I hope you had a wonderful week and a Happy Halloween. This month has been one of transitions for me: one teaching job ended, another one opened up, I became a chapter leader for The Monroe Institute, I let go of more days at my retail position, I put myself out in a more public venue, and I started to step back further out of other people's lives.
Change is the name of the game right now. Everything is in flux. This is a good thing, but it does mean I have to spend a little extra time centering myself and refocusing to make sure I am charting a course through the river of life rather than just getting tossed about the eddies and whirlpools of Fate. There's a fine line between going with the flow and simply being adrift. I have to spend a little bit of effort to make sure the river is taking me where I want to go.
This isn't always easy I tend to get sidetracked and pulled into other people's journeys. Empathy means I feel other people's stuff, and if I'm not vigilant I may take it on or believe it is my stuff. People with a high degree of empathy often tend to be very helpful or involved in some sort of caregiving or social support role. Don't confuse this with general compassion, it sometimes is, but it can just as well be that we don't like how we feel when you aren't doing well. Sometimes I'll go a long way out of my way to get a little peace. This is being selfishly helpful. I may care about you, but I may also just want some quiet. Life has been anything but quiet and true to form I have been running around doing my best to "fix" things so I can get back to work.
There's a problem with being known as someone who can fix a situation, or who is really good at calming people down. Your network starts bringing you people who are in full blown crisis mode. As soon as one is through another crisis (or a different person) shows up. The hardest lesson for sensitive people is to let others have their pain. There are times when it is appropriate to alleviate suffering, and then there are times where a person needs to handle it themselves. Taking that from them is not service. One of the high points (oddly enough which happened at my lowest point as well) came through a period of intense pain and suffering. I am who I am today because of that. I am stronger, and I am more effective with my clients as a direct result.
Now I am not saying to turn a blind eye to all the suffering in the world. I'm simply suggesting that not all of it is your business. There is a difference between being a support in a trying time and being a crutch for life. Human beings were designed to be strong, resilient, and interdependent. We do depend on each other, but a group is healthier when it is made up of strong individuals. So here I am feeling all the swirling maelstroms of emotion around me, and my guidance is saying, "Step back, let them handle it." So I struggle with doing that, letting people deal with their stuff and have their pain.
What about you? Are you popping in to save the day at the first sign of trouble? Are you losing focus on your own goals to quiet the moans from the locals? What would happen if you allowed people to struggle through things that you knew they could handle? What if you took yourself off their emotional emergency contact list? We can't be all things to all people, so why not just step back and chart your course down the river? Don't worry you'll still be of service, but it will truly be a matter of need as opposed to convenience.
Peace and Blessings,