Have you ever had one of those weeks where your brain is on overdrive? You feel like the world is being a little crazy, or maybe you're being a little crazy. It's hard to tell, and it's sort of frustrating. That's what this week has been like for me. I've been doing a lot of introspection and extrospection...is that second one a word? I' not convinced. My spell checker isn't flagging it, though, so I guess it is.
To put it plainly, I have trouble relating to other Christians/the church. I don’t know that it’s fair to say they annoy me because I think that implies some kind of wrong-doing or fault on their side, and I don’t know if that’s the case here. I am not a very emotional person. Not that I’m a robot or anything (that you know of…I mean, Data had an emotion chip…I digress), and I do feel certain emotions very strongly. Okay, like, two: anger and happiness/joy. When I get sad, I don’t struggle with it for very long. I either get pissed and then look for ways to get my anger out (some of my methods are more healthy than others. Case in point, my best runs have happened when I am good and pissed. Before every race, I should just have someone really torque me off) or I look for things to make me happy again. The methods for the latter usually involve puppies, tea, hugs, or some combination thereof. What I do not feel strongly is…sympathy? Compassion? I don’t feel like those are right and that using either one of them makes me sound like a horrible person. Let me explain…
Okay, when I hear about something horrible happening—someone is diagnosed with a disease or there’s a natural disaster or something to that effect—my heart doesn’t break. Okay, fair dues, my heart does break a bit when it’s cancer because I know firsthand what that battle is like. Besides that, though, I’m not emotionally moved. And there’s nothing wrong with people who are. On the contrary, the people whose hearts break for situations like that and feel deep sadness over it, the world needs people like that. Hurting people need people to cry with them, to feel things with them. I, however, am not one of those people. It’s not, generally speaking, who I am, though there have been a few specific cases where I was that person for certain people in my life. When I hear about tragic situations, I’m mentally moved. My first thought is usually, “Okay, what can be done about this? What action can be taken?” I’m a fixer. I know that’s who I am, and I like that about me. I like it a lot and am proud of who I am because I think the world needs people like me too. It’s a combination of the fixers and the feelers in this world that make it work.
Here’s the rub, though. This might just be my perspective, which might be totally wrong, but I have gotten the impression from church and some of my fellow Christians that there’s an unspoken idea that if you are not a feeler, you’re Christian-ing wrong. You’re somehow inferior in your walk with Christ if you aren’t one of the people who weep when you hear about the world’s hurts. This type of attitude, if it is really there, really annoys me (judginess, if it is happening, does annoy me) because, as I said previously, I think it takes both to make the world better. Counselors, who are on one end of the feeler-fixer spectrum (and for whom I have the greatest respect because there is no way in the world I could do that very necessary job) are just as important as the Dr. House’s of the world (minus the insults…probably…actually I think some people need the insults in order to listen. Sorry not sorry).
So, yeah, that might be all in my head. Weirdly, this has reminded me of a book I read not too long ago. Right, since we're talking about this, I might as well do a book review since I'm talking about the book anyway. The book is Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I bought this book on a lark. I’d seen it on some of the book blogs I follow, and the blurb on the back was interesting. I did like that it was a one-off, as most of what I read are series. The link for the book is below in case you want to check it out.
[***SPOILERS AHEAD***] Basically, there’s this sorcerer known as The Dragon who protects this valley from various dangers, the main one being the evil that lives in The Wood beyond. The Wood is, as a whole, a sentient being, and there’s a really interesting part of the plot all about that, which I will not spoil. The Dragon takes on this girl as a sort of apprentice, though not because he wants to. Rather, because he has to—“All with the gift must be taught.”—so this girl has the gift of magic. The Dragon is very disciplined in his teaching and spell craft. Every word must be pronounced just so, every gesture executed perfectly, and it’s really frustrating for both him and the girl. Doing magic like that wears her out, and her inability to learn and perform frustrates him to no end. Eventually, the girl learns that she can do magic very, very well, but just so long as she does it her way. She feels it as it flows out of her, and she pours her feelings and memories into it to shape it. It’s beautiful the way her process is described. My personal favorite was when she’s working to move the earth, make some little mountains, and she’s kneading bread dough, singing some of the baking songs she learned from her mother, and forming the dough as she envisions what she wants the earth outside to do, entreating it to work with her. I love it.
That’s like the thing above. Everyone has a different process for handling the world around them, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s a good thing because it’s our diversity that adds vitality and color to life.
Well, that got sort of deep. Why does so much of my stream-of-conscious-feelings-writing end up being this wider-world-kumbaya type of thing? I suppose that’s not a bad thing. I just want us all to get along and be understanding, I think.
Thanks for reading,