Knowing what you feel is vital to your well-being. It is also important in relationships. Yet knowing what you really feel – and experiencing it with your full attention – can be a challenge. It can resemble running an obstacle course, for there are many ways to get diverted before you actually reach your deepest feelings.

The card FEELINGS may have appeared to prompt you to explore more deeply how you feel about things. One obstacle to knowing what you feel is staying on a mental plane. Instead of simply feeling whatever emotion you feel, do you tend to get lost in trying to think through a situation, replaying it over and over? Do you ever get stuck in an argument, giving all the reasons you are “right” and trying to prove that your partner is “wrong” or to blame for how you feel? These are mental reactions to your feelings.

In becoming mental, you miss simply experiencing an emotion as exactly what it is: a set of sensations in your body. A feeling is just a feeling, nothing more. It doesn’t need to be analyzed or justified. It certainly doesn’t need to be acted out. It only needs to be felt – by you.

Another obstacle to knowing what you feel is getting lost in a surface feeling and missing a deeper emotion. Some people stew in sadness or depression, not sensing the anger they really feel. For others, a familiar anger may sit on top of a hurt that they don’t let themselves feel. By turning anger into a conflict, they avoid their deeper pain, but they also miss the chance to heal their wounds.

You will grow if you explore emotions you seldom have – and learn that different feelings underlie emotions you often have. In this way, you develop your capacity to embrace the full range of human feelings. These feelings are your birthright, and the ability to know them all is important.

The card FEELINGS reminds you that knowing what you feel is part of healthy relating. Feelings are the most basic way to know what is going on within yourself – and between you and your partner. They inform you about how things are working for you and tell you what you really want or need. To ignore your feelings harms you – and your relationship.

In learning to better know what you feel, it is important to give yourself full permission to feel. Do you do this? Do you accept and feel all your feelings – without trying to get rid of them, without trying to solve anything, and without blaming others? The card FEELINGS invites you to open your heart and simply experience your emotions – whatever they are. Give them a space in which to show up. Fully sense each sensation in your body – without a lot of talk or internal chatter.

This card is about feeling whatever is going on inside you. It is not permission to express yourself in a disrespectful way to a partner, however. It remains your responsibility to express yourself constructively, no matter what you feel. The point here is to give yourself permission to fully feel whatever comes up inside of you, instead of getting stuck. Remember, your feelings will move fluidly to the extent that you are willing to honor them. Keep breathing as you experience them – and let yourself come to fully embrace them.