I remember a specific moment in my life which i recall, or perceive, as the most painful experience i have ever had. It was the peak of the biggest change in my life - the life i had known so far was falling apart. I was too young to really understand.
Two people standing outside. One of them a man, a father. The other a girl, a child. Having to say goodbye but neither of them saying anything. Silence.
There was an enormous contrast between how i was feeling inside and what i let out. I was screaming and aching internally but nothing came out. Like a wall that’s so thick and high that no trace of that voice reached the other side.
The inability to express that sadness, anger, feeling of not belonging, lost of connection and love became a huge amount of pain locked away. Sounds familiar? Damn right it does. We ALL have had those experiences that hurt us - that we were unable to internally understand and process and therefore became a part of personal baggage.
How do you let go of that baggage?
I can only talk from personal experience but the most powerful tool after mindfulness for me was.. letting it out. Certainly awareness and acceptance are the keys without any of the following wouldn’t really make a permanent shift because you would still filter those stories through personal pain. But there are also practical ways of what to do if your aim is to heal.
Intentionally surfacing your emotions in any context of self-expression. Whether it’s dancing, singing, writing, talking... be endlessly opened. Explore. Explore new ways. Just because it’s way harder by doing the same things in the same environment to expand the framework which you are used to dealing with your inner self. But breaking it down to smaller steps - one specific tool lays in the power of asking questions. Questions that target some deeper human experience that you need to form an answer to - to make sense of it.
And here’s the part that makes my whole body flow with a vibration of excitement.
For months now, me and Marta, have gathered 6-10 people in a circle for around 2 hours. Asking questions. Exposing ourselves. All while being vulnerable yet brave - doing our best to create a safe space to surface anything and everything that needs to be surfaced. One of the questions that we have had several times: How have you healed from a broken heart?
That one hits hard.
Growing love for another person is one the most beautiful experiences we can have as humans. It’s a bond where you feel safe, understood, connected and extremely excited for everything you have shared and are going to share. That space of joy and belonging that lifts the weight of the baggage and allows you to float.
And when that breaks, when you fall, it often surfaces so much pain which clouds all of that beauty from before. It’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel because the feeling of loss is so present. And that’s okay. And you will be okay. Sometimes, it helps to hear it from another person tho, as in the process of getting past the pain, it tremendously helps to gain perspective. By sharing deep personal experiences of getting hurt and also.. hurting another. To see both sides of the stories. Because what you really need for healing is to understand and accept. To see the other as a human being doing the best they know how and to find that empathy inside of you that allows you to let go.
“I honestly felt tired and a bit annoyed with the whole day before we sat down. Can’t believe how much i needed to share and hear those words.”
And let’s be fully straight here - intentionally sitting down to talk about your deepest fears and losses and listening to another’s perspective is the opposite of being weak. It takes a lot of courage to be that opened and shed light to the darkest places. It’s an investment in your emotional growth and peace of mind which are the most important things you can focus on in your life.
Some other questions that dig deep:
Do you feel influenced by your parents expectations?
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced?
Have you ever gone traveling to run away?
But as much as we go into the lows with these questions, we also go to the highs - as everything in life is how you respond to the changes the universe throws at you. I’ll highlight a few more because it’s also extremely important to share inspiration and motivation with like-minded people to grow a lasting connection:
When was the last time you felt truly inspired?
What’s the best thing you have done for someone else?
What are your personal goals for the next year?
I’m honestly beyond astonished how fast people, who mostly meet each other for the first time, dive into their most meaningful experiences and insights and share them with others. And everything a person shares not only heals themselves but gives such a meaningful and eye opening perspective to the surrounding people on something extremely relatable. Something extremely human. We are all doing our best in trying to be kind to ourselves and others.
Everything we do has a reason. Personally, i only recently connected the dots between my most painful experience in life of not being able to express myself with the intention of surfacing deeper emotions within others and myself - with the card game questions and gathering people around them. Could the healing process lay in finding the opposite of what hurt you in the first place?
Take time to ask those questions. You can only grow from that.