I wasn’t willing to open to the vulnerable feelings that were evoked when she acted in ways that were uncomfortable.
I was demanding she be open and vulnerable and yet I wasn’t willing to meet her there. It was easier to blame her and position as a victim to her behavior than to turn toward my vulnerability with kindness.
I created the SafeSeat process to support having a safe emotional place to open to the vulnerable part in me instead of acting out with my daughter.
As I did, I began to see her behavior through a different lens. When she acted out I was the emotional threat. YIKES.
Slowly, I took steps to set my healthy personal boundaries, growing myself up so I could show up in an emotionally safe way.
You can too.
Listen to podcast Ep. 27 “Creating Emotional Safety in Your Home”