Saturday, July 30, 2005

Sadness Speaks to Me

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Shavuah Tov, everyone. I hope those of you who observe Shabbos had a wonderful one, and those of you who don't, had a wonderful Saturday.

Many a time in my past posts, I've mentioned or hinted at my sensitivity. I have always had a very strong sense of compassion for the people around me, feeling what they were feeling: angst, melancholy, anger, sadness. But most of all, it is sadness that has always spoken to me.

I don't thrive on sad tidings, or emotional turmoil of others, but I do feel for people -- both friends or strangers -- when they are feeling low, whether they feel it for superficial reasons or for major crises. I try to let them know that I am there for them, if not in body, then in spirit. I share my thoughts and my words to help ease their personal pains; whether these words do anything at all, I don't know, but I want these people to know that I will listen, I will help if I'm able, I will offer suggestions if the person is seeking that; namely, I will be a friend or confidante if that is what they are needing.

Yes, I do take some things in my life for granted, but am trying to stray from that posture. After all, how can I do that, yet count my blessings at the same time? And believe me, I do count my blessings all the time.

In recognizing what problems, issues, family dynamics, etc. lay beyond mine, it is clear that I count my blessings even more -- thankful for family, thankful for health, thankful for a roof over our heads, thankful for a job, thankful for money in the bank, thankful for good friends and thankful for recognizing that we indeed have blessings.

It is most sad that sometimes it is only at the expense of someone else's sadness and despair that you recognize just how truly gifted and blessed you are. That someone else does not have to be a friend or someone close to you, but that someone does have a story to tell...and in reading that story, you realize that your own story doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

I've read some of those stories. I've felt my heart melt. I've cried those soulful tears. I've written those notes of compassion. I've let the people know that I, as a stranger, have been touched by their sadness, and I wish them some eventual peace of mind, peace of heart. I continue to read those stories. You should too. Then you might truly stop complaining about the small details in your life, look beyond and see that all you cherish sometimes is worth more than life itself.

Please read these stories, let your own heart melt and recognize that life and all it offers is never to be taken for granted.