For a long time I wished I was a psychopath.
It wasn’t something I had grown up wishing and until it happened I never really gave them much thought. After my parents divorce I started buying books like “Without Conscience” by Dr. Robert Hare. I told myself I was reading about these people and their personalities because I saw traits of narcasstic and psychopathic behavior from one of my own parents. Recently they have said that psychopathy is like a spectrum, and it makes me think about the moral decisions I’ve watched those around me make.
But…that’s not the point.
It never really was the point. I wished I was a psychopath because I was tired of feeling. I wished I could take away the generations of pain within my family. I wished I could stop all of the hurt everyone experienced. Sometimes, late at night when my mind starts to race I’ll think about the world and all of the people in it and how I wish I could take away all of their pain too.
I realized I was the exact opposite of what I was reading and that I wondered what it would be like, if only for a moment, to stop feeling everything so very deeply.
Everything is so much bigger than myself. The world around me at the time of writing this is under a global pandemic. Anxiety, worry, grief, fear… it’s bubbling over the surface like a fizzy drink filled too close to the rim. It’s moments like these that I’d like nothing more than to hide away in bed under the covers and feel that empty gutless feeling that comes after a long heavy sigh.
I don’t really know why I started thinking about this… I haven’t read about psychopaths in quite a while. I guess sometimes you just wonder how it feels to feel nothing at all.
Then, just like that – as quick as ever – something happens and I’m grateful for the depth of emotion I feel. Is it possible, do you think, that those of us who feel so deeply can become wounded warriors? Do you think what Rumi said was true, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” I have noticed that the most wounded have a way of becoming.
They become all sorts of things like artists or bakers, but mostly healers.
Mostly they become epic wounded warriors on a mission to walk beside those that are still drenched in pain so heavily that they must ring their clothing out and watch all of the emotion flood the floor boards.
And so, as I type and listen to the birds chirp outside the window, I agree to always and forever look the other warriors in the eye and give them a nod of my head, a metaphorical tip of the hat, as we continue to pass each other going too and from the blackened earth of the battle field… assisting the broken out of the rubble. The broken helping the broken. The stitched helping the open wound.
Our feeling is not a curse – it is the thing that guides us home.