What happens in the body that moves us from caring too little to caring too much? When I care too little life loses its source of inspiration. When I care too much I feel overly invested to the point of giving myself away. Feelings are rarely in balance for me. It seems like I’m either all or nothing.
Have I always been this way?
As a child, I remember having a pretty good time…feeling quite care-free and enjoying the friendship of one girlfriend at a time. I had a best friend from early childhood through puberty and then another through high school. The same pattern repeated itself in college and in the early years of my career. One close friend became my confidant… one person that I trusted enough to share my inner self with. When time or space would claim her, I would find another best friend.
That pattern has shifted in the past five years. After I divorced a part of me opened and as I was more revealing of myself I found more friends. Instead of a best friend I now have a circle of friends who I feel equally close to. They are my Kindred Spirits.
I’m back to the question of caring too much or caring too little. I wonder if the degree to which we care about someone or something is a choice. Does love happen to me or do I choose it? Is love genuine caring or is it a projection? Do we fall in love because it’s opportune and out of love when it’s no longer useful?
What is the deal with human relationships? Are we drawn to each other because we are pack animals like wolves and lions? Safety in numbers? Share the load? Someone to scratch our backs? One to stay in the den and nurse the cubs while the other goes out in search of food and to keep the predators away?
What is going on in the human brain that separates us from our four-legged relations? Do we feel in a different way than other mammals?
Damn, I ask a lot of questions!
My emotions were pretty flat when I was married. I was aware that I didn’t feel what I thought I was supposed to feel. I tried to invoke the feelings I imagined others had but wasn’t able to pull it off. I think I was afraid to feel too much. I sensed that buried in me was a volcano of feeling and I believed if it ever went off I would perish in the eruption.
I was fortunate. I found a way to let my feelings be felt at a pace that didn’t overwhelm me. Once the floodgates were cracked open the feelings leaked out until the dam was empty. Now I keep the gates open and my emotions flow through me. Which brings me back to the original question…too much or too little…will the degree of caring ever be just enough?