As I sat in my seat, surrounded by strangers, tears streaming down my face, I felt quite self-conscious. This emotional upheaval was not the result of some terrible news or a painful memory, no... I was crying because I had finished a book. Yep, a book made me turn into a puddle of mush, cramped in the middle seat of a 737. Never mind the confused stares from the man to my left watching ESPN or the girl to my right reading Cosmo, I was consumed by a story that broke my little heart.
This slightly embarrassing experience is not enough to dissuade me from immersing myself in a sad story again. I truly believe the pull of deeper emotion can often bring an amazing sense of life to your soul. The stories that cut gashes across our hearts and leave us gasping a little as a result of the pain can be powerful. Though crippling at first, the pain can actually bring healing. Not so newsflash, complex feelings can grow us into deeper and more aware humans.
The book I was reading broke open a little piece of my soul and through my emotional response I was reminded of my soft skin. I touched my neck and felt my pulse as I sat and processed how vulnerable we all are. A simple slice in the right area can wreak havoc and a life can be lost.
This may seem like a strange post, but I am wondering what you are doing to access the depths of your heart. What are you doing to become aware of your humanity and your frailty? I do not stay in the depths but I appreciate the moments and things that take me down. Reading sad books is just one way to do it, counseling, movies, friends, romantic relationships, nature, and many other things can wake up your emotions and give some depth to what you are experiencing.
Would love to hear your feedback on this, I am walking through opening myself to how I feel and I thought I would share about a recent experience, and maybe it will help you learn how to open up yourself. For more on this read my post Fairytales for the Soul.
**I do not advocate the unfortunate experience of self injury, to feel pain so that you can feel something. I am referring to waking up your emotions in other ways, not through physical pain. Please contact a friend, family member, or a local county mental health clinic if that is something you are struggling with.