Chicken? Egg? Chicken? Egg?
If you know just one thing about me, you know I am an empath. An empath is an emotional sponge. Emotions first….logic later! (So, the chicken first! I digress….). That means I soak up the emotions — both positive and negative — of those around me. This can be lovely, but it can also be painful and heavy and unhealthy, for me. Empaths are often described as good listeners, intuitive and empathetic. However, we are also highly sensitive which can be overwhelming and draining for ourselves and those who love us.
Over time, I’ve learned (with the help of my astute and honest daughters), that I never built proper boundaries with some of my family. My “savior complex” kicks in when my empath soul can’t bear the happenings going on for those I love…and i will run myself into the ground to help. To Save. To protect. But what happens when you are trying to be a seatbelt for drivers who insist on speeding around corners, every day, every hour? What happens is — you begin to get sick. The empath begins to internalize the stress and your own health begins to drain…until you are empty. This happened to me this year, and perhaps finally, forced me to face that my boundaries were unhealthy for me, and for my speeding family members. So I stopped. It was the hardest thing Ive ever done. But after that….I began to heal. Both on the inside, in my health, and in my soul. I suppose the final thing I learned to accept is — I’m only responsible for 50% of my relationships. Only 50%. So when I’m struggling with those I love, I accept the struggle. I don’t try to fix, to please, to s.a.v.e. All I can do is g.i.v.e. o.f. m.y.s.e.l.f. Even when the other person doesn’t find m.y.s.e.l.f. to be enough.
Whoah, hold on Diane. Who told you that? That you are not enough? That’s so mean. And untrue!
Well, no one told me that. Not exactly. Here’s what i mean.
All of us….each one of us…have this filter, this translation software loaded in our brains. It’s the microprocessor through which everything is seen. Some….have rose colored glasses as their software. The world, no matter how cruel or shady, see the best in everything and sunshine rules their kingdom (or queendom) shining down on everything.
I’ve been thinking alot about my microprocessor. How do I see my world? What is its name? What color is my queendom? What I came up with is “lack”. For many many years of my life, I have seen myself through a lens of what I “lack”, how I was “less than” others, what was missing in me, a void of some kind.
It was a hard moment of real truth. To accept that no matter my achievements or the love I was receiving from friends, family and my husband…..that I was N.o.t. E.n.o.u.g.h. And the color of void is Blue. Blue rains down on my queendom and filled my life with puddles of sadness. Sadness that I have tried to combat with food. I fed my sadness. But this void could not be filled. There wasn’t enough food in the world. So I have learned…the hard way.
So I’ve been a sad little blue chicken all my life. Allowing my feelings to consume my empath soul. Trying to cater to that little girl and help her with twinkies and lemon pies. When in reality…what I needed was a sharp kick in the pants. Someone to shake me and tell me — DIANE, YOU ARE NOT L.A.C.K. That is not you. Your soul, your being, is NOT less than. All these years that I have been fighting my weight with Weight Watchers and running and salads and whatever….I was trying to cure the symptoms without curing the disease. My sense of LACK.
So this is what has been going on with me since January 1st – when I started my most recent #365daysofhappiness daily reflection on Facebook. Each day, I have been posting something, at differing times of the day, after I have spent 15-20 minutes actively talking to myself about Who.I.Really.Am. A girl, a women, with so much. A person of significant value. An empath who can care am much for herself as she does for others. I’ve been realizing what a privilege my life is, and joy began to rise along with my desire to live it.
I’ve been missing “the Egg”. The knowing of where I came from and the purpose for why I live. My queendom will not be Blue anymore. No more puddles of sadness behind the mask I wear everyday, everywhere. I’m going to fill my life with colors. The yellow daffodils that are blooming, the green forest lettuce growing in the woods, the blue and orange birds I see fly, the purple sunsets in the evening. I’m finding being outside helps me get out of my head. Out of the Lack. I refuse to call it ‘My” lack anymore…because frankly, it was never mine.
Thoughts come first. Feelings are born of them. The power is in You. Use it for good or evil. As the thoughts of being less than are leaving me….so is the desire to feed the void.
Ciao for now….Diane