Later, I’d call myself an empath. I used this term freely without truly understanding what it meant. “I am just so highly sensitive,” I’d say. “I always want to help people, it kills me to watch them hurt.” Meanwhile, I was killing myself trying to do just that. It didn’t make sense. I was lying to myself. I was denying the very thing I needed (and my relationships needed) to flourish. I was afraid to show up, to speak up, and to heal enough to know myself more.
Codependency runs deep in my veins. Generations of mothers before me have carried this skill. It’s a hard one to heal from, because on the inside it can deceivingly look helpful. This is how it continues. Women looking to help, at the sacrifice of self.
What I know now is that my codependent behavior was an extension of my inability to regulate my own emotions. I couldn’t sit with my own pain, discomfort, confusion, let alone someone else’s. So it was much easier to try to fix and save someone else, then to hold space.
I still believe I am highly sensitive. This isn’t something I want to avoid or numb or deny anymore. But the key to unlocking this beautiful gift is clear limitations, on myself first. I am healing and trusting the woman I am becoming. I know myself. I can hold space for me, and you — to be both held + free. 🤍
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