Okay, this is hard to admit,so I will go ahead and tell it to the whole wide world. I’m not very empathetic. I’m very sympathetic. I’m a great listener and advice giver. But I don’t like to feel emotional pain so I shut it out and stick with mirroring and analyzing other people’s problems when they share with me. I honestly didn’t know or mean to do this. But something happened that made me very aware of another person’s pain.
What happened was I felt that same pain, a new pain I had not felt before. It was the pain of thinking I was about to lose something that was very important to me and yet a luxury item. Not a person, but a big part of my life. Running. I thought I would have to stop doing it regularly and seriously and racing and buying gear due to financial problems. It took a few days and some other stuff had to happen first, but eventually the light bulb flickered on and then began to shine brighter until I saw it through my walls of protection around my heart.
I saw that this person, my husband, has had to suffer this loss multiple times in our marriage and yet he did it out of love for me and our children. I confess I never understood the magnitude of his suffering! To me, it was a shame, sad, unfortunate, but just reality that he would have to sell some of his ‘toys’ so we could make ends meet. I may have thought that he was even a little selfish for not doing it more willingly. It’s just a motorcycle! It’s just a hot rod! You can buy another one someday.
But oh, I get it now! And tears come to my eyes when I type this. How selfish and unthinking I was! How hard hearted! He is a ‘gear head’, it is what he was born to be. Not a collector, but a designer, engineer, artist of machinery.
Those were not just toys to him. Just like running is not just moving my feet quickly. Those machines were part of him. He put his heart and soul into them just like I do when I run. This was a long needed lesson. I wish I wasn’t so slow to learn it because I am sure I could, painfully, recall many other examples where I was not aware of someone’s true feelings and needs because I was too busy thinking of my own. I promise I will do better. Thank you, God, for opening my eyes and heart.