Walking through town in a slightly raw empathic state today probably wasn’t a good idea. I seem ‘ super sensitive’ today, I only need to glance at someone to pick up their own individual emotional novella of life. I actively avoid eye contact as I know only too well that I may become infected by others affect.
However, I still receive emotive impressions despite my attempts at avoiding them.
– The couple in the restaurant whose relationship continues only because the man constantly undermines her self esteem leaving her feeling worthless. She therefore does all she can to appease and impress him despite a long history of futility.
– The old guy at the bar in the baseball hat, his eyes and deeply wrinkled face give voice to a life of loss as he slowly gets drunk in order to numb himself from the vestiges of past pain.
– A young man sitting outside of the cafe who is attempting to be the centre of attention in his group because of his personal insecurities and his need to increase his self esteem.
– The young couple on the bench beginning to fall in love, feelings of excitement mixed with anxiety at trying to ‘ get it right ‘.
-The young mother with a young child in the park who chose an aggressive male for a husband in her then young and naive belief he would protect her and keep her safe. Instead she lives her life in fear of previous love. She now makes brief, nervous eye contact with other males, perhaps in the hope of rescue.
– The homeless, elderly man whose lifetime of alcoholism and self neglect have seemingly washed him of virtually any semblance of humanity. His mind and body crave one thing only, any observable behaviour is solely in pursuit of obtaining his crux. However it is no longer his crux, it is his only reason for living.
– Finally, the apparently young girl in her twenties in a floral dress. First impressions are that of a vivacious, friendly individual enjoying her youth with friends. Without looking into her eyes I know that behind them, well hidden so as no one would ever know, is a soul cut adrift. Probably at a young age she had her heart broke, her implicit trust in her family and home devastated by the action of another. Since then she has survived on the emotional crumbs from others. Any attention is greeted with open arms as it is better to have one’s existence acknowledged than to potentially never, ever be noticed and subsequently lost forever in the world.
Walking back home through the park I cannot help but reflect on life as I watch the butterflies seemingly chase each other amongst the bushes and squirrels excitedly scampering above in the tree branches. I suppose life always has been and always will be a bittersweet experience for many and I surely count my blessings as often as I can remember. If only I could easily leave the suffering of others to themselves without the tremendous urge to relieve their pain, be their crutch and to offer the hand of hope. I understand after many years of rescuing, it is not feasibly possible to save everyone and I have to set my boundaries. However it never really stops the deep compassion that can well up unbidden within me.