Monday, February 2, 2015

A Blessing and a Curse

For those of you who have ever watched the television show, Monk, there is a humorous saying that he always repeats when someone comments on his obsessive-compulsive tendencies.  Monk will comment, "It's a blessing and a curse."

I often feel like Monk.  Not because I have OCD but because of having a sensitive spirit.  Ever since I was a child, I had such a soft heart.  I cried at the drop of a hat.  I felt things deeply.  I empathized with others.  I felt old in my soul.

I'm not sure why I'm like that.  Perhaps God was preparing me for a life of a particular kind of ministry or what it may be but it is just the way it is.  I feel things deep down in my soul and they affect me deeply and for days on end. 

Even though I was a psychology major in college, I would probably make a terrible counselor because it's almost as if I absorb the feelings of another person.  I feel like a blank canvas and the moods or attitudes of another get painted onto me. I also can pick up on the mood and attitude of someone across a crowded room.  It's truly uncanny how often I know exactly what another is thinking or feeling just by looking at them.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well but let me give you an example.  If someone is in a terrible mood and has a bad attitude and are around me, it's as if they suck the joy right out of my life.  I'll feel it for the rest of the day.  It weighs me down as if they put their burden and mood right onto my shoulders.  It's terrible at times.  As I was expressing my frustration about this to Dan the other day, he made an observation that stuck with me.

This is part of who I am and will probably be something that will be with me my entire life.  It is a blessing and a curse.  It's a blessing because it allows me to truly empathize with people and be able to understand their sadness, joy, frustration and anger.  It allows me to have a listening ear and allows people to know that I truly love them and care for them.  It gives me a unique perspective of being able to put myself in the shoes of another and see things from a different point of view.  Not everyone is able to do that.  Most people just make a judgment without trying to see what makes people tick.

The curse of this gift is that it's hard for me to separate myself from another's problems.  I have a hard time walking way and not bringing the emotion with me.  I struggle with feelings of depression and sadness after dealing with another person's emotions, attitudes and feelings.  It's a burden that weighs heavy on me.  I have to fight really hard to shake it off and never quite fully succeed.

However, I would not give this up for anything.  I do believe that God has made me this way.  He has uniquely gifted me for the ministry He has called me to.  So while at times, I feel blessed and cursed at the same time I do know that the blessing far outweighs the bad!