Are you an Empath? If so, it can be tough to stay empowered and healthy; always feeling everyone’s hurt often leads to putting your own needs aside to do whatever it takes to stop the pain.
It’s time for you to take care of you so that you can keep on taking care of those you love (if you don’t, you will get sick and tired and be unable to function).
To do so, you need to implement these 5 lessons immediately:
Lesson 1: You can't save everyone.
Since you feel others pain and suffering so acutely, you feel compelled to try to end it. This is a lovely thing, but it also makes it likely you'll run to the rescue of every sad story or cause that crosses your path.
You'll throw yourself into saving the person, animal, or cause with your whole heart and soul, oftentimes taking on several rescues at once. This not only over-stimulates your empathic center, but it also will wear you out in short order.
While there is certainly more need in the world than there are people willing to fix things, my advice is to pick one cause that you can put your focus on. You'll do more good for the world if focus your energy on a single cause, leaving you with energy for yourself to spare.
If something is wearing you down, it's also okay to take time away from it, too. If you don't develop the ability to set limits on what you can and cannot do, you will end up seriously ill and will no longer be able to help anyone at all.
Lesson 2: Sometimes you can't save the one you want to, either.
I can't tell you how many times I have bent over backwards to help someone who SAID they wanted or needed assistance, when in reality, they either kind of enjoyed the drama they were dealing with or they just wanted me to do all the work to fix things for them and not have to make any effort themselves.
This is not a healthy situation; you must be discriminating in both who you help and in the kinds of help you offer. If you aren't, you can very quickly get yourself in over your head and get very sick, worn out, or even financially broke, depending on the situation.
And, even if you have been helping someone, there are times when you must detach because they are either unwilling to help themselves or will take you down with them if you don’t (or both).
It’s okay to save yourself. It really is.
Moreover, if you give all your energy to helping someone who is just going to keep doing the same problematic things, you don't have any energy to help those who would both use and appreciate your assistance. If you really want to help the world, isn’t it better focus on those who will do something with it?
Do that, okay?
Lesson 3: If a situation is awful, you must get out—even if others won't.
A couple of years ago, I was helping to run a start-up company filled with people I cared about and considered friends. Unfortunately, it was run by a pretty awful narcissist whose reign of terror included total submission to her will and complete loyalty to her vision, even if there was something seriously wrong with that vision.
Dealing with the constant emotional turmoil caused by this woman was taking a serious toll on my overall wellbeing. Worse, I no longer trusted or respected her ability to create a viable company. I knew I needed to walk away. However, I didn't immediately do so because I was so worried about the fact that if I left, the company would implode and everyone in the company would lose something they had been working so hard towards (I was literally holding up half the company).
I ended up staying longer than I should, finally dealing with being slandered by this awful woman so she could discredit me and therefore discredit the objections I put forth about how she was running things. More amazingly, all of these people that I had been so worried about immediately unfriended me on Facebook and never contacted me again. I was literally shunned by the very people I was hurting myself trying to save.
Please learn from my mistake: If you are in a situation that is making you sick, you must get out, even if no one will come with you. Remember that we each have the same ability to take care of ourselves; if they won’t save themselves, it’s okay for you to save yourself.
Lesson 4: Putting up healthy boundaries will piss people off; do it anyway.
When you suddenly stop running to everyone's defense and begin taking care of yourself, all of those who were used to taking from your “endless” supply of energy will react with anger. They will call you everything from "selfish" to "cold-hearted" to a "bitch" or "bastard." They may lie about you to others. They may blaspheme your name.
Know this. Practice your response before it happens. You are going to have to hold tough against this assault if you want to be able to be an Empowered Empath.
My favorite response is, "It's not true, but you are welcome to think that if you want to."
If they keep it up, I repeat this over and over. It's a great response because it takes their power away; after all, what they are trying to do by verbally assaulting you is pressure you back in line with their desires. If you don't give them any emotion, they can't get the upper hand.
It also stops you from trying to defend yourself to someone who isn't going to listen to you anyway. People who will call you names are not the sort of people that are going to care what your opinion is, nor ever deal logically with you. Accept this. Anything you say to try to defend yourself will only be misunderstood and used as fodder against you with people like this.
Lesson 5: Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
Being an Empath means that you instinctively take care of others and will put yourself last on your list.
I'm giving you permission to move yourself to the front of the line.
Make a list of things that make you feel good. Do you love to cook healthy dinner? Enjoy dancing? Love taking walks or long baths? Put it all down.
Now look at your list. How many of these things have you had time for in the last day? Week? Year?
No one has time to do all the things that make them happy all the time, but if you are an exhausted Empath, it's likely you can't remember the last time that you did anything for yourself.
It's time to change that trend and start scheduling non-negotiable time for doing things that are important to your wellbeing.
One thing that could be a great source of energy for you is my upcoming Empowered Empath Academy. It will be opening soon; if you'd like to be the first to know when it's open, sign up below.
Are you an Empath? Have you dealt with any of these lessons in your life? Please share!