Sunday, January 25, 2009

To Feel is Risky; to Go Numb, Riskier Still

Sometimes I wish I did not sense things so deeply and powerfully.

My heart and soul feel like they are always on the table, awaiting an ambush. I cannot help but drink in the majesty of a pink or purple sunrise; sense my spirit soar at "Adagio for Strings"; cry during movie scenes that summon tender memories of my father; appreciate a woman's natural beauty or scent; marvel at the wondrous color of auburn hair; float in the adrenaline of a good cardio burn; teem with anger at racial cruelty or arrogant abuse of power; or bask in the creative afterglow of having written something impactful.

Fully engaging my senses almost every minute of the day, living in the confluence of hopeless romanticism and a natural strength that The Gallup Organization's research calls "Connectedness," is a blessing and a curse at times. A blessing, because it is so central to the passion and creativity that have shaped who I am and launched so many relationships and career endeavors...a curse because to feel so powerfully and to seamlessly integrate so many of life's oft-bounded dimensions comes with so much risk, disappointment and pain.

Sometimes I wish I was a less complicated person who could simply abide by all the conventions. I've been told I "think too much," and maybe it's true. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss. I'm not quite sure.

To feel is to rejoice. To feel is to suffer. To love another, to be passionate for a cause, to rage against a wrong, is to drink from a cup I'd rather dismiss and sweat drops of blood I'd rather retain.

In the end, I doubt I have much choice but to continue to engage my senses in all of life's dimensions. To do otherwise is to move away from authenticity rather than toward it, and would create a false, empty sense of comfort. I do not want my life to one day end with even the ghost of a regret that I had not truly lived.


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