“You cannot talk about a person walking unless you start describing the floor, because when I walk, I don’t just dangle my legs in empty space. I move in relationship to a room. So in order to describe what I’m doing when I’m walking, I have to describe the room; I have to describe the territory.” ~ Alan Watts
Being an empath may feel like you’re carrying around cumbersome baggage, which in turn may actually be immense potential and limitless energy to help others. At first glance it appears to be a blissful unstoppable energy that borders upon burning desire and a stressful need for unyielding love.
Yet on the other hand you’re closed off, reserved, and selective of how you drain and spend your precious time and energy. Realizing also the importance of being extremely careful with whom you decide to share it with.
I can assure you that you’re not alone, although embodying these characteristics can prove to be extensively lonely. In today’s society we are constantly bombarded with labels in which we can identify with; fitting wholesomely into a mold make us feel at home, especially when it feels like we’ve been away for far too long.
However, being deeply empathetic as well as seriously introverted has become a cosmic play on reality and duality for me, and also proving to be a catalyst of personal growth both mentally and spiritually.
The struggle of describing oneself is almost poetic. It always appears to be clear and exactly so, but implicitly becomes next to impossible to explain in words. We ultimately become the beauty in the poetry of life itself; saying that which cannot be said.
This may be a path that few people chose to dangle their legs in, but my gift to you is to do my best to describe the territory and its intricate surroundings.
5 confessions from an introverted empath
1) Self-improvement is a daily routine
Being the type of person who manages to take absolutely everything to heart can feel like a blessing, but more than likely a curse. From a very early age I was aware that all of my choices both directly and indirectly, led to varied actions and decisions. Of which just trying to make certain to not interfere with another person, and especially their happiness.
Not wanting to disappoint someone or even just feeling like a disappointment or failure leaves self-confidence low, but perseverance and self-improvement very high. Perfection is such a fleeting illusion but striving for it regardless with only the sole purpose of possibly enriching someone else’s life as a result, always seemed like the correct attitude.
Never being truly satisfied with one’s own journey is in direct correlation with the amount of growth one could also expect to receive. It’s only when we actively let the cloud of self-doubt prevent us from doing anything in the direction of improvement at all, that we regress.
Realizations such as these are the ones that set the sails for the ship for wisdom, providing a breeze of guidance to those at sea who will eventually come eagerly seeking it.
2) Talking is hard, most of the time
If years of solitude and introspective thought processes have taught me anything, it’s that I’ll never manage to speak as clearly as I think. Shallow conversations feel like stomping in murky puddles when I’d sooner be swimming in an ocean of wonder, where I feel more comfortable to express myself.
Not to say that small talk is intolerable by any means, but when you feel you’re no good at pretending it becomes increasingly easier to avoid it all together. Choosing exactly what to say in reply from all the possibilities, often leaves nothing said at all.
Fear of judgment, or stumbling and portraying the wrong image almost plagues the desire for connection altogether. Misinterpretation is the enemy of someone who just wants to be understood, and understand others.
The quiet observer sits in silence examining the subtle patterns and behaviors of his surroundings, consciously placing himself far away from any presumed danger as humanly possible. Words are admittedly clumsy and can paint an untrue portrait as quickly as the latter.
All of these characteristics make me someone who won’t typically break the ice, make the first move, or go out of my way. Although, it goes without saying that if a topic arises before me about feelings, emotions, mystery, or has any sort of charming depth that peaks my interests.
The reaction and reply will be surprisingly vast and mountainous.
3) I want to help you, but you’ll probably have to ask for it
My comfort zone has become like a castle prepped for war over time. So it’s rare for me to venture outside the brick and mortar walls of introspective seclusion myself, without someone lending a hand.
Even the very thought of trespassing, and overstepping my boundaries to offer assistance to someone who appears to be in need leaves me at a prominent standstill. Resulting in a heart that desperately wants to reach out, but a mind that prevents contact due to overstimulation.
Nothing for me has ever been more fulfilling than honest heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for help. This always comes as a surprise because the majority of the time I feel like I have very little to offer anyone but myself anyways.
I’ve never tried to project or claim that I know everything. In fact the older I get the more I realize I actually don’t know anything at all. This is a frightening epiphany and explicitly explains my tender know nothing approach to advice giving.
Maybe being the type of person to ponder in silent reflection for hours, trying to sort through and understanding all the issues or problems people typically face makes me a magnet for helplessness.
Or maybe it’s my attempt at non-judgmental conversation where it’s not about taking a walk in someone else’s shoes, but wearing no shoes at all.
4) I am more than likely my only enemy
Occasionally I catch myself just gliding along the line of least resistance. Like I’m soulfully treading through the water of life, still being careful not to make any sudden movements or waves.
Guilt is heavy, feeling more like a burden at times than an asset to humanity, and it’s easy focusing on my many self-apparent shortcomings rather than any triumphs or accomplishments that would make me worthy of friendship.
Somehow collecting accountable and understanding friends has become a timeless habit for self-discovery. Even though it’s not my strong suit by any means, I’ve managed to unearth its considerable importance.
Thinking primarily of the well-being of others always, as enriching as it may be, can also quickly become a double-edged sword where you begin to diminish your own self-worth if you’re not diligent.
This becomes the detractor as negative self-doubting thought patterns can intervene and completely overwhelm you like a whirlpool or quicksand. Stopping the storm, or staying calm while sinking is the best alternative to reaching clarity and a new found perspective.
Like that becoming a friend to all, requires first becoming friends with yourself.
5) If I’m there, I care. Even if I just happen to sit and stare
When I’m out of the house or in a busy atypical situation I’m often mistaken for being disinterested or uncomfortable, but I put myself exactly where I am on purpose despite how my demeanor or resolve may reflect.
Thinking inward thoughts so intensely doesn’t leave me much room to be overly aware of my outward appearance. A clenched jaw, a stern gaze, and crossed arms have come to be quite familiar and routine.
Thoughtfully engaging just happens to be a delicate maneuver that takes substantial time and patience for me. Witnessing open interactions among people is a show however I could never tire from watching, like a dramatic play of epic proportions.
Life is perhaps the most beautiful book I will ever have the pleasure of reading. It gives me the potential to view my surroundings without forming any opinions about it, simply accepting everything for what it is and how it fits into the grand scheme of things.
Call me an enthusiastic daydreamer of sorts, but I tend to resonate with the idea of myself as a Hermit. That for one reason or another is in a state of constant learning and obscure development, absorbing information freely at all times so I may be readily available to lend aide to any soul that may request it.