Because nothing feels better than feeling small.
It doesn’t sound nice to feel small. We want to feel big, to feel important. But somehow, the best moments are when we realize we aren’t that important after all.
It’s why people love the Grand Canyon, the fjords, forests…it makes us realize how small we are and how small our problems are. It makes us realize how much more there is to this world than our temporary trials.
Awe stops time. It makes you want to grab your camera, but you don’t. Because you know it could never capture everything.
Awe is the moment when you are fully present. It’s a moment you try to keep, but you can’t. You can only appreciate its fleeting nature. It’s the moment when you open your eyes and feel like a child again, wide-eyed in wonder.
The Smithsonian reports that this feeling of awe — both fear and admiration — inspires generous behavior, boosts the immune system and inspires creativity.
“When people experience awe they really want to share that experience with other people.”
It’s an overwhelming and under-experienced feeling. Our surroundings, even if beautiful, can lose their ability to inspire awe. You can miss awe — it can be shut off. While it has the power to shrink your cares, your worries can also limit your ability to experience awe. It is something that must be practiced. You have to be able to stop and enjoy awe, to put yourself aside and appreciate where you are, and what you are not.
And when you need that inspiration again, to experience feeling small again, there is always another breathtaking place to visit or photo to look at. The world is never running out of awe-inspiring places. That’s why I love it.