I’m the type of person that likes to look inward for the source of my discomfort, because I find that usually the discomfort has a lot to do with my perception of reality.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been struggling with stress a bit. And I have been struggling with debilitating anxiety for quite some time.
After a while, if you have experienced anxiety in any form, you get tired of it and want it gone. I decided to make a change that seems simple on the surface, but it’s not.
I decided to change my focus. Completely.
It’s taking some practice, but I am already feeling the result.
I see myself as an empath that can easily read the emotions, intentions and motivation of people around me. I feel it is a true gift from God and it is one that enables me to connect with folks on a deeper level. But over the years I have allowed that gift to take me into a dark place where all I started to see were the darker, more base motivations of people. Over the last few years my perceptions of humanity have tanked. It’s like I started to believe that people are nothing but an infestation on a dying planet.
This perception has contributed to many ills in my life. And I knew that it was skewed and off-balance. I also knew that if I didn’t change, it would continue to harm me and to even shorten my life.
All of us have God-given gifts. It’s not strange to acknowledge them. We are all born with a purpose. But allowing those gifts to dominate our lives to the extent that they are all we focus on is as much a sin as rejecting them outright.
It’s as if one of your best friends gives you a lovely piece of jewelry. You’re real excited about it and at first you show it off to everyone. But you believe it is the best part about you, so you show it off every day. You look at it constantly. You believe that it is better than any other gift you may have. It becomes an obsession and your only focus. You forget about your other gifts, and worse, you forget how to take care of yourself and communicate with other folks because it’s all you see. You miss other opportunities.
Because my gift is so human-focused, my constant use of it created an imbalance. If you look around the world as it is today, there is a lot to be discouraged about, and my gifting allowed me to absorb all that discouragement like a sponge.
So, I determined to put my gift down.
It still exists. But I’m not carrying it around anymore. It doesn’t mean I can’t use it. But I won’t carry it around. I won’t focus on the motivations of people and the analysis of intention. But it’s not easy. People are mean-spirited, angry, depressed, scared, and manipulative.
But they are also loving, joyful, peace-giving, brave, and welcoming.
That’s just us, y’all. We’re not an infestation. Just imperfect.
But I don’t have to worry about it. And if you are an empath-and I believe most of you are, after all an empath is just one who feels deeply- you don’t have to worry about it either.
See, I was only focusing on the negative. Getting in there. Swimming in that muddy soup.
I almost drowned. I broke my gift.
Listen, Dear Ones.
The world is a treacherous place right now. And we know it is. But we also know Whose it is, and He is still in charge.
But we can focus on the treachery or we can focus on the beauty. Because beauty is still here.
Do I think we should just lay down our swords and let evil win?
But even the fiercest warriors must rest and more than that, they must remember what they are fighting for.
That is where our true focus must be.