Recently I was reading a book given to me by one of my loved ones; the book was about the beauty of empaths, but it also expressed how an empath can get drained pretty quickly if certain boundaries are not set.
Now you can imagine how hard it is for an empath to set boundaries; an empath feels into other people’s emotions– sympathy is where you just have compassion. But sometimes being an empath means that your start to take on fully; in other words, you start to embodied: other people’s feelings and what they are going through–depending on the situation, you may do this until you are completely drained, yet the world wants you to give more because it is expected of someone like you.
I was given the book after a recent decision to step away for a bit from working with “complex trauma groups”. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my work–if I must call it that–but I won’t deny, so much pain and trauma, started to get to my heart and soul. I have this saying…”charity starts at home”…which to me means, those closest to you…your loved ones, they should get the best of you. One should not give the best to others in an attempt for recognition, while those closest to us get the left overs or even worst. My decision is not a permanent one, but I have to replenish my soul, if I want to keep one.
After the book, I kept reading other material to pair it with my yoga, etc. In doing so, I came across so many different ways to help one with “self care”, which to an empath, should be rule number one. Being one day away from heading away to a nice relaxing and secluded vacation, I thought it good to share some tips. I hope they help you as they are helping me….
- Discover Your Unresolved Issues: You don’t have to focus on what other people are doing, you have to focus on things that you have to repair within yourself. What happens when you get into a conversation where someone lashes out (transference) and leaves you feeling hurt or offended? As much as you may want to help them release that anger, notice your hurt…their actions served as a catalyst to awaken the sleeping giant–that giant being your pain…honor it, validate it. What’s going to help you stop absorbing other people’s energy, is to start taking a serious look at those issues or hurts. A lot of people live from the outside in, so other people become their problems, but when you start to live from the inside out, that’s when you start gaining more clarity. For many people it’s hard to talk about unresolved issues because they don’t want to take responsibility–for an empath, the motivation usually is “I am strong enough, I can take it. I need to help others first”–yet that isn’t right. We can help others, but we need to take a step back and give ourselves love and attention. Let’s start healing wounds to become complete, and start reintegrating the fragmented parts of ourselves to become our greatest version and offer more congruent help when needed.
- You are not responsible for others: This goes with the previous one. You have no control over how other people respond to you, how they act to you and how they feel towards you–let it go. In doing so you free yourself of the burden of carrying someone else’s behavior on your shoulders. Therefore, you don’t absorb other people’s energy. It’s nothing personal.
- Let go of the need to be validated or the need to help everyone else first. You don’t need external validation nor can you be everyone’s savior–you need as much love and support as those you give it to. Once you start to love yourself 100%, you will start trusting yourself more and your confidence will grow…confident enough to say “no” without feeling like you are letting someone else down. How others react to you setting boundaries is their problem, not yours. Setting boundaries doesn’t have to go against your essence–be introspective, listen to your essence and then set boundaries that honor your essence and your self care–you don’t have to sacrifice one or the other. When you first start to say no, those who were using you, will say hurtful things about you, your work, etc….don’t be concerned–those people never needed help, they just wanted attention. Those who really needed your help, will understand, they will take the time to listen and work with you. The world is all about contrast–contrast is essential. Once you surrender to contrast and understand that we need friction, you also understand that there are always going to be people to whom you will always get on their nerves….it’s ok…Remind yourself to connect with those who remind you who you are, those who do not punish you through actions, words or silence….this helps you to stop absorbing harmful energy and to start absorbing more healthy energy.
- The invitation: Nobody can enter your dominion without an invitation. You attract every single person into your life. We are consciously or unconsciously inviting people into our lives, and to not absorb other people’s energy is to remind yourself of this every single day. You have the power within, to choose whether or not you want to invite a certain person in your temple, which is essentially within yourself. You can choose when, who and how–if you don’t want someone in your life, that is ok–just be cordial when expressing it–do not send mix signals nor simply disappear without explanations–you wouldn’t want to be treated that way right?
- Do not pay attention to what doesn’t deserve it nor genuinely need it: When you wake up in the morning, you only have so much energy; throughout the day you use that energy by giving it to people and things around you, until the end of the day where there’s almost nothing left and you feel tired and you go to sleep again. What you have to understand is that you are in need of that energy, it is your vital source…your life line. There will be people who genuinely need it, and others who only want to suck the life out of you–learn to differentiate which is which–but remember that even those who genuinely needed, cannot have your energy if giving it away means leaving you empty. Again, one of the important things to do is to really identify whether one is in temporary need of help or your energy or whether they just want you to solve everything for them–if the second, that’s a personality trait that’s not going to change any time soon unless they are actively working on it. Remember, as an empath, you have worked so hard to rise over hatred, you have worked hard to be a warrior instead of a victim…you deserve to enjoy life, for you like those who need you, are a human being–you deserve care, compassion, good things and good times too! Even if they are a close friend or a family member, it’s ok to eventually walk away from them if they don’t make the commitment to work on themselves. By taking care of your spirit, you uplift yourself and in doing so, you uplift everyone around you. By allowing people to punish you or suck your energy without giving anything back, you are allowing abuse on yourself, and also you are robbing others who really want your help but also want to help you, from being there. You have to change your focus to stop absorbing other people’s energy or allowing punishment or dismissal. Whatever you focus on grows, are you focusing on what you want or are you focusing on what you fear? You create your own reality based on thoughts and feelings. You have to remember how to protect yourself from harmful energy and from those who may seem charming but ultimately leave you feeling as if you are to blame/responsible for everything.
- Find your environment: It is not all about the outer environment. It’s especially about the inner environment. It’s never where you are at, it’s where you feel you are at. The environment alters your mood, how you see yourself within an environment is whom you will become. You have to take 100% responsibility for where you place yourself–take time for yourself, place yourself in an environment which complements your own energy and watch as the magic starts to happen.
- Express yourself as you are: Express yourself without guilt, there is nothing wrong with being different–most empaths are. What happens when someone talks to you for hours and you want to say something but you don’t want to be rude? You stay silent, you become a sponge. Or what happens when you keep waiting for someone to talk back, and they just keep asking you about you but don’t want to share about themselves? then you have become entertainment–well you deserve more than being a sponge or entertainment. It is true that some people are shy, learn to differentiate. However, remember that a true friend doesn’t just leave you hanging nor talks behind your back or enters malicious gossip about you. Stay true to your authenticity–empaths easily understand the pain and quirkiness of others when expressed openly; however, not many people get the uniqueness of empaths, and that is ok. You are beautiful the way you are, and you don’t need to change what makes you your unique self. Once you accept your self with all your light and darkness, remove guilt from the equation–this helps you develop real transparency, not just words, and this will allow you to become your greatest version. Many times the reason why so many people don’t express how they really feel is because they have been told that their true feelings don’t matter–well they do, you know that–you just need to remember that yours matter too. An empath always leaves the door open a bit for when someone really needs it, just remember that it is best to let in those who accept you as you are and whom can be as open with you, as you are with them.
**By Sofia Falcone