Something has always lingered with me, ever since I can remember being a kid: People don’t want to embrace loss. This world has typically been staunchly against woe. Feelings like grief, loneliness, misery, and uncertainty have been relegated to the shadows. I don’t hold that entirely against our kind: being down in the dumps all the time is not what we were created for. Joy, love, peace — those are the seeds that sprout from our well-being and upon which hope is built.
But tonight, I’m bringing those outcast feelings to the light. Gently, and with quiet curiosity that I never thought I’d find in song form — until now.
There will always be people who label us as too emotional. Who retreat from the depths of our woe and pensive introspection, slap us on the hand, and demand that we go back to being our confident and merry selves. I should know; as a kid I was often called “sensitive.” My tears and empathy were too often met with heated glares and sharp words, or worse, pity.
Empathy. It was a word I grew up disdaining for a good while.
I don’t know what inspired this topic. Maybe it’s the calm reflecting I’ve been doing as my first ever full Ironman, taking place in Tempe, Arizona, this November 18th, draws near. Or it could be the flu that I’ve been battling over the last three days. Being sick sure does make me feel like I’ve stepped into another world.
Regardless, I know that empaths like me need this message. You and I have been shunned too much for our sprawling emotional landscape, which crackles like lightning across the dry plains of West Texas. We had learned to doubt ourselves, to taper our feelings and muffle the phoenix-like roar that constantly flows from our spirit. Doubt yourself no more; that heat is meant to radiate and be felt by those around us. Whether they get scared, or stay, or run for the hills, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that we’re learning how to honor the great big feelings within us.
Sometimes we worry that we’re going to blow apart, or be sucked into the void that our feelings and emotions swirl into. That’s okay too…we’ll make it. Our bodies can take it.
Without a doubt, this song encompasses all that I know about emoting so very deeply. It is at once oceanic and yet, serene, flowing with mystery. It is the harmony that allows me to breathe deeply and, at last, tell myself, “You are just right the way you are.”
You are just right the way you are. How you dive between the highs and lows so well. How you thrum with energy and awareness that few ever fully realize or come to accept. I hope you move forward with just an iota more of faith in yourself.
This is your gift. Please don’t let anyone take it away from you.