Being An Empath

I had my heart bruised last night. Not broken. Just really badly bruised. So, riding a roller coaster today. It coasts along at a semi-conversating state, then dips a little into the emotionless dead air zone, before diving headlong into the tears-that-just-won’t-stop drop that leaves you feeling like your heart wasn’t able to handle the speed and just got left back on the tracts somewhere.

As with a several fellow Empaths I’ve met, when we hurt, it changes the way we receive the emotions of others. Some temporarily lose their ability to feel others emotions because their own are too strong. Other’s still feel them, but can’t discern them well or find their origins. Usually I am of the former variety. But today, I experienced something new. I felt more. My own pain left me wide open to feel others pain, or happiness, or cruelty, or kindness… I felt like I was feeding off of them.

Also, I became extremely aware how different it must be to not be an Empath. Almost no one noticed that I was struggling. And I’m not a great actress. Not that I needed or wanted to be noticed or acknowledged, but it amazed me the lack of … awareness, that people have for the emotional states of others.

I’m an INFJ, we’re naturally Empathic, and generally fall into the “HSP” (highly sensitive person”) category as well. Meaning our nervous systems are often wired in such a way that we react more strongly to things and feel things more intensely than is “normal”. We tend to have low pain tolerance, to dislike temperature, sound, light, or people extremes, (too hot, too loud, too bright, too crowded, etc). For example, I hate florescent lighting. It just grates on my every nerve. I work in a building with almost entirely florescent lighting, so I often sit in the dark without lights when I can. Drives my coworkers crazy. Sudden noises make me jump even when I see them coming. Also, emotions are strong. There’s no such thing as half-way for me. I either like you, or I don’t (required to love all people because Jesus does, but I don’t have to LIKE you), I trust you, or I don’t (though I will discern at times what degrees of trust should be allotted and trust people with certain things but not  others).  The words “I love you” are weighty to me. Very strong. Very important. Difficult for me to use with many. But once I’ve said them, it’s set in stone. Yes, I’m required to love everyone. But love is a verb. When you find someone who you also love with your emotions as well as your actions, it is so much more intense and binding and… wonderful. And painful. And terrifying. And incredible.

I know, this is random and disjointed and makes no sense. Welcome to my world, as it is for now. Pray for me. I have a deep ache in my heart and I’m confused and I need comfort and understanding.

Four Days

Not going to explain my title. You can just wonder your little heart out. It’s a mystery! (Oooh!)

I have spent more time devoted to pray in these last 3 1/2 days than I have in years. Also, I’ve spent more time in my bible per day than I ever have. I’ve done some reading during breakfast, while on lunch break, and right before bed. I’ve spent more time seeking counsel from people whom I trust to be solid believers that I have in…. literally forever.

And I have my answer. It’s firm, it’s supported by my mentors, my family, and most importantly, by scripture. My heart is a peace with this answer, totally. Every time I pray, every time I seek Him, every time I read (and I’m not selectively reading what I think will support my desires, trust me), I become more and more assured of what God wants for me. I’ve gone on walks and prayed out loud to God and been reassured. I’ve prayed in my head while I’m working up patients and been reassured. I’ve sang worship songs in the shower and been overwhelmingly reassured and comforted and wrapped up in God’s love.

I am not anxious, or worried, or fearful. I’ve never been so sure about something in my entire life.

However, I’m not the only human mind in this decision. So, I am restless. God has been so good to me, He has blessed me with frequent encouragers, kind coworkers, and good sleep (a very important gift!) as I have been fighting this restlessness. So ready for the conclusion. As encouraged and reassured as I have been about the outcome, I still won’t be totally at rest until I see it for myself. *sigh* Faith is hard. Leaning on God is hard. Not because of Him, but because of me. He’s proved me wrong in my worrying every single time in my life up until now, why I can’t just leap off the cliff and trust Him to catch me, I may never know… I guess thats a part of being human.

I’m running out of edge though. I’m slowly sliding off that cliff. He will catch me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get an adrenaline rush on my way down.

The Best Is Yet To Come

A lot has happened since my last post…

Chiefly, the friend I went on the “Great Salsa Adventure” with is courting me now. We’ve discussed so many things and spent a lot of time talking over our pet peeves and expectations and opinions on things, it’s been amazing. And now, though he is waiting until June 2017 for God to give him assurance that we are supposed to be married, we are planning on attending pre-marital counseling to see if they can help us figure out if we’ve missed any important topics of discussion.

We take a lot of long walks and mini adventures together, spend many an evening cooking wonderful meals together and watching quirky anime shows and movies I’ve never heard of. We laugh until we can hardly breathe, tease each other, and over-all just have a fantastic time together.

All these years, praying for a Godly man, I never thought God would go so above and beyond my expectations. I feel so honored, respected and loved. And I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us as we continue our adventure together.

For those of you waiting for your knight in shining armor, stop looking. Just let him come. He won’t be what you hope for. He will be far, far greater.

Also, my Dad got remarried, moved in with his new wife, and I am living alone. Trying to find a new place to live so when the house sells, I’m not forced to move in with my stepmom’s house with her two kids. Introvert me does not want live-in siblings. 😛

Anyway, yes. Lots of changes. ^_^

~TQG

Twenty Years From Now

I hope, twenty years from now, you’ll stand in line at the store, lost in your own thoughts, and feel a tap on your shoulder.

I hope the face of a friend from years and years ago will greet with you with a smile and a warm hug, and ask you how your life has been.

I hope they’ll laugh at your stories, and tell you how great you look, and mention my name.

I hope, with all my heart, that you will not say

“Oh, her? I haven’t seen her in ages.”

“I almost forgot about her!”

“Ah, she.. that didn’t work out.”

I hope, instead, that they see a gleam in your eye,

A joy in your heart, as you say,

“She’s waiting for me at home.”

The Great Salsa Adventure

No, not salsa dancing, though I suppose that would be a fun adventure as well. Allow me to elaborate on my salsa adventure this last weekend.

So, a friend of mine came over for dinner one night, and he left a jar of salsa in my refrigerator by mistake. Shortly after he left, he texts me:

“My salsa got left behind. O.O”

“I just noticed that. That’s okay. I’ll hold it hostage. The fee to get it back will be some kind of fun mini adventure. Until then, I’ll keep it safe.”

Little did I know what I had begun.

His suggestion was to go 2 1/2 hours away to visit his good friends, he is the godfather of their children, and spend the weekend with them. I live in South Carolina, we were heading to North Carolina. If you’ve been watching the news last weekend, you may have seen that we had a rather blustery winter weekend. Blizzards and icy roads and whatnot. Many told us we were insane to drive north in such weather, but did we listen? NO. We were determined! My dad insisted I bring  heavy winter jacket and a blanket, just in case something happened and we were stranded on the side of the road.

“We’ll be fine Dad,” I say. “we’re not going to be stranded on the side of the road.”

Parents have a way of being somewhat prophetic.

About an hour (ish) into our trip, we passed by a wreck on the highway. The roads were bad off, but as long as you kept fairly slow and didn’t do anything sudden, it was fine. Apparently the car in front of us didn’t know this rule. For whatever reason, they stopped quite suddenly in front of us, and even though we were pretty far off their back end, the ice made it impossible to stop in time. We ran right into them.

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This is Turbo. He didn’t make it. Rest in pieces. Thank you for protecting us with your airbags.

We then found ourselves…. stranded…. on the side of the road. I put on my winter jacket and knew that I would never hear the end of this from my father. Ever. But, regardless, he was wise to insist on my bringing it. The other vehicle was far less damaged, and drove away without an issue. No injuries for either cars passengers.

My friend and I laughed. A lot. I’m not sure if the adrenaline just needed a place to go, but we were happy to be alive and unharmed and just sort of giggled and cracked jokes to one another as the cop wrote his report and called a wrecker to come get us. He asked us where we wanted to be dropped off, and if we had called someone to come from home to get us. We told him we wanted to continue on our journey to NC, and to drop us at a 24 hour store. He looked at us like we were slightly insane. (We have decided we probably are.) After unloading poor little squished Turbo, and finishing talking to his insurance company, we were told they would not provide us with a rental. We found ourselves stranded at semi-run down 24 hour gas station. At night.

Determined to journey on, we called every taxi service we could find on the internet (yay, smart phones!) but all of them were closed due to weather, or didn’t serve the area we were in. Finally, we found a taxi service listed as “A Taxi”, which specifically stated it was a night taxi, and said in it’s description “We’ll get ya there!”. It seemed promising. So we called.

The guy who answered informed us that yes, he did have a taxi service. Before his taxi exploded. He was now out of business, but yellow pages had not removed his number from the site despite asking many times. He apologized and said it would probably be better if we found someone else.

However, my travel buddy is not one to give up easily. He told our out of service taxi friend our story. Finally the guy (His name was David!) told us if we couldn’t find anyone else, he would come get us in his personal car. We tried a few other numbers with no luck, and before we could call him back, he texts us to tell us he’ll do it. For about $150, to drive us all the way to our destination. By this time, it was about 9:30, we left my house at 5:45ish for our “two hour” trip. He told us he would be there to get us at 10:40.

So we sat on the floor and chatted and waited. The gas station attendants told us we should just consider getting a motel room for the night and continuing tomorrow, but we were dead set. And at about 10:50, our guy arrived. The drive was long, fairly treacherous, and very, very slow. We finished the remaining hour and a half worth of driving at 1am. The snow was falling sideways, and we were literally the only ones on the road, except for one SUV pulling people on a sled down the middle of the road. (At 12:45 in the morning!) Upon arriving at our destination, David told us he decided to drop the price to $135. So we paid him and thanked him profusely for his time and effort.

We made it. Bruised, exhausted, but exhilarated, we made a 2 and a half hour trip in 8ish hours. It was great.

The next day, we secured a rental car for our trip home, and spent the day relaxing, playing board and video games and enjoying one another’s company, telling stories and having a very good time.

Our trip home was much less eventful, thankfully. I think we had enough unexpected thrill for one trip. We made it back in the correct amount of time, safe and sound, filled with new stories and memories. The best of adventures.

Also, my friend has found a new car already, and it’s super cool.

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We may be insane, but our insanity lead us on such a grand adventure! I didn’t realize how much I liked adventures, such as this, until now. I’ve never had friends who were up for road trips, or friends that I wanted to be stuck in a car with for hours, actually. I love my friends, but I only have a few who are the type that don’t wear me out, and they’re gainfully employed or in school or married and can’t just go have adventures whenever. This trip brought to life a little place in my heart and mind that had been in a deep slumber. The part of me that loves venturing into the unknown just to see whats there, to learn by experience, try new things, and stay the path even when it looks bleak.

January 2016 is coming to a close faster than I could have imagined, and I didn’t intend to start this year with a bang in such a literal sense, but it was totally worth it.

 

 

Éowyn & Faramir

“What do you fear, lady?” he asked.

“A cage,” she said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond all recall or desire “

~Aragorn & Éowyn, “Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote, and Éowyn the shieldmaiden’s whole story, resonates with me at a very deep level. Especially if you read the portions at the ends of the books that give you more details about the backgrounds of the characters, and details about her and Faramir’s love story. She falls for Aragorn, but he very kindly and respectfully tells her that his heart belongs to another. And it hurts. But then, along comes man she doesn’t expect, and he opens her eyes.

Then Faramir came and sought her, and once more they stood on the walls together; and he said to her: ‘Eowyn, why do you tarry here, and do not go to the rejoicing in Cormallen beyond Cair Andros, where your brother awaits you?’

And she said: ‘Do you not know?’

But he answered: ‘Two reasons there may be, but which is true, I do not know.’

And she said: ‘I do not wish to play at riddles. Speak plainer!’

‘Then if you will have it so, lady,’ he said: ‘You do not go, because only your brother called for you, and to look on the Lord Aragorn, Elendil’s heir, in his triumph would now bring you no joy. Or because I do not go, and you desire still to be near me. And maybe for both these reasons, and you yourself cannot choose between them. Eowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?’

‘I wished to be loved by another,’ she answered. ‘But I desire no man’s pity.’

‘That I know,’ he said. ‘You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Eowyn!’

And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: ‘Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Eowyn, do you not love me?’

Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

‘I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,’ she said; ‘and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’ And again she looked at Faramir. ‘No longer do I desire to be a queen,’ she said.

Then Faramir laughed merrily. ‘That is well,’ he said; ‘for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.’

‘Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?’ she said. ‘And would you have you proud folk say to you: “There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose?” ‘

‘I would,’ said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing.

And to the Warden of the Houses Faramir said: ‘Here is the Lady Eowyn of Rohan, and now she is healed.’

Their love story touches my heart. I love the honesty.

Comfortable Silence

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I love people who can hold their own in a conversation. Who can fill in the gaps that I so often leave. Who can gently draw me out, even when I’m not actively trying to participate. Conversely, I love when those same people can just sit quietly with me and not insist on filling the silence. Knowing when something is worth breaking silence for and when it can just go unsaid. It’s a skill few people possess. Most feel extremely uncomfortable with silence.

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After writing the above portion of this post, I went and had thanksgiving “dinner” (it was lunch, but whatever) with some good friends of ours, then went and walked about 2 miles on a local dam, came home and did some housework while listening to music from an app that recently appeared on my Android after an update, it’s called “Milk Music”. Pretty neat little app. It lead to the discovery of a song called “One” by Ed Sheeran.

“And all my friends have gone to find
Another place to let their hearts collide
Just promise me, you’ll always be a friend
‘Cause you are the only one.”

The whole song is quite good, but those lyrics particularly spoke to the way I feel sometimes. Like I have to ask for assurance from the people I truly call friends. Assurance that they aren’t going to find a reason to leave me behind. I guess there is no way to truly guarantee it, but love is worth that risk.

On another note, this Sunday I have my interview to become a member at my church. So thrilled to have found a church family that I want to become apart of. That I enjoy actively being apart of. Such a blessing. God is good.

Happy Thanksgiving, from TQG 🙂