The Art of Mirriam Neal

//open

Yesterday, Lauren – one of my closest friends and favorite people – said, “You cry very easily and honestly I think it’s a beautiful thing.” Which, of course, nearly made me cry again – because it took a long time to get here; to reach the point where I was comfortable showing my emotions. Most things either

  • make me laugh
  • make me cry
  • or bore me to death. It wasn’t always this way. I cry over things that make me happy. I cry over things I think are awesome. I cry over the beauty of things. I cry over exquisite people. I cry over things that break my heart and things that put it back together.

I cried a lot yesterday. I received a surprise package from my college daughters, Abigail and Laura, and I cried them; overwhelmed with the love I felt. I teared up while screencapping the world’s most exquisite human, because I’m pretty sure God designed him specifically, as Lauren said, to ‘knock my socks off.’ I cried over an article about children in China, because it broke my heart. I cried while writing a brief scene in one of my novels, just because I was so happy with how it was turning out.

CARE
the package from my beautiful girls

I cry a lot, and a few years ago, I probably would have been mortified and told myself to get a grip – but the truth is, after a time, I was tired of ‘getting a grip.’ I wanted to be secure enough to feel, and I wanted to be comfortable enough to express those feelings. I’m still not good at being open with everyone – I try, but frequently fail. My mom sometimes tells me, out of all my siblings, I’m the most difficult to read, and it’s true – but slowly, bit by bit, I’m getting better. I’m opening myself up.

It’s a frightening thing, pulling back that curtain and letting everyone see you for who you really are. I try to be honest, but so often I deceive myself. I think I’ve got something down when I don’t. I’ll pretend I’m fine with something when I’m not – and even when I realize I’m not fine, I won’t say anything about it.

I remember vividly as a child, I would snicker when people around me would cry during a movie. It seemed so silly to me then, to have emotions over something. [I was frequently a very stony child.] Now I think about how I was then, and I laugh – because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s something Zooey Deschanel phrased better than I ever could.

“Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things.”

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email