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Growing up in a Chaotic, Unsafe Environment

Growing up in a chaotic, unsafe environment often forces individuals to develop a strong facade. This strength is a defense mechanism, a coping mechanism born out of necessity (survival).

However, a fundamental difference exists between being strong within. Strength demands control, while power allows us to let go. I spent a lot of my childhood trying to control my emotions primarily by suppressing them, inadvertently causing myself more pain and disconnection from my body. It's the reason I developed a powerful addiction – it took away my pain temporality.

First, let's differentiate between strength and power. When strong, we're like a dam holding back a torrent of emotions. We become adept at suppressing our feelings, putting on a brave face, and maintaining control over our external reactions. Strength stems from the fear of losing control, and it often leads to a sense of isolation and emotional turmoil.

On the other hand, true power comes from within. It's the ability to handle whatever life throws at us without the need for control. Power allows us to embrace our emotions, acknowledge them, and experience them without judgment. It's a profound inner strength that doesn't require suppressing or manipulating our feelings but enables us to flow with them.

Attempting to control our emotions will harm our mental and emotional well-being. When we try to control our feelings, we bury them deep within ourselves. Over time, this suppression can lead to emotional numbness, anxiety, depression, illness, and mental health challenges.

My constant battle with my feelings exhausted me right into adulthood. The more I tried to control them, the more stress which had a significant impact on my recovery from addiction and other life challenges. Emotional control led me to strained relationships because I wasn't connected to myself.

Emotions serve as signals, indicating areas in our lives that require attention and growth. By controlling them, we miss the opportunity to learn and evolve.


In our quest for emotional well-being and personal growth, we must understand that controlling our emotions can cause more pain. True power comes from the ability to embrace our feelings, acknowledge them, and let them flow without restraint. By letting go of control and embracing our emotions, we can experience healing, stronger relationships, and greater inner peace. It's time to shift from being strong to truly powerful by allowing ourselves to be with our feelings.


Paul Noiles

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