It does bug me when people speak of someone as “an empath” like they’re psychic or some kind of supernatural being.
Empathy is a skill, not a superpower.
If you want to be good at it, you have to practice using it. I am skilled in this area, because I actively practice it.
It is unfortunate that sometimes makes me a magnet for people with a specific set of shitty behaviors that they run me in circles with. I no longer allow it in my life In this case, the person I am treating with empathy is myself. It’s incredibly damaging when we forget to care for ourselves and fall into little vortexes of doom and despair. Some boundaries have to be strict as a matter of self care.
My therapy journey has helped me learn to pull myself out of those situations much more quickly. Sometimes that means pulling open some really old wounds, that are not fun to process and detox from. I am doing the work, and trusting that I will emerge into a better state of being.
I guess the other thing about empathy is the people starving themselves for it will drink every drop forever and never be sated by it, and that’s just watering a dead plant.
You have to compost the dead plants. Break them down until they are fundamentally changed to the point they become nourishment for new growth.
Therapy gives me a paid ally to help, but only you can do your own work. The level of privilege one must have to access mental health care is this enormous barrier for the people who need it most, because hardship directly impacts our mental well-being. This is one of the most tragic of our social inequities.
I’m especially grateful to my friends who courageously engage with their own lives for keeping me inspired to engage with like minds and choose better paths every day. Our Compost Club is an emotional community garden that sustains us.