The Fact That We Love Opens Us Up To Pain

“The fact that we love opens us up to pain.” 

The beauty of the profound statement made me forget for a second that we were in a client meeting, not a therapy session.

We had just showed a film to a client, about a project that brought all involved deep purpose. 

It connected all of us to this marvelous, confusing, beautiful, painful, wonderful shared human journey. 

Our job was fairly simple actually.

We got to film a story about a meaningful relationship, in a great setting.

And tell the truth about it. 

It happened to be a relationship about a dog and its human companion. 

And how that connection helped the human endure, discover, and find hope. 

Jeremy Parsons‘ profound response above came in response to an awkward, anxiety filled moment on our little video chat with the client. 

We’d all gone off camera to watch the video individually, and then came back on when we were done.

Well, they didn’t come back on for a few minutes. 

“Oh man, maybe they hated it,” the internal texts started flying. 

It was a little bit of a risk after all. 

To produce a longer film, not aimed at advertising a particular product, but telling a compelling, true story.

The short-but-felt-like-forever awkwardness ended.

They came back on video.

One of these brave storytellers shared first. 

“I’m so sorry for the delay. This just touched me so deeply and Paul and Nellie’s journey reminded me of when I lost a family member myself….”

I know we all have services to sell. 

Products to launch. 

Quarterly revenue to hit. 

But goodness, this exchange I witnessed reminded me of the goodness in this sometimes scammy, heavy-handed, aggressive world of marketing.

Human-first stories. Because humans crave story. 

And are moved by them.

It’s where we find ourselves. Where we connect to others. Where we feel ok, understood, known, seen. 

It’s where we experience curiosity, hope, beauty, wonder, and yes, even pain. 

Put simply, stories are where we feel again. 

In the never satiated dopamine race for attention, stories stop us in our tracks and allow us to feel that magical thump in our chest.

And get reminded that we’re all wrapped up in this larger narrative that somehow is grander than the Rocky Mountains. 

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