One of the things that has come out of my…whatever you want to call it….Journey (some people call it…but that seems/feels kind of sappy)…is an intense empathy for other people experiencing loss, or potential loss, or any sort of event that causes the heart-stopping breath-losing howling sort of heartbreak.
Himself used to say I was too logical and not feeling enough. He isn’t the only one who’s said that. It’s true. Emotions are untrustworthy and sketchy and bound to lead you into trouble. Ask anyone who’s ever had to cope with an emotional disorder and spent many hours trying to figure out how to evaluate them, to determine if they were ‘legitimate’ or not. I think he would be pleased to see that I am having feelings for other people’s situations.
A friend had a couple of close relatives killed in a car accident, and the news made me sit and weep. A cousin of Himself found out her husband has cancer, and the news was breathtaking. Literally.
Now, this is not a bid for sympathy like “oh feel sad for me because other people make me sad!” It’s more of a…sort of…awareness that wasn’t there Before. Hearing about other people’s tragedies didn’t really do much more than…well, didn’t do much. Not really. I mean, yes, I wanted to help but as far as the actual real visceral response…never really had that until now. Because now I know what it feels like.
Can we ever truly empathize for something about which we have no real experience? I can’t. Imagine a little bit, yes. But truly? I don’t know. Now I know what it actually feel likes to be turned upside down, ripped apart, and glued back together. How that hurts on every single level, right down to the roots of one’s hair.
That’s the biggest part of it, really, knowing exactly how that feels and not wishing it on your worst enemy, because truly I wouldn’t. Far better for those worst enemies to wake up and smell the coffee, realize the errors of their ways, and repent, while there’s still time.
So this…empathy thing…it is yet another bit that is being learned through the Process (I like that better than calling it a Journey). Things keep coming up, new stuff to be learned. Growing pains, perhaps. I am not sure what they are. Reluctantly, I know that. A reluctant yet inevitable process, with a lot of incomplete sentences and probably improper punctuation, both literal and figurative.
I guess the Process is like those needlepoint tapestries, stitched quietly over time, with 100 different colors of yard, where sometimes you stitch all the stuff of one color before moving to the next, and other times you make a few stitches in red, then a few in green, until the design is done. In the Process, you go along, stuff is the same for a while, then the color changes briefly, then again, then again, and there isn’t really time to get accustomed to one before it changes and I suppose that keeps things interesting.
I guess the newfound empathy is a good thing. Himself would say so. But it is odd, and uncomfortable, but aren’t most really good things like that at first?