Feeling joy has been something of a challenge of late. I am an empath. As an empath, I constantly feel the emotional states of other people around me.
What does that mean? It means when many, many of my friends and loved ones are feeling anxious because of, oh, say, awful acts of inhumanity on the part of our government…I get not only my own anger, frustration and dismay over what is happening, but also all of theirs as well.
I need to let go of that. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way stating that any of us should not be angry over terrible happenings. Anger can lead us to action. The key is to do exactly that – take that negative energy, take that emotion and use it to do something useful.
Yes, I am aware that anger leads to the dark side of the force…but I interpret that thus: if I use my anger over an atrocity to commit another atrocity, that’s bad. If I use my anger to build something positive, that’s good. More topically, I can take my anger and go online and create memes calling various congresspeople out over their lack of compassion…OR I can find and support someone to stand with in order to replace them in the next election.
The point of this is that, yes, it’s ok, and totally human, to experience and feel negative emotions. But in order to consciously create a better reality, we can’t hold onto them, we can’t draw power from them. Focusing on what we don’t want only brings more of that out. We have to release the negative in some way, so that we can focus instead on the things we DO want, in order to work to draw those to us.
Sometimes releasing the negativity is easier than others. It gets particularly complicated when I am inundated by the emotions of people around me, whether it’s overt or seething. Being an empath, I am keenly aware of the emotional states of those around me, and doubly so my loved ones and friends.
Now the irony of all of this is that, while an empath all my life, for decades I didn’t do so well with expressing my own emotions. This could become a long and complicated tale about my childhood and various things that happened in my youth which caused me to close myself off, but I spent years in therapy to cope with that. It’s also really important to note that I do not blame anyone else for these issues…I recognized them, I took responsibility for them being mine, and have been working on changing them.
Point is, once I learned how to feel these emotions for myself, which I could only previously sense in others, I had to learn how to recognize what belonged to me, and as such I gained key insight into the actual meaning of the emotions in question. This could turn into a serious digression, but that will totally deviate from the point.
Joy is an expression of love. Love is the ultimate generator of positive energy. That positive energy is the key to raising my vibration, and with that to crossing the various bridges between my worlds, and manifesting the life I most desire to live.
I want to do things that will bring me more joy. I want to write, I want to be outdoors in the sunlight when I can, I want to read, I want to exercise and not be confined to a nine-to-five gig that might pay my bills, but bores me to tears. I want to spend more time with my wife, my loved ones, my friends, my cats, my hobbies. I want to go for drives with the radio blasting as I sing along to my vast collection of 90’s rock, Barenaked Ladies, and Broadway Showtunes. Yes, really, my musical tastes are pretty eclectic.
When the emotions of others feed my own negative emotions, it takes a lot of effort to push through, to refocus on positives, to take actions that will help me go where I want to go and do what I want to do. I have to pause, I have to take a deep breath, and I have to fight the desire to curl up in a ball and whimper piteously or scream in rage. I am the only one who can control MY emotions, and I need to assert that control unless I want them to control me.
Acknowledge the good, the bad and the ugly. Hold onto the things that empower, and find release for those that do not. When they are not my own emotions I am catching onto, I need to also accept those feelings, but equally release them in the ways I would release my own. I am aware of how this works.
Human beings are complicated creatures. We are unique in our ability to create incredible, globe-shaping (and wrecking) tools; adaptation to nearly every conceivable environment; ability to grow and learn; potential to live small or large, and perform a wide range of activities for our basic and advanced survival. We don’t just eat, sleep, reproduce and cycle with nature, we can shape it however we like.
We are empowered to do, be, or have pretty much anything and almost everything we can conceive of. The key is to think, to feel, and to take inspired and intentional actions. Some days are more challenging than others, but every day we can choose anew.
You and I have more power than we realize. When we are able to feel joy we can use that to raise our vibrational energy, and when our frequency is higher we can accomplish almost anything we want to.
I will feel the feelings, mine and those of others, but I will strive to only hold onto those which can empower me. No matter what is happening, here and now I am alive and well, and my potential is pretty amazing. I feel for you and what you are going through…and you are also alive, here and now, and your potential is equally as amazing as mine.
Let’s do this. As always, thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!
GOAL LOG – Week 18:
Diet: I am still doing pretty well with the lower carb, lower sugar diet overall.
Exercise: I fenced Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Walked a lap around the small lake near work one day, did a good workout at the gym one day.
Writing: The three blog posts were done, worked on editing Harbinger a couple days, and even did some writing in my sci-fi epic.
Meditation: Every day over the last week, one day for 7 minutes, one day 8 minutes, otherwise 12-15 minutes a day.
Gratitude: I have expressed gratitude for 5 things every day last week.
This is the thirty-second entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series. My collectively published writing can be found here.