You’re a feeling person.
You feel every emotion, every horrible news headline, every story of happiness and hope. You get teary-eyed at Pampers commercials and Hallmark messages and songs that remind you of happier times. When you watch This Is Us, you have to have a box of tissues with you. It’s a must.
You feel the pain of your loved ones as if it were your own. When they cry, you sit with them and listen to their struggles. You are always thinking of ways to brighten their day. You’d give anything to take their pain away.
And then, one day, you don’t feel anything.
Where your heart was once full, it now feels empty.
It’s as if you have used your allotment of tears and there is nothing left.
It’s jarring to feel nothing when you’re used to feeling everything. It can feel like your whole world has gone off its axis. The world holds no more color—everything is gray.
If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “Oh my goodness, this is me,” I hope you stop for a second.
I hope you stop and close your eyes and take a deep breath.
I hope you let the air fill your lungs. I hope you envision it reaching every point in your body.
I hope you think about the last time you felt… something. Anything. Think about it, and write it down.
And then I hope you look at the words that you wrote and ask yourself, What happened between then and now?
When you’re one of the people in this world who takes the pain of others upon themselves, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s easy to pile it on, and it’s even easier to keep piling. But when you do that, you can bury your own feelings in the process.
You’re not doing it on purpose, and I know that.
But every feeling you take on becomes part of you. You carry those feelings with you. You wear them daily, like shoes.
And if you carry the feelings of others for long enough, you’ll forget about your own. You’ll forget about what you need to feel, what you need to heal, and what you need to keep moving forward in this world.
It’s a beautiful thing to be a feeling person, to care about others as if they were an extension of your own heart, mind, body, and soul.
But you must care for your own feelings, too. So when you begin to feel nothing, remind yourself that it’s okay to take a step back.
It’s okay to let go, too.
Letting go and stepping back from others doesn’t mean that you’re a terrible person or a bad friend or partner. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the world and the struggles of strangers.
It just means you’re taking the time to keep your own head above water.
It just means that before you worry about their feelings, you have to take care of your own.