The courage to feel fully

“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”

—Marcel Proust

Life has a tendency to throw us curveballs. There are moments when the pain feels unbearable, like an ocean wave that’s ready to pull us under. Our instincts scream at us to run, to avoid the wave and stay dry. But the real healing—the deep, soul-level kind—doesn’t come from dodging the wave. It comes from diving into it, from letting it wash over us.

Picture a beautifully wrapped box. Inside is a tangle of feelings that we’ve avoided, labeled as suffering. It’s easy to put the box up on a shelf—out of sight, out of mind. But that’s like putting a Band-Aid over a wound that needs stitches. It may cover the surface, but it doesn’t heal the deep cut.

The path to healing starts when we open that box, when we sit with our feelings, lean into the pain and let it flow through us. We learn to understand it, to feel its full force. And in doing so, we allow ourselves to process it, to learn from it, to grow. We’re no longer hiding from the wave or running from it. We’re riding it.