“You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discover that it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone.
“This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important.” James Baldwin, Author
Periods of struggle can leave you feeling trapped and alone, trying to hold yourself together as you push through the darkness.
If you have people around you to offer love and support during these dark times, consider yourself blessed. Cherish those people, express gratitude for them, and lean on their strength and faith to help you get through.
But what if you don't have such people around you? Take the words of James Baldwin to heart and remember that you are not alone. Whatever you may be experiencing, at some point, others have been through it as well. You can find those people — your spiritual kin — through art. Whether it be music, literature, or some other art form, art has the power to connect you to another soul from a another time or place, someone who can commiserate with you in your struggle to breathe, bear your burden, and make sense of things.
That connection with another soul can make all the difference when you find yourself at your lowest point. To know that someone else has felt what you are you feeling, even when you find yourself barely able to put those feelings into words, can be incredibly helpful. Knowing that someone else, perhaps someone who lived centuries ago, captured and expressed the thoughts that you are now struggling to process, can serve as a lifeline when you feel like you're drowning.
Art is truly a timeless gift with enormous power to connect us to other people we've never met. People who, on the surface, we would seem to have nothing in common with; yet beneath the surface, at the level of the soul, we are deeply and intimately connected with, seemingly in a place outside of time and space.
Take hold of art in your life, and allow it to comfort you during your time of struggle.
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