Lately, my interactions with people are awesome. Conversations we have with people are filled with joy and laughter. We have fruitful chats about the world, and sometimes what is wrong with it. I am seeing more common ground with other people from all over the world. We often sit down on the plush grass of that common ground and enjoy it.
When I was younger, I used to bemoan the fact that I thought I `felt` a lot. I would get angry and frustrated with the status quo. Many aspects of the world upset me. I cared. When people I judged to be less caring upset me, I would often site the old adage `ignorance is bliss`, and a part of me would long for it and another part would write them off.
Over time, in many respects I found ways to avoid many of those feelings. I poured myself into work, study, exercise, hobbies, or all at the same time. I concentrated on having fun, and simultaneously quarantined myself from the regular barrage of issues that `bothered` me. As the insulation thickened, it turns out I put my heart in a box.
I am not sure feigning ignorance is possible, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself. Like anything living, the heart should not be put in a box. It does not like being in a box. I suppose you could say it was sad to be in a box.
But seriously, eventually I was less able to deal with the inevitable challenges of life because my heart was weaker. As time went on, every now and then something painful would still get through, and that coupled with the sadness of being in the box, would seem like too much.
The community here has been giving love to one another for a long time. While engaging in personal work to strengthen my ability to share love and compassion, I have certainly benefited from some excellent models here.
As I try and embrace people and the world, the badness and the goodness, the sorrow and the joy, I think most days I am much happier. If nothing else, the highs are higher and somehow I am finding that there is joy in sadness. Even the sadness of tragic deaths. I am hopeful that I can continue to dismantle the box I built so that as negativity comes in, love and compassion can radiate out.
At least that is the narrative I am telling myself today!