I know many of you are big feelers. And many of you have been told you were too sensitive most of your life. Too often being an empath - the ability to feel deeply what's happening around us - can feel like a curse, rather than a blessing. It can feel very confusing to navigate in a society that values the rational so much higher the emotional.
I've always struggled a bit with how much to feel. As someone who has worked with depression, allowing myself to feel all the emotion can bring myself into a downward spiral. I believe in the wisdom of allowing myself to feel what I'm going through, but I've needed to learn that not everything that I feel is even mine. Especially living in a big city like New York, these are a few ways that have helped me navigate being an empath when I'm on the brink of drowning.
1. Allow other's their path
For many empaths, we have learned to take energy in, and give away our own energy. Because we feel deeply, often there's deep love and compassion for what other's are going through. Allowing other's to go through their own journey without trying to fix it or take away their pain is one of the most important things we can learn here on earth. Too often we shut down emotionally when we see something painful, or we rush in to take it on ourselves. Practice being present and holding space, without taking. It's a gift to them, as they learn to do their own work, and it's a gift to yourself - not using all of your energy to clean up someone else's.
2. Reclaim your energy
Fill the space in your body and outside yourself with your own energy. If there is intensity, get bigger; expand into the space rather than contract (this is a common response to fear and pain). When we have claimed the space in our own body, it becomes less likely that we give permission for other's to give us their energetic stuff to work out. It also gives us better discernment for what are our emotions, and what are someone else's. Practice feeling into the core of your body, and expanding that energy in all directions. Bringing this practice on to the cushion will give you the foundation to use this throughout your day.
3. Don't Take It Personally
When someone dumps on us, our reaction is usually to feel bad. We believe them, and we can easily take the blame of other's when we can feel into their pain. Knowing that their pain is THEIR'S, and has nothing to do with us, can give some perspective. They have their own world, and how they choose to react and be in the world is entirely up to them. It has nothing to do with us. We can control our reactions and our energy; otherwise we are allowing ourselves to be controlled by another.
4. Have a Practice
Sitting in meditation or having some kind of check in every day brings you back to yourself. It's a reminder of what's True, and can help you discover what's underneath your Big Emotions. It gives them space to breathe, and perhaps even dissapate. We often distract ourselves from feeling what we need to feel because it's too painful - this is how physical illness can happen. The more you give yourself the time to figure out what's going on, the easier it can be to unpack it in the future.
5. Use Tools
Diffusing essential oils, burning herbs and wearing special stones will not do all the work for you. However, they can help clear away any junk so that we can get to the heart of the matter. Know and appreciate them for what they are: tools. Don't expect them to do what you aren't willing to do yourself, but use them so you can do the work faster.
Feelings are meant to be felt, and the more we can engage with them and allow them space, the less likely we are to be overwhelmed when we have big emotions. Big feelers are needed right now in this world - our compassion and desire to be helpful. Hopefully using some of these tips will keep you clear and in your center so you don't get burned out!
With much love,