It’s hard out there for an emotional sponge.
You know those types of people. The kind who suck up the emotional energy of a room, good, bad, or otherwise, and physically respond to it. Violence on TV makes them physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Crowded spaces often leave them frantic. They make the best of friends, often actually feeling and understanding what you are going through as you are experiencing it yourself.
Some call them empaths or the highly sensitive. You, like me, may even fit into this category. But whatever you decide to call them, whether you are highly sensitive or not, it’s hard to live in today’s world and feel what it is feeling. It’s becoming damn difficult to be normal.
For me, it started with the systematic attacks of violence that have been taking place throughout the world. If my heart was a sieve and each mass shooting or terrorist attack left residue, by the time we reached June of this year, I had no more pathways for the stories to take. Orlando, Istanbul, and now Bangladesh seem to be strapped on to the walls of my heart with no concept of how to process each horrific image, each CNN Breaking News text, each body count.
As if those weren’t bad enough, the outcry of nonsensical political logic that follows each attack is enough to make me pull a full Exorcist. (Head spinning around, dermatological problems, pea soup vomit, the works.)
I’m not going to sit here and spout my own political agenda, but the lack of concern for human life is startling. The choice of self-interest over community is disturbing and heartbreaking. The disregard of facts and logic, mind-numbing.
Which leads me to my next issue, the rabid dog fight that is this insanely lengthy, absurdly violent election season. (For a comparison, the 2016 election season will have run 596 days in total. Other countries have election seasons regulated by law. Japan can only run campaigns for 12 days. Mexico, 147 days. France, 14 days. The UK, 139 days etc. etc.)
The name calling. The smear campaigns. The seemingly, idiotic candidate that seems to have a large, idiotic following. The hate. My god, the hate. Facebook. Twitter.
And all of it, all of the anger and hatred and gaffes and bigotry, goes on forever so that even I, a person who desires to be politically active, who has never shied away from conversation and discussion, has tuned out, turned off, and shut down.
So, what do we do? What does any one do when they’ve had enough? I can turn off the news, I can log out of Facebook, I can switch off my CNN and BBC world news updates, but then I run the risk of being ignorant. Of not knowing anything outside of my slender bubble. I become no better than those who are screaming about making a country great again for themselves and no one else.
I know the right answer is balance. But in a world that is seemingly so unbalanced, how does one find it without losing touch, without losing heart, and without losing our minds?