This morning I woke up and thought, “I’m going to the USA in three days” and was instantly petrified.

Yes, in three days, I’m flying back to the USA for a quick three week visit.  I fly into Orlando to pick up left behind belongings, drive up the east coast dropping in on friends and spending time with my god-kids in Virginia, then driving west to Iowa to spend a weeks holiday with my three sons and then another week with them and other friends in Cedar Rapids.

Essentially, it will be three weeks of saying “Hello” and “Goodbye” to some of the dearest family and friends I’ve ever known . . . .  I feel like a raw nerve of exposed emotion.

I am an emotional woman.  Women are generally more expressive in their emotion, but I, even more than most.  Emotion is the language in which I live, breathe and communicate.  I might as well be an Empath.  I think this is why I was so susceptible to Bipolar disorder.  In fact, it was my gifting with emotion and communication that was attacked, manipulated, and destroyed during those dark years of mental distress.

Now, in my health and healing, I am still fully endowed with great emotion, and while it no longer controls me, I am yet vulnerable and tender.  I work daily to manage my emotive character and take many steps in daily living to maintain sanctity in my sanity.  Today, I am raw.

You may ask how I am feeling.  I would have no answer, not because I am void of feeling, Gracious No!  Rather, I have such a multitude of feeling, from every spectrum, that there are no words to capture the sensation.  Perhaps you understand, perhaps you don’t.  It matters not.

What matters is the reality that I am doing.  I am going.  Despite the emotive atmosphere of my life, I will never chose or act based upon what I feel.

The worldly adage is, “if it feels right, then do it.”  What a joke.  If I did things based on how I feel, I would fast find myself back on the psychiatric ward in the nearest hospital, or, more likely, in jail.

One’s emotions are grand and glorious and must never be discounted.  They bring color and passion to humanity.  I love the extremes I have known, from the darkest depression to the brightest mania.  I would never give up the experience to FEEL!  But, I must also cling to wisdom and not allow such a transient sensation to dictate my actions.

Eminem is quoted as saying, “I don’t care if you’re black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Simple as that.”

This is indeed a noble idea, but I choose to be more stubborn than even that.  I will not allow anyone else to dictate how I behave, or respond.  I may get hurt.  I may get happy.  I may be loved.  I may be hated, but I will not allow someone else to have such control over me as to make me behave in accordance to how they treat me.

I don’t care where you were born, to whom you were born, where you live, with whom you live, how you treat me, or how you are treated by others.  If you cross my path in this life, I will give you my compassion and offer you grace.

So help me God.

I live, breathe, and communicate in the language of emotion, but I choose to act in the language of grace and compassion for all humanity.

Now, if I can promise you anything it is that I will fail in this because I am human.  But I pray that when I fall, the grace and compassion with which I have treated others will be there to comfort me.