One of the things that we really work hard at in Wellspring is knowing who you are, knowing your boundaries and honoring them. But we also try to balance that with supporting each other and our community. Today, I committed to going outside of my normal boundaries to support two of my communities -- the Blue Star Community and the rescue community that I am part of.
When we step beyond our normal boundaries, a few things happen. You learn new things. You meet new people. You have new experiences. Also, you stretch yourself further. You work harder. You can be uncomfortable.
Both of my commitments today pushed my boundaries as an empath. Normally, I'm good at knowing when I should not go into a situation because I can't shield appropriately enough. Like, I don't often go out on Black Friday (unless it is with my mother-in-law, but still it is very laid back). I don't go to Wal-Mart much. If I do go to Wal-Mart, I carefully pick and choose which one I'm willing to step into. And when it comes to rituals, I avoid certain communities and I avoid certain rituals. It doesn't mean those rituals or communities are bad. I just know that I may have adverse reactions.
Today, I went to a mall on Black Friday for 5 hours. Well, more like 6 hours with being dropped off early enough for set up and then being picked up after we had time for tear down and clean up. I got to talk to some of the people in the rescue that I hadn't met before. We raised some money. I got to spend some great time with my daughter. We got some Christmas shopping done. (Yes, we celebrate Yule and Christmas. Yule is our spiritual holiday. Christmas is our secular and familial holiday.) It was great to watch her do some things with her own money that gave her a lot of joy. However, it was 6 hours in a mall on Black Friday. With all those people. With all those emotions. With the stress and worry and excitement and concern and happiness. There is so little calm and peacefulness.
If I had stopped there, I would have probably been fine. My feet hurt. I don't stand or even walk for 6 hours like that. But really, I would have been fine.
However, I didn't stop there. I had made a commitment to be at a ritual too. I knew that there were going to be two people that I wanted and needed to support. I had committed to them that I would be there.
This ritual is a very heavy emotional ritual that is incredibly cathartic for the participants. This was the third time I've been in 12 years... 13 years...
I don't go because it's a lot of work for me. A lot of work. In ritual, it is when I usually can let my shields down and just feel and be. This ritual means that I'm usually doing double time keeping those shields up. And then when I know that people probably need some extra from me, I try to give it. We had a couple of new people there. One of which I feel responsible for and so when the emotion was really high, I helped reinforce shields for that person. Another person there was raw and open for a while and so I helped reinforce shields for that person temporarily until they were back on their feet.
And as people near me had their catharsis, I wanted to be there for them, to help support them. It's kind of what I do. I use those empath abilities during those times to help them funnel off and stabilize emotions. I don't take them from them. They are important. Everyone needs to feel those emotions. But as they let the emotions bubble up and come out, I try to flush out the excess. This is only with people that I know and have an intimate connection with, unless I've been asked to help. Sometimes, holding them is just holding them though.
Tonight, after pushing past my normal boundaries, I know that I have pushed too far. I have literally made myself sick. It will pass. Clearly not as quickly as I'd like as I'm blogging at 3am, but it will pass. Would I do it again? Yes... I say that begrudgingly because I know what the consequences are, but yes, I would do it again. I might try to schedule things better where I could have had control.
Sometimes, knowing thyself means knowing when you need to do something regardless of the effect on you and being ready to live with those consequences. Sometimes, knowing thyself is knowing who you are willing to make that sacrifice for and who you are not. For now, I'm grateful for my renewed daily meditation habit and knowing that habit will help to make this pass more quickly. I'm grateful for all the different people in my life and I'm glad that I can be of service to them.
All the best,