Monday, April 19, 2010

Carrying the weight of the world

I was talking with some friends this afternoon about my sugar adventure. At 9 weeks into this, I think about my old sugar friends not so often. I was uncomfortable when one of the women at this afternoon's gathering talked enthusiastically about a creative cupcake project she'd done with a friend. Kathie and I have often eaten cupcakes together and I fantasized about my favorite: vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting from the cupcake store in my neighborhood. But then she moved on in her conversation and I moved on too.

What I'm finding is far more difficult to release is my desire to be numb, to not feel, to not carry the weight of the world. After our meeting Kathie stopped to talk with me a little more about it, how she has found ways to put up defensive barriers so the world's suffering doesn't penetrate unless she wants it to. That sounded wonderful to me, some kind of defense against the suffering I feel when I hear about puppy mills and starving children, lost pets, and starving polar bears. All of that helplessness triggers into some of my own helplessness.

Maybe that's what makes some of us highly sensitive, that we don't have any automatic defenses against what we see and hear and learn, that it just penetrates right to the heart and leaves us in tatters.

I know that some of us eat to become big enough to carry the weight of the world. Now I need to learn to put some of that down, my own weight and the world's weight as well.

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