I have never found it entertaining to watch people get hurt on tv “ video” shows. It is physically painful just watching. I have never found it entertaining to watch someone on tv in a situation that is very uncomfortable for them….it becomes very uncomfortable for me. There is an overwhelming ache of uselessness in knowing I possess no ability to intervene and help them. So is the life of an Empath. I suggest to you that it can be truly painful to the spirit. It is also the pain I experience when watching a lifeless child being scooped up off a foreign shoreline, or the nameless face of a war victim, stunned and shell shocked, calmly wiping blood from his 3 year old eyes….Pure agony.
It might be hard to believe that I suffer from this overload of sappy empathy. Stupid to some, I’m sure of it. Ironic since I have looked into the faces of numerous dead babies- victims from abuse, held the hand of children too afraid to talk of the monster in their home, and listened to the cries of women who were raped at the hand of a trusted friend. But in those situations I could help or at least try to make a semblance of such. That is what an Empath does.
I believe that the nature of an Empath can be found in many progressive liberals. It is necessary for us to feel the pain, the joy, and the despair of the desperate. It is within us to try to make life better for them. We are mocked for our bleeding hearts and our inability to see the justice in survival of the fittest. We are tomorrow’s victims in the world of bullies and yesterday’s crybabies. We find life bound together with others not by our differences but by our souls. We care too much… to the dissatisfaction of some.
Today, my spirit and soul hurt with such pain. I know there are many very fearful and overwhelmed people in America who do not know what tomorrow will bring. In life, competition is the daily bread for many. In life, many cannot afford bread nor have the will to compete. Someone must feed their spirit and guard their souls and we take it upon ourselves to do it. If you are not an Empath this may never make sense to you, but if you are, I send you many hugs. Almost intolerable at times, this witnessing of empowered haters and racists, misogynists and those who just simply don’t get looking out for the other guy takes its toll. So I say to you, be kind to yourself dear empathetic friends. Rest well, reduce the toxicity around you and connect with like individuals. You are needed to continue the call…and the caring. This is your painful truth.
There is something about staring into the eyes of a little one. Those deep pools of wide-eyed contemplation…able to stare right back with unabashed curiosity. It is a silent mutual acknowledgment between two bits of humanity… knowing that we will somehow change each other’s life in some measurable way.
There is something about receiving a smile from the lips of a little one. The grin that grows from their toes and makes one feel hope, optimism, and excitement for the future. How could life not be so is whispered in my ear from somewhere in my heart.
There is something about seeing your child within the spirit of a little one. That child that you cradled so many years ago during the midnight hours while others slept. That child who came to you with boo boos to be kissed, hands to be held, and homework to be discussed. That child who you watched grow before your eyes into an adult…and now looking back with those deep pools, I am reminded that this is the past, present and future before me… This is love.
Every day life greets me with change. Some days I welcome the newness of the day…other times I cling to that which we have long known and understood…and loved. When someone who has been part of my life since birth and who has shared in the many family milestones along the way passes…well it immediately tugs at my heart and soul in longing for the familiar ways of yesterday. The many gatherings of laughter shared, jokes told around the table, and basically the life journey shared not only by genetic code but by the sharing of tears, joy and family love.
And so I whisper in the silence that I will miss the past and the people tangled up in my memories. While I believe that life is truly never-ending and this is just but one stop on the fantastic journey… I will always miss those who make their way before me. I will miss you Uncle…older brother to my mother. You have moved on to once again connect with those who have gone before you… I can only imagine the reunion to be full of wit and peppered with jokes and sweet sarcasm – and I smile.
As I get ready for another day, I remind myself of that which I continuously take for granted. I look around me in wonder of all that is and I feel a knowingness that words do not explain. And then once again I remind myself…
The beauty of our present is captured in the fragility of life – not knowing what tomorrow will be yet remembering what yesterday was…
Capturing the right words to express my pure love and gratitude for you…well it is much like trying to take hold of the sweet summer breeze that gently brushes my face. A daunting task as I cherish you beyond description.
Life can bring many storms upon my door. I find that you unselfishly provide me with a shelter of warmth, compassion, respect, safety and stability…when the clouds have gathered and the thunder roars.
Life can bring darkness, despair and a chill to my heart. Your love is my sunshine that chases away the bitter cold and brightens my soul.
Life can bring many challenges and obstacles. Difficult days yet with you I feel hope, encouragement and a precious peace. I look towards tomorrow and dare to dream with you by my side.
But not to forget, life can bring laughter, celebration and exquisite joy. This I have found with you. I absolutely could not imagine life any other way. I believe that I have known you forever and a day and I will love you every bit as long…or longer.
I watched her run, hair flying in the wind… barrettes clinging to but a strand of blonde hair. I knew then that there would come a day. I stood with her as she gritted her teeth and refused to cry as injections became part of her life so early on. I knew then that there would come a day. I smiled as she danced in new dresses, twirling around in pure delight in the store dressing rooms. Oh there would come a day, I told myself under my breath. A time when she was no longer mine. I knew I never owned her but I had her time, her attention, her hand and her heart. That sweet little hand that squeezed mine tightly with pure love. We spent many carefree moments, her on my hip as we swooned to music in the midst of the morning. Yet I knew there would come a day.
I watched her so tenderly care for her baby doll. I recall the day she painfully decided she was too old to play with her beloved babies any longer. I knew there would come a day. I swore she could come to me with anything, I promised my heart and her. I would listen, I would provide my advice if she asked…I would not judge. We shared butterfly kisses and declared our love to be greater than the universe. I knew there would come a day.
I watched her gain self-confidence, determination and guts that I never had possessed. I saw this little girl become a teenager filled with such empathy and inner beauty that I was mystified she was mine. Oh but I knew there would come a day. Years of schooling, hours upon hours of hard work and many emails of papers sent for my review. I admit that some of them I hardly understood the concepts. I was impressed and in awe. Who was this young woman and where had my baby gone? No more barrettes haphazardly dangling. No butterfly kisses and no books to be read. I knew there would come a day.
I tell you as I write this, I can not fight the tears. I welcome them as much as the memories I so dearly hold. They are tears of life…living…loving. A new chapter is soon coming. But not so long ago, we had one more of those delightful dressing room days, just her and I. She was twirling again- this time in a long white dress…her face all aglow…and I watched her, my little girl….and I knew…there would come a day.
The promise of a new day. It nudges me awake in the wee morning hours between the sunset of yesterdays and the hopes and dreams of tomorrows. It is simply- today. Unable to determine the impending success of it, I rise to greet this unwrapped “present” and see what it has in store for me. Today…that unknown, unseen space of time which courses through my veins and continuously reminds my heart to beat and my lungs to breathe.
I anticipate the moments spent … the choices made and the road my soul determines to take. For I am not promised more than possibility, not promised that I will end this day with contentment or even in the arms of my beloved. As I sit here and contemplate, I watch the world wake up outside my window. Without notice, the lights of daylight begin to shine and the shadows around me shorten.
I think about the homeless and what the morning means to them as their journey continues. I think about the hungry as they face another day to quiet their empty bellies. I think about the sick and their struggle to overcome pain and suffering yet again. I think about the angry, bullied child who does not know love and the day is long and lonely. I think about the many who are afraid, tired and troubled…those that may not think they can or should survive another day.
I cannot stop wondering where the world will be when this day is done. There is a certain responsibility to living that should be acknowledged and respected. We are all intertwined, our decisions and actions affecting each other’s life more than we will ever know. So I contemplate what choices others will have made and what consequences will be felt. What choices will I have made and what consequences will be felt.
The unseen birds begin to chirp and chatter. The painted sunrise completes the affirmation. A new day is here.