4th of 6 Parts
In my first years as a journalist, I remember talking to so many people about their lives – letting every bit of it soak in as I learned about the lives of people from all walks of life – everything ranging from fear of losing their homes and health concerns to deep insecurities and at the extreme – murder. I really wanted to talk to these people, to know them, to learn, to try to understand, to see how I could share their story in a way that connected them with others.
It was an emotional process for me as much as cerebral one full of facts and brass tacks information. I wanted people to feel what I felt sitting with them knowing their difficulty was all of our difficulty if we don’t stop for a moment and understand we all impact each other.
I used to talk about it with friends in the newsroom. I wondered if emotional openness with impulse control might not be our highest potential for mass connection as human beings. We used to debate the idea and I’d be told that was impractical, pie in the sky, and that idea was entirely unpleasant – miserable – dangerous even. Sometimes I’d hear it had possibilities, something to think on, and I might actually have something there.
I chuckle now typing about it. I have lots of ideas and this one I’ve found has come back around many times over the years as a writer, journalist, researcher, and producer. Without emotional openness, my job wouldn’t exist. People willing to trust me with their stories is how I’ve been able to carve out my life professionally. Shame lives in secrets and silence is seems.
In regard to topics shared in my last few posts – everyone works differently, but to entirely conceal your humanness seems to disregard the very thing that helps us connect and live more authentically – our emotional experience. In it is the essence of who you are – a treasure chest of beauty when shared.
It seems some people are so devoid of an emotional life – any show of a willingness to connect emotionally is actually dangerous – as if it will crack their outer shell and green grass might be allowed to grow on what had been a forced barren landscape or something. If you know them at heart, they seem to fear they’ll have been compromised. It’s fascinating to see how fragile and delicate that bubble is for people who protect it.
I respect that, but see the power in sharing who we are openly. It’s not scary to share who you are, if you know who you are, and can stand in that place confidently, yet humbly.
When you have little of it – it becomes a commodity.
When you move through the world that way – emotional available to the life around you – it seems like an abundant resource of internal power and strength to harness.
Next Post: When Your Voice Gets Its Wings