To Feel Is To Live
I spent many hours of my life pondering what makes me distinctly human and what I should celebrate or hope to regain. Those hours contemplating quietly, doing nothing in particular, just thinking, trying to figure it all out, helped me reach the point where I am today.
If you can feel an enormous sadness, you are human, not to mention the inevitable enormity of happiness that soon follows. To feel is what gives life meaning and is exactly how we take up space in this world. Our bodies reverberate with these emotions, and we instantiate ourselves in this present reality.
I fought for a decade to be how I am today, full of vitality, energy, and strength. During that period, I even gave up considering myself alive, feeling as though I died a long time ago and was just undergoing the motions of life. Life was bleak, hopeless, and pointless, and I decided without much choice that all other people were disappointing, boring, useless, and to be hated. I carried myself accordingly; many did not like my behavior, and I did not even care.
I stuck by those who saw a glimmer of hope for my situation, those who knew I was good deep inside, and that part of me hoped to come out. Then, slowly, I was able to transform. I sought out all that I wished to be mine. I found new knowledge, new connections, and new opportunities. It was a process of self-discovery, finding reliable sources of happiness, and carving my niche in this world.
It’s tough when you do not feel whole to seek change and solace and comfort in this world without the help of other people. I owe it to many outside influences that I found the strength I have today to persist. Simply living is an incredible endeavor. The raw reality of life is overbearing and almost impossible to face. Not only do I face it today with courage and grace, but I use what I have to optimize what I could have.
Moving forward, I will always aim to feel strongly and love intensely no matter how vulnerable it makes me and how much pain it might cause. Nothing in this life is worth it unless we come alive. I will never die and go numb again if I can help it. To have lost it all once showed me the magnitude of what I had to gain and helped me learn to appreciate it more and wish to preserve it. Being alive is a gift and to feel is the most significant emblem of what it means.
Aimee Sparrow is an author, applied philosopher, and mathematician who has been living with a mood disorder for more than a decade and advocates for happiness and inner peace. She is the author of Lunacy. Follow her website for more details.