It’s Friday night and I’m home alone, no children in sight for days. Can you guess what I’m doing? That’s right! I’m sitting naked in my comfy chair playing Minecraft. Trotting along happily through a forest when my pulse speeds up, my whole body is wracked with pain all at once. I close my eyes to try to breathe thru whatever this is and I whisper “I don’t want it to be over”. My eyes snap open and I know I’m not talking about the fit I’m having but about something massive and profound. I writhe in the chair for several minutes longer when I’m smacked with blind panic. No particular subject I can discern from either my surroundings nor current mental/emotional difficulties I’m personally experiencing.
The pain and panic continue off and on for about an hour. It’s hard to not feel like a total nutcase when shit like this happens. I can guess who was having these experiences that I was feeling and time usually tells, but today I don’t know. I’m only connected closely enough to a few people to feel them so strongly. Thank God, Alah, Buddha and Yahweh this damn thing isn’t stronger than it is, but it gets worse as I get older.
Not everyone feels empathy, I’ve come to understand. I believe we’re all capable since we share the same kind of brain. Everyone has at least 6 senses that I know of; touch, taste, smell, hear, sight and feel. Things we feel give us information about the world we find ourselves in. Alarm and fear alert us to danger. When your buddy comes running into a room, you don’t need to see his eyes wider than normal to know he’s feeling alarmed. You feel it too, if it’s strong enough.
We feel sympathy when trying to understand and compare to our own experiences when a sad or tragic thing happens to another person. We feel empathy alongside the one who is having strong feelings. Anger, jealousy, guilt, elation, lust… these feelings are all contagious and are often misinterpreted as our own. That thought keeps me up at night. How many of MY feelings originated from inside my brain?
More on this fun subject later. I have work to do.