Alright, so let’s start this off with a gentle reminder: It is ok to not be ok sometimes. Repeat that: It is ok if you’re admitting you’re not okay. You are human and entitled to have “those days” here and there, especially during the cold winter months. Now, they just can’t be every day, but you have the right to feel “off” at times and want to cocoon yourself away from the world. Times like this, temporary moments of perceived weakness or an inherent need to recharge, truly make the days you feel on top of the world even more rewarding and exhilarating.
Probably the three hardest things to say in life are “I need help,” “I’m sorry” and “Worcestershire sauce.” It’s true! Well, at least some think so. I really enjoy this list because I feel a lot of people do think it’s wrong to ask for help or maintain the fear they will be looked at as weak. Whether it’s asking for help with kids or chores, or on a higher level, help with sorting out feelings and emotions, saying “I need help” is a great thing. Your friends and family may not have all the answers, but they will undoubtedly be there for you in some capacity, for comfort, a helping hand, or a listening ear. So, if you need help, just ask for it or seek it in the best avenue that will help you. You’re admitting you’re not okay and you don’t want that feeling to linger longer than necessary. Self-care is also key; make time for you, without any guilt.
Most of us were raised where if we did something wrong, we apologize…and genuinely. The worst is when someone has hurt you, and they try to breeze through the apology or act like it’s an absolute chore to say they are sorry. It’s a toss-up for me; it’s almost like getting a half-booty apology is worse than no apology at all. And, contrarily, if you didn’t do something wrong, don’t feel obligated to apologize. I’m guilty of this, always saying “Sorry” even when I had nothing to do with causing the problem or stress. It adds a layer of stress to your life that you absolutely don’t need, so if you find yourself repeating this behavior, try to let it go. Don’t put the weight of the world on your shoulders. Manage what you can manage and what is in your control. Repeat that to yourself, as often a lot is not in our control, yet that is what stresses us out, unfortunately.
I’m an empathetic individual for sure: Small, big, anything, and everything, I am somehow significantly impacted. I get sad when I see a dead animal on the side of the road, or when I see elderly people struggling to walk through the grocery store. Heck, if I don’t turn away, I’ll be the first one to cry at those ASPCA commercials on TV, you know, the ones that play sad Sarah McLachlan songs and show injured horses, one-eyed cats, and three-legged dogs. So I totally get it when I encounter other empaths; we feel everything, and we are the ultimate people pleasers. We don’t want to hurt anybody, even when they hurt us. We are strong, incredibly strong at times, yet we don’t want to say “no.” We want to be there for you; we want to help even if sometimes it’s at our own expense. We want to be there for our circle, our friends and family. We will be there for co-workers, even for people we don’t know (like the homeless people on the side of the road, and oh my gosh, especially those that have the sweet dogs with them).
The power of reaching out
Empaths never underestimate the power of reaching out to others, especially friends and family. “Hey! How are you doing?” can go a long way. Even if we don’t have the perfect words to make others feel better, or the magic potion or advice, we know that simply taking the time to listen is what truly matters.
Being empathetic to the core, I have always been labeled sensitive. It’s true, though, so I have to embrace that. It’s just me, and I choose to be ok with it, although I am making tweaks here and there to maintain balance in my life. To others, it may be annoying to deal with an empathetic individual, but to me, when I encounter someone who lacks empathy, that throws me for a real loop. I’m like, “Wait a minute, Susan, do you not see you forgot to say thank you? Or to apologize? Or to have compassion?” I just don’t get it…just like they don’t understand how I could be so sensitive. It’s part of life and the beauty of diversity, right? Not everyone is going to be like you or understand you. Not everyone is going to agree with how you handled certain things or situations. That is ok. And, just a friendly reminder (gasp!): Not everyone is going to like you. Shocking, I know. But… it is totally OK, more than ok if not everyone likes you! It does not devalue your worth, so remember that. It’s just life. Also, remember that not everyone has the same heart as you, so you cannot expect they will do the same for you as you do for them.
Keep your head up
We all experience pitfalls as well as setbacks in this crazy life, so remember you are never alone. This, too, shall pass (whatever “this” happens to be at the moment for you)! Remember, the comeback is always greater than the setback.