I feel things deeply, not just my emotions but other peoples’ as well. I’m not just the friend who cries and laughs with you, but I’m the stranger that cries and laughs with you, too. I am able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. This has helped me develop compassion, but it has also put me in the position of being used by others. Like anything else in life, it is a learning process. Most times I can see into people which keeps me from being manipulated. Even if it doesn’t I usually learn and prevent it from happening again with the same person.
Emotions enable me to make every situation all about me. Many of the things that upset me actually have very little to do with me. I have to step back and remind myself of this. When I am able to detach the “me” from the moment, I can see things in a different perspective, one that is much clearer. It has been a difficult concept for me to accomplish. I am able to do it deliberately, but I have been unable to just be that way at all times. If I look back later at specific occurrences, I find that I overreact due to my emotional state. If I wait to speak or react to any given instance, I am better off. My emotions often change on the particular subject. Sometimes, I don’t have all the facts, and sometimes I am just not in the best frame of mind.
I find if I don’t think and I just am, I am at peace. It’s the thinking that welcomes the chaos of conflicting emotions. Maybe it’s simply being able to separate ego and emotion from the moment. Is it a matter of my emotions controlling me or me controlling my emotions? It has taken me a lifetime of work, and I have not accomplished it.
Emotions are expressed differently by everyone. At least, I have learned not to judge others for not feeling the same way I do about certain circumstances. I realize we are individuals with different genetics, personalities, conditioning, and belief systems. Our difference of emotions doesn’t make me or you right or wrong…it just makes us individuals.
Given the choice of being oblivious and not feeling anything at all or feeling sorrow to the point of suffering and joy to pure elation, I choose to feel my way through life. I’m not saying this because I am a deep feeler. I was once on a medication that gave me a “don’t care” attitude about everything. I only stayed on it a couple of weeks. I couldn’t live without compassion nor would I want to. I don’t understand some peoples lack of compassion, but I remind myself that it is not my job to be concerned with it. I also know that caring too much invites pain. Maybe it’s a personal decision as to whether it is worth it or not.
I will probably continue to struggle with detaching myself from situations and not letting my emotions get in the way of making decisions. I will probably continue to follow my heart in most circumstances. I will probably continue to be embarrassed by my public displays of emotions and try unsuccessfully to keep them in check. If there is a plus side, I know I have these issues. I also know how to distance myself. It’s a matter of applying this knowledge and actually wanting to live that way. Besides, it takes a lot of work, and I’m lazy. I don’t like exhausting myself. I’m worn out from just thinking about it!