Life lessons

On feeling deeply

feeling deeply

I sit across from this young person holding a box of tissues as they sob about how tired they are of being strong. About how it is a chore, an effort to get out of bed each day. I sit next to a child who tells me she is lonely and has no friends. That her parents are emotionally absent. I watch the news about a terrorist shooting people because of their religion. I read multiple news reports about women being killed by their partners or by men they have rejected. I sit in a safe room at the courthouse and listen to the fear in women’s voices about ex-partners harassing them or their children.

I maintain a neutral demeanour through all of this. The cracks don’t show themselves straightaway. Not on my face which has the appropriate level of concern or outrage as necessary. Not in my voice which remains calm and collected.

On the inside however, I am crumbling.

It’s later, away from people, in the confines of my house or office, or my car, or even the toilet at work that the cracks visibly appear. That’s when the tears fall. That’s when the tightness in my chest makes it difficult to breathe. That’s when the feelings bubbling on the inside are allowed to burst through and overflow.

I sob for the young person who is tired of being strong and sees no will to live. I cry for the lonely little child. I sob for all the innocent people who lost their lives because a madman decided to murder them. I weep for the women who trusted certain men, only to be killed by them.

It gets all too much. My world, as my supervisor reflected, seems to lack colour. Especially right now. It’s all greys and blacks.

I cannot help but wonder: if I didn’t think so much, if I didn’t feel so deeply, would my world be more colourful? Would it be glorious hues of yellows and oranges and reds?

But then, I am reminded of how feeling deeply helps.

I cry when I read emotional stories and pieces of writing. Not just the tears running down my face but also ugly sobs. I can feel my body tense as I read a well-written psychological thriller. I get goosebumps listening to instrumental rock music. Or I weep when lyrics of songs speak to me. I break when my favourite singer releases a song based on his painful divorce and I can visualise the scene perfectly despite not knowing him. My eyes well up at emotional scenes in movies and TV shows. I empathise and validate young people who show me their rawest selves and describe horrors of being abused or invalidated despite never having suffered abuse myself. I reach into the depths of my lonely feelings to connect with children and teenagers who tell me about loneliness. I experience a whirlwind of emotions at a live music gig. I can laugh till I cry at stand-up comedy. I experience the heady feeling of falling for someone and the nervous nauseating anxiety that comes with it. I feel the excited nerves of going on a first date, of meeting someone new. I can sit and watch the waves and let the ocean move me to tears with its beauty. I can contemplate life and our existence and how in the scheme of the universe, we are but a speck and how liberating this can feel.

I realise that if I didn’t feel the depths of darkness deeply, I also wouldn’t appreciate creativity, connection and the world the way I do.

If I didn’t feel sorrow, I also wouldn’t be able to empathise the way I do.

If I didn’t feel hurt, I would never know what belonging feels like.

Maybe my world isn’t just greys and blacks. Maybe it’s the greys and blacks that help me see and appreciate the colours of the rainbow. And while it might not necessarily always bring me happiness in the true sense, it helps me connect. It helps me feel alive.

Featured Image by Isabelle Taylor from Pexels

 

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  • Shilpa Gupte
    16 April 2019 at 4:26 am

    Emotional people have a tough time–and this I say from my experience as a very emotional person, myself. At times, I wish I was stronger, detached and not so easily disturbed by what I see around myself. At other times, I feel I am so blessed, as it is because of my emotional nature, I can empathise, understand and connect with others, be they humans or animals.
    Sanch, it is precisely because of these traits that our world isn’t grey, or black, but as you said, something which helps us appreciate the colours of the rainbow. In fact, if we hadn’t been the way we are, our world would then have been totally bereft of any colour!
    Loved this post, Sanch!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…M – Practise Mindfulness. #AtoZChallenge.My Profile

  • Obsessivemom
    16 April 2019 at 3:41 pm

    That’s an absolutely beautiful piece of writing Sanch. Your world is colourful because you feel deeply. Of course it’s a blessing and a curse but you can experience life deeply and fully and that is definitely a gift. If you’re able to help people through this gift it is an even great blessing.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Not everything is awesome #BookBytes 6My Profile

  • Jayanthy Govindarajan
    16 April 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I felt like talking to myself Sanch. Thanks for this piece of writing. It’s true that the majority of black and grey is the true reason we feel the colors pleasant and cheerful. I am told by few to be deeply emotional, I have cried in the past for rejection, but now I feel different. I feel happy to feel what I feel. I just wish I learn to express it better. ?
    Jayanthy Govindarajan recently posted…Much Love Monday: April Heartaches and AcceptancesMy Profile

  • Ashvini Naik
    17 April 2019 at 10:37 pm

    This is truly touching & I could connect with you so much.

    Very true. Being emotional does hurt most of the time. I actually envy people who are much more stronger than me when it comes to handling & enveloping emotions the ‘right’ way. For instance, my husband is quite efficient at this while I sometimes find myself an emotional wreck. Pain of others tarnishes me easily. Or at least I wouldn’t be able to let go the painful imagery that haunts me for days after watching, reading or hearing about them. The horror is unspeakable.

    But, like you said, Sanch, it is this empathy that makes us alive. More alive & thus more human & welcoming to those who may really need us or whom even the tiniest of our deeds could help.

    Absolutely loved your post, buddy!
    Ashvini Naik recently posted…7 Tips on How to Work from Home with ProductivityMy Profile

  • Michelle
    19 April 2019 at 2:17 am

    This is a very good way to think about things – to look for the balance.

  • Jennifer Mierisch
    19 April 2019 at 7:18 am

    You expressed this so beautifully. As a person who is by nature more detached, I envy your ability to feel things more deeply. But from your writing here, I can see how having such empathy would be difficult also. Becoming a mom increased my ability to empathize, and I realize that I must have seemed quite cold before. It’s a gift to be able to relate to other human beings that way.
    Jennifer Mierisch recently posted…The Ballad of Bob and JillyMy Profile

  • Myna
    19 April 2019 at 9:28 am

    I like the premise of balance. I think using the color spectrum is a good choice for conveying the highs and lows of emotions. It sounds like you have a very challenging job — you definitely need to immerse yourself in the beautiful things to keep your balance.

  • Margaret
    19 April 2019 at 10:47 am

    I struggle with this too. I keep reading about maintaining boundaries and not internalizing, but it’s hard. You’ve written a lovely perspective here. It’s evident how much you care.

  • Di from Max The Unicorn
    22 April 2019 at 11:24 pm

    So beautifully written. It sounds like you have such a caring heart 🙂