Empaths, Fill Your Cup First

As you get older, and when you become a mom, dad, or caregiver, your body and mind transform. We have new duties as we age. Human bodies were designed for survival and to protect those in our tribe. So, we become more in tune to the emotions and physical states of those around us -- fear, sadness, illness. As time progresses, this intense empathy reaches beyond our immediate tribe, and we physically feel the hurt of our fellow parents, friends, and neighbors.

Before I became a parent, I had empathy too, but in most everyday situations, I could switch it off. As I get older, it's much more difficult to do that.

In the current political climate, there's hostility, hurt, and extreme sadness, and it's bombarding us from all sides, in every form of media, from every corner of the world. This morning, I woke up, and before I had my first sip of coffee, I watched members of the British parliament (justifiably) express outrage about our country. I immediately cried, feeling their anger, feeling like I was being blamed for being part of something that I never opted into. This happens almost daily now. Foreign friends have gone so far as to blame me personally for what's happening in our country. And maybe they should. Maybe I'm part of this failed system. But before I think too long about that...

I started my day feeling defeated, emotionally drained. For someone who makes a (half) living out of talking a lot about energy (or "how you're feelin'" to the lay person), this was not good. As the saying goes, I need to fill my cup before I can offer it to others.

This week, the Celts celebrate Saint Brigid's Day. Ms. Brigid was a bad-ass saint/goddess who cared for the poor. She was a healer and protector who watched over working class folks in times of need. I've been keeping her energy in my thoughts as I continue to work through this week.

And in thinking of her, I want to encourage you all (and myself) to PROTECT YOUR ENERGY. Be mindful of your time on social media. Social media posts are purposely sensationalized to increase likes and shares. Titles are designed to make you react emotionally. So, find a news source where you can absorb the facts first. Check Facebook AFTER morning coffee. Download other apps that bring you joy -- Kindle, BlogLovin', Instagram, Pinterest; or news outlets that inform with less drama -- BBC is my favorite.

Fill your cup. Then, reach out to those who are hurting, and fill theirs.