“What good is talking about it? It won’t change anything.” Most therapists have heard this lamentation more times than they can count. Which is good, because this is an important step in emotional healing. In my counseling practice, or even when supporting friends through a crisis, hearing this phrase is a sign that the healing process is trying to peek through the storm.
There is good news and not-so-good news. First, the not-so-good news. Most of the time, relief from grief, trauma, sadness, etc. comes from going through the storm. This means feeling and expressing these intense feelings in a safe place with a trusted therapist, friend, or family member. Someone who is ready and able to “hold space” with you and hear your truth. Suppressing these life-changing experiences and feelings often intensifies them. They continue to boil until they erupt – sometimes with devastating consequences.
Now the good news. On the other side of the storm is relief. When we tell our difficult stories and verbally express our most vulnerable and painful feelings, we release some of the intensity. We put these stories out into the universe and let the universe absorb some of the pain. Each time we tell our painful stories, a little bit of the grief or sadness comes out. And every little bit helps. Through the healing process, we can make space in our heart for feelings of relief and peace. The memories of these life experiences often do not go away and continuing to feel some level of emotional pain is normal. The goal is to tell these stories often enough so they have less power over us. The experiences start to work for us instead of against us.
The wonderful people at “Tiny Buddha” posted an article on the importance of expressing and sitting with uncomfortable and painful feelings. This part, in particular, spoke to me:
Then there are those darkest moments of sorrow, the moments when grief shakes even our sturdiest foundations. When we lose a loved one. When illness consumes us. When we experience a tragedy so emotionally excruciating that it redefines our very understanding of pain.
In these moments, when we can’t find a single silver lining for miles, we can summon the courage to sit with our sorrow. We can find solace in the truth that there is simply nothing else to do.
Experiencing our grief—if only for moments at a time—is work. This is the work of living on this Earth, of being human, and of surviving the universal rites of passage that mark our lives as we age.
Here is a link to read the entire article: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/feel-it-to-heal-it-the-only-way-out-is-through/
Be well, my friends,