Many of you who know me understand that I’ve been changing(hopefully we all are) for the last eight years of my life. I’ve been on a spiritual life altering journey. A journey that I started because I was not the person that I knew I could be, I was not the person I wanted to be and more importantly I was not the person I NEEDED to be. I was 50% happy and 50% miserable. I was stuck in limbo between Joy and Pain. I was a unhappy Christian living as if all I needed in my life was Jesus Christ. My frustration and unhappiness was more real than Heaven and Hell and those closest to me could sense the confusing energy within me. They often called me meanie. (As if I could ever be mean)
As I started seeking ways to reach new personal heights in my connection with God I began changing rapidly. However, there was a change in me that I didn’t quite understand about five years ago that often left me questioning who I was as a man. It was a change that was so foreign to me that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin at first when I began realizing this change. I found myself crying and feeling the pain and sorrow of others.
As a young man trying to understand self all that I understood about what a man was at the time in my life was that “men don’t cry”, that “men don’t feel”. Yet, here I was feeling, here I was crying for others, for people I didn’t even know. I didn’t understand what was happening to me nor did I want this to be happening to me but it was. If it hadn’t been for deaths in the family I likely would not have ever cried. Tears never came from the eyes of this guy. I was a man through and through. Crying to me was a sign of weakness.
And yet, here I was, changing in to a man that had emotions. This change happened because I began to understand that life isn’t solely about me and my needs, wants and desires. I began changing because I was growing closer to understanding what life truly is about. I was changing faster and faster because I felt closer in my relationship with God (The I am) and I understood that one can’t possibly love God and not love others. I started understanding that one can’t care for God (all that there is) and not care for everyone.
I started understanding that I was connected with all that there is and to not feel for others meant to not feel for myself. I didn’t understand what I was feeling was but it was Empathy. I began being able to be empathetic for not only loved ones but strangers. The compassion that I felt for all people was nothing compared to being empathetic with all people. As you can imagine it took some time becoming comfortable with this new found ability.
As a man, most of the women I dated told me i was too emotional but I wondered if maybe they weren’t emotional enough? They, like myself had been conditioned to believe that men do not cry or feel but yet would still say men aren’t emotional enough for them. This was a conundrum and I had to learn how to balance between emotional and non-emotional but more importantly not being controlled by my emotions. I learned that being empathetic and being emotional are completely different characteristics.
i believe that as we grow towards a better understanding of “The Creator” it is nearly impossible to not take on identical traits of what we believe to be of an all loving, an all accepting God. Love, compassion, empathy for all that exist in this world. So my spirit gets moved when I see actions of love and compassion and because I’m empathetic my being relates, connects and makes me feel throughout my entire being. Some times that is with tears or sadness and sometimes that is with tears of Joy.
Connecting with all people with where they are is a blessing. Understand that there is a difference between feeling WITH someone and feeling FOR someone. It is through how I connect with people that will help me continue to encourage people to change their lives. You too can start encouraging others to change their life. There are many lesson’s that teach the obvious about connection but the most famous is believed to be said by Jesus Christ “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself”. It is a very simple commandment that will give you a life fulfilled.
It doesn’t bother me anymore that I am this way, in fact I embrace it and know that it is through Empathetic Compassion that not only lead great leaders before us to make significant changes in the world but will lead me in the same way. So yes, when I read an article about a black woman jumping on to top of a white supremacist to protect them from an angry mob tears form in my eyes. Why? Not because I’m too emotional but because I would do the same thing and that moves my spirit….