Of words and feelings

Feelings burst through from inside me. I try to capture them within a container of words.
I fail. We all fail. It’s the great struggle.
We look for someone to give words to those feelings; to give feelings to those words.
Above all, there’s one feeling we all desire:
Of feeling understood.
It’s an eternal struggle. A battle we all hope someone will win for us.
Yet, we continue, fighting every day, alone and hopeless.

Words have a rare power. They inflict the wound. They heal the wound.
Words said – leave no trace of a wound, a forgotten memory. Words unsaid – leave a scar, a reminder.
It also works the other way around.
If words were a day, they would be both the worst day and best day of our lives.

We are deeply complex. We forget that when we talk to one another.
We snorkel in each other’s feelings – judging, laughing, and nodding.
We throw words at someone’s complexity. Words never quite right.
How can they be when the feelings are someone else’s?
Sometimes people just want us to stand there and acknowledge the complexity.
Being there, it is called.

I thought being there was words. That’s why I avoided it. I said stupid things.
Took me time to realize being there is a feeling. Of spontaneous hope and still support.
I wish they taught that back in school. But words are all we learn.
It’s what we are measured on. It’s what we consume. It’s our identity. It’s the constant drone in the swiftness of childhood.

We replace feelings with words.
We say trust, love, and joy so much.
They have turned into validations, a lie we use to fight the truth inside us.
The truth inside is a feeling. Knowing it and feeling it are different.
When you know the truth, a giant wave just crashed into you.
When you feel the truth, you are the giant wave.

We ignore feelings far too long. We call it regret.
We curl up to soothing words and fall asleep to life.
We go into the feeling spiral. We feel terrible about feeling terrible about feeling terrible.
Feelings are scary things. And the world presents a million ways to un-feel them.
Words try to extinguish the feeling.
Leaving a spark that eventually turns into a burning desire.
And then, we numb them. With words. And music. And Alcohol.

We like the numb because it doesn’t require being there.
It removes the need to be understood.
It renders the container useless.
It makes us feel better by feeling less.
It makes us feel alone in the crowd.
Numbness is the music that plugs our ears to cancel out the noise of feelings bursting inside us.
And we are all running with the music of numbness plugged into our ears.
As life goes by, whispering the truth, hoping to be felt.

 

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