“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Sir Isaac Newton
I was a serious and earnest student in school, intent on doing well and staying – just barely – on the honour roll. English was my favourite subject; math, physics and chemistry were my nemesis. And yet, the above phrase, Newton’s Third Law (yes, I had to look it up), has stayed with me.
It occurred to me, recently, that I should have been paying better attention in physics class. This particular slice of knowledge could have greatly helped me understand my future reactions to life in general. I have the unfortunate distinction of picking up on the energy of those around me, much like an unsolicited honing device. When I was younger, folks would have called me ‘sensitive’. I hear it’s now called ‘being an empath’: having the ability to sense the feelings, thoughts and energies of people, and also absorbing the energy of those around me. To further complicate things, I wear my heart on my sleeve: always have. While I am capable of fury, I am slow to anger: I can go decades without having a monumental blowout. When I do lose my temper, I’m ill for a week, so taxing is the effort on my psyche. From almost the moment I was born, my life has been a turbulent one. For many, many decades now, I have sought peace and quiet corners. I have run from conflict.
For some reason that is unfathomable to me, though, I have always drawn the angry, the jealous, the hurting, the needy and the broken to me like moths to a flame: the ones who face every challenge as a battle that must be won. The ones who love to argue; the ones who have to take every thought; every interaction; every minor disagreement to its final, exhausting conclusion, even if it takes all night. The yawning chasm of their never-ending need for conflict sucks the energy from my bones; the soul from my body.
“It’s okay,” they always tell me after they have stomped and yelled and wailed and roared, “I’m over it now. It didn’t mean anything; I just needed to vent.”
I stare at them; perplexed and uncomprehending. If it didn’t mean anything, then why am I now feeling so wretched? Because, just like Newton said all those centuries ago, the anger and the hurt and the need had to go somewhere after they left the body of the person who was venting.
And they did.
They came into me, settling there to become something else; a new and equally terrible ‘reaction’. Just as Sir Isaac Newton conjectured.
And oh, I’m so tired…
Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com