A few days ago I just happened to open up an email sent by Danielle LaPorte with a beautiful piece entitled “All the things that softly kill me.”
She told the story of a moment recently when she purchased a calendar from a man standing on a street corner with a toothless, beaming smile. The interaction gave her pause and she felt a wave of gratitude wash over, causing tears to stream down her face. Then she said:
“My boy looked up at me, with pride, his eyes saying to me, ‘Oh mom, I love that you feel things.’ He did not say, ‘It’s okay, the man will be okay.’ Because we both knew he may not be very okay. And he did not say, ‘You’ll be fine, don’t cry,’ because he knows that I am much more than fine and that I cry all the time on street corners because of all the things that softly kill me.”
Those words, “I love that you feel things,” hung in my heart long after reading it. The past few years have been a learning experience in loving the parts of myself I used to feel self-conscious about, things like sensitivity and an open heart. There are still moments when I feel almost embarrassed that something touches me in a deep way or how often I want to just crack open my life to a stranger and peel back the layers of their story as well.
I needed to hear those words as a reminder that not only is it OKAY to feel things so deeply, but in fact it is such a GIFT. In those moments of overflowing emotion — whether it be sad or joyful or grateful or painful — that’s when I’m able to go beyond myself. To experience a world that extends further than the one I see in front of me every day. And I know not everyone can experience that, so I count myself lucky.
If you too are like me (and I know some of you are if you’re reading these long posts every day!), then I hope you don’t feel weird or alone in your depth. I hope you sleep well knowing that deep feelings are like miraculous jewels of our humanity, and that they should be treasured and esteemed as such.