For The Delicate Kind
Advice for the kind-hearted
It’s something you can’t talk about with most people… but when you’re significantly more emotionally intelligent than the people around you, and cursed with the gift of exceptional empathy, ironically, it’s difficult to truly connect with anyone.
It doesn’t start that way. At first you’re wide eyed and open hearted, giving the whole world the rays of light that naturally shine through you– but it drains you. After a while, that light can feel dimmed.
You get so used to being betrayed or ridiculed by the small minded and misunderstood by your peers that you can become dangerously close to living an emotional life almost entirely within your own mind.
You want so badly to connect— it’s kind of the thing you’re best at, really, but at some point you realize that to you, “connecting” means something very different than what most people are capable of.
So you walk your path alone. You talk to strangers. You alter moods and change perspectives with random acts of kindness. You laugh when you feel like crying, but you cry when you need to, knowing that it’s perfectly okay, and that you’ll be alright. You smile at babies on public transit, who stare, seeming to sniff you out as if they know you’re different- fascinating, wonderful. And hell, you REALLY ARE.
But as most babies grow up, they lose their ability to see that beauty, becoming the same dead-eyed adults who seem to care more about a sports team or a fresh dent on their car than the legless veteran hobbling past in search of his next meal.
People without “soul” are everywhere these days. People who possess the mindsets that inspired John Lennon to write the frustrated lyrics in : “Hey! You’ve got to hide your love away”!
Why would anyone want you to hide your love?
It’s baffling, but in our flawed, increasingly disconnected society, despite the strides in human rights we’ve made since Lennon’s era, it’s become socially “normal” to disguise your emotions- your love, your anger, your sorrow– because the honest expression of feelings makes the emotionally stunted people around us uncomfortable.
And it sucks. But don’t swallow your humanity for them. Don’t you dare. Show everyone. Make them gag on your kindness and spread your love like jelly all over their grimacing faces, because they fucking need people like you to let them see what it is to be alive.
Without kindness, none of us could survive. Without gentle hearts, greed and pride would destroy us. So keep being you. Even if it hurts.
Don’t expect reciprocity. Even friends become seasonal, leaving you behind to chase down their dreams of gated communities and perfectly aged bourbon in crystal decanters– because they were born to hide behind walls. But you weren’t.
You were born with tiny wings. And like so many fragile creatures,
your life will often seem derailed
and completely insignificant. But it isn’t. And it never will be.