I went to a screening of Janis: Little Girl Blue this weekend, and was blown away by the powerhouse that Janis Joplin was. Like so many creative people who have died too young, I couldn’t help but contemplate what she would have gone on to make and do in this world had she not been gone at the age of 27. One of Janis’ bandmates described her as someone who lived with enormous emotional honesty, for better and for worse.
Emotional honesty. This phrase has been lingering in my mind since I saw the film. It hit a chord in me as I believe I have been leaning into that very type of being. Living and loving with my whole heart. While that may sound all unicorns and rainbows, I can assure you it is not. Yes, living with my heart wide open includes parts that are beautiful and rich and amazing. But. Not wearing armor is also RAW. Tender. Vulnerable.
Still, for better and for worse, I wouldn’t live any other way. Emotional honesty is living the truest version of myself. It’s being all in. It’s risking everything to have everything. I’m learning that we cannot have the fullest love, the fullest relationships, the fullest experiences, without risk, without emotional honesty. And yes, that takes enormous trust and is scary as hell. As buoys in this sea of emotional honesty, I hold on to Brené Brown’s sentiment that we cannot selectively numb. That is, we can’t numb out pain, heartache, and disappointment without also numbing joy, happiness, and love. Numbing is numbing, across the board.
Living and leaning into emotional honesty means I’m going to cry at yoga. Ache in my heart. AND. It also means I’m going to laugh with my whole body. Be bliss-filled. And love the whole experience — darkness and light — all the same. Emotional honesty. I’m in.
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