I had dinner at my apartment with one of my best friends, who has gone through a lot lately. We were talking and she said, “we tend to hide from the people who know us best. Because they can see us.” And all of a sudden, the pain and the hurt over the past few months made sense. I have been her, and I have written about it. Because being seen when you have been through so much shit feels so fraking painful. It is so much safer to hide yourself than be vulnerable, and it is often with the ones who love you that you hide from. It is so much easier to put on a front of antipathy when you are feeling like your world is collapsing.
Except it really isn’t easier. This has taken a lot of time and self-reflection to get this perspective. For further explanation, I wrote about it here. It was before I understood that I am worthy of sharing my emotion with people. That by shutting off my emotion to those who love me the most, I could (and have) end up with fractured and untimely-ended relationships. Trust is deserved to go both ways. It wasn’t until the past six months that I understood how much I potentially and unknowingly hurt my friends in the past. I wouldn’t let them in. I thought it would hurt too much based on prior experience. I thought I had to be the strong one. It was all very wrong in every aspect. Learned behavior is such a bitch to change. It was an epiphany of epic portions.
There is something about being empathetic that engenders compassion, obviously. In the past couple of years, I have somehow been able to create an emotional block where the physical pain of empathy is no longer felt, but the energy of soul releasing it remains available for reception and interpretation. This has allowed me to be able to control how the energy of empathy is interpreted and transformed into an emotional energy I can interpret without it being crippling to me. It is a welcome development to both myself and those around me. For my entire life it has been a crippling sense of duty and painful burden. It has been a freeing and glorious development. I can use my empathy to problem solve the best way to help the pain, and now it feels like a gift I am meant to share with the world instead of being a martyr to it.
This might not make any sense unless you are an empath, and I apologize if you feel confused. When I explain this to empaths, they ask me “how did I do that”? I wish I knew how. This is something I never thought I’d say, people have specific gifts they are meant to share with the world. Empathy is one of my true gifts to the world, but most of the time it felt like a curse to me. I wake up most days grateful to have it, and can sense and then ease pain in a friend. Sometimes all it takes is a “that really sucks and I’m sorry” or a really funny meme.
I think it was when I made an unconscious decision to be seen and my presence known that this mindset shifted. It was no longer about me. It never truly was. It was my decision to step up to my value as a human being and a person when things started to shift in my life. I am gifted with a variety of leaders in my life, but I am stepping up to the Viper, taking flight, and starting to become my own leader. It’s not a role I ever thought I’d be playing, but here it is. It is time to step up. Step up to leadership and responsibility, in spite of how terrifying it is. It is time to be me. Whole-heartedly and with passion. Fear be damned because it’s my time to be bold. It’s my time to grow into myself, again.