Heavy thoughts entered into my mind and I felt them.
I didn't know what to do with these feelings so I turned on some music, played a mindless game of solitaire and sang.
Music speaks directly to my soul. I found a song that hit home and played it over and over again. I found another song that hurt my heart. I couldn't sing the words. The tears started to roll down my cheeks and I simply felt.
I purged the emotions that hit me like waves in the solitude of my morning. I simply existed without pretense or any form of outward strength.
I felt raw and vulnerable when I picked myself up up and had a cleansing shower before I faced the day ahead of me.
I met a friend for lunch. I dropped by to see another friend on my way home.
I felt raw and ragged inside. I was sore and I was hurting.
I couldn't believe that no one could see through the veneer I had erected around my outer self. I felt hollow and vulnerable but carried on in my regular, ordinary fashion. And no one saw through the cracks.
That realization stopped me in my tracks.
How many other people are out there, wading through that-which-must-be-done on a daily basis feeling broken inside?
I replayed my day and wondered what I may have missed as I spoke with friends about things-that-really-don't-matter. We had conversations which did not break beneath the surface. There is a very good chance (a certainty, I am almost sure) they had their own 'cracks' which I did not peek through and ask about what I did not see.
I was conscious of this throughout the week that followed.
I kept my iron curtain closed and talked about nothing to those who crossed my path. The better I knew a person, the less I revealed.
I had a conversation with a friend who I tell all. I told her nothing. She told me of what was transpiring within her busy, hectic and often stressful life. It was a conversation like many others. She knows me better than I know myself but she did not hear the difference within me.
We talked a week later.
I was ready to open up and reveal my hurting heart. She said, "Why didn't you tell me?"
I told her I had to come to terms with things in my own head and heart first. During that quiet week, I realized that is what I do each and every time I am standing on the precipice of a time-of-great-change.
I get very quiet. I keep to myself. I need to think my own thoughts before I am ready to share them with the world and allow others inside. I need to be strong in my own conviction before I'm ready to buffer the opinions of those who-are-not-walking-in-my-shoes.
I explained this to my friend and she immediately found herself within my words. "I do exactly the same thing" was her thoughtful response.
Each of us opened our door of vulnerability and shared that-which-we-dared-not-speak-aloud.
Taking the words out of your head and putting a voice to them is not an easy thing to do.
Opening up and baring an open wound is a risk.
No one wants their deepest fears trampled on or cast aside. No one wants to hear someone tell them what to do or how to feel. No one wants their trust to be shattered by laying it all out on the line and no one 'hearing' them.
Yet opening up and releasing the very words which you have been guarding so closely takes the power and impact of those words out of your head and out into the open where they can be seen, heard and felt with greater perspective.
There have been times I have withheld the 'good stuff' and held it near and dear to my heart just as closely. That very same 'power' is a wonderful thing when it is a head and heart full of words and emotions, that make your heart sing. They tend to lose some of their impact when shared.
Be gentle out there. You just never know what someone is not saying when you think they are telling you so much.