Many years ago, I was at work, and one of my coworkers, who we will call Vanessa, came up to me and said that she noticed that I wasn’t my usual cheery self. She then proceeded to ask me if I was okay.
I told her that I was feeling stressed and sad because of some things that were happening. My coworker asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I began telling her what was on my mind.
I remember telling Vanessa that my friend, cousin, and another loved one were all going through a really hard time. I told her what each individual was dealing with and then she looked at me. Vanessa’s response was a shock to me.
Vanessa told me that she understood why I was upset that my loved ones were not in the best place in life, but what she surprisingly said was “none of these things are happening to YOU.” I can still remember where we were standing because it hit me with such a huge realization after she told me. She was right, I was feeling so stressed and sad over things that weren’t even happening to me, yet I was taking on such heavy emotions as if there were.
I Am an Empath
I feel the energy and emotions of others around me very deeply. Oftentimes, if someone is going through something, I will feel their emotions as if I was the one experiencing it. As you can imagine, this is very exhausting. Life is hard enough, and we need to have enough resources to take care of ourselves and our lives.
It is very important to take a step back when you are offering support and a listening ear to your loved ones. It is very important to offer them love and understanding and it is also very important that you can help someone else without becoming so involved in the other person’s experience or problem, that you take it on as your own.
Keeping yourself available to others is part of helping humanity, it is important to remember to keep yourself separate. We all have many battles that we fight in life daily and taking on additional worries and stress that do not belong to us only acts as a disservice to ourselves and those around us.
I’ll Never Forget
These words will forever be in my mind, and I am so thankful to Vanessa for making this observation and for being brave enough to tell me. Being able to separate myself and my issues from someone else and theirs is still difficult, however, I realize that I need to be a helper in those types of situations instead of someone who takes on the problem as well.
I love when other people can share an observation that they made to help us grow as a person. We may overlook things in our lives and sometimes what is overlooked is profound.
Every person that we meet teaches us something and Vanessa taught me to be a strong support system for my loved ones. She taught me instead of carrying someone else’s burden, that I can be sympathetic and offer love and be the strong person that they need me to be.