Sympathy vs. Empathy

I love my off days.

It’s the one time I get to actually live in my thoughts and sort everything out that I was either too busy or too wired to during the week. Clarity is a beautiful thing. When you put everything into perspective and stop listing to the BS of whatever outside influences, everything is so perfectly obvious.

So my embarrassing moments that I always say can never get worse.. actually do get worse. GO FIGURE!

Few days ago I’m coming back from work, everything’s all peachy keen and then It’s  like I cant make even the most basic movements without getting light headed. I honestly had no clue where it came from. Granted, no I hadn’t eaten in a couple of days, and my sleeping patter was off. But I’m used to it, so I wasn’t expecting my body to get so fatigued and go all haywire out of nowhere. So here I am. Sitting on one of the display sofas while customers are walking by me probably thinking I’m one of those lazy workers just hunched over chillin out. So I finally decide to move because I didn’t want to draw attention. Make it to the desk and lean over passed out.

Now I’ve been raised to be independent and I only ask for help If I absolutely need it. And working with outdoor equipment I figured I had just tired my body out trying to lift stuff that weighs more than me. But I don’t like to get any kind of a compensation unless I’ve worked for it. And that means having to carry my fair share of things that I know I can’t do. But I won’t stop trying to… I’m hard headed, sue me.

Anyways, I throw up and two of my coworkers come running over…. with a wheel chair. I’m not complaining by any means don’t get me wrong. But I’d rather you throw me over your shoulder or just let me try and walk rather than wheel me around the store… SO EMBARASSING. So I hide my face in my hands, partly because I don’t like the attention and being turned into a spectacle I’m sure everyone loved they had to talk about, and partly because I was literally too weak to hold my big head up.

So, some really sweet ladies I work with figure my sugar was low and give me Skittles and OJ. And naturally I can’t hold that down. In my defense, I said I wasn’t hungry. I just wanted to curl in a ball and sleep. And everyone was running around and talking at me and asking me questions and frantic and I’m wishing I was anywhere but in this wheel chair in this break room turned into a freak show.

My frign luck.

And then … the paramedics come. With their fire truck sirens and all. And I’m all, ‘God take me now’.

So my mom gets called and I get wheeled out and loaded into her car and I can already hear the gossip going on behind me.

‘Is she pregnant?’ ‘Will she be alright’

I appreciate the genuine care, I do. But I can also spot fake sincerity a mile away. And I don’t like my vulnerability being capitalized on.

So, Dr. tells me It was my anemia, not low blood sugar. Having not eating in days and my working myself to death with minimal sleep was too much on my body.

But the more I went into my symptoms the more the Dr. decided it wasn’t all caused by my having hypertension anemia. It sounded like Lupus.

And I’m like.. wow I learned nothing in Science. So now I’ve got a week full of doctor appointment’s and test work to be done.

So, I finally decided to look into what it was he decided to diagnose me with.  Here’s what I found out:

Lupus is an chronic autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation of various parts of the body, esp the skin, joints, and kidneys. It may also affect the blood. The immune system normally protects the boy against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, the immune system loses its own cells and tissues. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against the body itself. When lupus first sets in, symptoms sch as fatigue and pain are often non-specific. They can be signs of many other health problems, which can make diagnosis hard. The most common complaint people have is fatigue and dizziness that is so severe it stops them from being able to function normally. This fatigue is often related to fibromyalgia. Fever, muscle and joint paint are also quite common. 

 

Good thing about this is it’s nothing severe. I mean from what I’m taking, I want to sleep a lot and get dizzy. When you’ve had 21 years of health issues, and basically live in the ER, you almost become calloused to someone telling you ‘Oh hey you’ve got something else wrong with you’. In a way, you sort of don’t really care, and that in itself I know is selfish because there have to be people that care about me and want to see me healthy. (Let me elaborate. I DO NOT want to seem selfish and self involved. It’s quite the opposite. I’ve never paid much attention to myself. I’ve always been a nurturer, I put others needs and wants before my own. Therefore, as long as I can still walk and breath no disease is going to make me feel like my own self is so important than to put someone else before me) And I do appreciate the million text messages and phone calls every hour to check on me, but what I want isn’t sympathy. I don’t need it. Sympathy doesn’t pay the bills, it doesn’t hold you at night and tell you how much it cares about you and it isn’t there at 2am when your brain wont shut up and you just need to hear everything is going to be alright. I was raised to be independent. To be a secure and to prize stability, I don’t want someone to feel sorry or worry about me. Because as sad as it is to say, what we live in today. People eat up those that they sympathize. Because it isn’t empathetic concern, sympathy is a footstool. It’s a way to sweep someone underneath you to make you feel more venerable and important and fortunate. I mean hey, If I can make someone not their lives for granted, I’m sure that’s good.

But I would rather you just be emphatic. Be concerned not because of your ego, but because in your heart, you still have something there that feels with someone else. That doesn’t look down on them in sympathy but really and whole hardheartedly care about another individual. That selflessness is what I react to. It’s wonderful and its rare and its beautiful.

Ohhh. The embarrassment. I hate negative attention. 

 

But on a good note, I’ve been good since then. Today was difficult but I didn’t have to work. There’s always a silver lining.

Mine came to me today. In this wonderful clarity I have been so fortunate as to have.

I was sitting on the roof, soaking up the sun to get warm, and a song bird just came up beside me. I didn’t want to move to scare it away, so we just stared at eachother. And then it started to coo. Just perched by my legs, staring at me cooing.

I’ve always been a big believer in signs, that when life seems to get you down and your so pessimistic and enveloped in everything happening. God sends you signs, whether it be nature or a random song that starts to play and the lyrics are exactly your question and answer, or a movie, or whatever the case may be.

So, being extremely superstitious, I decided to Google the symbolism of song birds.

I found some pretty neat things!

  • Symbolic of solitude and poetry, as well as spring, the songbird is a protective spirit closely associated with, of course, music. The Navajo have an interesting myth about the creation of songbirds. More recently, sailors adopted the habit of tattooing a songbird (swallow) for each 50,000 miles sailed. Some Norse myths depicted swallows picking up fallen soldiers by their shoulders. There is a fairy tale about a king who cages a songbird, hoping to protect it. The songbird dies, and is replaced by a mechanical bird. (Source: thepaganandthepen.com)
  • The songbird is an active little bird, and so its symbolic Celtic meanings include activity, vibrancy, alertness and efficiency. The wren is rarely seen resting on her laurels. The Celts honored that fastidiousness, and took the lesson ofmaking progress each day to heart in their own lives. Further, the bird is quite sociable. She reminds us to keep a happy heart and be kind to others. 

    Like many songbirds, the bird is a champion at migration and movement. She’s content to flit from place to place with shallow roots. This is symbolic of the old adage “home is where the heart is.”

    In this respect, the songbird reminds us it is not the material items we gain, but the quality of relationships made along the way that enrich our lives.

    We can also interpret the birds flighty ways as a message to branch out, expand our circle of contacts, and step out of our habitual rounds in life.

    The nighting gale may be tiny, but she packs a powerful symbolic message, encouraging us to go beyond the realm of the “known” and to access the adventure that waits for us!

  • In the Middle East and Asia birds are symbols of immortality. In East Indian mythology, all birds represent a departed soul, and in Christian art, birds are often depicted as saved souls.

    The crane is a symbol of long life and immortality. The eagle represents power, resurrection and generosity. The falcon signifies, “A Light that Shines in the Darkness”. The nightingale suggests love and longing. The owl is often associated with death and darkness; but it also can bring wisdom, insight and virtue. The peacock heralds in springtime, birth, new growth, longevity, and love. And the tiny sparrow, represents the love of God for even the “least” among us.

  • The nightingale singing it’s night song, is the bird of love, sheltering secret lovers from prying eyes.

    Because it sings all night long, the nightingale was once believed not to sleep. One legend, tells of a reluctant shepherdess who kept postponing her wedding date; this caused her fiancee so many sleepless nights that he finally turned her into a nightingale, cursed to never sleep again.

    – Folklore tells that if a nightingale’s eyes and heart were hidden in a drink, the one who drank it would die of sleeplessness.

    – The nightingale’s song is cherished around the world and is considered to be a good omen for poets, writers, and singers. Eating its heart was once thought to inspire an artists talent.

    As parents, the nightingale teach their offspring to sing with perfection; therefore, they are often symbols of education and good teachers.

    Christians once considered the nightingale’s song to be the cries of the lost souls trapped in purgatory. These souls were expressing their longing for heaven.

    Early Christians, noting that the bird sang with increasing joy as dawn approached, made the nightingale a symbol of the holy joy of the righteous Christian soul, singing in the darkness of this world. It was a joyful song, anticipating the arrival of Christ and His light.

    St. Bonaventure believed the nightingale’s last song (similar to the fabled swan song) was always it’s most joyful and most beautiful, because it looked forward to its final release from this earthly life. When the nightingale dies, it was thought to be during the ninth hour of the day (three in the afternoon) just at the time of Christ’s death on the cross.

  • The nightingale is a bird that carries both literary and poetic symbolism. The nightingale sings of love, but it is also a symbol of the connection between love and death. In Romeo and Juliet the nightingale’s song signifies that the lovers will remain together, but that both are in danger of death. The nightingale in literature and poetry can represent melancholy and joy, love and loss, and life and death.

 

And then I was all… Really? Like really God? I get the picture.

 

July 6th, in the morning
My angel, my all, my very self. – Only a few words today, and, what is more, written in pencil (and with your pencil)-I shan’t be certain of my rooms here until tomorrow; what an unnecessary waste of time is all this–Why this profound sorrow, when necessity speaks–can our love endure without sacrifices, without our demanding everything from one another, can you alter the fact that you are not wholly mine, that I am not wholly yours?–Dear God, look at Nature in all her beauty and set your heart at rest about what must be–Love demands all, and rightly so, and thus it is for me with you, for you with me– but you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were completely united, you would fee this painful necessity just as little as I do–My journey was dreadful and I did not arrive here until yesterday at four o’clock in the morning. As there were few horses the mail coach chose another route, but what a dreadful road it was; at the last state but one I was warned not to travel by night; attempts were made to frighten me about a forest, but all this only spurred me on to proceed–and it was wrong of me to do so.. The coach broke down, of course, owing to the dreadful road which had not been made up and was nothing but a country track. If we hadn’t had those two postillions I should have been left stranded on the way–On the other ordinary road Esterhazy with eight horses met with the same fate as I did with four–Yet I felt to a certain extent that pleasure I always feel when I have overcome some difficulty successfully–Well, let me turn quickly from outer to inner experiences. No doubt we shall meet soon; and today also time fails me to tell you of the thoughts which during these last few days I have been revolving about my life–If our hearts were always closely united, I would certainly entertain no such thoughts. My hear overflows with a longing to tell you so many things–Oh–there are moments when I find that speech is quite inadequate–Be cheerful– and be for ever my faithful, my only sweetheart, my all, as I am yours. The gods must send us everything else, whatever must and shall be our fate–
Your faithful Ludwig Van Beethoven 

The love that lasts the longest. Is the love  that can never be. But I would face eternity in shame. Than to lose you to another .

I do love my poetry!

Love ALL,

Megs (:

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