Empathy

A couple of weeks ago I was very emotional and had really felt like I was taking on other people’s emotions. I have often felt this in my life and have been learning more about being an “empath” and a “highly sensitive person.” I have resonated with a lot that I’ve read/listened to, but recently I came across a quote on a post that made change my perspective a little bit.

I follow a few “self love” and “positivity” accounts on Instagram, because if I’m going to continue using social media, I am taking more control of what is in my feed and what I want to consume daily. Well, one account had posted this quote that they had written and it really stuck with me: “Empathy can often be confused with projection. It may seem like you feel other’s pain deeply, but the need to heal them comes from your own wounding. There was a time when you needed protection, so now you try to save everyone” (@VexKing on Instagram).

Now I read this and was like “Okay I am being attacked right now,” but in reality, I truly needed this realization. I feel like looking at situations where I felt someone’s pain or emotions, I can now dig deeper within and see where I was feeling that pain in myself. Sometimes it’s hard to hear certain things because they can feel harsh, but honestly those harsh truths can be so liberating when you take a good hard look at yourself.

When I was feeling my friend’s pain from her dealing with her best friend passing, I was feeling my pain from when my close friend passed a few years ago. When I feel stressed about how my friends are handing certain situations, it’s because of the way I’ve handled things/been handling things and I’m protecting my own insecurities onto others. When I am upset at family members for how they act, it’s because I can usually see myself in them during those times.

It’s amazing how simply reading a few sentences could completely opened a whole new perspective and avenue for healing for me. Psychologists explain how we are to work through our triggers and how explore therapy can be quite beneficial for a lot of patients, and we have to be very honest with ourselves in order to do that. Avoiding our triggers and our bad thoughts is only delaying our healing; and we deserve to heal.

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