Emotional Healing: The Benefits of Honoring Emotions

John Lennon quote | Dianna Bonny Photography

I used to love driving my kids to and from school. Elementary school was fairly close, but for middle and high school, I was one of those parents who chose schools that required going the distance. As it turned out, those long drives were encapsulated moments of amazing connection and discovery.

The time was precious — we were enclosed in a bubble with no distractions. I never had a TV in the car and we were thankfully ahead of the invasion of smart phones. The rides were full of good old-fashioned conversation: talking and listening.

When the kids were in elementary school, I instituted a rule that they could vent in the car using any and all language they wanted (the privilege ended on the driveway), which yielded often hilarious, but beneficial results. After a day of school they would arrive at the carpool lane tired and grumpy from the day behind them, and by allowing them to speak their mind about experiences, teachers and schoolmates with absolute freedom for the ten-minute ride, there was a remarkable difference in their demeanor by the time they got home.

They were able to release the frustrations of the day, enjoy a sense of being heard and then relax when they got home. I never judged what was coming out of their mouths, only commenting on how things made them feel or inquiring what they might have done differently in dealing with a situation.

I look back on that time with such fondness now and realize it set the stage for much of their healing after their father died. They felt safe enough to express themselves and find their way through their feelings during the rocky aftermath.

Although it seems normal to me now, I didn’t have this freedom as a child and I am discovering that most people are sequestered in silence when dealing with tragedy. I met a woman the other day whose life was intersected by suicide in many ways — her brother, ex-husband (and father of her son) and cousin all took their lives. No one in the family speaks of these events and she has never spoken to her son about his dad.

I cannot imagine having to sort through something like a suicide in silence.

There is so much beauty in exploring and honoring emotions about the things that we encounter in life. I think of our emotional spectrum as akin to the magnetic force in a compass — understand how to read it and it will point you in the direction you want to go. If the compass says, this way to North, and that is where you want to go, probably best to point your feet in that direction.

Should you discover a mountain in your path, the compass will keep you on track. Ignoring the mountain, or railing against its presence, won’t change a thing. In fact, it will only make your journey more arduous.

Emotions may be the mountains we have to explore in order to get to our destination of self-empowerment and discovery. They aren’t always enjoyable, or easy to scale, but there is a treasure trove of information contained therein. If we are inclined to heal, and I’m convinced it has to be a conscious choice, our emotions are part of the deal.

If you are new to the wonders and mysteries of your emotions, a beautiful road map is the book by Karla McLaren called The Language of Emotions.

I hope you discover and delight in experiencing one of the most beautiful things about being human: the spectrum of your emotions.

Sending love,


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  2 comments for “Emotional Healing: The Benefits of Honoring Emotions

  1. May 14, 2014 at 5:09 am


    Thoroughly enjoyed this post. And I appreciate the freedom you gave your children to express their feelings. When my son was young I realized he needed to express his. At the time we owned a typewriter and when he was upset I would let him go and just type out his feelings. I found this release helpful in getting him to realize we do need to vent at times. Just not ON people. Unfortunately when my husband made three attempts at suicide, Nathan forgot how to get those feelings out. He also made an attempt, but instead of being successful at the moment he tried he was given music. Thanks so much for sharing your story which frees us up to share ours.

    • Dianna Bonny
      May 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

      As always, I love hearing from you Anne. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I love the idea of the typewriter! So important to find creative ways for children to express these rivers of emotion running through them. How lovely that he is now able to find his voice in music. No question that music offers deep healing. Sending love, xo.

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