Anyone who's ever been around a two-year old has heard it. It's one of the most remarkable declarations of the human experience. It reverberates throughout every cell, every experience since the beginning, and every moment of everyday in every lifetime.
Of course the flip side is true. Good feeling emotions are communications that we are more aligned with our true nature. And, through the decades, it's possible to place those feelings in the same context as the negative, that is, interpreted as a response to something another person has done for us. The problem with the latter is becoming beholden to someone/something else for happiness and well being. That never works, because that is not the source of the desired state of being/feeling.
You ain't the boss of me!
The recipient of the declaration is sometimes a parent, more often an older sibling. But isn't it remarkable that someone with only two years experience on the planet is able to articulate the true relationship between self and everything else? (You said something to that effect as a toddler but, sadly, suppressed recollections of those key years.) Yet the spirit remains very aware. For instance:
You've got to do that!
For a fleeting instant, barely noticeable, but present none-the-less, was a bit of "shock" upon reading the previous sentence. The shock is the instinctive awareness that whoever/whatever issued the demand that "you've got to do that!" ain't the boss of you. You may or may not go along with the demand or conform to the behavior - that's your choice - but the instinct is a powerful reminder of the birthright of genuine freedom. That little flash of anger is a direct link with what some call our "higher" self - the part of us not energizing the body. Such links are recognized as emotions, a truly marvelous language.
As we live longer, and move away from our two-year-old self, we are barraged by thoughts, beliefs, and creations of others. It's how we learn, it's how we establish our relationship with all else. And that is fun. What's not fun is when we slip into forcing ourselves to think, believe, or act in a way contrary to our true nature. Our higher self gets our attention with negative emotions. The two-year old, not having "learned" how to "behave" feels that emotional communication sharply and expresses it immediately "you ain't the boss of me!" After a couple of decades, and certainly more, that emotional communication may not be understood for what it is and interpreted as a response to something another person has done to us.
|"You ain't the boss of me!"
If we're not satisfied with current affairs and situations, then a first measure for improvement could be recognizing who we've allowed to be the boss of me, then, like our two-year old, assert the truth.