The Empathetic Curse
Friend or Foe?
FUCK EMPATHY. Yeah, a little direct but those two words are sitting on my chest heavily tonight as I write this. Its quite amazing to me the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on for most of 2018. Self induced? Perhaps.. or maybe it’s an out pouring of pent up emotion, combined with universal tests. What’s been the hardest for me is to know what emotions I’ve taken on are really mine, or simply a mirror of everyone else’s. If someone asked you what truly makes you happy would you have a clear cut answer? Or would it be something generic like, good health, a job you enjoy, close meaningful relationships with friends and family? I’m not saying that those things don’t add to happiness but is that the TRUE meaning to happiness?
At a younger age I saw "value" in the amount of “friends” I had. I thought the more connected to everyone I was, would give me value based on the amount of people I was “close to” will thus bring a sense of happiness and "connectedness". What I have learned in a very quick period of time is I actually have very few close meaningful relationships. I mean really if I think about it, of course that’s the case, how could I actually foster, love, and care for all these relationships at once, and why the hell would I want to? How could I actually SEE everyone for who they are if I’m juggling from one to the other. Theres absolutely no way you could see someone for all their flaws and demons. Its simply feels like a first date over and over again, everyone putting on their happy face and their best foot forward each time. And now its so clear to see because hindsight is so 20/20. A real friend sent me this “Don’t ever underestimate how genuine fake love can feel, your value to them will fuel their act for as long as they need you.” For the longest time I’ve prided myself on what a great friend I am and I thought those were the only types of relationships I was attracting, when In actuality a great deal of them saw me as an opportunity and a convenience for what they had going on. Its taken a long time to accept the fact that these relationships were always conditional. However, what if I'm able to recognize all of this but yet I still feel a sense of shame and guilt? Like I'm the one who is to blame for shitty relationships? Its quite ironic that one side of me I know what kind of person and friend I am, and what I bring to the table, yet not find the power in that, I focus on what I did, or didn't do. This is the reason for the first two words...
Ok so I know I went on a tangent but to bring this all full circle. Happiness. Empathy. Friendships. I’m writing this because even though I may have been burned time and time again, I still have the capacity to feel bad or sorry for the other person. While someone may say how powerful that is, that I’m able to see the bigger picture and find acceptance and grace in the whole situation, I will say that being empathetic can really takes its toll on you if you don’t know how to manage it. So how can we deflect these overpowering emotions of empathy that at times turn to guilt and shame? To be honest I’m still figuring out what works for my soul, but recognizing that the other person doesn't feel what you feel is the first step. In mean time while mastering the control of emotions, I think its important to love thyself no matter what and to accept what is right now. Loving yourself is loving you at your highs, lows, and the space in-between. Self acceptance in every part of your journey.
I write this for myself and for every tender hearted empathetic soul on this earth. I'm here, were here, together.
"People who are spiritually minded tend to suffer from anxiety and depression more. This is because their eyes are open to a world that is in need of repair. They have an increased ability to feel the emotions of people around them, including their own"