Someone asked me today how my book tour was going, and I found myself answering, “I’m alive.” As soon as I said it, I realize how negative that sounds. When someone asks how we’re doing and we say “I’m alive,” it implies that we’re barely more than dead. But when I said it, I honestly meant that I feel super-duper alive — in the full realm of human experience way. As in, I feel real. I feel raw. I don’t feel numb or flatlined, in any way.
What this means is that I’m good — and bad. I’m giddy and grieving. I’m excited and disappointed and passionate and sexy and self-reflective and curious and frustrated and open. I feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. I feel called and appreciated. I am ALIVE. What more can we as humans ask for?
Yet, there’s a reason we seek to numb ourselves.
When we feel fully alive, we find ourselves faced with parts of ourselves we might prefer to keep under wraps. The other night, I barely slept because I found myself faced with something I didn’t want to look at. It was one of those dark nights of the souls — you know the ones. When you find yourself staring at the ceiling at 3:00am while the voice of your inner critic chatters away, empowered by the darkness in the room. You question everything and find yourself lacking. Every bit of your self confidence drains out and you’re left in that dimly-lit cave of yourself, the one where you stuff everything you’d prefer not the see, the stuff you hope NOBODY ever sees. Yeah. That place.