I returned home a few hours ago from a weekend away with friends in a nearby city. Something I noticed about myself throughout the weekend was a marked difference in anxiety levels in response to other people’s anxiety or anger or general malaise. I am feeling less need to run around fixing everybody, less need to make it all better. The underlying reason always was, of course, so that I would feel safe, and less so that they would feel eased, though I don’t know that I was ever really aware of any of it, just that I could. not. stand. to “cause” people distress. (“Cause” is not really the true word here, as some will feel distress even if we turn ourselves inside out for them, case in point, Mr. X.) I am feeling a tranquility that goes bone deep–not always–but often in the face of situations that previously would have had me on the floor in a puddle of exposed nerve endings.
It seems all of this emotional labor is really doing something here.