Freshly bathed in saline

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I am a churning pool of emotion.  I am one of those people who can put themselves in anyone’s shoes to feel the emotion that pulls on their heart-strings.  Sometimes it is a true blessing and sometimes the catastrophic emotional breakdown is embarrassing.  The control of the outpouring of tears in public has been much improved but behind closed doors all bets are off.

Empathy is a gift that I feel truly fortunate to have.  It is easy to be sympathetic and try to understand what another human being is enduring but to be able to delve into that raw emotion and feel the searing scars of that pain as if it were my own enables me to really reach out to that suffering soul and comprehend what they are going through.

That mutual experience of emotion, for me, is not strictly reserved for direct contact with another human being.  I experience the same overwhelming sensations if I am watching an emotionally charged movie, listening to beautifully composed music or reading a consuming book that drips with powerful sentiment.  Last night my face was awash with tears watching a simple television show.  I’m not sure what came over me but the story was deeply touching and as I felt the first tear caress my cheek I knew there were more to follow.

Perhaps part of my longing to write with such feeling is because I want the person reading to have the same experience I had while writing it.  I want the emotion that held my heart prisoner to be injected into the reader with the same paralyzing sensation that I so easily succumbed.  I can only hope that once my novel is complete, the characters that I birthed will be overflowing with angst, ready to cry on a whim and that I can somehow find a way to make those feelings jump off the page.

All the world is a stage

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I pondered this subject line quite a bit this morning and never realized, until now, how we really do play to an audience for most of our lives.  We play the role of the child, the sibling, the friend, the spouse, the partner, the parent, the employee and sometimes the boss.  But it is not until we are sheltered in the comfort of our homes that we become our true selves.  We are stripped of our costumes, the make-up is washed off, the warts come out, the facade is cracked and we are able to be who we truly are with no one to judge us and bombard us with their expectations.

There are moments we glorify with outward happiness when we second guess the cause of that jubilation.  There are times we feign sadness when we are unaffected by the emotion.  We play the role, but we play it to the best of our ability because, as human beings, we know that we need to portray those emotions to help us feel what others feel and give them a sense of understanding.  And in certain moments, we are honestly affected by the circumstance that created those feelings.  Empathy is a strong emotion and those affected with it, as I am, may disagree with my thought process.  But as a truly empathetic person I, too, have been a victim of over-acting a part to assuage the despair of others.

RymanStage

(image credit: nashvilleonthemove.com)

We choose a role and the stage is set.  The lights dim and the scene begins.  We act to the best of our ability and ride on the wave of emotion that is written on the pages.  We feed on the feeling of the other actors on our stage and we are swept up in the roles that were created for us.  We act and we react.  The world is undoubtedly our stage.  During moments of our performance, the spotlights blind us but we act the required part to the best of our ability.

For many, being a performer is a reality that they will never escape.  They feel the need to fit a role and go through the motions day in and day out, never achieving the moment that they can truly break from character and just be who they are.  The simple pleasures in life sometimes escape us while we concentrate on the part we are meant to be playing.

Break from character – rewrite the scene and cast yourself in the role that you want to play.  If you can allow yourself the freedom to escape from the grand performance, even if only briefly, you can play your part with greater honesty on a stage that you created.

To Newtown, with love from across the border

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Senseless, targeted, horrific violence affects everyone.  It seeps into the very core of our being and floats our empathy to the surface of our emotions.  Yesterday’s devastation in Newtown affected the world.  It sank deeply into the hearts of people across the globe and left a scar that will never completely heal.

Everyone in the world wants to know why, but that is an answer that may never fully find a voice.  The news coverage is quick to remind us of many other abhorrent acts of extreme violence, but this one is the most sickening.  They were so young, barely beginning their journey in this world.  And the ones who survived will carry with them an early memory of childhood marred by true evil.

The news in Canada continues to be splashed with the images of those poor families. Many of the comments on Facebook immediately jumped to gun control, but it should go so much deeper than that. It seems nonsensical that an armed man with no real affiliation to that school should be able to walk in off the street and change the lives of so many people on a dreadfully permanent basis.  It truly will affect anyone that has a child of their own, or even a child in their lives in any facet.

The cloud of grief that blankets the small community of Newtown may never fully lift from their skies.  In time, the outpouring of love and support from their community, and the energy of that same support from all over the world will hopefully help the sun begin to warm  the cold reality that they currently face.  My heart is broken for the family and friends of the victims of this shocking catastrophe.