Tag Archives: #2017

Being an Empath: the Hardest Part is Letting Go

Human relations are key. Whether you have the ability to effectively communicate–verbally or nonverbally– determines how well you connect with others.

As a healing empath, I read into what’s unsaid more, than what people actually say.

Because of this, I’m always finding a way to help solve a problem as if it’s my own. Whether it’s professional or personal, I want to help solve it. In fact, I prioritize other people’s problems more than my own. Inherently, I see myself as a pool of unlimited resources for those closest to me. And strangers.

Some days, being an empath is happily walking into Starbucks and suddenly becoming aloof. It’s tensing of the body–shoulders, jaw, and back– at any given moment and overwhelming anxiousness. It’s daydreaming for a long time to escape the realities I’ve emotionally made my own. It’s wanting to be outside–connecting to nature to cleanse and renew myself. It’s giving, and giving, and giving some more.

Even when I don’t got it–time, money, energy– I give it.  You’re unhappy, I find a way to make you smile. You’re in need of a job, I find a way to help you search for one. You need mental clarity, or peace, I give my time and energy to help heal you. And even though this sounds like I’m just being a good friend or person providing sympathy, it’s more than that. If I’ve shared space with you, I feel you. This role of a healer that I play comes at a cost. Overtime, it’s cost me time, money, energy and peace. I’ve always wanted to heal the world.

I’ve always been one to read in between the lines and recognize what’s unsaid. Generally speaking I can pick up on what’s going on in a room before most.  As an empath, I’m forever putting myself in other people’s shoes and walking their walk with them. What a gift and a curse.

IMG_5271

The realization: 

Working in a combination of early childhood education and retail, I obviously surrounded myself with many, many people, emotions, thoughts, and energies. Day in and day out, I became increasingly tired and moody by the day’s end. When the work day was over, I literally had no energy to give. Not to my family, roommate, or guys I was dating. This wasn’t a normal kind of tired either. I had aches and pains in my body, my spirit felt bothered, and I had no understandable explanation for it.

I was just t-i-r-e-d.

And feelings like these weren’t new. Like I said, I’ve always been the “moody” one to my friends and family, but it was chalked up as girly adolescent behaviors or just being a moody artist. I started turning down invites and had made it a habit to stay in bed for as long as I could. Post college, I’d been working through anxiety and depression awhile acknowledging triggers. So I thought that some feelings that I was experiencing were due to natural, fluctuating depressive states and my known triggers.

And then something happened. I had a memory of when I was in elementary school and remembered what I struggled with most : putting others before me.

The past:

In my youth, caring for other’s was instilled in me by my family, and I took this morale very seriously. We all are very giving individuals. I remember during all those canned food drives at school I’d donate every. last. item in our cabinets. #NoLie.

Literally, every last one. And depending on who you talk to about it, I may have went overboard or was just giving without context of what I was doing. But I wholeheartedly knew what I was doing. I knew that I had the means to replenish what was lost And I never thought twice about it. Even though this was me giving something tangible, I knew that I was receiving something that was invaluable–learning the ability to be selfless and understanding community. 

Growing up, many of my elementary progress reports commended me for always putting  others first. The teachers would write something to the notion of:

“Alexis is a great student to have. She’s outgoing, kind, and doesn’t hesitate to help her classmates with  their work.”

Great trait to have, right? They’d continue:

“Alexis struggles to complete her own assignments on time.”

And now I know what you’re thinking, what the hell?! What sense does it make to help others succeed, first, before you do? And I really wish I could tell you. I really do.  All I know is that my teachers and mother couldn’t understand. They knew that I was more than capable of completing my own work because I was helping others with their work on a daily basis. I just wasn’t taking care of myself.

This was causing me to get into trouble. Academically and socially with my mother. That’s until I learned to stop. Eventually I eased out of always helping classmates with their work because I got tired of not enjoying my outside time. So I decided to “be more responsible” as they asked of me, and did my work FIRST so I could be successful.

In hindsight, I was developing tendencies that I later learned were qualifiers for being an empath. Fast forward to present day, when my family communes, I usually am the first to separate themselves from the bulk of the group. Literally happened over thanksgiving break. I used to feel bad for stepping away without explanation, but now that I’m addressing my empath behaviors, I know that I deserve to step away and re-up on my energy.

 

Moving forward:

So here are my facts of life as an empath:

Fact 1: I have to learn that I can’t help others more than I help myself. When I realized there was a burden of always being there for someone, always clocking in emotionally and physically, I knew something had to give.

Fact 2: We are who we are. People who have an innate ability to connect, feel, and discern their surroundings without regards. We tend to love hard–being spiritually engaged in others. We feel the vibes–good and bad.

Fact 3: Self care is highly important.

Fact 4: (see step 3)

Fact 5: I’m not alone.

 

Knowing all of this, and moving into a new phase of self-realization, I’m working on letting go. It’s hard to let go of the feeling that I have to help or heal. Being a helper and healer is literally ingrained in who I am. It’s one of my great traits. But I’m realizing that I’m wearing on my soul more than it can handle. I know I won’t stop being an empath, but I can use my knowledge about life, my empathetic experiences, and the tolls they take on me to remind me to “let go” for the moment.

 

 

Hashtag: Quarter Century Living

A friend asked me what  #quartercenturyliving means and why I always say it. At first I laughed, because I wasn’t really sure. But as time passed and stories arose I figured it out. To sum it up, #quartercenturyliving for me and my friends is a way of not getting caught up in time-sensitive goals that were set prematurely. Like being married with kids by 26 ( 😅aka in 2 weeks) or the attainment of career success in which I haven’t reached yet. It’s my way of telling myself to slow down and trust the process. Admittedly I’m overly obsessed with time and it’s correlation with age and success. I’m learning I don’t need to be. So, here’s to #quartercenturyliving :

How many times have you caught yourself searching for a “how-to” manual on navigating through your twenties? And how many times have you found yourself nearing bottom’s end just because something hadn’t gone as planned? No worries, I do too. I believe we’re all blindly walking this moment-to-moment journey squeezing lemons as they’re thrown. Let’s be honest: these #20somethings can cause tumultuous imbalances.

With the never-ending financial woes, emotional breakdowns (like crying in public at the absolute worst time ever… at work or while sitting in Starbucks), and generally failing your life expectations. I look forward to conversations with my sister-friends over how awkward and troubling our twenties have been so far because the comedic relief let’s me know I’m not a lone. In life–especially these #20somethings– all we really can do is take the good with the bad and grow from there.

Continue reading Hashtag: Quarter Century Living

Human Nature: Simple Ways to be Love

It’s Friday, January 13, 2017.

The day of heightened superstitions.

Today, some may experience “bad luck” and place blame on it being “Friday the 13th”.

And, ironically enough, my family has communed due to an end-of-the-year death. On December 31st, my grandmother received a call from her hometown of Chicago saying that our uncle, father, cousin, will be laid to rest.

We brought in the new year somberly. Now we are here…

Today, after yesterday’s very, very long car ride from KC, I am in Chicago, freezing both my ankles off (in case you care to know) to be here with family.

And as deaths tend to bring people closer, I always notice the energy behind someone’s passing.

Yes– we cry and feel heartache–but we tend to remember the fondest moments with that particular loved one so that they never leave our spirit.

Which made me think of how to be a better person. I’ll admit, oftentimes I walk around with my earphones in, head down to my phone screen to minimize speaking to others. When I get the inkling to speak to someone, I worry they’ll grunt and that they’ll think I’m weird. Or worse– not reciprocate my greeting. As old folks say, “things ain’t how they used to be no’mo”. In the hustle of bustle of things, we are so self-centered in nature.

I am guilty.

I want to encourage everyone to be a light to someone today. Hold a door when you can. Look up and just smile at someone. Create human interaction. Us humans –the busy people we claim to be– overlook the simplest form of encouragement; presence. We are all we have ya’ll. The smallest gestures can make or break someone’s day.

As someone who is often lost inside of her own head with thoughts and must-do’s, I forget there are people around me at times. With smushed eyebrows, and squinted eyes I walk in passing, stressing myself out over life. But in moments like these, I can regroup. I can see the important things.

Today, will be bittersweet. Like tasting dark chocolate for the first time. Tart at first, but on the third or fourth bite it gets better.

I’m sure I’ll cry today. I’ll be a shoulder for crying as well. But I do know, I will get to hug my family. I’ll laugh at my cousin Tip’s jokes. I’ll pinch Noel’s cheeks. I’ll explain my vegan lifestyle for the umpteenth time.

I’ll be around love.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Much needed cafe americano from @Starbucks