The Language of Emotions: Taking Control of Your Healing

This post is from a year ago. Perhaps longer. As much as I hate to admit my own limitations, I am exhausted and in a place where I need to step back a bit and figure out the future. Lately, I cannot find solace in my writing mind. There are just too many things floating around in there.  The experience of one child returning home from college, another one leaving the nest and Father’s day have all left me a bit discombobulated.

Despite time passing, Karla McLaren’s book and approach to honoring emotions represent true healing to me. As such, a reprise is in order.

I hope you can bear with me as I figure this out.


There is a familiar heaviness in my belly. Akin to a giant boulder, it sits at the center of my being. I am depressed, I think, as I squirm trying to get comfortable with the oppressive energy.

One of the best books I discovered last year was The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren; it was a beacon, of sorts, during what I refer to as “my first big collapse.”

Six months after my husband’s death, I was both overwhelmed and terrified. Despair engulfed me, so off and on for three days I soaked in my bathtub — a proverbial pool of anguish — metaphorically drowning in tears I had no control over. The book was a life ring I could cleave to as I began to truly navigate the currents of my grief.

McLaren refers to depression as the “brilliant stop sign of the soul.” I picture it lit in neon beneath my breast bone, glowing, begging me to ponder the internal questions McLaren poses:

“Where has my energy gone?” and “Why was it sent away?”

Today, I understand that I am not so much depressed, but rather avoiding one of the spaces where I grant myself permission to examine things — my desk. This enormous metaphorical boulder is instead tethering me to needless amounts of busy work, a well-laid plan to prevent me from actually doing what I need to do to heal: Write.

I am encountering resistance: There is a part of me that would whole-heartedly prefer a different course.

I lean into this notion. September 1st was to be the beginning, I had marked it on my calendar as a starting point — the day I would commit to taking every step necessary to launch my blog.

All of my research, reading and conversations have laid the groundwork and led me to this moment. And now, here I am — days later — spinning in busy work.

The truth is this path opens me to all of the things I fear the most, the very things that kept me small in my other life. Fear of rejection and criticism corral me in a limited existence; if I choose to appease them I abandon my true self.

The mindless chatter of these fears are a luxury I can no longer afford. Although fear itself may be present, can I channel it in a positive way, even honor the message my fear brings: “What action should I take now?”

I am slowly learning to listen instead of ignore, and I’m developing the capacity to be present with my fear while taking action, all in the same breath. I am amazed at the constellation of emotions residing within me and grateful for the insights they offer.

Viewing the darkness in my belly as an uncomfortable inconvenience to be drowned out with busy work, left unchecked, could be a vicious loop with no happy resolution.

Instead, today I choose to embrace that boulder as I would a lover, with tenderness. This liberates me to be the woman I am, shaped by her experiences, not defined or controlled by them.


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 “The Language of Emotions: Taking Control of Your Healing

  1. kathie sealy
    February 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Awesome, I am just coming out of my crazy feeling as well, just got divorced and the res to come, in January; living with my mother not great but can relate!!! Awesome finding this today, Thank you Kathie

    • Dianna
      February 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Kathie: I’m glad it helped. Book is amazing too, if you need more insight. Good luck with mom 🙂 db

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *