Emotional work is a liberating craft

Emotional work is a liberating craft. We can cultivate our skills of this craft. We can go from not having a clue of how to deal with the confusing internal world, and opt to suppress it, to feeling a profound sense of peace and empowerment right within the human chaos. I know, because I’ve done the journey.

The first and last step is to learn to accept, then embrace everything that comes into our experience.

The steps in-between are about taking wise action on the awareness we gain from the first step, expressing our truths honestly and openly; and through this, aligning to our own truth.


The first step is simple enough. For example, it might look like acknowledging internally that we carry anger or hate for having been wronged. As we acknowledge this fact, and allow it to be there without pushing it down and away, the message hidden in the emotion can begin to come through. At least if we listen for it! 😉

Usually, the feeling reveals a need that has been unacknowledged. If you get angry when someone preaches their truth as the whole truth, for example, the anger teaches you something. Not that the person is wrong or right – but that your own personal truth feels unseen and unheard.

The answer for healing is not to make the other person act differently. We all know at this point that this doesn’t work. Instead, it is for you to give full space to hear and honor your own truth. To listen deeply for what it is that feels unacknowledged, and to validate and honor that. Even if it doesn’t feel like the complete truth for you! Having partial internal truths that feel opposing to each other is normal. Accepting this can be really helpful to move forwards.

Next, look at how you can make changes so that you don’t have to abandon that inner truth (or other need) again. Both internally and externally. From this space of inner integrity, you are naturally ready to take healing action from the heart.

Internal action

Often healing is a lonely journey, as the world ultimately only reflects to us what is inside us. And naturally, only you can take charge of your inner landscape. How to move forward depends on what needs you uncovered in the previous step.

Aligned action can be internal: giving yourself what you need through the power of mind & imagination.

If it’s emotional validation and caretaking you need, you can give ourselves that through imagination. Allowing yourself to emotionally engage in imagination is a tried and tested way to rewrite old scripts.

For example, an inner child in a traumatic situation may be given protection. A neglected child is given unconditional presence by a caregiver, or other being, that feels safe and nurturing. Any time we are triggered, we can come back to remember that in our internal world, we are safe and protected. 

Aligned action can be to show up for yourself in daily life, every day, honoring your needs & desires.

Our inner world is also validated by our physical actions towards self. Commitment to self builds self-trust over time. Commit every day to do things that honor the needs you discover through awareness practice. If you need to play, take some time every day to do playful things! If you need deeper connection, commit to opening yourself vulnerably to people around you.

External action

However, we also do need each other to heal. We need to express ourselves vulnerably, share our secret pains and pleasures, needs and desires, darkness and light. To set boundaries and say no. And to be unconditionally seen and loved by another as we do. There is healing in having our needs met fully and lovingly by another – maybe for the first time.

Unfortunately, what I see is that many of us don’t find it safe to express feelings and needs with people around us. Expressing feelings has proved unsafe before, and so we close in on ourselves. We relate expressing our pain to feeling more pain – that of losing connection or being estranged.

The courageous leap is to find the courage to be the first one to choose love, even if the world doesn’t reflect it yet. To choose love again and again, until it reflects.

By choosing to honor yourself and your values again and again, no matter what the world reflects back to you, and no matter how much “negative” feelings you may feel, you develop integrity. You develop a sense of direction; an inner compass to life. This is exactly what will help you move deeper into heart opening. And sooner or later, it will reflect in your external world. 

Aligned action is also external: to show up with all of who you are, unapologetically choosing to keep your heart open and expressing yourself sincerely, no matter what.

Inner & outer safety

Here’s something I deeply appreciate from learning the craft of emotional work:
Learning to feel safe in my own feeling states is simply about accepting every feeling as it comes, not resisting anything. Creating a space every day for any feeling to be heard and validated. And the beautiful thing is, feeling safe in myself then naturally extends to others.

As I hold my emotions unconditionally, I also provide an unshakably safe container for others’ emotions. This creates the safe and intimate world I want to live in; for myself and for the people around me.

And this can be true for you, too. Without effort, you will begin to extend your healing to others as you heal.

In fact, I feel that we as a society need to create more of this safety towards ourselves and each other. This creates not just resilience and social safety, but the foundation for intimate, harmonious togetherness with everyone.

None of us should have to carry our burden all alone. Together we are both stronger and wiser than the sum of our parts. We owe that deep accepting presence to ourselves, and we can gift that to each other.


Deeper into the healing, embracing is to tap into the love inherent in the anger, and in the hurt.
To see the love in the one who hurts, and in the one who’s been hurt.

You might come to see that nothing was ever a one-sided game. And it was never against you. It was all for learning to open your heart more.

It was for learning that none of us ever have to hide or close our heart – to any experience.

When you reach this depth of awakening, you really come to feel at all levels that you are safe, as all truly is love. When you feel anger, you feel warmed by the current of love it comes with. Even when you feel hate, you can feel love.

At this stage, finally, you’ll have deciphered what the energies of this world really are.

You no longer feel the need to avoid anyone or anything in this world.

This is a state of true fearlessness.

If you take one thing from this article, I invite you to remember this:

There is nothing within you that truly demands your heart to close.
Only your beliefs make it seem so. There is nothing within you that doesn’t deserve love.


-> Need help with self-integration?

I offer Completion Process deep emotional work, self-integration (awakening) guidance, and powerful energy healing. You’re warmly welcome to reach out, or read other blog posts on this website to learn more.


Artwork: Carina Ehlers