Yet another dichotomy

How do I temper my personal feelings with that of others? I don’t think it’s wrong to be happy, and I’m glad to share in my friends’ joy, but I notice that what hurts the most is when someone else is complaining about something that is a heck of a lot more than I have going on.

I feel affronted, but then I remember how much I have, and am accordingly humbled. When I think about the collective of human suffering and joy, I feel as though it all runs together and becomes a brownish mush of bittersweet experiences; and averaging of highs and lows that amounts to an average of peace.

How can I, in light of everyone else, accept my personal joy and suffering without being narcissistic? How can I enjoy my joy or embrace sorrow when I understand that I am a part of a larger spectrum?

I think the answer ought to be that each individual should embrace all emotions and cherish them for what they are (the human condition), but I still don’t feel that way. Most of my strong emotions end badly, either damaging relationships or leading people to skirt the issue altogether.

I think the core of it is that I’m lonely and short on friends these days. We’ve been here for almost 2 years, and I’m still uncomfortable. It’s like wearing shoes that are functional, but don’t quite fit.


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