One's inner world is experienced on many levels- it may be experienced through our physical senses, such as heightened heart rates, sweaty palms, light headedness, stomach "butterflies", chest constriction amongst other manifestations. Alongside it may be experienced through thoughts and attached feelings. The latter are not always easy to identify, let alone articulate. Emotions are nuanced and non binary, in that love and hate relief and guilt, shame and blame, for example, can be experienced simultaneously. Having this space in our childhood to regularly identify layered and ambiguous feelings, and thus safely make emotional sense of our lived reality is a crucial strategy in validating our "self".
The big trend today in mindfulness based strategy is around noticing and observing our feelings without self recrimination and thus attachment (owning or internalizing environmental deficiencies) . This ability to "see" our emotions as tangible, objectifiable verifications of our self, is a major player in creating an adult identity around worthiness. We use models today, such as dialectical behavioral therapy which fuel a sense of acknowledgment and self respect by "being" in two emotional places at the same time, without (at least conscious) attached value judgements. When one is verified in such a way it rectifies the "damaged" self that may have in childhood internalized and owned the darker emotion; the latter often linked to self harming behaviors even.
Assisting our clients to view their pain, anger, guilt, shame or hate as sane responses to a deficient environment is such a crucial strategy in validating an identity that can finally move one towards growth. The growth is around selfhood created and recreated, not in spite of tragedy or trauma but rather as a result of; a stronger and more authentic selfhood in adulthood.