2. It’s Not My Job to Take on the World’s Pain
As an empath, you have an open heart. You don’t have the same emotional guard up that many others do. You feel people’s pain–both loved ones and strangers–and you instinctively want to take it away from them. In fact, many of us have been taught that being compassionate means it’s our job to remove other people’s pain.
This is not true. You can hold a supportive space for someone without absorbing their distress in your own body. Finding this balance is the art of healing. Inwardly you can say, “This is not my burden to carry.” It is impossible to fix someone and it is really none of your business to try. More than twenty years of being a physician has taught me that everybody deserves the dignity of their own path.
Set your intention. I can be compassionate without becoming a martyr or taking on another person’s pain. I can respect someone’s healing process without trying to “fix” them.
So, self-care is indeed very important for sensitive people.
I wrote this book of days, this book of seasons, as my tribute to an empath’s loving heart and to the sacredness of time. My greatest purpose is to be in service to the goodness of empathy and love. As sensitive people let’s marvel at our lives and our many openings to grow. Every day the mystery unfolds. No matter what: keep loving, keep taking deep breaths, keep looking at the starlit sky. Allow time to help you remember your timelessness.
(Excerpted from “Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People” by Judith Orloff, MD (Sounds True, 2019) + The Empath’s Empowerment Journal, the companion to this book.
Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. NYC Event! Join Dr. Orloff October 25-26 at the NY Open Center in New York City. Info for event and Dr. Orloff’s Empath Online Self-Care Course at www.drjudithorloff.com
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