The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tired of Feeling

Growing up I always used to giggle at those moms that got all teary so easily. Then I became a teenager and I found myself slowly being able to tear up at sad things and happy things.
Now that I am an adult, I have become what I used to giggle at as a child.

I am a crier.

I cry at movies and TV whether they are happy or sad. I cry during worship. I cry reading books. I cry during sermons. I cry reading the newspaper. I cry when a friend is hurting. I cry when a friend is rejoicing. I cry when I mess up. I cry when my kids achieve something cool.

I cry at the freakin' Olympics for goodness sake.

This gift of compassion and empathy can be wonderful at times....and quite useful when serving others.

But there are times when I just don't want it. Many times it hurts too much.
Times like today when I receive a phone call at work from a friend with horrible news, I just want to be able to turn off the feel-o-meter and put it in the back of my mind.

But I can't.

Instead, I sit in my cubicle wiping my runny nose on the inside of my sweater because there isn't a tissue in sight. I sit there trying to finish a spreadsheet while trying to keep the tears falling from my eyes.

If I am made in God's image, and what I feel is just a tiny bit of what God feels, God must live on an emotional roller coaster. How can He not weep ALL the time of the tragedy and sadness on earth? How can He be full of joy when someone gives their life to Him.....and yet be full of sadness for pain and suffering.

Because if I hurt this much in pain and much more does God hurt?

It's something I know I will never quite understand......

So I am tired....tired of all the hurting, not just my friend's, but humanities'.

I want to turn it off and be able to not feel.


Diane Davis said...

i so hear you.

openness to feeling and compassion is really great, but it doesn't serve us well when it becomes consuming or desperate.

i see some pretty horrific child abuse in my job and i do have days where i feel so discouraged... days where i feel completely inadequate to handle what is in front of me, let alone the overwhelming problems of the world. it can feel consuming and lonely.

when i'm in these spaces, i often ask myself about self-care. i'm not good to others if i'm not taking care of myself. it's not my job to fix the world, only my job to do the next best thing in front of me. That might be listening to others or feeling with someone, but it might also be to set a boundary and take good care of myself.

With all you are doing with family and kids and church and work, maybe you need to take care of you a little... does that resonate?

Pot Liquor said...

Gosh, that resonates with me. I can relate to what you're feeling, and Diane's advise makes sense to me. But all I can come up with for self-care is what friends have suggested--"get a massage".

However a massage sounds so trite when I'm feeling cathartic and want to purge through tears. I'd love some to read about some other self-care suggestions?

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

I definitely resonate with what your saying. I do have to make sure I am caring for myself in the midst of everything. But I actually feel like I do a good job at that. I am a pretty selfish person.....and there are times when instead of dong what I should. I do what I want. i think my post was mostly just about the weight of feeling so much. AFter I got off work, I drowned my sadness in a double double with the kids and had a relaxing evening. :)
It helps for me to share- to use my words whether written or verbal to alleviate some of the weight.

But if you don't care for yourself, that's something one should really do.

I love the massage idea.....but it's costs too much.
I try to write, read, or cloud my mind with needless entertainment-movies and tv. It works for me and it brings me joy.

ALso- I make sure to take sometime a few times a year to get away. Usually with friends that feed my soul.

Diane Davis said...

i am absolutely an external processor, so something like blogging that keeps me connected to something outside of myself is a form of self care. writing helps me too.

for me, sleep is also a biggie. i was an absolute basket case during the olympics when i was staying up too late and the smallest thing hurt my feelings. so i get 8-9 hours a night and that helps me manage my day.

Kristi said...

Oh Jen. I completely understand. It happens so often, that Haley asks "are those happy tears or sad tears?" Seriously...we have to define tears around here.

Regarding the sad tears...
Your post made me think of something I saw on HEROES this week. Do you watch it? When the indestructible cheerleader no longer felt pain, she said "I want to feel makes me feel human." That settled somewhere deep within me. It's no fun to hurt, and to feel pain...but if we didn't then we might not grasp how good the GOOD really is.
It's just part of being human.

But since we are made in His likeness...I'm sure God must cry big tears...full of joy and sadness.

Pot Liquor said...

Thanks for the ideas. I'm not a verbal processor though, so writing and talking don't work well for me--I mask too well. Sleep sounds like a ringer. I miss my afternoon naps with the girls. :(

Sarah said...

Sleep is huge for me, too. Or going to Barnes and Noble alone and getting a coffee and a huge stack of meaningless magazines. You know the ones - People, US, a bunch of home-decorating ones ... maybe a women's fitness, just to mix it up (tho that one is usually at the bottom of the stack!).

I too feel deeply ... and being married to a pastor, I feel all of what he's experiencing at church (both in terms of other staff as well as the many benevolence issues he deals with) ... I know you know what that's like. Sometimes I just need to escape it all, for just a couple of hours!

Stacey said...


Your blog sounded as if I was writing it myself. I am EXACTLY the same way and have had the EXACT same thoughts about what it means for God to deal with these things. I can't honestly say that God feels the emotions...I'm not trying to get theological but I feel like that was a huge part of the incarnation: to have a human representation of God in Christ. So while it's not a huge issue (maybe just semantics), I often wonder what Jesus must feel like in dealing with the emotions (weight) of the world.

And I totally agree with Kristi! I watch heroes and remember that line...and I laughed when she said it. Because so many times when my daughter, Jordan or my boyfriend have made a comment about how silly I am for crying over anything & everything, my response to them is this:

"I LOVE that I cry so easily and have such empathy. It reminds me that I am God's child and that I share in the emotions of Christ. It makes me feel alive and affected by those around me and not selfish or removed from what is happening outside of myself. So I praise Jesus for the gift of tears."

Tears were so precious in biblical times that they had special jars to keep them in. And when the woman washed Jesus' feet with her tears, it wasn't necessarily that she was standing there bawling over his feet in the moment...but it could have been her own jar of tears she had collected from so many different circumstances that she was willing to pour out over the One who truly knew what every single tear represented and how to comfort her in the midst of all of that.

I think those thoughts and times in the Bible (and that story) reminding myself of that are the best self care I can ever give myself. :)