Bill of Rights
It's taken me many years to learn that at the core of my anxiety are the feelings that I have stuffed for many years, and that when I'm able to express my feelings appropriately and in a timely fashion, my anxiety is oftentimes kept to a minimum. It's almost like magic.
I, like so many others, came from a relatively dysfunctional family (thank goodness there has been a lot of improvement in later years) and I was literally not allowed to "feel" when I was younger.
It seemed the only feeling I did develop was the feeling of anxiety. Some 30+ years later, I'm finally learning what real feeling is and how to express it as it comes up. It's been the greatest gift my "recovery" process has given me in recent years. It doesn't always "feel" good, but it's much better than always being anxious.
I've stumbled across many versions of a personal "Bills of Rights" in the past few years and I will list some of the major points stated within them (not in any order). They essentially are guidelines for giving ourselves permission to think, feel and express, and value who we are. Some of the most significant points are:
- I have numerous choices in my life beyond mere survival.
- I have a right to discover and know my Child within.
- I have a right to grieve over what I didn't get, that I needed or wanted.
- I have a right to follow my own standards and values.
- I have a right to dignity and respect.
- I have a right to make my own decisions.
- I have a right to determine and honor my own priorities.
- I have the right to terminate conversations with people who make me feel put down and humiliated.
- I have the right to have my needs met at least half of the time (especially in a relationship).
- I have a right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
- I have a right to expect honesty from others.
- I have a right to be angry at someone I love.
- I have a right to all of my feelings.
- I have the right not to be OK all the time.
- I have the right not to settle for crumbs.
- I have a right to feel scared and to say, "I am afraid."
- I have a right to change my mind at any time.
- I have the right to be happy.
- I have a right to stability and security.
- I have the right to my own personal space.
- There is no need to smile when I cry.
- I have the right to change and grow.
- I have the right to have friends and to openly share with them.
- I have a right to a non-abusive environment.
- I have a right to grieve over actual or threatened losses.
- I have a right to give and receive unconditional love.
Staff, H. (2007, February 20). Bill of Rights, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, January 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/bill-of-rights