Don’t Just Be Alive, Feel Alive

image - Flickr / Tim Roth
image – Flickr / Tim Roth

I laughed with a friend over coffee today, because she has a way of doing that for me even before the caffeine filters through my veins. I found myself thinking today about my past and my uncertain future, while acknowledging the exact moment I was in. Lord knows I cried today because I was laughing too hard and because of cuts in my heart that may never be healed. What’s the common denominator of all these actions? It’s that I didn’t just act when those emotions danced through my body. I actually felt them. To me, acknowledging my feelings means my existence is greater than just being a body that has the luxury of walking this Earth- I’m actually alive.

As much as I would like to say we don’t need to get stuck in the rat race we call life, we do. We need to collect some type of income in order to pay for the bills that accumulate while we’re running towards the finish line of said race. Much to my dismay at times, I catch myself just existing and checking off boxes on my daily to-do list instead of appreciating moments that have gone by, whether they were good or bad. Whatever the situation may be, it was still a minute that I had the opportunity to just breathe and be apart of humanity.

One of my mentors gave me solid life advice when it came to dealing with the future and handling what sentiments may arise in myself, “Even in your darkest moment, you are still feeling something. If you’re not feeling, you’re just existing, and that isn’t what living should be.” While despair may flow through my body at times, I can at least say I’m feeling something, anything. My mentor was right though. Being numb to the instants that evoke emotion indicates nothing, but the mere fact that I took in some oxygen. We just hear our breath and possibly the thoughts in our mind. But to feel the anguish or happiness that is produced from our hearts is when you know you are doing more than thinking and breathing. You my friend are actually living.

“To me, there are three things we should do everyday… Number one is to laugh… Number two is think… Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears… If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day… You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

If I could forget about all the mundane activities that must be accomplished in a day, I would; however, that is not the reality I live in, and more than likely, it is not the reality for most of society. In order to make these tasks go by smoother though, I urge you to find something that suits your passions. Find your purpose or your “why” so you can do more than just go through the motions, but actually feel your love for each moment in your day. Trust me, I’ve just existed in my lifetime before, and it feels so good to finally feel my joy and pain deep down in my soul. Discover a better reason to wake up in the morning or to come home at night.

The late Jimmy Valvano said it perfectly, “To me, there are three things we should do everyday… Number one is to laugh… Number two is think… Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears… If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day… You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” I lost count of the full days I was privileged enough to experience, but that’s a number that I know will keep growing. I felt sorrow today. I felt happiness today. I felt something today. I was alive today. Were you? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originally appeared at Writtalin.

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