October 3, 2019

How Embracing our Cracks means Embracing our Humanness.


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“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”~ Leonard Cohen


I think at some point in all of our lives, we become so numb, so complacent, so fearful of the day-to-day that we eventually just stop allowing ourselves to fully experience and feel our emotions. 

We lose our ability to push from one moment to the next in the pursuit of creating the emotions that elicit the feelings of living. We choose the easy—the safe paths—to avoid the cracks in the pavement.

We come to a point where we don’t even allow the cracks to develop, because we have come to fear the light.

The world can turn us against ourselves and force us to build a wall in order to shield us from the hurt, the pain, the fear, and the uncertainty that comes with the unpredictability of that which is life. The wall may keep us safe, but we have built them so high and armored them so heavily that we don’t allow anything in or out. We have assured that no light can slip between the cracks.

Life is the wave that ripples in at one moment and crashes in the next. We can choose to face it or we can turn to run from it. We can choose to feel the waves as they come in—we can let them slap us in the face with their bitter bite, we can open up to the bone-throbbing pain down our spines, and allow the unrelenting shiver to course through our exposed selves down to our fathomless depths.

Or we can stay on the shore, shielding ourselves from an opportunity to feel it. To experience it. To live it.

Think back to a sad moment. Can you feel the tightness in your chest, the catch of your breath, the bottomless depth of your heart at that moment? Can you feel the tearing rawness that left an irreparable scar? A tug, a pull, a harsh reminder of life’s inevitable lows. Can you feel the wave crashing in? 

Think back.

Think back to one of your happier moments. Can you feel the aching warmth in your heart, the tingling flutter of excitement, the swelling heat that folds you in and holds you tight? Can you feel that intoxicating glow that burns within? A want, a desire, an addiction to one of life’s greatest pleasures. Can you feel the seductive roll of the ripple?

Think back.

It’s not just a thought. It’s a physical touch that still echos on your skin, a smell that still lingers, a look that still moves you to smile. A response to a moment in time. Good or bad, it reminds us to live—and every emotion is what reminds us we are alive.

Now imagine life without emotion. Imagine looking back or gazing forward and all you have is black and white. No butterflies in your stomach, no flush of your face, no skip of the beat. A numbing monotony of perpetual motion devoid of color.

We cannot see the light or appreciate the dark because we fear what will be illuminated in those moments. We have come to fear the very things that remind us of life’s most precious gifts and what teaches us our most important lessons. So cracks are sealed, and that which makes us human is trapped within.

Ask yourself, is that a life worth living? Is that really worth building that impenetrable wall for? Wouldn’t you rather feel all the emotions—be they sad or happy, angry or lonely—rather than feel nothing at all?

Can you open up to the sting of the bite or the shed of the tear in order to feel, to really appreciate, the moment of splendor when your lips melt into another’s or a child tucks their soft innocent hand into yours? Or will you choose to continue to turn from the wave, feeling as if you have some illusion of control tucked away safely on the shore? To continue to build your wall layer by layer, inch by inch, in a lifelong battle to seal your heart and ultimately your soul against those cracks that would challenge your conditioned safety.

No color, no waves, no light and dark. No cracks.

We need the cracks. We need the cracks in order to actually feel the light, and in order to do that we need to allow them in. 

Embrace the cracks, let the light in.


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