Imagine a world where you feel so much it almost breaks you apart whenever you spend time in public. A world where you seem to literally carry the cross of all those around you, without the possibility of shutting it off.
I remember when I was a little girl. My mother used to take me out for breakfast at the department store, across from the school my father worked at. We would steal away for a little while, I would have a soft-boiled egg and toast, while intensely listening to her confessions about life, about what she experienced, how she felt. I also remember understanding what she was saying, and yet not having the vocabulary to respond. I simply didn’t have enough language or words to really tell her that I understood; truly understood. I was an adult in a child’s body and it saddened me; it isolated me.
And so it went; year in and year out. I had an endless stream of advice seeking “friends” who couldn’t quite understand how I always seemed to get it and how I had the uncanny ability to see what lied ahead. How I could read the most hidden thoughts and secrets of others with the ease most use to read the newspaper. They couldn’t understand how much I cared and how much their own pain hurt me just the same.
I wanted to be a nurse, I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to be a caretaker, I wanted to rescue. And I did so, in more ways I care to count. I collected broken souls and I carefully put them back together at times. People told me I had a gift. Granted, the gift scared them, but it always drew them nonetheless; at least for a little while. Then being found out and truly seen became to much for them and they’d inevitably turn to run. I remember two things very clearly; my first therapist once told me that I had an immense light that would draw others, good and bad, and that people would try to take some of that light and finally would seek to destroy it, for I held up a mirror to them. He told me to protect my tender heart. And then there was my ex-boyfriend who gently held my hand while telling me: “I truly believe you are not from this world. I believe you to be an angel that was sent here to heal and help many. But it just doesn’t work like this for the rest of us.” This was 14 years ago and he stood by his statement for the years to follow.
I’ve spent years studying ancient philosophies, wisdom, religion and paths, and yes, I learned a great deal. But the more I knew, the lonelier it became. I lost the ability to connect to society. Scolded for “having my head in the clouds,” and for being “way out there,” I desperately tried to learn what it means to be a little less. I’d try to do small talk, but would get sidetracked and just end up staring into space in mid conversation. I couldn’t relate to fashion, and the every day worries people had. To me, the entire universe and the vast cosmic spaces resided in my being.
When I was little I wanted to be an angel. When I was older I started breaking down each time I realized that I was simply human. The pain of not being able to exist only and always on another plane was unbearable. I started disassociating more, meditating less. I could not risk being in large crowds. Hearing the thoughts and feeling the feelings of many was draining me and would often render me sick for days. Lights would start flickering around me, lamps would start swinging and it felt as if I was going insane.
When I reached my mid-thirties, I decided to stop the noise and the pain. I shut it all off. I erected a large wall, built a bunker and put my heart in it. I threw the key away and the very things that I used to “teach,” were now no longer true to me. It was too much. I broke down and I could no longer bear to fall apart at the mere sound of a sad song, the sight of suffering and pain. I locked myself away and deconstructed that which had defined and cursed me for most of my life. I was more successful at work. I cried less, I felt less and I no longer walked the edge. Alas, I was more one of them now. And yet, still not close enough.
I want to be courageous and I want to live my life from my higher self but the fear always wins. I cannot risk such deep thoughts and feelings, because I cannot risk to feel so isolated and lonely again. I never realized that angels do not belong here when I made the promise as a child. Sometimes their wings break and they realize that they are only human.