Years ago I asked my friend, Megan Thompson, the question, “Why do people crave art?” Her response was,
“To have a safe place to bleed.”
Her response has always stuck with me. I probably think about it every day of my life.
Emotions are transient; they are intended to flow. They are part of our survival mechanism. If we hold onto our emotions, we become paralyzed; we live stuck in that moment. Even if that moment is happy, we get stuck in that one moment of happy and can’t move onto the next moment of happy.
So…take a negative emotion. If you deny yourself the opportunity to feel the pain, to feel the unhappy, to feel the sadness, then it’s stuck with you. You’ve got to let it flow out of you like water flowing through a pipe. If you don’t allow yourself to feel, your pipe becomes a lot like a clogged drain. If you don’t allow the emotion to flow through you, then you clog the drain. The more your drain becomes clogged, the more devastation can occur as the pipe gets backed up…
So, back to Megan’s response…why do we interact with art? Why do we watch TV shows? Why do we go to theaters? Why do we listen to music?
They are a safe place to feel.
We are often taught in our cultures to “get over it” or “don’t cry” or “wipe that grin off your face.” Eventually we start believing what we hear and we confuse the need for tact or the need to gain perspective from an experience with the idea that you should not feel at all.
Almost like it’s a dirty thing to feel.
So…I know I don’t want a world of overly emotional people running around the planet because if we let emotions be our dominate decision makers then we would be a bunch of complex wild animals running around all the time.
But…the gift to give someone an environment or a product or a service to safely feel is the best gift you can give someone.
Our emotions mixed with our ability to imagine and analyze: That is what makes us a downright, mother flipping special species of animals!
So…want to leave something behind?
Give people a safe place to bleed, to emote, to feel…a place they don’t need permission to let their primal self go.
Alright then… Go out and create something and do it with feeling.
Building the Safe Haven of Your Legacy,
POST BLOG WORKSHOP
1) What type of service do you provide?
2) How can you give people a safe place to feel, to be human through your service?