Let’s take a moment and think about the last time we felt. Not felt like we needed a shower after that difficult run or felt hungry for a salad because we had a hankering for avocado that day.
I’m talking about the last time we really felt.
Felt the pit of our stomach swirling all the way down to our gut; felt so deeply behind our eyes that it seems nothing again could ever match the intensity; felt something, anything, that wasn’t the dull, numb sensation of being the normal us every day. The kind of feeling that only hits us every so often, and when it does we know it’s true, real and special because it hits us so hard that it makes us gasp for breath.
I bet I can guess what we all did while reading that last paragraph. Just then, when we tried to remember that exact feeling, we stopped, took in a deep inhale and closed our eyes.
Think about it—our natural reaction every time something truly meaningful occurs. It’s in our nature when we’re inexplicably happy, uncontrollably sad or overcome with ecstasy to shut our eyes tight so that way we can feel it.
Every time we hug someone we love goodbye, or wrap ourselves around their body and squeeze them hello.
Every dreamy movie kiss with a long lost love or blossoming romance, or a cry of lust in a moment of passion.
Every wrenching sob that peels the heart apart or a single tear that makes the stomach sink just as slowly as the pace of that tear down a red cheek.
Every feeling that isn’t just a run of the mill, routinely blasé moment. Feelings that songs and books and poems are created, written and sung about with as much passion as when they were first touched by them.
In each of those moments, I’m sure our eyes were squeezed shut, feeling every bit of that ripe emotion inside of us.
And so, when we want to step away from the world and really remember what that felt like—when you were touched there, or looked at that way, or wanting to return to that moment to relive, rewind or redo it—we close our eyes and sink into our minds, hoping that feeling will wash over us again.
If you had your eyes open, what would you see? Exactly what’s in front of you. The face of our lover, eyes shut opposite you, hoping you’re feeling the same? Or the bedroom floor beneath your increasingly tear stained sheets? Stop, keep them closed, because this feeling is yours.
Let your imagination do that moment justice; let each of your senses transport you back to that moment and that feeling whenever you can. Don’t for a second open your eyes in the middle of that kiss, that embrace or that slow, painful sob. Keep them shut and enter something only you can rediscover.
Let every inch of your soul feel it beyond question, in all its raw and natural glory, because these are the real moments we remember.
These are the lasting pockets of emotion we return to every night in our head, not because we can see a linear picture of something beautiful, a screen shot in which we’ve thought something like, “Oh that looks kinda nice,” but because we, our hearts and our guts and our minds, have taken a sensory note to make sure we can find that feeling again whenever we like.
So if you want to dig into the past, and everything that comes with it, stop opening your eyes. When something that big hits you, close them and take it all in. The smell, the sound, the touch, the taste and most of all the feeling, every bit of it in its entirety.
When you open them again, you’ll know this was one to remember.
Author: Emily Rodgers
Apprentice Editor: Alex McGinness; Editor: Emily Bartran