Late last night I sat alone in the darkness, the only light coming from the laptop that was perched on my knees.
I was reading news headlines, one after another.
One Year Old Drowns on Family Vacation
Bodies of Hundreds Being Returned Home After Fatal Crash
Another Plane Lost
Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Libya, All in Flames
Four Boys Dead: What War Looks Like
I could go on. That was only the beginning.
Maybe it was the late hour or maybe it was just the moment, but my heart began to ache and my body heavy with pain.
I’m reading these headlines and thinking, these people’s worst nightmares are coming true. Horrible things can happen to anyone. As in, right now. FOR REAL. No one is safe from extreme suffering. Why, why, why, why?
The headlines combined with the trouble of the day refused to let me rest. I sat there holding it all, feeling it all. Paralyzed with grief.
How are people who feel everything so deeply supposed to live in this world?
How am I supposed to live as I take on the news of the day?
How am I supposed to function as I absorb the pain of my children?
How am I supposed to experience joy as I hold the troubles of my friends?
How am I supposed to live in a world so full of strife?
As someone, and I know I’m not alone, who feels the world around them deep in their core, how do I carry this without letting it drown me?
I see myself in the water, floating on my back, face to the sun. And as each moment happens every part of me begins to feel heavier and heavier . I realize I’m holding too much to float for long. I lose sight of the sun. And then, I sink.
Driving Will to Tae Kwon Do this morning, all these thoughts rushed through my head. I can only think of one thing- I must write. I birth this pain from the inside out.
You see, for those of us who feel it all, we have to find ways to stay healthy. To be clear, I’m not saying we care more. We just carry more. And the best way for me to cast off things that are not mine to carry is to write.
We must each find the ways to feel deeply, live authentically-but also in freedom.
This is my survival list in this world of trouble. And for those who are the same, I say- be who you are. A person who feels deeply. We were created this way for a purpose. Keep your heart open. Find your ways to live.
Just don’t sink.
(And just possibly, maybe I should lay off the David Gray and Natalie Merchant songs. Insert a little Bruno Mars instead. Could always help.)