The True Meaning Of Empathy
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The True Meaning Of Empathy

Help yourself to help others.

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The True Meaning Of Empathy
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

I have always seen myself as an empath because I felt that I was sensitive to others feelings. I was just a sensitive period. I knew I wanted to help people in the latter, but also knew I was going to have to overcome many emotions and coping mechanisms. I have learned (and am still learning) the hard way that healing is not linear. There are going to be ups and downs where some days you feel like you are content and hopeful and other days where getting out of bed is a mental and emotional struggle.

Recently, I had a deep conversation with my close friend and we discussed our desires and struggles in life and one concept that came up was my desire to help people. I told her how I was feeling regarding the thought of myself as an empath and how external factors drive me to toxicity at times. She told me one thing that I had heard once but hadn't resonated until now

"You Can't Pour From An Empty Cup"

I then realized that I surely couldn't. Being in a profession that involves people battling with their own internal demons and improperly coping with them can be sometimes draining. I have so much help I want to offer but am I truly helping myself? I go through the motions of life by going to class, working, building my resume up, and attempting to stay healthy by working out etc. but I came to the conclusion that until I truly tap into my own toxic ways and the thoughts that hold me back from reaching my own potential I cannot be in that position to help others.

I can give my everything physically, mentally and emotionally to others but how would I refill? Satisfying the ways of society by overindulging in social media, victuals and other unmeaningful substances will only fill temporarily. They would fill a void that would only keep opening up if it wasn't directly dealt with. I cannot say how many times I ran into people with greater energy. People that with one conversation can make your heart beat fast and make you feel more full in yourself. I aspire to be those types of people but felt I was limited with time and immaturity. I came to realizations that may help me get closer to having greater inner energy.

Being aware is the most important aspect. Learning to be aware on where I direct my energy and how I react to other energy truly helps me to help others. Being aware of what content is presented to me whether in words, verbally, physically and emotionally and paying attention to detail and interpreting it in an effective manner helps to make sense and more importantly to have control.

I am slowly learning that regaining control is important, even with the smaller things, such as paying attention to the inherent calmness of a grey sky, the detail in leaves outside of the window, the perfect gradient in the sky. To have this level of control and awareness helps to pay attention to detail in others. Empathy actually isn't just limited to other people when you think about it. It can be towards the environment and the animals in it.

I have also learned that words are powerful. Other things I and her talked about were affirmations and perceptions. When I felt like I wasn't in a good place in life (financially, emotionally, etc.), I made sure to tell myself that. I would purposefully limit myself and see myself as so much lesser than my potential. I remembered a time where Steve Harvey said "If you are going through hell, keep going. Why would you want to stay in hell?"

As long as I kept telling myself that I was in hell and felt like I was never going to leave, I knew I was going to stay there. I learned I needed to see my struggles or confusing times in my life as a point of growth and taking risks, which aren't limited to any age. Furthermore being self-aware of how other's words are perceived as well. You can hear/see as a sense of course, but are you truly listening and manifesting? I learned that these are how things pass by and how blessings can honestly be missed.

Speaking desires into existence is a driving force to want to make those desires reality. Not only should this apply to yourself but others too. If you see a loved one's potential, it is your job to want them to foster it, not just expect the outcome. Doing so can give them the confidence to pursue it.

Being emphatic to others is the equivalent to being emphatic to yourself. Filling your cup so that you can help to fill others and maintain your fullness. Self-internalization and care are so much more important than simply volunteering and filling a role. Fill yourself with faith and allow yourself to build to that energy to be a light unto others.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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