Photo credit: Helene Anne Fortin

Photo credit: Helene Anne Fortin

Those of you who know me know that I love inspiring quotes. Love, love, love them. I’ve even been known to pen a few of my own, but one of my all time faves adorns my morning coffee mug. John Wayne’s “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” God, how I love that little blurb of brilliance, and while pulling it out of the dishwasher tonight, I pondered how important it is to feel just about everything while getting back up on the horse.

I admit to entertaining a melancholy mood earlier this evening that a friend was kind enough to boot me out of, but it was actually some time after our phone call ended that I bounced fully back. Why? Because in some sick way, I need to have those moments. I need to feel the melancholia. I need to jump in the deep end and tread water until my skin turns prunish before getting out to dry off. For me, that’s being alive. For me, that’s growth.

Now, I’m not saying that feeling is for everybody, and God knows there are plenty of emotions – generated circumstantially or clinically – that require validated assistance to help cope with, but feeling makes me who I am. No, I don’t rejoice in those times when I feel sad or lonely, but I try not to dismiss them either. I want to feel them. I want to reach deep down where I live and pull out all the nuances of what makes my heart and mind tick. It makes me more empathetic. It makes me a better writer.

Why do certain songs, stories, and pieces of art resonate with us? Because they come from someone who jumped in their deep end and allowed themselves to feel – be that joy, love, passion, pain, or sadness.

Really embrace the moments that rip you up and observe them in a way that will feed your creative pursuits. Take what you’re experiencing and put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or voice to song. It’s the process of building stirrups to put ass back to saddle.