What do YOU do about the moments that hit you so hard in the chest you think you will explode?

I’m working to figure out how to deal with those moments, how to build up my strength to be able to take more on, more of my own and more of other peoples.
I have moments when I read, hear, feel, do something that is full of pain and anguish. I wonder where it all comes from, the pain in life, and if there’s anything I can do.
There are times when empathy towards humanity, and life itself, swells so grand in my heart it feels as though it could burst all over the world (and I secretly I hope if it does, that teeny particles of love and magic would be spread around and somehow transform the pain and fear and damage, like some magical scene from a Disney film.)

Some people suggest simply enjoying, loving and expressing gratitude towards every thing that’s great in my life. Focus on my family and only the things surrounding me. I do see how positive and powerful that really is, and how it really couldn’t hurt and that it will uplift the vibrational energy of the planet, and I do hope most people live that way; but, for me… it doesn’t feel like enough. I’ve been trying that, to live that way. It just feels that I am sitting there, fingers crossed, hoping other people will figure it all out, and save us from ourselves. It isn’t involved enough for me. I want to do more. I want to connect more. I want to give back more.

Since I was a small child, I have always somehow felt as though “duty” was “calling me”. That there is something more for me to do, that I truly can help people, ease people’s pain. I think all the pain and anguish I felt as a child and teenager bestowed me with a threshold for empathy beyond that of most. But for years now, I have followed these feelings up with a question: how?

How do I help people? How do I ease other people’s pain, in the midst of my own?
How can I, if I don’t have a clear image of what that duty is, know exactly what to do. I do know I have accepted the challenge, in an act of surrender. I have dedicated myself to improving, trying to evolve for one and all. It’s not always a clear-cut image, but the power of dedication will slowly reveal it all. I have to trust more. I have to open more. I have to strengthen more. I have to study more. I have to connect more.
I have to also go easy on myself. I can’t help others if I stress over my moments of weakness. I must forgive myself more. I must dedicate myself. I must figure out more ways to do that.

I’m finding, in the early stage of this process, it can be very difficult to remain open, to remain fully trusting, to really grasp the idea of surrender and mix it with dedication. I’m still having moments of sheer human weakness, moments of scrambled confusion, blind acts of hypocrisy, complete break downs of fear.
I still get tangled up in thoughts. Wondering if I am where I should be. Wondering if I’m off or on track, wondering how many “tracks” there might even be.
I get annoying, egoic worries like: am I doing enough? Is there something more I should be doing? How come I don’t seem to doing enough? Do I love enough? Why don’t I feel like I’m loving enough? Are there things I should change? How do I change things? Are there people I should see right now? Are there people I can help? How come I want to help more, but I can’t seem to figure out how to? And, one of the biggest, most repeated questions: am I losing my mind? and wouldn’t that be a good thing? (The mind is usually so much of the problem when it comes to pain and anguish.)

I am seeking ways to empower and enlighten myself in order to offer that to others.
I need to build my strength and knowledge base. Be taught in order to teach.

It is proving to be a difficult, worthwhile endeavor.
One step at a time, will surely lead me down the path.

(photo: this is a mini Buddha, a gift from a very thoughtful friend.)

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