YK’s 365 Release: Day 52

I have always been an empath. It’s almost like a superpower to me now.

My mother told me a story of when I just learned to walk. We were visiting a friend’s house and as my mother packed everything up to leave, she forgot to grab her purse. And somehow there I was, dragging it behind me to give to her. My entire life, she has reminded me that these are some of my discerning traits, that I am benevolent, sensitive and empathetic.

Being empathetic has meant many things for me throughout my life. It has meant I am acutely aware of what is going on around me, particularly when it comes to how people are feeling. It means my instincts are extremely keen. It has meant I can get sad when other people are sad. Because people don’t often articulate what they are truly thinking, i have learned to sense what I can and be accommodating. Too accommodating, sometimes. I appreciate when I meet people who are crystal clear about what they want and desire.

It has meant in the past, when I wasn’t as experienced with it, I used to harden myself against getting hurt because I had been hurt deeply in the past. I used to be closed, mysterious, unwilling to share with others because of how much I was already perceiving and digesting everything and everyone around me. This changed over time, though.

It has led me to want to fight for the freedom and liberation of oppressed people. It has led me to fight for justice and social change. It has led me to shed tears when I see pain. It has led to me being a listener.

It’s a “superpower” I have had to cultivate properly over the years so that I do not get consumed by the world’s grief and rage, so that I do not absorb every tear by everyone around me. It has enabled me to understand human emotion very well.

It has proved helpful in love and compassion, in mindfulness.

I have learned to give unconditionally without anything attached, to be open consistently. I always let those around me know I am available to listen. I will always listen with a full heart, and to every single detail, and very literally. I try to always note what people have shared with me to let them know I was hearing them, that what they are saying is important to me.

While growing up, my parents took us everywhere. They made sure we visited every single state. We also traveled all over the world together. I am grateful for their insistence on broadening our world view, on exposing us to as many different places as possible, and basically for creating a cultured life for us.

I have a memory from one particular road trip where I asked my mother, “How can we ever pay you back for all of the trips you’ve taken us on?” and she replied, “When you have your own children, you can take them on trips.” At the time, I thought, that seems fair. As I have grown older knowing that I do not want children, I still remember that response and wonder about it. I’m too much of a free spirit to want to have my own, and my life is too fluid for me to want to raise an entire separate human being when I am still navigating through life myself. My mother, however, seems to have enjoyed the process of raising the three of us. I imagine having children must feel like your empathy is carried through the world by them, and it is reciprocated. She also doesn’t remember saying this to me, but it has stuck with me through all of these years as a lesson in gratitude and unconditional love.

For me to feel for others, I have to also feel deeply. I realize I really care about people, genuinely. When I ask people how they are, I care about what they tell me. I listen with gratitude, with an open heart, because I understand now, that being able to share your feelings with someone is also an act of trust. You are trusting me to hear what you are saying, to handle your words with care. I appreciate this.  It’s a gift.

I will not only listen to you, without judgment, with unconditional support and with great care for the gift you bestow upon me, but I will also feel what you share.

Today on Day 52 of my 365 Release, I am letting go of a bracelet made with a piece of jade, which, in Asia signifies all things miraculous. I am giving it to someone who is going through rough times right now, and those who struggle are those for whom I feel deeply. Jade is said to not only be a protectorate of its wearer, but it is also healing, and believed to bring peace of mind. With all of my empathy powers given to me in this lifetime, I am willing unrivaled bliss, happiness and compassionate love to the recipient.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

One response to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 52”

  1. […] Day 52 (10/29/10): jade bracelet [habit] […]

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