How To Face Powerful Emotions Without Losing Yourself


The first thing I said to myself was that I was going to be casual about it, that it was no big deal and that the years I’ve spent healing my heart have prepared me for anything. Then I met a real, living, breathing human being and promptly dissolved into an emotional mess.

What am I talking about? It’s that master class in human development masquerading as sweetness and light and romance: DATING.

I’ve been divorced for more than eight years and basically slammed the door on the romantic side of my life. Finding a healthy relationship has, at times, felt like the impossible dream, so I’ve devoted my time to cultivating my own relationship with my body, my spirit, my guides, and my purpose. I know a lot of women my age who have done the same.

But healing requires an open heart and a willingness to be receptive. So when I held the door for a man at a restaurant and he wanted to repay my small kindness by buying me lunch, I said yes. He gave me his card, and after several days of frozen indecision, I convinced myself that calling him was no big deal.

Four dates later, I was feeling so ill I had to go to the doctor. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “I quit! I’m not up for this!”

I called my mentor, who asked me, “Is that your fear talking, or your higher self?”

The answer was obvious.

Whenever fear comes to visit, I return to my breath. I grabbed a pillow and held it, pretending it was the frightened six-year-old child in me. I rocked her as I practiced WhaleBreathing.

WhaleBreathing is the best way I know to confront emotions that feel overwhelming. It’s a gentle approach that taps into the body at a cellular level and allows us to become comfortable with powerful energy that needs to be released or moved.

What I realized through my practice was that I was terrified of losing myself. In the last three years I’ve studied Energetic Touch and founded my WhaleBreathing practice. I took the time to ask, who am I? What kind of people do I really want in my life? I built a foundation of being a strong, centered, and grounded woman. Then, after just four dates, I had to wonder, am I losing my ability to remain logical and focus on my work? What if I go back to being the needy and reactive woman I used to be?

Dating has forced me to see parts of myself that I need to bump into in order to get to the next level of growth. It’s made me take responsibility for my own baggage. It’s provided unexpected insights. When this man asked me to have patience with the process, I heard myself reply, “My whole life I’ve been trying to be in the hearing world and they didn’t have patience for me.”

Wow. That’s a heavy belief, and one I’m ready to let go.

Are you feeling weighed down by old fears and beliefs, or drowning in emotions that feel overwhelming? If life is bringing you an opportunity to meet a part of yourself from a different, deeper angle, can you be patient with the process?

My dating experience has made me realize that it’s safe for my heart to connect, and that I’m never alone. Sitting across the table from me is a living, breathing person. And that’s the beauty:

We’re all just breathing.

Kimberly LeClair