Are you a self-proclaimed heart-on-sleeve, helper of all in need?
Do other people’s emotions affect you and certain people and places seem to drain you?
If yes, you may want to google the term ‘empath’. Then when you find yourself nodding your head, you will want to google ‘how to develop good boundaries’.
It isn’t a scare tactic, and I am definitely not suggesting a put-down to my empathic sisters, but I am highly encouraging you to consider your role with respect to managing your energy, after all, no one but you can do anything about it and it is the difference between you living your best life, or living an exhausted one.
Allow me to further explain … healers a.k.a. empaths are people who have a stronger attachment system to others, particularly to those who need healing. This means you have a system that is wired to ‘help heal’ and everything and anything that needs healing seems to magnetize to you. However, just because this is ‘how you are’ does not mean you have to be give, give, giving 24/7 ... in fact it is totally unreasonable for you to expect that of yourself and is the quickest way for you to end up completely run down.
So how does an empath help themselves? It is time to double-down on your boundaries. Begin to take stock of what gives you energy in your life, and what drains it. What makes you happy, excited and lifts you up? Plan to do more of what gives you energy (meditation, yoga, positive people, nature etc.) and do less of what drains you.
Layer numero deux … when you have to do things that normally drain you, learn ways to protect, conserve and hold onto your energy.
Less crappy news watching, less Facebook scrolling and when faced with a situation with another person that typically drains you, be aware of the energy around you and create an intention NOT to take it on by way of not attaching to it. Send that energy back to the sender :)
For instance, when someone tells you an emotionally painful story, don’t jump into the story like your involvement of feeling it fully and completely will actually help that person to heal it --- it won’t. Avoid attaching to other’s energy by visualizing it over and over in your mind, adopting painful thoughts about it and then do your best to resist the urge to take action … jumping in to ‘save’ that person won’t save them (or you).
Rather, become an observer and inquire about the journey, how they feel and how they are dealing with it. This ‘stance’ allows you to assist the person in finding their own way through it and will empower them to find their own solutions and realize their own strength.
Feeling like you can ‘save, fix, help or heal’ the person only robs them of their journey and power to do this for themselves, and has you tango-ing with energy that isn’t yours in the first place.
THIS is the empath’s Achilles Heel. So, though you may look at ‘saving’ as honourable, it in fact does not support the highest and best good of either party.
So next time a healing crisis arises that isn’t yours. Set your intention to hold space for that person and help them to navigate their journey through it and don’t accept any hot potatoes … some people are used to throwing their stuff onto others, don’t be the person who plays catch.
This goes for work environments, co-workers, partners, family members … their energy is theirs, not yours. Set healthy boundaries for yourself based on YOUR energy needs and learn the art of holding space, not going on search and rescue missions.
P.S. It is also worth sharing that if you are an empath off the rails, rescuing everything and everyone … you may have some healing of your own that you aren’t facing or realizing is surfacing through these external situations. In this case, it is best to focus on yourself and chart a course for your own inward healing journey.
Much love xo