I can’t be on Facebook all day.
I’m definitely a leader, not a follower. I have had many part-time jobs in my lifetime that I “failed” at because I was asked to be a follower, and I just wanted to break out of that box and design a new one. (One of my first jobs was at a newspaper, and I got strongly lectured because I tried to design some ads when I was only the “typographer.”)
I hate when folks give me advice that is black and white that throws the baby out with the bath water (oh wow, that is one creepy expression.) I then feel trapped with no suggestions how to get out. This goes along with the “break out of the box” redesign thinking, I would guess.
I only know all of this from observation from when I finally checked in this week with myself. Now, it’s not always possible to do so when you are surrounded by people, but I realized this is mandatory for me.
As an empath, I am a pleaser and I have “mold disease.” I listen to everyone for advice and merge with most of the folks I interact with, and by the end of the week I have moments where I’m like, “Who the %$# am I?” And I get confused. And I think how everyone else is thinking. So I wrote that long list of how I felt. Now what I SHOULD felt, or what is NICE to feel, but how I honestly feel. Because when I am around stronger personalities, I think I should feel what they feel and I can get knocked about. And then I have to remind myself that I am a leader myself and a very strong person, and I am not a six-year-old child who needs to listen to anyone who seems like an authority. Oh yeah, right.
And some of what I realized writing that list is I really disagreed with how others felt, and that was okay. IT IS OKAY. Because being responsible for me includes making sure I know what I need and feel, so others aren’t stuck with the burden of trying to take care of my needs. And we can think differently, and see things differently.
I’ve written before about needing a lot of physical space, but I think the bigger need is EMOTIONAL SPACE. I can get that emotional space back by making a list of how I feel. I am no longer cramped. My stomach doesn’t hurt anymore (big red flag). I don’t have to feel what everyone is feeling, and what they want me to feel, and what they think I should do or what I need. Or maybe, they don’t even want me to feel anything, but I empathically feel they would like it if I did.
Most empathic folks are very strong. If we can take on that much emotional stuff from others and the world, PLUS our own stuff, WE ARE STRONG! We do double duty, right? When we drop down into our KNOWING, we make choices and decisions that are right for us. We don’t have to explain it, we just KNOW what fits, because we know ourselves.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Make sure you have a Weekly Check-in this week. I often play in my sketchbook and do a RECAP of the week to reflect and process all that has happened. I start out my list “I am feeling…” and the surprises clear out all that isn’t mine.