If you’re an empath (or any super sensitive human), here, let me give you a hug.
Cause that shit is hard.
I basically didn’t get out of bed for actual years.
I Netflix binged like a seasoned pro, scarfed Pringles and gummy bears like I was being paid by the pound, and - well, honestly - kind of loved life. Except for the part where I was clinging to financial solvency by a thread because 1) energy and 2) I didn’t believe I was allowed to have money if all I was doing was taking care of myself and writing whatever made me happy.
(NEW WORLD ORDER: I AM ALLOWED TO HAVE MONEY - LOTS OF MONEY! - IF ALL I DO IS TAKE CARE OF MY ENERGY AND WRITE AND MAKE WHATEVER FEELS FUN.)
(Sorry for shouting. I’m doing my best to rewire my brain and sometimes that requires yelling over the old stories.)
I spent so much time curled up in bed with my stuffed therapy otter because I was so exhausted from trying to carry the pain of the world.
Remember Marley’s ghost at the beginning of A Christmas Carol, carrying all those chains behind him? Yeah, it’s like that. Only empaths carry all that clanking weight because they’re trying to be good people.
It’s a hell of a pickle. Empaths without boundaries are in for a rocky ride on this planet.
We tend to think we’re required to heal the world by taking on its pain. So we do. Pass a homeless woman on the street, pick up some stray trauma and deep loneliness that we carry for years. If our partner is angry - whether it’s at us or something entirely unrelated - and we start feeling that anger too, thinking it’s our anger, and acting on it. Oops.
You can make a hell of a mess when you act from someone else’s feelings rather than your own. Often, it takes empaths a lot of practice to know which is which.
Vacuuming up all the emotion in our vicinity takes an impressive toll - on our energy, on our relationships, on our ability to do the things we love.
My sensors were fried from trying to process other people’s emotions my entire life.
So, bed. It seems reasonable. And often felt like the only viable option.
I was in a very slow and profound healing process for a long time. I was cleaning up a lifetime of accumulated emotional baggage, toting it out to sea and tossing it overboard. Leaving it on the ground, feeling it leach out of me as I lay in the grass. Engaging in the slow grind of learning what was my pain and what belonged to others.
But here’s the good news, if you are an empath on this journey.
IT GETS BETTER.
(I’m not yelling at you, I’m yelling at the story in your head.)
What you clear makes room for joy. For peace. For inspiration.
Where you set boundaries gives you fresh energy to do the things you want to do, experience what you want to experience, create what you want to create.
Doing this work is hard, but it’s worth it.
You get to engage in unabashed napping. You get to learn who you are and what you feel, rather than being constantly overwhelmed by everyone else's hulk-smash emotions. You get to step into the person you always knew you were meant to be, you just couldn't quite get there and you weren't sure why.
There is nothing wrong with you. There never was. You were just learning how to operate your superpowers.