Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Salt and spice.

I wasn't sure how to describe it before. I'm sure most people have experienced, at least once, a sort of physical pain when one is so sad to the point where you've cried and thought so much that you don't know what you're crying about anymore, and you just want to shrivel up against the aching inside. The feeling when it's as if your heart is being squeezed, that you want to double over and wrap your arms around yourself. Well, I think all of that is normal to an extent, whether people talk about it often or not.

I feel the same way when someone is being kind to me.

It's not a "I'm so happy from this act of kindness that I want to cry," it's more that I don't feel I deserve this sort of kindness, and I can't imagine why anyone would offer something to me in return for nothing. It just blows my mind, every time. I feel a mix of gratitude, happiness, sadness, and shame that I'm receiving more than I've given. I want the other person to know how grateful I am so he or she can at least be glad that they did the deed, yet I'm so terrible at expressing my gratitude that I feel it just makes me deserve the act of kindness even less.

I began to think that there was something fundamentally wrong with how I think, or maybe not 'wrong' per se, but definitely illogical compared to the standard definitions for basic emotions. At first, it was just a twinge inside whenever someone offered me their extra attention, but then it grew to something bigger, and I found myself crying when I got back home a lot of the time. There is definitely something strange about wanting to cry after spending time with a friend, or while being surrounded by people who willingly give me not only their company but their care and concern, or just simply having had a rare good day where I didn't spend as much time dwelling on my usual cares. Receiving something good in general just eventually made something inside me hurt, more and more often.

Then I think to myself, maybe it's me that has forgotten what it means to truly be kind. Maybe it's because I've been so angry at society for having enforced so many social obligations onto me (especially after recent events) that I don't understand anything that's not a system, but just spontaneous acts from the heart. Maybe that's why I get a little scared when someone is too kind to me. It kind of topples my bitter understanding of the world.

But last week, someone told me that she thinks we cry whenever we feel extreme emotion. And I thought about it. Of course, there are the extremes like 'happy' and 'sad', but what if being thankful could be just as strong of a feeling? Deep gratitude is definitely a mix of both happy and sad for me. Perhaps it's because society and how it's structured today don't give much space for people to show kindness, such that the rare acts of sincerity that are seen appear all the more unworldly to me.

This past year has really tested my mental capacities, and I admit, I cry a lot more often these days for various reasons. I've become really confused about my emotions and how to distinguish between them, and indeed, it makes it even harder for me to describe to people how exactly I 'feel'. Sometimes I wonder if I feel at all.

Various people's kindness have touched me in different ways this year. The best description I can give is that I was able to taste so many new flavours I didn't know could even exist; from this, so many beautiful moments were created. Yet when I think about that, there's the painful twinge from inside again. And then I find myself sometimes, sitting on my bed and crying from the ephemerality of it all.

But, I think it's safe to say that what I've really learned this year is how to feel gratitude from the bottom of my heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment