EMPATH

Who knows what an empath is?

According to Merriam-Webster, an empath is one who experiences the emotions of others.

It took me a long time to figure out I am an empath. Well, I believe I am. I don’t actually have an official way of knowing.

According to this article from psychology.com, here are the 10 ways to know you are an empath:

  1. Highly sensitive (in my case, oversensitive)
  2. Absorbs other people’s emotions
  3. Tend to be introverted, can be overwhelmed in large gatherings
  4. Highly intuitive
  5. Need alone time
  6. Can be overwhelmed in intimate relationships
  7. Targets for energy vampires
  8. Replenished in nature
  9. Highly tuned senses
  10. Huge hearts but sometimes give too much

It took me a long time to figure out that a lot of the times I was overwhelmed by my feelings, it was because I was absorbing other people’s feelings. It devours you and makes you want to hide and not deal with anything. I’m sure there also people out there that would be surprised that I need time alone. I can specifically remember one night I had gone to Knott’s Scary Farm with my friends when I was 16. At the beginning of the night, I was super social. By the end, I just wanted to be in my bed by myself. There are many more examples that helped me realize that I fit the description of an empath. I wish I had known when I was younger so I could have figured out how to deal with it better. I don’t think I fully realized it until I was almost 30.

It did make having a relationship difficult. How do you explain to someone how you feel when you don’t even completely understand what is happening? The accusation of being oversensitive was thrown at me a lot. And I thought I was. I thought it was my fault that I felt the way I felt. I finally realized that my feelings don’t need to be invalidated. This was something that was a part of me. I had to learn to own it.

That’s exactly what I ended up doing. I learned not to stop my tears or if I was feeling upset. It didn’t get rid of the feelings. It just bottled them up until I exploded. Now, I try to understand them and I talk about them. It helps to move forward faster.

Now, let’s talk about being an empath and a mother. That means that you rarely get alone time, there are feelings all over the place, and picking up other emotions is a daily occurrence. The positive side is I also know when my kids are really feeling things and I need to address them without assuming it will heal. The only way I do know how to deal with it is to shut myself down (which I admit might not be the best way). I have to compartmentalize a lot. I don’t know if this makes me a better or worse mother because I have to separate myself from whatever my kids are feeling or doing.

Something I hadn’t thought about until recently is that my children might be empaths as well. The older one already shows signs of empathy at an extremely young age. How do I teach her to deal with this? How do I teach her how to handle it when I’m not even sure how to deal with it myself? What is the healthiest way for her to handle it?

Do I have any empaths out there who can offer some advice?

Am I A Toxic Person?

A few months ago, I had a long-time friend tell me that I was had been making negative comments about her and to her. And thus was the end of our friendship.

It did make me think.

We are all aware of toxic people and the fact that we should stay away from them because they aren’t good for us. We try to stay around people who have good positive energy and make us feel better about ourselves.

But what if we are the ones that are toxic?

I wouldn’t have ever imagined this about myself except there was literally someone who chose to stay away from me and end a friendship because I was toxic for her.

How do we even figure out if we are the ones who are toxic without going through that kind of heartbreak (and yes, it was heartbreaking)? When does it stop being honesty and more toxicity when it comes to friendship?

I’m not going to defend myself here because I can’t speak for that person’s feelings or how she perceived my words. If what I was saying was being received as negative, then all I can do is accept that my words must have been negative.

I can explain what I have been doing. I have been analyzing myself constantly over the last few months trying to figure out how to better myself as a person. I also have been wondering that if one person could view me as toxic, does that mean another person could as well? Self-doubt and insecurity have now become good friends of mine. I keep thinking about everything I say multiple times after it’s been said to figure out if I’ve hurt or offended anyone else.

I also have been trying to figure out at what point do I stop blaming myself and accept that maybe it was just our relationship that had come to its natural end. How much of my true self do I change just to make sure I am not toxic to anyone else? Is it actually a question of honesty versus toxicity?

How can I fairly judge how and who I am as a person? How much do I need to change to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Or will it happen because we are all different personalities and how we view each other can change over the course of a friendship?

Coping

Life is hard sometimes.

I don’t want you to feel like just because you have everything you physically need that it can’t be hard as well. Many of us deal with emotional issues on a daily basis. And it’s just as important. It’s easy to argue with ourselves and list down the positives that we have and therefore, ignoring the things that are difficult for us. I believe that you should definitely acknowledge the positive but instead of ignoring the negative, find a way to deal with them. Find a way to make it better.

Me, I’m constantly struggling to feel my value in this world. My brain can argue with my heart and list 100 different ways I am valuable to many people. But I really need to feel that contentment. I have been diagnosed with depression at least once in my life. I haven’t felt the need to see a therapist again about it but I am aware that I probably am fighting against it constantly.

I cope with this struggle by exercising. Not only does it help me get out from inside my head and heart but it makes me feel good about myself physically. Dance is also a big one for me. Just being able to fall into the music and leave myself for a few hours is really helpful. I’m not thinking about anything except what my body is doing. I’m not really thinking about anything. I’m just feeling.

I have a sister who does a lot of coping by being out in nature. It helps her to deal with whatever she needs to deal with in her life. Whether it’s hiking or traveling, just being outside helps you to realize how much positivity there is in the world. I once did a hike where I had no cell service the entire time. It felt good to disconnect and emotionally recharge.

There are a lot of ways to cope with the emotional anxieties that we face. These are just a couple of examples that work for my family.

I hope you find whatever helps you cope.

Can A Self-Centered Person Really Be My Friend?

This thought has occurred to me before but I haven’t written about it until now. Well, at least I don’t think I have.

Throughout my life, I’ve run across different groups of girls. The story would always go something like this. We would hang out all the time but I would always feel like an outsider. It would always feel like they didn’t care whether or not I was there or not. If you have been through this at any point, you know it’s a sucky feeling to have. I would then start wondering why I didn’t fit in with them. It wasn’t because I wasn’t as pretty or smart or successful (at least, not in my eyes). Eventually, I figured out it was because they couldn’t see past themselves. I was never going to be as important to them as they were to themselves. It was a great day when I realized that it was them and not me. I knew that trying to impress them was useless and for my sanity, it was better for me to walk away.

Occasionally,  I still have to be around some of these people. And it is reminder of how truly self-centered they are. I really wish I could see into their minds and how they worked. It might help me to understand why they are the way they are.

Most people are self-centered. It is definitely a challenge to find someone who will put others ahead of themselves. I fully realize that I am also in this group of people. I like attention as much as the next person. But I am trying to be aware of these selfish tendencies and hopefully, be a better person that I am instinctively.

So why are these people like this? Is it that they think they are better than everyone else? Why do they feel as if their needs are more important than others? I see people go out of their way for them but that same action doesn’t seem to be reciprocated. It makes me sad for the people that get taken advantage of, especially when the person getting taken advantage of is someone I love.

I’ve ended up walking away from several groups of people at several different points in my life. I am glad I can finally recognize when a friendship is toxic for me. It’s hard because when these types of people bestow attention on you, you feel so special. You feel worthy and like you are important. The problem becomes when they take that attention away. All of a sudden, you feel like nothing. You try to impress them with everything you do over and over again. But why should you have to? In a friendship, shouldn’t your friend be accepting of how you are and never make you feel like less? Shouldn’t it be a 50/50 relationship?

I finally figured out that I wanted to be around people who are real and loving and caring. I wanted to be around people who would be there for me when I really needed them. I know we all need to put ourselves and our families first but what good is a friend if they aren’t there when you need them? Friends are supposed to be the family we choose. I didn’t want to hear fake compliments and shallow conversations anymore.

I honestly would rather be friendless than be friends with a self-centered person.

The Law of Attraction

I saw this article posted by a friend today: http://elitedaily.com/life/motivation/law-attraction-30-ways-can-attract-dream/929761/

The Law of Attraction. I do believe this works. I think if you have a positive attitude, good things find a way to make themselves to you. You can see everything is a grateful light and it makes it easier to go through each day.

But getting on that train is hard. When things have gotten you down, it’s hard to believe that being positive is going to change anything. When things don’t seem to work out or they are tougher than normal, it’s difficult to really be able to be grateful for what you have.

How do you do it? How do you change your mindset so completely? One way that helps me is to start making a list. You have to not only change the way you’re thinking but the way you’re feeling. Changing your feelings help your thoughts to be more positive.

I’d like to hear more about what you’ve accomplished or things you really feel have helped you be more grateful or inspired. I want to hear positive stories because for me, hearing these helps me to be more positive.

Do You Want Something In Your Life To Change? Then, Change It!

Sometimes, when you aren’t looking, everything just seems to fall into place. All of a sudden, things seem to make sense again. How? Where? When? What happened when you weren’t paying attention?

Life works like that. Struggles happen and we wonder why is this happening to us. We don’t understand when everything will come together and we can look back and really understand why certain things happened the way they did. In the process, we sometimes have a hard time remembering who we are as well.

Everything is a step to something else. I find it easier to accept the things that are difficult if I can believe that it will help me move toward something better.

I also find it easier to deal with these times of struggle when I’m actively trying to do something to change my situation. It’s so easy to fall into the mode of “nothing is ever going to change” or “nothing is ever going to get better” and then sit around and hope something will make you feel better about your life. It doesn’t work that way. If you’re lucky, some opportunity will fall into your lap. But most of us have to work for it.

If you find yourself in a spot where you want things to get better or be different than what they are, find a way to change them. Step out of your box and towards something new. Be an active participant in the changed you want to see in your life. I know you’re thinking “well, easier said than done”. Actually, I’ve tried to change my life and I’ve seen plenty of people who also have made an effort to change theirs. And, all of a sudden, I find myself in a whole new place than I was before. Things look better than they did before. Opportunities arise that you would have never expected.

Give yourself a chance to really find what you’re looking for in life. Even if you don’t have a clear picture of what would make you happier, try to find something small that you know would make your day better than it was. Every time you take a step forward, you’re creating change in your life.

Eventually, you will look around and realize that everything is right where it’s supposed to be.

Getting Over the Negative (With Some Help from Facebook)

I decided that I’m going to do the things I avoid doing because I have some weird issue with them. For example, when I’m totally jealous of someone’s trip on Facebook or have had some issue with that person in the past, I’m going to deliberately like the photo or post that I have an issue with. I want to stop reacting the way I do to these things and just start appreciating them for what or who they are.

I’m hoping that this will create positive energy and will eventually result in changing the way I feel about things that have been negative for me in the past. Reacting negatively keeps me down and really doesn’t help me progress in life. Then comes the spiral of negativity that just keeps growing and growing until there is a breakdown. I’m hoping that reacting positively will have the same effect, only with a positive ending.

It’s hard when the obviously negative things keep coming in your face but from what I understand about the Law of Attraction, focusing on the positive will bring good things into your life. It’s a hard cycle to break out of, especially when you’ve been there for so long. Sometimes, a big change is the only way to move on. Things will get better.

Learning how to appreciate other people’s happiness is something I want to be able to do.  I don’t want to look at them and wonder why I’m not in the same place. I wouldn’t want someone else thinking that about me either. It’s definitely going to be a challenge but I’m willing to accept it. I want to believe that good wishes towards someone else will result in good wishes towards me. This might be a completely selfish motivation but it might also help both others and myself to be better people, to be more positive people.

Maybe Facebook isn’t there to show you someone’s real life (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post). Maybe it’s there to show you what’s good about the world, what is there to look forward to, what brings happiness to people. Maybe this is what we need to be reminded of the good that there is in the world so we know that our own struggles don’t define what our lives hold for us. Maybe seeing someone smile will bring a smile to us.