When was the last time you “saw” life?

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Lately, I have noticed something different about the way life unfolds around me.

Okay, maybe that last part isn’t entirely true.

Maybe life isn’t doing anything different…maybe I am.

Today, I have been perplexed by this crazy notion that life for years basically didn’t have much of an effect on me at all. Looking back, I guess it would be easy to say that I had checked my emotions into a prison and at some point, forgot about them. I pretended they weren’t there and never went back to check on them to see if they needed anything.

Let’s face it…I buried them.

In the last six years, one or two of those emotions escaped, but quickly and quietly, I sent them back to the dungeon where they belong. I didn’t want a big commotion or someone to notice them. Even after watching the movie, “Inside Out”, I panicked and put on the iron mask I had worn for so many years. In some ways, it felt comfortable and familiar. Yet in others, it didn’t seem to fit well anymore nor did it seem to work as well as it once did.

The something happened.

Something I never saw coming.

Something I didn’t want.

Something shameful and dumb.

At some point, there must have been a riot in that prison or the guards fell asleep.

But before I knew it, the emotions I had kept hidden for so long, were running a muck everywhere I went.

I couldn’t watch something simple without experiencing it. Even if it didn’t directly involve me.

One moment I cannot seem to forget. A single second of remorse as I fought to keep the “prisoners” at bay — trembling through words I couldn’t quite hold onto and yet knowing the tipping point was coming.

Life was in front of me and I never had seen it more than I did in the last week. It has so many different faces that although they were all new, they quickly become comforting and known. The ups and downs I experienced were found on every level and although most never caught me, I was able to watch a life be “reborn.”

A new appreciation like never before.

In a matter of seven days, life became something cherished and desired instead of something quickly dismissed and taken for granted. It was seen as something so pure, it would surely have swallowed me up if I had let it. Many would never discuss the moments that would quickly fade, even if they allowed themselves to be present just as I had.

For in looking at them, I saw the same “prison” — the ones where emotions are given a life sentence and the feeling of life never is allowed — not even for a short visit.

henry-david-thoreau

There are many moments we don’t just miss — we neglect to see altogether.

There is the silence heard in a chapel when a man walks in to silently pray for his health…

There is a beauty found in a heron, gliding across the fog covered water…

There are lessons yet unlearned in the eyes of a newborn baby…

There is gratefulness in the heart of the single mother who is given food for her children…

There is anguish for young boy who desperately wants to see his mom, serving overseas…

There is excitement on the face of the teenage girl who gets asked to the school dance…

There is determination in the sweat falling from the brow of  the construction worker, as he works to make this job’s deadline…

There is frustration in the team that has trained together for years, only to fall short of their goal…

There is anger in the minds of those who will never understand why a loved one was taken away…

There is sadness in the eyes of the family who never got to say goodbye…

There is love in the smile given to a friend who is celebrating a birthday…

Life isn’t just something we watch or something we do from time to time…it is a part of us just as we are a part of it.

Too often, we are so focused on getting things done, running from one place to another, that we forget to “see” what life is showing us. It is giving us moments of time that never get repeated.

And when you truly start to “see” life, allow life to pass through you. It may leave a mark as it does so, and should that happen, allow yourself to feel it too.

Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©

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