Finding Balance: Living The Life Of An Empath


Over the past few months i’ve blogged about many different topics, most of the time about emotional health because I find that expressing myself in words, behind the screen, is really is cathartic for me.  It allows me to express myself, without feeling judged or scorned for doing so.

One of the topics that I wrote about, which has been the most successful post to date, was a post about absorbing the negative energies that we are surrounded by in our day-to-day lives.  I remember quite clearly the way I felt when I was writing it, and was surprisingly comforted to find how others were able to compare their feelings to mine – I wasn’t alone.  The past few months I was re-blogged, and quoted on my honesty, and it was a proud feeling.

If you are interested in reading the blog entry, here it is:

As I sit here this morning I reflect on a conversation I had with a friend yesterday, and the way i’ve been feeling about friendships this past year.  This specific conversation left me feeling frustrated, and hurt.  She misunderstood part of the conversation I was having with her and was simply being honest about how she felt like I did not want to spend time with her – This was quickly cleared up but in my mind I was thinking, but what about the reasons I would like to pull away from you; drama, lies, being inconsiderate and only calling or texting when she needs something.  To none of which I have ever said a word to her about as I know those are her own demons to go to battle with.  It was a serious moment where I wanted to scream “WTF, where’s your empathy, woman!”.

As many of you know from my homepage on my blog, I am pregnant-8 months to be exact, and with that has come loads of morning sickness, and physical discomfort so perhaps, more than ever, this is why I feel so in-tuned with my emotions, or more specifically, feel drained and frustrated with the quality of the friendships I currently have.  It seems that the people whom are closest to me, that I have done everything for, are the people whom I am finding are the biggest emotional drains for me – at least right now.

Perhaps it could be that I am simply emotional due to pregnancy but, more-so, I believe it is because I realize now just how much emotional energy I put in to my family, and friends.  I can now see clearly, when it would be nice to receive the same efforts back, just how unbalanced these connections are.  An easier explanation would be that perhaps it would be fair to say that I realize the efforts (emotionally and physically) it has taken me to call and check up on my friends, to lend an ear to someone who is appearing distant, to care so much, so to say, because I am feeling so drained. I can see, and appreciate, just how much energy it takes to do those things on a day-to-day basis when I am not functioning at my “optimal” state.  It’s exhausting.

I sit here and I feel guilty about even writing that out loud.  No one knows I blog.  I am anonymous to all who read this, and yet here I am feeling like i’ve back-stabbed the most important people in my life without even knowing whom i’ve insinuated my “insults” at.

Empathy used to be such a well-respected word in my books.  A stand-tall, proud word that I lived my every breath by.  Always caring about how others felt, and wanting to make them feeling better however, years and years later, I find that I am the one left feeling drained.  I’ve taken all of their problems, compartmentalized the emotional waste in my head, and thrown away the key.  The reality is – who did I keep safe?  Did I protect my friends and family?  Yes, I made them feel better but certainly I did no favors to myself – clearly with the way I am left feeling at the moment.

Is there any balance in the life of an empath, or are we all destined to our own demise based on our sheer concern of caring for others, sharing emotion, and protecting the ones we love.  Some days I feel like it is a curse to be so in-tuned with others and their feelings, and other days these overwhelming days seem so much more manageable.  Not today.

I think that the only way to avoid these days is to have you days …. set a day or two every couple of weeks for YOU – especially if you feel like you are doing fine, and you don’t need it.  Disconnect from society (Facebook,  social gatherings, telephone, tv) and just breathe, and remember that you need to save a bit of empathy for yourself.  You need to set some time aside to rejuvenate and clear the negativity from your mind so that it doesn’t become a hinderance down the line because, lets face it, it does.  We are human and only built to take on so much at a time.  We are not superhero’s, or are we?

Take a look, and evaluate who you try to help and care for.  Take a really good hard look at the quality of the people whom you put your emotional-self out there for.  There is nothing wrong with being selective in order to protect yourself from all of the energies out there.  Choose wisely.  Know your value.  I say the same for friendships also – don’t be a friend just to be a friend.  Surround yourself with good people of good quality.  Don’t give all of your emotional-self away to everyone just because it’s who you are and you feel it is the right thing to do.  Protect yourself.  You are a rare and valuable gem.  Treat yourself accordingly.

Living the life of an empath is not an easy one, but living the life of an empath who does not take care of their emotional health is a recipe for disaster.  We can’t carry the weight of the world every single day so it is very important to find the balance!  I am still searching for it. I haven’t found it yet, but I know I am one step closer today than I was yesterday!