I have joked about “protect your energy!” as being a good mosh call, but I am not in a band and should probably stick to blogging anyway. Okay so what does that mean? What does that look like? I have been thinking about this a lot lately so I am just going to share what I think as someone who has lived 24 years as an empath.
I have been on a few extremes of this concept. I used to be very unconsciously giving of myself and my love, time, energy, soul sometimes without it even being asked of me. In retrospect I think this is mostly because I am a people pleaser and take on a lot of responsibility for the emotions and experiences of those around me. Which can be dangerous. To the point where if someone hurts me, I would actually feel guilty that they might get mad at themselves for hurting me so I would accept apologies that weren’t even offered or not even hold them accountable for their actions by vocalizing my feelings. Don’t get me wrong, forgiveness is important to healing (and admitting you were hurt in the first place) but it is not your job to help others process what they have done to you even if they claim it was unintentional. It is not your job to make someone’s apology to you easier. It is not your job to do anything but take care of yourself. I also would tend to quiet my own needs and desires at the worry of it disrupting someone’s ability to give that to me. But this is so unfair to yourself because you shouldn’t have people in your life that can’t meet you where you’re at; definitely learn to vocalize all that but still you deserve people who give you what you need as you need it. You deserve people who work to understand how you receive love and clear communication and then adjust to give you that if it doesn’t come naturally to them and if that doesn’t match then you’re probably both better off not in each other’s lives in anything but a casual capacity. You shouldn’t feel guilty about what you need to feel peace and acceptance. In friendships or relationships of any kind. You are not going to be for everyone and everyone is not going to be for you and that is ok. There may be periods in life where you or the other person can not give equally and that is ok, we aren’t all 100% all the time, but that should be communicated and understood that it isn’t the norm. Don’t sacrifice your quality of life and mental health on empty promises where you don’t see progress. You have to advocate for yourself even when it is hard, but once you speak up be willing to walk away from anyone that can’t respect that. And listen to me, when you’re around people for too long that treat you like less than you deserve and make you question how they feel about you, you already have your answer. They don’t care enough and that’s not your fault or anything you should have to earn. Get the hell out of there. Because you might accidentally start to believe you are less than who you are or that you are asking for too much. Your insecurities still might ask those questions or feel like that with the right people too but the difference is you will have the space and safety to ask those questions and be told gently that you are just fine without any ounce of anger or guilt. I promise you that. Those people are out there.
I have also over protected myself. And looking back I can’t blame myself. You get hurt enough times your only instinct is to put up more walls. But again, the right people won’t be scared off nor come in with a bulldozer. They will ask why they are there, help you take it down brick by brick and be happy you trusted them enough to let them in. Becoming guarded happens and I don’t want you to blame yourself for that but I also hope you do give yourself permission to at least work through your pain enough to understand it, accept it, talk about it, and eventually not feel it so strongly. It is not your responsibility to try to justify or understand why someone hurt you at all – which can be tempting as an empath or just as a way of explaining it away. But there just isn’t as any excuse and maybe one day you can work through that with more perspective when if it is healthy for you. But I think that only causes you to lose focus on what matters most right after coming to terms with whatever caused you to feel the need to put your guard up in the first place. I think you really just have to give yourself permission to admit someone hurt you or betrayed your trust or disrespected your feelings – and then surround yourself with whoever doesn’t have a pattern of doing that. You can be honest with those people and just be gentle with yourself because no one who loves you is going to let your need for either space or more reassurance come as something to take personally because they just want to see you get your strength and confidence again. It won’t be easy – but it will be worth it. You might feel like you don’t deserve those people or even that they might also hurt you but work to not project that onto them because you should not have to be alone in a healing process. It may not be their job to heal you from hurt they did not cause but the beauty of love and connection is that they may choose to or they may be able to offer insight from their own past. Maybe one day you’ll be that for them. Having people (even a therapist, family member, book) that can help you get out of your own head and offer a different way of thinking is so important and I hope they prove that there are people who actually want to be apart of helping protect you. I hope you have people that prove all your insecurities and doubt wrong. I believe you will.
This year I started to work on matching people’s energies with the balance of still giving love as it comes naturally to me and not expecting too much of myself when I need to invest in myself a bit more too. It has been interesting but I think it is a healthy consciousness to maintain. I often get frustrated when I feel like I am over giving to someone but now instead of shutting down or being upset they aren’t matching me I try to understand that what they are giving me is their personal best and natual way of giving love / communication. That doesn’t mean I totally hold back when I want to express or give to someone but I am a lot more aware that I am doing so without expecting it to be given back. If I send that text and not get a response and I am good with that I am still going to send it because I somehow have a lot of love and that is a gift I don’t want to not share. But if I know I would be upset if that wasn’t matched by someone else in that moment I simply would realize it isn’t coming from the right place and put that energy into something else like taking care of myself or my work or cleaning or whatever because everything you give should be given because you purely want to / have to. Some days I just have so much to give and in a world that can feel kinda dark and lacking of love I never wanna keep that all for myself but now I don’t sacrifice my own emotions on days when giving to others would mean really taking away from myself. It is a balance. It is a balance worth working on I think. I am a lot happier in all my interactions with others now and when someone does give to me it feels so absolutely incredible. My emotional capacity has opened up so much and I am so grateful to have people in my life who are so patient and understanding as I grow and learn and begin to love more and know what that looks like. I used to be so afraid to feel but as someone who knows what it is like to self numb let me tell you when you numb the bad you numb the good too and it FEELS GOOD TO JUST FEEL IT ALL!! There are ups and downs and yeah I use it all to make art but the whole thing is worth it and I can genuinely say I am happy to be here giving as much as I can and being open to love in ways I never thought I could be. Thanks.
I could keep going but that is a lot of words. I am coming off a nice little self care weekend where I managed to let myself take a needed break and that investment back in myself resulted in this and also I feel refreshed and this is a bad run on sentence. Also I am still learning and a work in progress.
QUOTE TIME BABY these people are better at words than me so read:
“You are allowed to be hot on some days and cold on others, you’re allowed to flow like lava and crash like the ocean. You are allowed to feel.” Billy Chapata
“It’s easy to feel uncared for when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need. And it’s so hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection on your own worth. But the truth is that the way people operate is not about you. Most people are so caught up in their own responsibilities, struggles, and anxiety that the thought of asking someone else how they’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind. They aren’t inherently bad or uncaring–they’re just busy and self-focused. And that’s okay. It’s not evidence of some fundamental failing on your part. It doesn’t make you unloveable or invisible. It just means that those people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own world. But the fact that you are–that despite the darkened you feel, you have the ability to share you love and light with others–is a strength. Your work isn’t to change who you are; it’s to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone’s acknowledgement or affection, you are enough.”
― Daniell Koepke
“I no longer force things. What flows, flows. What crashes, crashes. I only have space and energy for things that are meant for me.” Billy Chapata
“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are simply toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us.”
― Daniell Koepke
“Spend time with yourself. Take your wounds on a date and understand them better. Your healing lays in how honest you can be with yourself.” Billy Chapata
“Stop minimizing and discounting your feelings. You have every right to feel the way you do. Your feelings may not always be logical, but they are always valid. Because if you feel something, then you feel it and it’s real to you. It’s not something you can ignore or wish away. It’s there, gnawing at you, tugging at your core, and in order to find peace, you have to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel. You have to let go of what you’ve been told you should or shouldn’t feel. You have to drown out the voices of people who try to shame you into silence. You have to listen to the sound of your own breathing and honor the truth inside you. Because despite what you may believe, you don’t need anyone’s validation or approval to feel what you feel. Your feelings are inherently right and true. They’re important and they matter — you matter — and it is more than okay to feel what you feel. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, convince you otherwise.”
― Daniell Koepke
“People hate it when you know your worth. You draw the line, you set the precedence, you stand your ground, and they flip a coin on you and make it seem like you’re the one with the problem. “You’re too demanding, you’re too selective, you’re too judgemental, you’re too unrealistic.” No, I’m neither of those things. I just love myself. I love myself enough to know what I need, what will improve me, what will grow me, what I deserve. I’m loving myself, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.” Billy Chapata
“Don’t kill flowers growing inside of you for someone who doesn’t appreciate the way you bloom.” Billy Chapata