Sometimes a certain breath is described as “heaving” a sigh of relief. “Heaving” indicates that something heavy has been lifted and set down. I hear this sigh frequently in therapy sessions. It is a deep sound.
Carrying worries, grudges, or troubling memories takes a lot of energy. Putting any of these down can result in a special kind of lightness almost a giddy feeling of relief and freedom, especially when the burden has been carried for a long time.
Fear and embarrassment are sometimes the reasons why we choose to carry emotional loads. In therapy, when a client feels truly safe, the assurance of confidentiality makes it possible to speak and unlock and at last breathe the sigh of relief. It is sacred ground. The therapist will explain that only the intention of hurting oneself or hurting another breaks the bond. A therapist’s notes, whether physical or digital, must be kept under strictest security. Although we can be weary of signing off on HIPPA notes, the importance of privacy is protected.
It takes courage to let ourselves be vulnerable. Courage is the price of freedom.
In your most private thoughts, what have you been carrying that you would like to set down and breathe a sigh of relief?