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‘You Feel too Much’

It was a conversation that left a lasting impression.

Years ago, I was talking to a friend whose daughter was in university. I knew her daughter, was bright and talented. I was surprised to hear she was struggling. My friend told her, ‘You feel too much. You’re overly sensitive…’ In other words, you don’t have a problem—you are the problem.

I felt this was wrong on so many counts.

First, I don’t want to live in a world where human emotions are squashed and disregarded. This ideology has led to many problems we face today. Teaching others not to feel; not to care; to look out for only themselves, fostering the ‘dog eat dog world morality’ is why we are politically, economically, and socially in a very depressing state of affairs. It is precisely why we have depression and too much anxiety. It is why we have so many enemies throughout the world. It is why we have so much starvation. It is why our economy is failing.

Because: we don’t care. We are preoccupied with us, me; self. We don’t give a damn about collateral damage; the starving children; those living in refugee camps—because they live in far-off countries. Our media doesn’t inform us. Those in our own country are hidden, jailed, or die in the streets.

We’ve been taught to be numb. We are the living dead. The truth is: We’ve been tricked and toyed with. We let others take control of our lives. We let go of the reins. We trusted in our leaders. We believed half-wittingly that they were doing the right thing for our ‘best interest.’ Did they? Is what they do what we really want?

Just look at our film making industry for the past two decades. Look at what our youth have been taught. Our viciousness can’t get any worse. We are toxic.

The continual quest to be number one as a nation in terms of wealth has subliminally taught us to do the same. What do we use our national wealth for? Or our personal wealth? If wealth is not used for the betterment of our human condition, wouldn’t it be better to be less wealthy, or at least, not so powerful as to be so damaging to others? We have to admit we are no longer looked up to as a humanitarian country. Just look at our film making industry for the past two decades. Look at what our youth have been taught. Our viciousness can’t get any worse. We are toxic. I understand the need to defend ourselves, but that is not where our wealth as a nation is used. It’s no longer about defense. It’s about invasion and taking down leaders in foreign far off countries we never even knew. Before we deny our part, let’s take an honest look at the chronological order of matter.

We blame the millennials for being self-centered. Indeed the ‘Me’ generation is sickening. However, we need a little introspection. Why did they become this way? What were they learning from our teaching by our actions as parents? We taught them to only care about themselves. We work and barely have a family/home life. The media is slanted and corrupt. It lies while inflating our egos. The millennials really believe they are ‘great’ when in fact they are lacking in all human characteristics. They have little compassion and no spiritual enlightenment. This problem wasn’t created over-night. The ‘Me’ generation has been flourishing since the ’80s when being young urban and professional was deemed as everything. If you owned a BMW before you were twenty it was a sign you had your life together. You were ‘successful.’

The millennials believe ‘success’ is a number. It is how much wealth you have. It’s how many businesses you’ve started up. It’s how many cars you own. Is this true?

As it turned out, my friend’s daughter, the university student, discovered after intensive medical review and testing that she was/is dyslexic. She sees letters, numbers, and symbols, backwards. That explained a lot. It had nothing to do with her ‘feeling too much.’ She obtained her degree, but her achievement had more to do with her sense that something wasn’t right, she knew she was having difficulty with things, others weren’t.

You see, the information or advice we give, can do harm. It can be a detriment to society.

We don’t need less feeling. We need more. We need to admit we are social creatures.  We need to admit we need one another. We are connected, and we are connected to the earth, ocean, mountains, and air we breathe. We need to teach our children, to feel, rather than be numb and self-absorbed.

The modern-day therapies, that teach people to feel less; to turn off their feelings, rather than focus on Why they are feeling them… will only help people momentarily.

We are in the age of narcissism dealing with cold calculating people and a cold social environment. We want ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ but what we really need is love and care from those around us but we don’t trust each other. We fear our neighbors. We need to take back our humanity. We need to get out of our heads, and reach out and take back our nation.

Modern psychology needs to rewrite Freud’s promotion that our feelings of ‘guilt’ are a by-product of religion or social norms imposed upon us. Guilt is a gift. It tells us when we are doing something that is going to hurt us. Teaching someone to: ‘Cancel cancel’ … when they feel badly about something, is teaching them to escape rather than deal with something that needs dealing with. Let’s teach them to discover why they are feeling what they are. Avoidance, is not dealing with something. Granted, there are times we must leave ‘emotions’ at the door, when taking an exam for example. We also need to lead our lives in alignment with our values.

What do we value?

Until COVID came, we didn’t value home life enough or our role as husband and wife, as parents, as citizens. There is something terribly wrong with our society when we place more esteem for the female CEO than a wife and mother who tirelessly serves her family’s needs; without pay, without vacation. We commit a great injustice to our humanity and our society is in failure mode. The mother (family) is the cornerstone of society.

Finally, let me say: social distancing is unnatural and is a danger to our humanity. It is not okay to live or die alone. It is not okay to only text and talk via telephone. We need to be touched, and hugged. We need to cry with one another. We need to hold one another’s hands. We need to be cared for. We need to CARE. We need to feel again.       

 

Laurie Hill
Laurie Hill holds a Liberal Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Certificate for Writing Social Commentary, (2006). Having traveled to many countries she is a passionate promoter for world peace for all people and all religious thought, as long as its base is non-violent, and respects individual freedom. An aspiring novelist with three completed novels she is currently working to publish her third. She has resided in Jeddah for twenty-eight years.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Brilliant article that can only be shared 100%. Very good job Laurie.
    Without a doubt, this pandemic has broken many certainties.
    At institutional level, the lessons of Covid-19 are many and decisive for the future. Individually, certainly each has its own more or less long list, dictated by personal experience, character, ability to adapt to circumstances, there may be some elements that are part of the common baggage, of that warehouse of humanity to which we all draw.
    I believe that we absolutely must recover the essentials, the authenticity of relationships, the sense of time, to be dedicated to the family and also to ourselves. We must recover the size of the words, their meaning and the authentic weight, we will no longer say them lightly, but we will dose them with fear, in the awareness that it is quick to waste them. We will make our own the convinced acceptance of the sense of the limit and the recognition of the connatural fragility and finitude of our humanity. Acceptance of one’s limit helps to recover the value of otherness, solidarity and fraternity. Perhaps it is still too early to understand what all the lessons will be learned from humanity by the coronavirus. But precisely for this reason we must look with great attention to those signals that already come from many quarters compared to issues of great importance for our future and which have at least the common denominator of sustainability, be it environmental, economic or social. We cannot erect walls high enough to protect ourselves from the next pandemic, and indeed from any of the great threats facing our future. If we persist in building them, they will end up preventing the influx of technologies, people, capital and above all the collective ideas and the willingness to cooperate that we need to face the pandemics, climate change, resistance to antibiotics, terrorism and to other global threats.

    • Thank you Aldo for such a rich comment. I agree, we may find many years down the road so much more about this era than we realize now. I appreciate you and taking your time to share your thoughts here.

  2. The Carribean analogy equivalent to dog eat dog is we are like live crabs in barrel.

    In my last company I worked with my more humans first approach was often in question and sometimes made fun of. However what saved me position was able to bring in after sale value, customer retention and small project revenue that had positive impact on bottom line.

    • I’m a soft skills person at heart too Chris and I myself like to be treated nicely whether it is in a store, restaurant, or other business…. how people treat me can turn me on or off in a second. WE have a choice who and where to spend our $ and the bottom line for me, is, I give my $ to those who are sensitive to people’s needs and feelings.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate the interaction and feedback.

  3. Laurie, I felt a lot of varying emotions as I read this piece. You bring up important points, and I can sense your passion with each one. I believe our society is disconnected more than we would like, and there are many layers to this societal onion. I too find myself getting upset when I watch the news, and there are days I have to tune out.

    We have little control over others people’s actions and reactions, but we can control ours. The decisions we make do have an impact even in small ways. Perhaps this piece you wrote will help someone think twice, and make a better decision. While it would be wonderful to shift each person’s perspective on a broad scale, some people are resistant to change. And, some people are not good people. I don’t think they started out that way, but somewhere along the line that shift happened.

    I am someone who wears her heart on her sleeve – most of the time. And I do my best to be kind, caring and compassionate. But I stumble at times. We have a choice each day to decide what we will put out into this world. Some of us choose wisely, and some don’t. Let’s hope that on the other side of this pandemic we see more kindness and stop taking for granted the little things. But people will be people.

    Keep putting your message out there, Laurie. It does make a difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • I feel we are a bit of kindred spirits Laura. People can usually tell right away how I’m feeling, as it is all over my face! haha…
      Thank you for your encouragement to keep sharing/writing. In my experience, what we write does have an impact sometimes big, sometimes, small.

  4. Hi Laurie! Great post. I often have a similar thought process as you. I think it’s also fair to say that Aaron has a good point about there still being evil people in the world. You can’t force people to heal. It also make me wonder about the past. I don’t believe we can take back our humanity as a collective people. I don’t think we ever had it to begin with. When colonization and slavery was happening, there was more war and inequality than we have today.

    With that being said, I think with each generation that advances, we are understanding more and more about our humanity and it’s benefits. We are breaking generational cycles of abuse and mental unwellness. We are finally telling our children they should be seen AND heard. Mr. Rogers was ahead of his time with his programing. There are more tools available than ever before to move forward with grace, vulnerability and peace. It won’t happen in my lifetime and maybe not in yours, but the larger we leave a positive footprint – the one you are lovingly speaking about – the more of a chance there is for humanity in the years to follow.

    Life isn’t about getting it right. We can’t ever be perfect. It’s about getting it wrong and understanding our flaws and loving ourselves anyway. It’s about showing our children and our friend’s children to feel and to love and to live. It’s about standing up for ourselves when we used to sit down or hide.

    Thank you for the empowering read. I’ve been on a writing hiatus lately because I’ve been living in my head. But this piece reminds me that it isn’t about me. I need to put my words out there for others.

    • Lots of food for thought here JoAnna! Absolutely we are in charge of only ourselves and can’t change anyone. Lesson learned. However, we can do our part and girl–pick up that pen, (or keyboard) as writers and thinkers we do have an impact even if just 1 person reads and ‘gets’ it and a little shift takes place…. it can impact and have a trickle effect.
      thank you for your thoughts! I appreciate them and you.

  5. Laurie! You know what? I used to love you! Now I ADORE you! What a raw, powerful and mind-blowning piece of wisdom 🤩🤩🤩 And, this is talking to me so much especially in those particular times I am going through… Narcissism among other character-disturbed (please with no or too little access to the conscience which is giving us the possibility to know what is right and wrong withour any support; the divinity has already put it in us and called it the spirit) is one of my biggest new concerns. I have already shared a new essay around it and I am working on a new one.

    I felt so overwhelmed in a very beautiful way reading your words my lovely and I cannot thank you enough for how you made me feel! 🧚‍♀️💎🤗💙

    • Oh, Myriam thank you! I’m glad you liked it and you felt a connection. I love that you adore me! 🙂 I adore you too. 😀 Together we can urge each other on toward our individual goals… bettering ourselves and one another.

      fyi: I am slow these days in getting around to commenting on other’s writing…but I am reading and will catch up-to yours on narcissism, which is a topic I feel passionately about.

  6. Oh, your words and questions resonate completely with my heart and soul, Laurie. You’ve asked very meaningful, profound, and powerful questions that demand some answers. I was especially intrigued that you elevated full time parents-I chose that pathway 25 years ago at a time when it was extremely unpopular. Most of my friends returned to work in 4 or 6 weeks. This great divide emerged between women who worked outside the home and the handful of us who chose to work full time as conscious /breaking cruel ancestral patterns/ mothers who wanted to feel, hug, cry, and love their children fully and completely and imperfectly–wit no pay and a once a year Mother’s Day. One friend talked about never being on the “mommy train” and I thought to myself-I’m the engine of that train! Yikes. I wasn’t angry with her for going back to work-I just knew in my bones that I wanted to be a full time parent. I couldn’t imagine the stress of doing both/and. My life felt incredibly stressful being a full time parent for tiny children don’t have emotional regulation yet (and I struggled with that for awhile too until I got the professional support I needed to heal my own trauma-body/mind/heart/being!).

    Emotional health continues to be essential for body health, mental health, and the health and wellbeing of our communities and the world. We simply must bring an end to the internal war inside our hearts, minds and souls-heal the traumas and grieve fully all the hurts and horrors.

    I would also add that we are a culture filled with addicts. This happens to be another way we have become “toxic.” I would say some of this goes all the way back to how European settlers treated First Nation people. There’s been a great deal of “Us vs Them” thinking historically. What helps us transcend all this angst is landing in the heart of the matter, thawing the numb, and waking up to higher levels of consciousness, of compassion for the wars in our souls. Healing and transformations take place from the inside out.

    Thank you for reading my perspective and offering your fierce and profound one.

    • Laura you remind me of why I wanted so much to be a full time Mom, mainly because I grew up with one… but also as you shared, little ones need our constant care and input. I did that for all 3 of my children, leaving my own desires and even dreams on the back burner…I never felt it was a sacrifice… because love had everything to do with my motivation. Oh, we mothers, some of us, have a fierce love. I babysat for a young mother one time who returned to her banking job, who couldn’t wait to return to her office and leave her four week old baby with strangers. This is an issue I have strong opinions on, latch key kids at the forefront. How can we even wonder why our culture is sick when our youth are not being protected from bad influences, while we are at work knowing nothing about what they are up to?
      I appreciate your input and feel we share many things in common.

  7. Many interesting points here Laurie, and I agree with much of your statement. Society has been trending toward stupid for quite some time. I say stupid for a reason. We’ve become numb, ignorant and indifferent… conditioned to disregard the plight and suffering of others. It is indeed a dog-eat-dog mentality, how best to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive world. True compassion has been diminished in the face of technology. We see riots and starvation on the news, we simply click it off because “it’s not my problem.” Our youth has been spoonfed awful food, awful programming and awful nurturing for decades. We’ve learned to be aggressive from behind a keyboard, courageous only when there is something to be gained. We could go on and on about the deterioration of cultural decency, but I’ve learned that shaking fingers will never fix the problem. It will not stir anything beyond a yawn or a shrug of the shoulders. Those who will be moved are those with like values or decency, the rest are simply not present to hear our voice. I’ve written articles like this on occasion, and sadly it changes nothing. That’s not to say you’re wrong or that you’re article is not pinpoint accurate, but there are billions of people on the planet behaving in a dark state. The target audience you seek is simply out of touch with reality. Covid will change nothing. Once restrictions are lifted, people will want their candy back. They will be twirking mindlessly on Narcissist Beach once more. Self-preservation is human nature. People don’t care unless they are directly affected by something. It is in their conditioning to want more, more, more. Click, click, click, like, like, like, me, me, me… The erosion of human intelligence is the greatest cancer of all. My only advice is to do likewise. Preserve what is best and sacred in your own world. Tune out the ignorant and keep what matters most to you close to your heart. Let the ignorant eat each other, there’s nothing we can to about it. You can’t help those who don’t want to be helped…

    • Great comment Aaron and thank you for taking the time to rewrite it. I agree. But it won’t stop us from being that brick wall or loud speaker or one who actually jerks on the reins to let others know, ‘no, I’m not for this or part of it.’

      You’d be surprised how your single voice or words on a paper can and does have an affect. Might not see it. You might not know about it. But it happens.

      Don’t stop thinking, believing, and praying. It all works for the good.

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