I learned something new about myself this week. Something about my personal limits.
I am an Empath. No, that is nothing new to me. I have been aware of this for many years but I was never aware of where my emotional coping outer limits were until this week. That is the something new that I learned this week.
Here is a link to a good article about the traits of an Empath. Maybe you are one too.
I had to work all week this week for my boss while she was on vacation and I was dreading it. It’s not like I haven’t filled in for her before by working the full week but I had decided to go part-time several years ago to balance my life better and for some reason my intuition was sending me warning signals which I was choosing instead to over-ride with logic. “Come on, don’t be a wuss, just get it done, it’s only 5 days for pity sake.”
I planned out my wardrobe for the week, I bought healthy choices for my lunches, I even organized the evening meals for the week, all in preparation of making these 5 days go as smoothly as possible. The one thing I did not do though was prepare my spirit and protect my energy.
There was no drama’s during the week. Everything went smoothly but by Wednesday I was starting to feel frayed and by Saturday evening when I closed the shop after 5 days of work, my body was humming with such a tense edge that, if not controlled could have easily caused irreparable damage to any unsuspecting innocent bystanders with flying shards of bitchiness.
I was a little confused by how I was feeling. The week had gone well both at work and in my private life. Why was I emotionally exhausted?
Then on Sunday morning, while reading a blog post from Maia Toll, I began to bawl. See post below.
The post is about rites of passage and how we need them to mark achievements, changes in our lives and personal growth. I was compelled to comment as I felt my emotional reaction was a result of the truth of the message and how it resonated in me. At that moment, I was feeling vulnerable and experiencing self-doubt and the post hit home.
Her reply was full of compassion. She told me she would hold space for me until my soul could step into itself and acknowledge the lessons that life has taught me. My first thought was, “What a lovely, gentle thing to say.” What I could never have guessed at the time was that Maia Tolls’ reply would be the biggest lesson I had personally learned about myself in a very long time.
What I needed to do was ground my energy, clear my chakras and meditate. Only then did I understand the true message for me in Maia’s reply.
To “hold space” for someone is to align your energy with someone or walk along side them (metaphorically) for a time without judgement or without trying to fix the problem so the other person can work through the issue. It is to be a witness and respectfully mark the passage of time. Holding space says, “I understand, let me hold that for you so you can get a better grip on it.”
It was then that I understood my emotional state. I had been holding space for so many people this week and I was bursting with the absorbed energy. It was leaking out of my eyes in the form of tears and it was weighing down my heart center and it was short circuiting my nervous system. I needed to release it so I could re-balance and find peace again.
You see as an Empath, not only do I easily absorb other’s emotions and energy, I also seem to project a subliminal beacon of empathy that attracts people who feel compelled to bare their souls to me. Co-workers are amazed by the stuff I learn about our customers.
As a result, I act as a witness to other people’s struggles, dramas, histories, likes and dislikes and while they are in my presence, I hold space for them so they can process. It is a gift for the most part. A personal privilege to be able to connect with another person at a soul level but it is also a responsibility that must be respected. A bared soul is a delicate thing and must always be handled with care.
The trade off to this gift is the potential damage I can cause to my own bodies energy when I do not respect my own boundaries by neglecting my own souls care. This is the lessons I needed to learn this week.
So let this be a cautionary tale to those who house sensitive souls in them. Know your energy absorbing limit. Know how to protect yourself and practice self care religiously. It is the only way to continue a balance way of being while offering your gifts to the world.