I have no doubt that this is a true statement.
I am usually pretty good at being patient. I am a “go with the flow” kind of person. That can be good or challenging, depending on the circumstances. One of the “good” aspects is my ability to be patient. Okay, I have that working for me.
Oh….but to be tough. That is not something I am good at. There is a difference between being strong and being tough. People often tell me I’m strong. Although I have not always felt very strong, when I reflect back I can see my strength. I do seem to find some place of resilience within me to draw on in hard times. I’m thankful for that.
But being tough is something else. I am emotionally sensitive. It is the way I am wired….always have been, always will be. I am meant to be who I am. My emotional sensitivity is a gift in many ways. But, it does not make it easy for me to be tough.
I have really been struggling emotionally for months. I have been reflecting, thinking, processing. …trying to sort out why I have been struggling. There are some very logical reasons that are definitely part of the picture. But, it’s more than that.
I have recently realized I am absorbing a lot of the pain and emotions of people in my life. There are some people I love dearly who are dealing with very difficult circumstances. I feel surrounded by it.
It is one of those seasons. It is something outside my control. I wouldn’t have it any other way but to make myself available for those I love.
The trouble is that no one in my life knows what I carry personally. People in my life share with me and seek support from me, but do so confidentially. So, I can’t share with my support system all that I carry.
I have realized only recently that I have been emotionally overwhelmed and absorbing people’s pain. In my professional life, I have no trouble separating myself from other’s emotions. But when I am invested in caring for people in my personal life, that is a much harder thing to do.
The result is I have been “checking out” emotionally in order to cope. But people I love suffer for that. One friend, in particular, who is dealing with far more trying circumstances than anything I face, has been neglected by me during this time. And that breaks my heart. It’s a vicious cycle. These are the times it would be nice to have a supportive partner to lean on. Some of what feels the most emotionally intense for me right now has to do with my kids. And I am on my own. So, I carry on.
The difficulty with sharing this is that some of my dear friends read this blog. Please don’t stop sharing with me! It is up to me to set boundaries and take care of myself. That is 100% my responsibility. It is also 100% my responsibility to ask for what I need when I need support or space or time for me. I am working on that.
The point is….I sure don’t feel tough. I feel vulnerable. I am not sure what tough is like. I guess I will find my own way to be tough….and maybe that comes through carrying on as I always do.
I know this season won’t last forever. I also know there is a purpose to this season, and much that I am meant to learn through this. I am doing my best to remain open to that learning. I hope this season won’t be too long, and I will see the lessons soon.