I was born with an unusually big heart. So much so that it’s stupid. My family still makes fun of me when I apply emotions to inanimate objects. My sister always laughed at me when I would work feverishly as a kid getting every last Spaghetti-O out of the can because I would feel sorry for the last “O” stuck to the side of the can, unable to come out and live its full potential. (Yes, there’s been therapy since then.)
It’s funny to me because there are times I feel like I can be a complete utter beotch. Mostly, I chalk it up to the Gemini in me. I’m always two people. I can be cold one moment but then my heart typically gets the best of me.
It’s the reason why throughout my life I’ve done things like run into 4 lanes of traffic to save a kitten. It’s why I literally can not bear seeing any animal suffering. Or child for that matter. I recently unfriended a “friend” on Facebook because he posted a video of an infant being beaten. I explained to him that I fully supported his right to post whatever he wants on his page, but I cannot handle it and I can’t stick around for it. He ended up taking it down. And most people would say just don’t watch. But typically when you begin watching a video you don’t know what’s about to happen. It jacks up my head more than I can ever explain. Someone suffering like that, especially a little child, burns in my brain and it will wake me in the night with overwhelming sorrow because there’s nothing I can do to fix it. Sometimes for years.
It’s why my heart would ache from all the homeless people hanging around my house when I lived in Sacramento. There was a Chinese lady who sifted through the trash every morning like clockwork. Rain or shine. I started saving my “good trash” like recyclables because I just felt so bad for her. I would go out and speak to her even though she didn’t speak any English. Smiles translate. I think she was happy I always had so many empty wine bottles.
Once, there was a homeless man blocking my garage in the alleyway behind my house. He moved so I could pull into my garage and after pulling in I stuck my head back out to see if he was still there. I asked him if he was hungry, and he said yes. So I said. good! Hang on a minute. I had made meatballs the night before and I never know how to cook for one person. I went in and made him a meatball sub, grabbed a couple of waters, and then bagged up all the last of my remaining Pecan Sandies. I put what little cash I had on hand with the food and placed it in a pretty paper bag I had saved. Then I went back out and gave it to the man. He started to cry when he looked at it. He said with tears in his eyes, “You’ve blessed me.” I walked back to my house and cried. I was the one blessed that day.
Many people say, “Well, they do it to themselves. Most are alcoholics or drug addicts.” Yeah, so? No one ever says I hope someday I grow up to be homeless and be addicted to whatever. No one.
You see the problem with me is, that I feel other people’s pain, difficulties, and sorrow to my very core.
Remember when ISIS recently burned that man alive in the cage? I tried not to look at the photos but I did. And then, I didn’t stop. I just kept looking at his face wondering what he must have been feeling in the moments before he knew he was going to die. And then I prayed, yes, I know it was in retrospect but God is not bound by time. And my prayer was that God took him so quickly, that he felt no pain. God did that for the biblical Stephen, so I prayed the same for this man, that he was just taken before his body felt a moment of pain.
And that’s for someone I don’t even know, who was half a world away.
But the times I feel the most for others, are when people I love are hurting. I think maybe a part of it is my need to control. I want to fix it. And it makes me crazy when I can’t. So I sit, with my heart bursting at the seams with sorrow just because I know someone else is feeling it. And that’s the problem with a heart like mine, I feel so deeply. But then, when you think about it, it’s also what blesses me because I do feel so deeply.
Sometimes I think I live my life on a super-technicolor, hyper HD level. I don’t just watch a full moon rising, I feel it in my soul. I celebrate the stars. I’ll cry seeing families reunited at the airport. Not my family mind you, just random strangers. And when I finally decide to love, I love more deeply than you can imagine. I would die for any of the people I love. And if I could ever take their pain for them so they didn’t have to suffer, I would do it in a nanosecond.
I pretty much go through life feeling all the feels. I think I’m one of the X-men. It’s my mutation. Like Charles Xavier and how he can hear anyone’s thoughts and he has to work hard to maintain it so it doesn’t make him completely mental.
Sometimes being this sensitive makes me mental. I’m sure it can make those around me mental too. But nonetheless, I’m grateful for it. I think life can make us all hard to a degree, so being able to come through fires with a heart still fully engaged and intact, well, it’s not a bad thing at all.