I don't feel in the clear yet, though. I'm not completely sure why, but I've had some major free-floating anxiety the past two days. My heart isn't racing, but I feel like a very large person is sitting on my lungs when I try to breathe deeply and relax. I feel awash in adrenaline.
One part of it is my tendency to absorb the emotions of those around me. My husband is cranky with work, and as the frustration spills out of him I feel like I'm sticking my finger into the electrical current of his words.
I read this a few weeks ago, and I just love how Uncle Douglas turns Vicky's empathic nature into something positive and valued:
Because you have an artistic temperament, Vicky, and I've never seen you be
objective about anything yet. When you think about Aunt Elena and how she must
be feeling right now, you become for the moment as though you were Aunt
Elena; you get right inside her suffering, and it becomes your suffering too.
That's empathy, and it's something all artists are afflicted with.
Uncle Douglas to Vicky in Madeline L'Engle's Meet the Austins