Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Feel (too much)

This tree is the reason I am writing this little post. That was the tree in front of my home as it stood yesterday. This morning it is gone.

And I cried. A lot. I've cried now and then since they put the fucking orange ribbon of death around it. I cried this morning as the tree cutting dudes were hanging outside my front window, revving up their chainsaws and taking this tree down.

The property owners of this complex are very money-oriented. Not people-oriented. They have gone on a tree chopping spree this week, stating that trees are dangerous. This is a very wooded property, a fact that they use as a selling point in their adverts. They have removed 50% of their tree population since I moved here 5 years ago. They do not care about resident input. They don't care. They have not replanted a single tree, despite promises over the years. But, this isn't about them. It's about me.

How many of you read the words above, where I stated that I cried? Do you think I'm nuts for crying over trees? It's okay, I'm totally used to it. I have a strong connection to nature and I get upset when it's harmed. Personally, I wish I wasn't this way.

I have always been very sensitive to other people, animals, and nature. I tend to take on a lot of feelings. I think they call that being an empath....but I don't know much about that. All I know is that I have been like this since I was a tiny child. I have a boatload of compassion in my heart. I want to fix all the things. I want to save people in trouble, save animals in danger, save trees, save land. And it hurts me - HARD - when I cannot do it. I dislike feeling powerless when I cannot help.

In the case of animals and nature, I have just always loved and respected them. I grew up being taught to respect nature, especially by my dad. He always told me it is extremely important to take care of and respect the planet and all of her creatures. So, I have. When I see trees bulldozed for a development or an animal squashed on the side of the road, I feel pretty sad. Sometimes, I have an overwhelming sense of doom when I think about all the development going on, all of the habitat loss and environmental damage done on a daily basis. While I find great joy in nature, I also feel great sadness when it's harmed.

There are many times I wish I didn't care. It would be a nice weight off my shoulders.

I wish I could pump my fists in the air and yell, "YAY DEVELOPMENT!!!" I wish I could chant, "drill, baby, drill." I wish I could feel zero when I see trees plowed down. I wish I could have watched them chop down my tree, shrugging my shoulders, and going about my day like it didn't make a difference. I wish I could pass by a dead or injured animal and not even think about it for a moment. I wish I could hear stories of people suffering or living in poverty and just move along, focusing on just my own needs and not worrying about theirs. There are so many people who are disconnected, who couldn't give a shit if a tree gets cut down or a family goes without food or a herd of deer just lost their habitat. They don't care if we frack and drill the shit out of this continent. They don't care if 2,000 acres of forest becomes yet another strip mall with a nail salon, UPS store, and GameStop. It must be so nice to be disconnected from the world, unfeeling. It must be nice to keep dries eyes and a hard heart. You don't have to worry about reality being in your face and challenging your compassion. I would like to take my compassion and flush it down the toilet.

Feeling connected, feeling like we are all here for one another and should take care of each other and this planet is hard on my heart. I have so much love and that love brings great sadness when I see pain in another person or destruction in nature. Compassion means "to suffer with," and I wish I could shut that off and freeze my heart, thinking only of myself. Compassion means you can give great love, but you are also capable of feeling great sadness and pain for others. I want to disconnect. How easy it would be!


Is it truly easier to disconnect yourself from humanity and nature? As much as I wish I could simply not care, I cannot imagine NOT caring. It's a constant battle within myself. While I'm known among my friends for being like this, they do not know that I struggle with it. They don't know there are many days where I wish I could just flip a switch and not give a shit. I won't give a shit if you call me names. I won't give a shit if you judge me. I won't give a shit if you make fun of my shoes or my shirt. See? I have plenty of practice with not giving a shit about certain things. I will give a shit if you chop down my tree. I'll give a shit if you dislike poor people. I'll give a shit if you intentionally harm animals.

I can't imagine myself any other way. What would I be like? Would it truly be easier to not care? Would I like myself as a person....would that even matter?

In the end, as much as it hurts me to give a shit, I still choose to give a shit about these things that are important to me and the world. I wish it didn't hurt as much, but I wouldn't wish to be anyone else, no matter how simple being aloof seems to be.

For now, all I can do to ease the pain is to be the the change I want to see in the world. I have no choice, but to be the good, spread that goodness, and hopefully have others follow.

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