I am one of those strange people who feels everything quite deeply. I know that I’ve mentioned in posts before about how when something comes along, my emotions are usually on the extreme of either side. This is both a blessing and a curse for me because the unspeakable amount of joy that I am able to feel is through the roof, but the sorrow and sadness I feel along with it can be incapacitating. It could be something that I don’t even go through myself, it could be something I see happening to someone else.
Like tonight, I started watching a video on facebook because I was like, “Sweet, a video with cute baby bears.” without reading the title of the video. I got maybe thirty seconds into before I had to turn it off, lest I start crying. It was a story about baby bears who are being trained to stand on their hind legs for a circus, with chains around their necks, and if they go back to all fours, they would be choked because the chains weren’t long enough. You could hear the choking sounds, and even just thinking about it now has me tearing up a bit. Maybe my empathy and compassion levels are just too much, maybe I just care a lot about people and things that something like this would cause me to feel like crying within the first thirty seconds.
Later on this evening I was watching a youtube show that I tend to watch regularly, the Philip DeFranco show. It’s really just a guy who talks about things going on in the world, trying to be as unbiased as possible, and opening the floor for conversation with his viewers, asking for their thoughts and opinions on things. The final story in the episode for this evening was horrific and absolutely heart shattering, that again, I nearly started crying. It was actually about one of his regular viewers that found out that his wife was cheating on him, and after he talked to a divorce lawyer, his wife stabbed and killed their two children and then stabbed herself in the middle of the night. My heart is shattered for those two children, and for this man who has lost the two most important people in his life because this woman was selfish and cruel. (If you want to hear the story from Phil you can see that here. If you want to donate to the funeral costs and help this family out, you can do that here. If you want to see the news story about it, you can see that here.)
The thing is, these two stories, these two things that I’ve seen tonight have no real life consequences to my life in the sense that, I don’t know this family or I don’t work with bears, but they hit me in the heart. In the feels! And I know that they’ll hit a lot of people there, because these stories evoke a natural human reaction of sadness, empathy and compassion. The thing for me though, is that I’m probably going to feel this with me for more than just the ten minutes after. In fact, as proof of this, I’m writing a post about it now because it’s affecting me longer than that ten minutes after watching them. In all honesty, I’m probably going to feel these things for days, and they didn’t even happen to me.
Get something that actually has happened to me and who knows when I will stop feeling it. I know that some things take time and working on them, and in my last post I talked about how impatient I am to get over things (you can read that here,) but I can’t help feeling the things I do so deeply. That’s also not say that I feel ever negative feeling deeply, but the really happy good ones too. When I had a customer praise me and my work ethic in front of me to one of my managers, I was a little embarrassed, but also incredibly happy. I was embarrassed because I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to hear “how awesome I am” even though it’s nice to know someone thinks so highly of you. I was happy because I clearly made an impact on this customer’s day and that they left feeling very happy. That they had a joyful experience while shopping on one of the busiest weekends of the year.
I remember during the Christmas season last year, my managers called me into their office, and one of them joked that I was in trouble. Really, it was just that a customer had been so impressed with me and how I took the time to make their child feel special when they were so upset, that they wrote to our home office about me. Not to my managers, but like, to people that were higher up in the company, who are my bosses bosses. That was an incredibly wonderful feeling but also another slightly embarrassing feeling. (Because honestly, that goes into my file at work, and it’s nice, but also, I like to blend into the background. I don’t like a lot of attention for doing ‘good’ things.) It’s always going to be one of those things that I just do because I like bringing joy to people, not because I like the adulation.
When people are happy, I’m happy. I feed off that energy, and turning someone’s day around brings unspeakable joy to my life. When someone is down, when things aren’t going well, I feel that hurt as well. When someone hurts my friends, or does them wrong, I get so visibly angry, I almost shake. I had to convince my family to talk me down the other night because I thought I was going to hit someone after I found out someone was in the midst of screwing over a friend. It’s a blessing and a curse to have these deep feelings because it allows me to connect with people in a way that feels soul fulfilling, but it also brings on the negative feelings just as strongly.
So, here’s to just being me, in all of my deep feeling glory. I’ll cry over videos of bears being abused for the circus, I’ll cry over the loss of two beautiful children, I’ll get incredibly angry over someone screwing over my friends, and I’ll get extremely happy doing the things I love. I’ll just keep being me, feeling everything really deeply and if you ever wonder why I’m getting overly upset over something that doesn’t really affect me or my life, just know that it’s probably my super powers of being incredibly empathetic and caring more than I should coming out to play.