When I was in my late 20’s I did some work with gestalt technique during a pivotal weekend workshop. If I could describe that work in a few sentences I would say that it uncovered unconscious patterns that I had based on memories, experiences, and interpretations that I had had as a child. It allowed me to re-experience these situations and to feel fully whatever I had felt at the time even the aspects I was not aware of consciously in those original moments. As a result of feeling it again after the fact, it allowed me to re-program myself to a different way of being, one where I wasn’t carrying unconscious patterns and misinterpretations from childhood as truths. A way of being in which I now had a conscious adult (me) to look after that little girl inside of me. It’s honestly hard to describe this work in a few sentences. It was profound and positively life altering. I’m talking about it right now because I realized that doing this work was the start of what would become a life-long practice for me of being entirely comfortable in and with ALL kinds of emotion.
It began at that weekend workshop all those years ago— but one of the things that I learned deep in my bones there– the practice that I took with me and still continue to this day– was how to emote. How to go deeply into a feeling– any feeling– and experience it fully. I learned how to let it flow completely and without judgment.
Following this workshop I spent the next two years emoting. In hindsight it was like I emoted the first 30 years of my life during that year period. I had a lot of space in my life at that time and very few obligations so I had the time and space to do so.
Anytime an emotion came up I would dive in. No holds barred. I would follow the emotion down into my body as deeply as I could and then just really let it loose. I would discover where it first happened in childhood and really feel it fully.
I howled, I bawled, I raged. I went through ever flavor of whatever arose.
Because of this I learned to trust emotion on a very deep level. I learned how vital it is to this human experience. I felt first hand repeatedly the benefit and necessity of getting it out. Doing so made me more alive. It also made me freer and lighter. I wasn’t carrying the energetic weight of suppressed feelings and experiences. I felt sprightlier. I would dive as deep as necessary or possible into what I was feeling– feel it completely with no holds barred—and what I noticed was after going down into the depths of those emotions I came up more buoyant. Resilient. Stronger. And lighter and more free.
It felt good.
It cleared things out.
It’s a practice I still keep today. My husband has seen it first hand, and has heard me say more than once —“I know that feeling it all (whatever it is I am feeling) is the fastest way through it.” I don’t have to carry it around then. I move through it. I head straight into it. I experience it in the deepest possible way and then I come out of it. But the coming out of it isn’t a forced out—it’s a natural (and glorious) experience that happens once I’ve gotten to the bottom of something. It’s buoyancy and freedom (as I’ve mentioned!)
I’m always hesitant to describe the beauty, richness, and deep joy that comes from experiencing deep emotion. Partially because you have to really go full throttle into the dark feelings– the hard and painful ones– before you come out the other side into the joy. And yet, that is a true part of it for me: the shininess on the other side.
Now, more than a decade after those original years, my schedule is no longer as free and open as it was before. Now, as a mother, when big things come up for me, I sometimes have to literally schedule time to emote. Still, I do. I dive into the feelings. I set up certain parameters when I am doing so to ensure that I continue to feel safe emoting. (If you are interested I wrote the basic tenants of those here.)
But it’s so important to me that I do have space for feelings that I DO schedule time to emote when I need it. If you are empathic, I can pretty much guarantee that you will need more time to emote than others. Even if you are not— your emoting is something that is vital to your human life. It refreshes you. For real.
I’m not sure exactly why or how, but it seems to me that in the (American) society I find myself in—we have forgotten the richness of deep emotion. I notice it time and time again. Emotion is somehow seen as a weakness, something we need to cover. When people (adults) cry in front of others they more often than not apologize. We seem to have forgotten the value, but more importantly the necessity of deep emotion. It keeps us human. It is human. It keeps us flowing. It keeps us sane. It keeps us alive and vital in this breathtaking but sometimes heartbreaking world we live in.
So I wanted to encourage you… if you feel something FEEL it. If it’s big– if it’s like a damn breaking—give yourself the time and space it needs. Be patient with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. But allow yourself to be gorgeously human—and feel. It’s a gift to yourself that I doubt you’ll regret. I haven’t. But furthermore, I believe we all benefit from the authenticity of being that comes from being deeply honest with ourselves and giving ourselves the space to feel whatever it is that we need to in this human life. It’s rich. Whether we know you cried your eyes out last night or not your freshness and authenticity will add to this world.
Aimée Cartier is a psychic and author known for her clear, accurate insight and her attention to practical details. She is the founder of Intuition University, where in either private or group programs she works with students who are ready to understand, enhance, trust and rely upon their own innate psychic skills and intuitive knowing– and to experience the empowerment and flourishing that follows. More about her work can be found at www.AimeeCartier.com.