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Having Empathy vs. Being an Empath

Empathy is about finding echoes of another, within yourself.

In the past two years, I have heard thousands of stories, of people going through something larger than themselves. Going through something that is out of their immediate control. With most of the stories, I can relate at some level, as they involve the struggles that I have also faced. The real transformation comes, when I hear stories that are beyond my reality; incidents and experiences that I have never had to deal with.

Brutal stories of injustice, dire situations and deep struggle: and I have found myself feeling absolutely helpless. Yet, I find myself getting so intertwined in their lives and stories that I end up emotionally breaking down. I get physically bothered not being able to assist instantly. I get furious at the fragility of ignorance and insults.

Though I have never had to come face to face with these kinds of situations - I have surrendered to this feeling of helplessness. I can’t relate with what these stories are feeling, but I can still feel the pain. I never knew that empathy could hurt so much.

I spoke to a few people I look up to greatly about this feeling. I was told to start being dispassionate about the people I meet and interact with and not let these stories dissolve into me. They said, “it will burn you out”. I listened, I understood, and I chose to disagree.

I know I cannot always get involved, or even help a person in a situation of turmoil. However, the impact that leaves on me is deep and vast - and it does move me to try and do more everyday. I will forever be grateful for that and use that purpose and drive to try and make a lasting and sustainable impact.

I don’t know if I am an empath. I don’t care for labels and tittles. I only know, that peoples lived experiences have a deep impact on my life - and not being able to do something about it cracks parts of my being. What toll this will take on me in the long run - I don’t know. What I do know - is that these stories will constantly push me to do more, be better, stay kinder, be more grateful and try forever, to deliver some semblance of an impact!

Because remember, we rise, by lifting others!

Until the next one,



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