We can change this world with words like "love" and "freedom."

 “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud became greater than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
I’m an English major, so I guess it’s no surprise that sometimes I phrase questions in Shakespeare-verse. But let me explain this sudden transition into a different, more literary prose. I am taking Jess Morrow’s Invicible Summer writing e-course, and this prompt challenged me to try something new–well, maybe not new, but something I hadn’t brought into this part of my life.
You may or may not know that reading is what has sustained me throughout all the ups and downs of my life. Even before I found writing as a way to see the world differently, I read as a way to see the world throughout other people’s eyes.  I learned to look outward through others’ eyes, not my own. I saw the world through their eyes and thought that my own way of looking and seeing was somehow not as important as that of Anais Nin, Shakespeare, or even Ray Bradbury (who passed away yesterday at the age of 91–rest in peace). So I read. And I kept reading. I learned the art of empathy long before the first time I interacted with a hurting soul by reading and empathizing with the hurt I read about.
Then I got lost in the pain of real hearts, real souls, real spirits–even my own. It hurt. It hurt much more than it had ever hurt when I read stories. I started to carry the pain, but when the pain got much too difficult to bear, I withdrew. I went about my work the same way, but suddenly something was missing.
After pulling myself back from it all and taking a badly-needed break to deal with everything I had taken on, I finally know what I need to do. It’s time to reach out again. It’s time to get involved with the hurting souls again. It’s time to be a part of the world and do my part to heal it. Through that reaching out, my soul will blossom. My spirit will grow light again. And my heart will carry healing to others.

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