It's always been that way for me, I'm incredibly empathetic and that has served me as well as hurt me in life.
I think my sensitivity is a gift in so many ways. It makes me a caring person, always willing to reach out and help others who need it. I'm sympathetic to the plights of the world, and want to be involved, to make a difference, and that is a very good thing, isn't it?
Except, it works the opposite way too. I'm not just sympathetic to the pain in the world, I tend to SOAK it up, not unlike a sponge.
Many years ago, I decided to stop watching the news, because I couldn't make it through a newscast without tearing up. Truth is, I still can't. The state of our world breaks my heart, over and over again.
The violence, the anger, the diseases, the addictions, the misplaced passion, the ignorance, the utter lack of communication and understanding, all these things, reach deep into my soul and I have a hard time accepting that I'm just supposed to go on about my business.
But the truth is, that is all I can do. Go on about my business. My business of living life the best way I can. Helping others when I can, loving those close to me, enjoying each day to its fullest. And praying.
After all, that is all any of us can do, isn't it?
And most days, this is enough. Most days.
But not today. Not today when an entire country is suffering. When the news of the earthquake in Haiti first hit, I reacted in much the same way I do with most news. "oh, that's terrible, I'll say a prayer, or two or thirty", and then off with the news, I don't want to know, see, hear, learn any of it.
And then today the statistics, the numbers, the facts, the pictures started trickling in. I learned most of them on Twitter, where I seem to get most of my news nowadays. And again, my heart broke. Over and over and over again.
I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I'm not even entirely sure I know what to feel.
I just know going on about my business feels wrong somehow.
In one way, a tragedy such as this serves as a reminder of how important it is to live each day fully...really live. To appreciate the small blessings, to make sure your loved ones know how loved they are, to not get so hung up on the trivial things. So, in that sense, I feel going about my business is exactly what I should do.
But then, there is the guilt, how can I just keep on when so many have lost so much? How can that be okay?
So, I pray. And I write. And then I pray some more.