My friend Jennifer reacted when I suggested she breathe through an upsetting, uncomfortable situation she was telling me about. I was surprised. I thought breathing was a solution to everything. Instead, she said something profound. "I still want to be with the uncomfortable emotion. I'm not done. It still needs to be felt." This revelation has stuck with me for years. The concept that emotions, especially "hard" ones need to be experienced fully. Not rationalized. Not breathed through. Not repressed, not stuffed into my shoulders, my stomach, my jaw.
I learned something vital that day. That hard uncomfortable emotions have a purpose. They have life impulse. They have wisdom for me. It is important to take time and give them space and permission to be fully experienced and felt. Only then can they share their wisdom and meaning. They point to a value, a need in me, something very important. Something that has life energy and needs to be experienced.