One evening during our vacation I got teary about a situation and Brad said, with concern in his voice, “I think you feel too much.”
He might be right.
A couple evenings before that we were at dinner – oceanfront view, warm breeze. It was the perfect setting for our beach vacation. There were even some cute young cats running around begging for food. Who could ask for more?! 😉 For some reason, this seemed like an appropriate time to bring up what I had seen pass on my Facebook news feed from National Geographic earlier that day. I only saw it briefly – I didn’t stop to look more closely or click on the article. It was too horrifying to give it any more attention than I already had. Apparently a 7-foot long python had died and someone cut it open to find a man’s body inside. Just typing that causes me to stop and gather myself… So, as I was telling Brad this, I began to tear up. “Are you crying?” I nodded. I think he chuckled a little and then commented about our location and our vacation and how it’s a little strange that in the midst of all of this I’m getting upset about a man found inside a python.
He has a point.
Now back to the first night I mentioned. After sort of watching the hotel’s evening entertainment and sort of watching the final four women’s game, we became more engrossed in the game: UConn vs. Mississippi State. It went into overtime, and then in the last few seconds Mississippi State hit the last shot to win the game. This was the first loss for UConn in over 4 years. Prior to those last 20 minutes I did not know anything about these two women’s teams. And then, as I watched the coach hug the game winning player and I watched the whole team experience the pure joy of this win and as I saw the opposing team’s coach truly happy for them… well, I got teary again. It was then that Brad suggested maybe I feel too much.
Again, he has a point.
I’ve always been one who feels a lot. However, I’ve noticed over the last 6 months, maybe even year, that I feel even more. Maybe because I’ve felt a strong loss in my life that all other experiences are felt stronger now? Is that a thing?
If people are really happy, I cry. If people are really sad, I cry. If people are really hurt – physically, emotionally, spiritually – I cry. I think about past events or future events and I cry. I don’t sob, most of the time. I just get a little teary. It’s like my body can’t contain the emotion so it comes tumbling out.
There are times I wish I didn’t feel so much. In a way I think it would be easier to go through life with less feelings – less concern for people I’ll never meet or animals I’ll never see or situations I’ll never experience. I think it would be easier to feel less connected to the world – to plants, animals, stars. I think it would be easier to care less about the moles that are tearing up our yard or the trash collecting in the ocean or the children trapped in a war they have nothing to do with. It would be easier to feel less.
However, my feelings – the ones that connect me to people and places around the universe – are also the ones that connect me to my family and friends and pets right in front of me. These feelings also make me really good at building relationships – I remember the concerns and the joys and the minute moments of life. My feelings remind me to pray for a friend experiencing grief and the friend struggling to reach a goal. My feelings encourage me to reach out to someone who looks lonely or to laugh with a random stranger.
There are times I wish I didn’t feel so much, but it seems the older I get, the stronger my feelings get too. So, I don’t think there’s anything I can do to tamper these feelings. They are part of me.
Some people feel more, some feel less. I wonder who is who in my house? 😉 We’re a good balance though. He reminds me that it’s not my responsibility to feel for everyone. And, I remind him that it’s okay to feel. Together we find that happy middle place.