How do you deal with feeling sad for situations you can't control?

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Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
So today I realized I may have an unhealthy way of coping with things that make me feel sad but I can't do anything about. Today while going through Facebook (the bane of all empaths it seems) I saw a viral post a friend shared. It was an envelope that someone had put in the offering plate at church and written on it was "please don't be angry, I'm homeless and don't have much." And I just felt so sad. When a person gives it should make them feel good, and to know that when that person gave they felt nervous/guilty/scared instead of good, it made my heart hurt. This happens sometimes with other stuff, ASPCA commercials etc. And when I find myself being sad because of this, I will do some sort of weird denial thing and I'll be like "oh, well those animals on the commercial have been helped already, no need to feel bad for the puppy with the sad eyes" or "that envelope story was probably made up just to get likes on the Facebook page." Then I'll send a little love out to them just in case.I feel like there has to be a more productive way to deal with these situations than telling myself they aren't real. But if I sit there and think about it, I just feel so sad for them. Does anyone else do this? Do you have any suggestions on other ways to deal with it?
updated by @emmy-long: 07/19/17 04:43:32PM
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
2 years ago
1,185 posts

Hi Emmy,

I may not be of much help, since I have the same problem and look forward to reading the advice you get.

For me, the ASPCA ads are a big problem too. If I watch, I cry, so I change the channel immediately and remind myself that they are a poorly run charity, with way too much spent on 6 figure administrative salaries and not enough on the animals. If it's been awhile, I take out the checkbook and make out a check, no matter how small, and I'm on disability, so it isn't going to be big, to our local No Kill shelter, run on a shoestring by mostly volunteers, and a director with a reasonable salary. That makes me feel better.

My church is love offering only and would never make people feel bad about not putting money in the deep bag they use, not a plate, precisely so nobody can see what you put in. I remind myself the person did not have to go to such a materialistic church. This will not help unless I also distract myself. A short dance aerobics routine where I sing along to happy music helps.

I can't read our local news home page because there is always something on it about someone abusing an animal or animals, and it makes my stomach lurch. Recently, some monsters masquerading as humans shot their pit bull because she lost an illegal fight and tied her to train tracks. She was saved, thank God ,and recovered. That one still haunts me though. Hate to admit it, but I could shoot the people who did that and go out to lunch afterwards. I hope you get a brilliant answer from someone that will help both of us.....

with loads of empathy on this subject,

Cat

Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Yeah I definitely believe animals souls are different and better than humans souls. I really can't stand to see animals suffer. I saw a commercial for a movie coming out soon called Max. It's about a dog and looks really good, but I have an awful feeling the dog is going to die in the end. I can't watch movies where animals die. I actually walked out of the movie theater when my family went to see the movie "Marley and Me" when it became apparent the dog was about to die. My whole family made fun of me for it. That's what I mean by not handling it as well as I should. It was a movie. No dogs actually died in real life. But I couldn't watch it.
Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Yeah there has been a lot of animal abuse here where I live latey due to dog fighting. A couple weeks ago two pitbulls were found abandoned in a car on a hot day with windows all up, no food, no water, and they were injured in ways that were obvious they had been used for fighting. Somebody left them there to die. I don't understand how anyone is capable of that. I remember in back in high school I came home and found my dog laying on the floor with a bag of frozen vegetables on his leg. I looked at him and asked what he was doing. He got up to greet me and started yelping in pain. I panicked and ran into the bedroom and then into the bathroom and called my mom sobbing. I was a senior in HIGH SCHOOL and that's how I handled it (turns out he had a broken leg and my dad was waiting for me to get home to help get him to the vet). And let's be honest, I'm almost 24 now and would still probably handle it the same way. :) I know there's got to be better more mature ways of handling things than denial and running away, but I sure haven't figured them out!
Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Fortunately both dogs found in the car were rescued by the local shelter and have both been adopted! :)
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
2 years ago
1,185 posts

I would not even have gone to the Marley and Me movie in the first place, since I'd seen a trailer and knew what was coming. I've gotten up and left friends and even dates in movies when I was younger. They thought I was strange for sure, but I always thought they were the strange ones for not being affected like I believed they should be if truly human. There are a couple of movies I wish I'd never seen because surprise scenes are etched in my brain for all time and not in a good way.

I am not sure why your dad didn't take the dog to the Vet himself, but please don't beat up on yourself now. I'm sure you would take the dog to the Vet as soon as you knew....what more could anyone do?

I await the expert whom I am affirming will show up soon to give us great wisdom in this!

Angel
@angel
2 years ago
607 posts

Are you sure you want to change it? The beauty of you is that you can connect, even when the rest of the world forget's. I read that article and we need these people just as they need us because they remind of to have love and compassion for other's and they inspire us to act. It's what makes us human. We need pain and sadness because it gives us purpose, it gives us passion. It moves the depths the soul and reminds us to care for another. These things move you and that is a beautiful thing. But with it comes a responsibility to yourself by understanding that they are living their purpose, they keep the balance of light and dark. They are hero's in disguise. When they win, we are inspired, when they lose, we are inspired. His "meaningless" life has touched millions of people in a way they would have not otherwise been touched. It has been touched by some and lifechanging for other's. And now, how many other people are going to be provided with food and shelter because many of these inspired people have decided to fight for them or open more food kitchen's. One person's selfless act inspires alot of people who do have the means to also be selfless.

We can't save them all, but each of us has a purpose and that purpose is often revealed from moments such as these :)

How do you deal with it? You feel it, you allow it touch your heart and you keep sending them the energy you send them. If you feel drawn to do more, then do more. But you must decide on how you want to contribute and focus your attention on one or two things. You can't save them all, and your not meant to save the world alone, and you must accept that, because that is what keeps us humble :)

I hope this helps;)

Blessed Be,

Angel

Tracie
@tracie
2 years ago
16 posts

Oh this made me laugh, I'm the idiot who aged 20 took her pre-teen niece and nephews to see teenage mutant ninja turtles and was the only fool in the cinema who cried at it. I cried a bucket at Marley and me, the book.

Only the other night I went out of the room during Gogglebox because I didn't want to go through the ordeal of watching the Bear Grylls bit.

You're not alone lol.

On a more serious note 'compassion' has it's root in com (with)+passion (to suffer), and when we willingly suffer with other people/animals it genuinely helps them. So while it's worth avoiding upsetting fiction and TV shows/films we can do nothing about, far better to stay soft of heart when it's real. :-)

Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Cat: he had to wait for me to come home because our dog was afraid of riding in cars so he needed someone to hold willie (our dog) while he drove. Not an easy task considering Willie is an 80 pound boxer. :) He's a big goofy baby and cuddled on my lap the whole time. And yes I definitely would have taken him. I took a guinea pig to the vet the other day and dropped $50 that I really didn't have. My roommates made fun of me but I couldn't let it sit there and suffer.Justin: I know what you mean. I have a huge soft spot for dogs. And squirrels. Haha. Not sure why squirrels, I just feel so bad for them when I feel the fear they have when a car is coming at them. I stop or swerve for them every time.
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
2 years ago
1,185 posts

Emmy,

That's so sweet! I'm glad Willie had someone to cuddle him. Screw the rommates! They are the ones with the problem of compassion deficit, not you.

We dropped $1,700 on an MRI for one of our dogs to see if we could save her spine. We told almost nobody, because some relatives of my spouse (whom I despise for obvious reasons) said they couldn't believe we'd spend that much on a mere dog. These same people blow wads on useless material junk they don't need. I should mention that I am on disability and don't get much, since I've been very sick for a very long time, and my husband's business took a huge hit in 2008 plus that wiped out a lifetime of savings. However, the way I see it, not helping is not even an option and animals are members of the family.

I've found a dog in the road on two occasions when people just honked at them and drove around instead of helping. In one case I paid $145 to have our Vet put the dog down, as he was too injured to live, and I bawled my eyes out while I prayed over him. I was crying not for the dog, who went home to a better place, but for the soulless people who left him there in the road, and for myself, since this only added to my dislike of most of the human race. In the second case, the dog had a tag and I was able to get the owner to come and get the dog, but I am sure it had to be put down as well, from the looks of it. The owner had forgotten and left the gate open and being totally untrained like so many dogs these days (don't get me started on that!), he got out and ran into the street and got hit.

Totally with you on this. Hugs,

Cat

Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
2 years ago
1,185 posts

Justin,

What a great story about the squirrel and cat.

We had one cat who fell in love with our rabbit and would spend hours outdoors with her in her cage cuddled up with her. This same cat kissed a citrus rat once when it got into the rabbit's cage. I could not believe what I was seeing!

Maybe when they are well fed enough, the lion really will lie down with the lamb.

Cat

Emmy Long
@emmy-long
2 years ago
484 posts
Yes that makes sense. If I could just stop thinking about it so much I know I wouldn't be bothered. And so I think I will take your advice and embrace the higher mind, in hopes that it will allow me to have the wisdom to let those types of things blow over. I've been letting them blow over by pretending they don't exist. But that's a temporary fix. I think you were right in saying to embrace the higher mind and let it deal with it, because IT is capable of letting it go, just in a healthier way than what I've been doing. Haha. Thank you so much for this.

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