Can we talk emotions? As in other people’s emotions, not ours. Well, theirs first, then somehow, like a sponge…they are ours too?
The phone rang yesterday morning. Special Person #1 called to talk and ask for prayers for Special Person #2 who they were worried about but who was also causing problems. As they are both dear to me, I began feeling both their pain(s). I spent much of the rest of my busy day thinking about their complicated situation and looking into things that might help. Today, things seem to have blown over. For them, I mean. I, on the other hand, still feel like a wrung out dishcloth.
At dinner that night the kids seemed extra teen-girly (read: hormonal). The usual “half-uncomfortable because people like to bicker” meal turned into full blown emotional pain and I had to quietly excuse myself early and start cleaning up. Another drama moment and I would have lost my cool all over said teen girl(s).
So come the end of the night, one misguided look from The Captian (dh), who will deny to the hilt, as left-brained-Spock-like husbands do 🙂 , that whatever I read into that hateful look *was not there*, and my bucket spilled over and cracked. I’m still feeling it this morning.
Do you feel like the bucket that other people pour their souls into so they can walk away feeling better, but you are left still holding that angst? What do you do with it?
Honestly, I am still working on this.
I am learning, slowly, ever so slowly, to cast my cares. Because God is bigger than my Boogie Man. But I have trouble doing that when so often it feels like I’m just screaming at the sky. Ye of little faith, indeed.
I have heard that if you imagine yourself surrounded by a bubble of healing and protective light, it helps.
I have imagined myself cutting, with huge scissors, the invisible ropes that bind me to certain people who do not have my best interests at heart. It’s supposedly a very serious energetic practice, though, if you believe in those things. I’m not sure what I believe, although I know there is so much more to the reality of the world than what we can see or measure by today’s equipment, and that our words, thoughts, and actions have real effects on the material and spiritual world.
I have tried deep breathing, which is helpful in some ways, but my thoughts during that time are critical. I can’t be in any way thinking, “…grumble grumble…stupid situation that makes me deep breathe…this is stupid and not fair that I even have to do this…grumble grumble…” Noooooo, that just makes it all worse and like I’m breathing in more bad feelings. I need to dwell on whatever good I can, and imagine pretty scenes and happy rainbows, LOL. Sometimes The Captain will call out to me, “Happy Bunnies!” and it’s my cue to imagine a calming scene.
So far, my greatest efforts have been towards taking care of myself while still allowing people to tell me everything. It lets me still be the sensitive, caring, generous (ahem) person I am and try to be, while not letting myself get sick from being The Holder of All People’s Bad Feelings. I can take a lot if I know I’m being helpful, and can then go laugh myself silly at Whose Line is it Anyway for an hour without guilt, because I have to keep the balance of sanity level.
Elaine Aron, author of the book The Highly Sensitive Person, calls us the Royal Advisors. To not allow people to tell me all their troubles negates this very real part of who I am. I just need to learn better how to deal with it.
Maybe it’s my age, but I’m slowly learning that only I can tell what I need inside, and that especially for us introverted/sensitive/empathic/gifted, etceteras, other people mostly don’t get it. So I have to be OK with that. OK with them thinking I’m lazy for playing Candy Crush for an hour after a bad phone call. (I don’t recommend that…d**n frustrating little game, LOL).
OK especially with dropping the guilt, which totally ruins whatever regenerative feelings that hour might have gained for me.
Do you find yourself as the local emotional sponge? Are you learning ways to cope?