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May 18, 2016

The Power of Our Raw Hearts: A Simple Story of Sadness & Hope.

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*Warning: Some f-bombs below!*

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Sometimes, I get tired of dressing up my words in fancy poetry.

Sometimes, I get tired of writing and wondering how many views I’ll get from this article.

What about heart?

What about truth?

What about the raw, undressed truth that my heart really wants to speak—the raw truth that connects my heart to yours?

Sometimes, I just want to set everything down that seems like it matters, because most of those things we worry about so damn much don’t matter at all.

I want real. Unmasked. Tears flooding. No pink satin bows tying up all the loose ends. No forced happy endings or sweet illusions of having figured it all out. Just dripping humanity. Honest, beautiful confusion.

Sometimes, I long to speak from the watery depths of my heart and tell raw stories that happen to be true without trying so hard. And I just want to be a fucking human being. Not a falsely perfect woman who’s trying so hard to be someone, to be something, to succeed in this messed-up world.

Just a human who cries and smiles and laughs and fails—who doesn’t have it all together, who struggles madly—as we all do. A human who doesn’t have all the answers, but is chock-full of questions.

‘Cause mostly, I’m a human being who’s so full of vulnerable, quivering heart that I often feel the need to dress up my sensitivity as something prettier, more dramatic, seemingly stronger and fiercer.

I don’t want to play dress-up anymore. The costumes are itchy, and I’m tired.

So, here is my nakedness. Here is a simple, sweet, sad and hopeful story from my day. And maybe somewhere, in some small way, you’re having a similar day, a similarly confusing and beautiful human experience.

Today, I found myself in a crowded cafe. It was far too crowded for my taste, but I walked inside anyway, against my better judgement.

I felt punched in the stomach immediately—hearing, sensing and feeling the symphony of sounds vibrating off the walls and echoing inside my bones like thunder.

Music. Laughter. Clanking dishes. A thousand distinct conversations blending together in my eardrums.

Fuck. I could have toppled over, right then.

All the impressions seared through me. Maybe, I was made of paper. Maybe, I had no skin at all.

I hate feeling this raw.

And yet, as much as I try to fight against it, it’s the norm for me these days.

People rushed past me with their teacups, and every time they did I felt so much—too much, everything. Sometimes, I just plain hate feeling. Sometimes, I can hardly keep up with my own emotions, let alone attempt to parse out what strangers are feeling.

But, when people walk past me, I often feel a gut-wrenching snippet of the grief they carry. I taste their uproarious joy. Or their worry. Or their bubbling-over jealousy.

I don’t want to feel that; I don’t want to know that. I just want to sit and relax and mindlessly enjoy a goddamn cup of tea.

And in these moments, I can’t seem to steady myself.

The world is too loud. Too filled with seemingly unnecessary, endless noise. Too many voices fighting to be heard.

So much frantic talking.

Why is no one listening? Why is no one pausing?

Voices overlapping, vibrating at a thousand miles an hour, seeing who can be the loudest and most daring. It makes me want to cry, because people are talking so rapidly, without really saying anything, without connecting. They are wearing masks of conversational make-up, blabbing on and on and on, without ever taking a breath. Without any gentleness or care.

And in these moments, I feel unfit for the world. I feel like a freak.

I hate loudness.

I hate unnecessary, clanking busyness.

I hate the rushed, frantic, harsh pace of life.

So I sat there, in the middle of that too-crowded cafe, sipping my tea nervously, breathing, smiling, but wanting to cry.

And in these moments, I just want to run off into the mountains and never talk to anyone again. The world moves too fucking fast for me. Do I even belong here, at all?

After about 20 uncomfortable minutes, I reached my threshold for noise and clatter and chatter, and I hurriedly left that crowded cafe.

I sauntered out into the street, which was also crowded. I weaved through more people, wanting to smile at them, but being far too scared, too lace-like raw, so instead, I took an easy out by looking down at my phone, changing the song in my headphones at just the right moment to avoid eye contact.

We all seem to have become experts at avoiding even the slightest second of eye contact. I started to wonder what’s so scary about actually looking each other in the eye.

As I walked toward my apartment, the crowd miraculously thinned out. Fresh air. Space. Oh, sweet relief, finally.

As I tasted oxygen again, I spotted two homeless men sitting in a nook on the sidewalk, by an alleyway. Normally, I would have felt scared of them, but in that moment I didn’t feel scared at all.

They both had kind eyes. Eyes that captured struggle. Eyes that had seen the darkest parts of society. Eyes that, somehow, still had a lot of hope.

As I walked past them, they softly asked me for the time. I told them it was 4:21. They thanked me, so genuinely.

I smiled brightly—and gasp—looked them both in the eyes, saying genuinely, “You’re welcome.”

Something about that simple exchange felt so achingly human. So sane.

As I continued walking, I stumbled into a slightly less crowded cafe and ordered a chai latte. Slowly making my way back outside, I bumped into a man holding a baby, with about five children lined up behind him. I told him to go ahead, as he was carrying a baby and, holy cow, caring for at least five children, but he smiled, his eyes intensely kind, insisting that I go ahead.

It touched my heart.

And it’s in moments like these that the world doesn’t feel too loud or too busy or too noisy.

It’s in precious, kind, genuine moments like these that the world feels full of heart. Humanity.

And so I got home and cried for an hour, because there is so much pain in the world, so much suffering and struggle that I want to sob endlessly—but there is also so much hope.

Yes. So much hope.

So much heart.

And that doesn’t make it all better, no.

But it can help us remember how simply beautiful life can be, when we’re not trying so hard.

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Relephant Read:

Why Pain Could Be the Best (Untapped) Creative Tool.

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Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Pixabay 

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