Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Feeling Too Much in an Unfeeling World

I wear my heart on my sleeve. There’s no hiding it, and it gets stronger as I get older. I have been highly sensitive my entire life and it is something I embrace about myself. I embrace it because it gives me a clearer view of my soul; it allows me to know myself on a deeper level and understand how the world affects me. Though I feel anger or sadness or stress much more deeply, I also feel happiness and joy more intensely. I feel the emotion in everything from TV commercials to music to greeting cards to pictures and home videos scattered across Facebook. I feel a spark of joy when I see flowers blooming or a rainbow arching through the sky. I feel everything, all the time. And whatever it is I am feeling will always manifest itself through my words, actions, and expressions. It does not hide behind anything.

But all of this feeling can be too much at times. There is no denying that we live in an unfeeling world. Though I know there are others who are sensitive like me, the world as a whole is brutal and callous. It’s a big wig business that is cold and careless. So many people have no problem judging or gossiping or lying. So many people have no problem being rude or disrespectful to others. So many people lack even a bit of sympathy or compassion. And now that I have my kids to protect, any words or actions against them put my defenses on high alert.

In the years I have spent as a military spouse and living five different states, I have learned that the good ones are few and far between. I have learned that kindness seems to be a virtue that is slowly becoming a thing of the past. I have learned that my intuition is pretty good at knowing who I can trust, and sadly there aren’t very many.  I have learned that adults don’t always outgrow the click-y, condescending nature that usually appears in middle and high schoolers. And I have learned that people who are meant to help others often don’t perform their jobs very effectively.  

Since everything I observe stirs up emotion, I have slowly begun to feel discouraged with the world around me. My heart has hardened towards people in general. I want to see the good in people, but their words or actions turn me away. I want to trust others, but having been deceived too many times causes me to guard my heart. I want to believe in kindness, but I have to accept that the world will walk all over me if I am not careful.

When I look back I see a smiley, curly-haired little girl, naïve and gullible but optimistic and joyful about life. Now, I feel so sad for her because she had no idea what the world was really like. She had no idea that when she grew up, her positive, uplifting nature would be one that the world kicks to the curb. That little girl was me; and I want so badly to be able to go back and warn her about life outside of blue skies and rainbows.

So how does one who feels so much move on in an unfeeling world? I refuse to give up on kindness. Despite how unkind the world can be, I still believe kindness is the greatest virtue. I embrace the love that my husband, kids, and I share for each other. I appreciate my family because they raised me to be who I am and always accepted my sensitive nature. I cherish the friends I have grown close to because I know they get me, and I can trust them with anything. And I recognize those who have proven themselves to be kind and honest and understanding by thanking them for what they have done.

All hope is not lost. The world still holds good, but now it’s just harder to find it. I’m determined to seek it out. I’ll do it for my kids. I’ll do it for my faith. I’ll do it for the amazing friendships I have found when I was least expecting it. I’ll do it in honor of military families, who are all working hard towards keeping our country great. And I’ll do it for that little curly-haired girl who only saw the good in the world.

I may feel way too much, and that can make life more challenging at times; but I’ll never regret my sensitivity. It’s my soul’s way of clearing out the junk and keeping me focused on what means the most to me in in life.