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It’s Been A Lot

I’m typically a person who looks for the good. I can ignore my own pain if I need to focus on someone else’s. I was given the gift and sometimes curse of being an empath.

I pick up on people’s emotions. I listen to their stories before they start speaking them.

Not always, I’m not always a stand for everyone else, because sometimes, my story gets too loud in my own head for me to hear anything else.

A few years ago one of my best friends was calling me, I saw the phone ringing, I watched it go to voicemail. Because that day, my story was loud in my head and I knew she was calling because her story was joyful. And I couldn’t answer and listen with an open heart.

I remember texting her immediately after the phone stopped ringing and telling her, “I’m here, but I can’t be here for you right now. I can’t fully be in your joy because I’ve lost mine for a bit and I want to be authentic when we talk.”

She understood. I needed a moment, more than a moment, I needed to listen to me and go where I needed to go.

I planned a trip that year to go on road trip and I could feel just the commitment to goin was already doing what I needed it to do.

I know what it is like to lose joy and I know what it is like to find it.

When I see it slipping away from me, all too well, I know where to start looking.

It’s not at home. It’s not a night out with my friends. It’s not an all inclusive resort.

It’s on foot. It’s in the mountains in hiking shoes. It’s on the yoga mat barefoot. It’s turning off the device and getting quiet. It’s meeting new people along the way. It’s watching the sunset and sunrise. It’s seeing the stars over the vast mountain, canyon or ocean horizon and seeing my size among the infinite sky and there, that’s where I find the joy within again.

I’m an empath and feel people’s joy and worry. And I’m honest, when I can’t take it on. When my empath jar is over capacity and I can’t shut it, but I need to empty some of what is in it.

And lately, it’s been a lot. I ignored the toll it has taken on me physically and emotionally until I stopped. It’s time for me to face what I’ve put in my jar. My stresses, my woes, my worries and my grief are taking up too much space. And so I’m heading to the mountains. To do yoga and hike and meet new people and turn off the devices.

And I know, I know that in just 5 days, the light will be on, the jar will have space, I will have room again to breathe and ultimately, to listen again.

I thought I would just share this with you. It is weighing heavy on me, but I’m about to hike that emotional weight off.

What do you do? What makes your light turn back on when the room gets dark inside?


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