I never really understood the importance of going to bed at the same time as my boyfriend. The only way I ever thought about it was that if he didn’t come to bed at the same time, it meant he was mad at me. I know, right? A pretty naive way of looking at things, but the fears were there nonetheless.
It took me a while to realize what was actually so important about it. I found that we have some of our best conversations as we are lying there relaxing, letting the worries of the day float away. If we were anywhere else in the house, we’d be distracted by the TV, cooking, or cleaning and that would get in the way of us actually having a meaningful conversation. Plus, it may lead to some miscommunications, causing problems later on. The second we get into bed, however, we are just so darn comfortable that we’re able to listen to each other with an open mind and speak to each other in a loving way. It’s wonderful!
Just so you know, it’s not all serious conversations that we have. It could be just joking around, insane ideas, or just flat out laughing at ourselves. The topic of conversation isn’t the important factor in this, it’s the fact that we are communicating properly.
Last night, he said something that really surprised me. I was just talking to him about my day and how much of a rough time I was having at work. Even though the day was over and it was nothing to actually worry about, he noticed that I was still holding onto it for some reason and unable to let it go. It was in that moment that he decided to speak up.
“I have something I need to say…
Your sister seems to do this a lot more than you, but I find that you are doing this more and more as well. You feel really badly about things.”
Now, I know this is true. Whether things aren’t going well at work or if a friend is going through a rough time, I feel very strongly about situations that may not even involve me.
“You both feel a lot of empathy.”
1. The intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
“What seems to happen with you, when you feel badly about something, or you are feeling sad because of a bad experience your friend is going through, you tend to put yourself in a rut because of it. You start to feel depressed and you let it bring you down. Feeling empathy should not make you weak! It should make you stronger.”
I ask him, “So are you saying that I’m supposed to not care and enjoy my life?”
“No! I’m saying that what you have, empathy, is an amazing thing that should never be let go. It’s important for people to be that way. If you suppress those feelings because they hurt too much, then you basically turn into a robot. You switch off your true feelings..”
I reply, “So my “brother” who goes off to the party is pretty much training himself to not feel for others because the pain hurts him too much to deal with?”
“Yes! And that is weakness. If you were to do the same, then the evil with inherit the earth. Do not let the evil inherit the earth!”
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“By not standing down when you feel those feelings. By not feeling depressed when you feel them. Feel them…and then DO something with them. Feel those negative feelings and then turn them around to good.”
“Do you mean turn them around for positive feelings? Like, if I’ve had a bad day I go into work and be the nicest person because I believe that people should have a good day, even though I’m sad?”
“Yeah, like that! Feel bad for your aunt and cousins, but then don’t just sit there and dwell on it. Use that energy to make them a casserole, know what I mean?”
“Yeah, I do.”
A very important thing to work on and to accept. I hope I’ll do better in this area.
I hope others will realize that, too.