Protecting Your Peace Part II
You know, being the listener to everybody else’s problems can get draining. Unintentionally taking on a role that I don’t recall asking for I’ve learned some lessons along the way. I suppose this is my unpopular opinion. I understand even more now when my mama would say “I don’t wanna hear that!” because people will just drop their baggage on you and now you’re holding it. Energy transfers. Like, “man, I did not intend to feel this way today”, or “this is something I didn’t need to have on my mind right now.” It’s a lot to deal with when you have your own problems too. This post sounds selfish as hell (side eye) but self care isn’t selfish and my purpose of this is to gain perspective and understanding wherever you may sit on the scale. What’s that word we love? Boundaries. Think about this for a moment to get a visual perception of what boundaries look like in case you need a reminder. Would you allow someone to walk into your house without knocking? I’m sure that would be a strong “NO!”, the boundary is knocking first or sending a text asking if that person is home. Here’s a tip, before you begin to unload your baggage, ask if you have permission first. Some folks can carry more than others. That’s the point of where I’m getting at and if you don’t have permission respect that because it may not even be personal just the simple fact that they’re not able to be that rock for you.
A few days ago, I tweeted about how being the listener is a role I didn’t intend to take on, I’ll need my own listener ( "therapist" ). We know the "therapist" friend amongst our friend groups. There's a saying stating how the therapist friend is the one that need the most therapy, well, it's a fact that a licensed therapist is legally required to have their own therapist, it makes complete sense. You see how that goes though? but the truth is, you're therapist friend isn't a licensed therapist and that's a ton of pressure and expectation being placed on them. On a good note, it is an honor to be that safe place for a loved one as long as we establish what? Boundaries! Ok? I'm being repetitive about that but I'm so serious y'all because boundaries will save you from a lot of what you didn't ask for. If I’m not mindful, I can easily take on these problems that will affect me and shift my entire energy especially if it’s something heavy and negative meaning that I need to have the mental capacity to consume it to properly show up in ways I’m needed. You’ve heard this before, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.
Being put on a pedestal is something I have always despised, living up to the expectations that I didn’t set and subconsciously I have done the exact same thing on myself. It’s like, “she knows what to do or what to say”, or “she doesn’t mind”. You know… I don’t know what to do or say and in fact I do mind. I’m not given the opportunity to choose because I was never asked. Note, this is not to say that we are victims in this matter, it’s simply the downsides of it however enforcing boundaries daily is a practice I aim to do and I’m always encouraging those to set them despite that people may not like them but stand your ground. Saying “no” or “not right now”, allowing yourself time before responding, and actively engaging in your alone time to name a few. Expected to carry the emotional weight of others is too heavy and if you identify as an empath you most definitely need to protect your peace because it’s not your responsibility to do so (if you choose). In conclusion, I‘m not discouraging anyone to not be supportive of one another but be mindful of what you consume, listen to your body when it signals you that maybe I can’t engage in this right now or I’m unable to process this information. For those that tend to vent to others, ask that person if they are in the mental or emotional space to listen. This is reinforcing your boundaries. In the end, protect your peace by any means necessary.