I have always easily felt others’ emotions. It’s like God set my internal sound system to hear a pin drop. Really comes in handy as a nurse, but can give me shell shock when the bipolar people in my life emote. Their emotional stereos don’t sound that loud to their own ears, but to me, they’re sending out emotions in sonic waves big enough to stop an army in their tracks (think Desert Storm.) Sometimes I can’t think straight because it’s too much, too loud. It crowds out any sense I have that God is with me, or for me. And when I can’t sense Him in the middle of all that input, my own anxiety rises, or hurt, or confusion, or anger, or any other negative emotion that is unfortunate enough to be passing by at the time. If it lasts long enough, I end up feeling soundly traumatized, and can emote with the best of them!
So, like I wrote before, I start giving thanks right in the middle of it all. But that’s not all. Sometimes my emotional “ears” are ringing from all I’ve heard and felt. To balance the sensory overload, I make spaces for quiet, silence, solitude…God knew I would need this… “be still and know that I am God….” Ps 46:10 Sometimes I just sit outside for ten minutes, staring at the clouds. Or listening to the rain. It’s like putting on high end Bose noise reduction headphones tuned into Heaven (not that I HAVE high end Bose headphones, but I’ve HEARD they are heavenly.) Yes, this is counter-intuitive to a sanguine people-person like me, and may look like a luxury to anyone else, but it’s a necessity for my sanity. I gotta have time off from all that input and take long soaks in stillness to KNOW He is God over all things, my life included.