I just finished watching the first episode of the latest season of America’s Got Talent on Hulu. Or, rather, I just finished crying my way through the latest episode. I can’t help myself, I can get so moved by these performances. America’s Got Talent isn’t a show I watch religiously, but this episode killed me… and it isn’t the only one that makes me cry. The Voice and American Ninja Warrior do it to me too.
As I was wiping the tears away and blowing my nose, I asked myself why I get so emotional watching these talent shows? Why do I stop what I am doing to cheer on a ninja at the edge of my seat when it is a recording and my cheering is not only way too late but unheard by anyone but me and will have no effect on the outcome? Why do I ball my eyes out watching someone sing a song in the most creative or impressive way I have ever heard it sung? Or move their body in a way that seems nearly impossible?
The Human Spirit
I am feeling and cheering on the human spirit. The human spirit that compels people to create, to make music, to compete against a course and themselves, to push themselves and their bodies to be better, to cultivate a talent no matter how unusual or strange. And to share it with other humans. It’s inspiring, it’s motivating and it can be beautiful. Bring tears to your eyes beautiful.
I am cheering on the bravery it takes to get up in front of the world, risking embarrassment, risking humiliation, risking failure, and sharing a piece of themselves that makes them different from everyone else. The courage to share the most intimate pieces of their personal creativity which can be so raw and vulnerable.
With pretty much every person that walks out on the stage or up to the course, I want them to succeed. The audience wants them to succeed. The judges want them to succeed. We want to be inspired. We want to share in the excitement of their success and glory. And beyond that, we are all connected by this shared anticipation, shared relief, and shared excitement. We have all just witnessed something that brings us all together.
This is likely the most important one… the message of our own soul. The things that make us cry are the things our soul is crying out for. Does a good book of fiction, a painting on a wall in a museum, street art, a tango, a beautiful plate of delicious food, a wedding, a newborn baby, a poem… make you cry? Maybe it is just impressive or moving, and life goes on. But, what if it is a message for you to write that poem, or book, sign up for that tango class, or cooking class, buy some paints and a canvas, or heal your wounds and open your heart? Maybe it is a message to let go of the fear and embrace the courage to put yourself – your true, unique self – out there in front of the world in whatever way it is that you are called.
So, pay attention to the things that make you cry and listen… listen to see if your soul is calling out to you. If it is, how will you respond?