My friend Mary told me she was moody.
She wanted to know if there was a psychological or emotional framework to explain her feelings. I asked her to describe what she meant by being moody.
"I cry when I see my kids. I am absolutely enthralled when I can tell the difference between Jupiter and Venus in the night sky. When my cats follow me around the house I always giggle. And if they jump on my lap I laugh out loud."
"In the morning when I walk my dog I extend my arms, tilt my head up to the sky and say "Thank You" loud enough so it wakes the neighbors. When my dog and I start walking, we always have a conversation. Every time she looks at me, that always makes me smile."
"But during the day when I see unkindness between people, whether it's in person or on TV, I feel a little ache in my chest. When I read of people having to struggle in this country or abroad, I can feel the tears form in my eyes. My husband tells me to stop reading that stuff."
"When I don't hear from my friends, I get down. If I'm skating on the edge of a negative balance in my checkbook, I get afraid. And when my husband or somebody else says something unkind or angry to me, my feelings get really hurt."
"And this is just the short list. I just didn't want to bore you with all of my stuff. But, be honest, is there something wrong with me?"
I paused for a second. I needed to reflect on what I just heard. She just described what I would hope all of us would be in every experience, every day of our lives. Hers is playbook of expression and interaction with our world: Compassion, sensitivity, and joy in such depth was laid out in nearly poetic verse.
I said four words. They were the only words that came into my head.
"No, Mary." I said, "You're perfect."