It hurts to hurt.

I’m an empath. A sponge. I’m the kind of person who absorbs the energy of those around me — good and bad — happiness, pain, anger… Everything.

I can feel negativity because of this. I can sense when things are off. I can recognize right away when tension exists and when there are escalated emotions when there should be, and normally would be, calm.

"Recently, I've noticed negative energy around me a lot. I think I'm not only sensing it and feeling it, but I think I'm the cause. This realization hurts."
Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of negative energy around me. I think I’m not only sensing it and feeling it, but I think I’m the cause.
This realization hurts.

Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of this around me. I think I’m not only sensing it and feeling it, but I think I’m the cause. This realization hurts.

I try my best to inspire others to do great things, to push themselves when they can, to relax and rewind when they must, and to love and accept each and every blessing. This world is much too short to sit on the sidelines and watch great things happen to others, so I’ve taken big leaps toward making my dreams come true and it’s my honest intention to encourage others to do the same.

Sometimes, though, people don’t want to hear encouragement. Sometimes people are resentful when good things happen to others. Sometimes people are bitter and brash and downright berating instead of being kind and excited and genuinely happy for the little victories in the lives of those around them.

I’ve felt this nastiness recently, and it’s consumed much of my thoughts. I’ve tried to convince myself I’m imagining it — if someone had a problem with me and my actions, they’d tell me, right? I’ve tried to let it roll off — more slicker, less sponge. I’ve tried to accept it, to force myself to swallow and suppress the pain and unease rising in my chest and throat when I enter a room filled with obvious animosity. But, the empath inside won’t let me do this. The empath inside will continue to feel the negative energy until it’s gone.

In this morning’s yoga class, the Universe lifted this burden from my shoulders — it provided a solution my soul so desperately needed.

Our yoga teacher read Chapter 30 from The Tao Te Ching. The words helped me realize that I can only do my very best, each day, and that I cannot dwell on the outcome, whatever it may be. I can only live honestly, with integrity and good intention, and that the reaction from others to my life cannot be my concern.

I am happy with who I am. I am grateful for the good and bad in my life, for the tiny miracles and the big bummers alike. I am proud of the person I am and the person I’m becoming. I refuse to let someone’s anger or sour response bring me down and cause me guilt and shame or make me feel undeserving of grace and goodness. I’m worthy of life’s blessings, as are they, and my hope is that they’ll realize this as well. My hope is that they’ll work just as hard to live a good life, and that they’ll reap its beautiful blessings, just as I have.

My hope is that my hurting heart will heal and that I’ll always remember the lines from the Tao Te Ching, and that I’ll continue to believe in myself, to be content with myself, and to accept myself, just as I am.

And that one day, sooner than later, they will, too.

The Master does his job and then stops. He understands that the universe is forever out of control, and that trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao. Because he believes in himself, he doesn’t try to convince others. Because he is content with himself, he doesn’t need others’ approval. Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him.     — From Stephen Mitchell’s translation of The Tao Te Ching
The Master does his job and then stops.
He understands that the universe is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he believes in himself, he doesn’t try to convince others.
Because he is content with himself, he doesn’t need others’ approval.
Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him.
— From Stephen Mitchell’s translation of The Tao Te Ching

My intentions for 2013

Closing of a year… Opening to a better life.

This past year was full of confliction. About half the year was spent worrying about what the hell I was going to do next (or trying to forget about the inner urge to figure it out), then about a third fretting about and gearing up for the final third which would require action and change (which scared the shit out of me), and then the final third was spent cleansing my life and laying some groundwork for some longterm lifestyle alterations.

It was a good year, but it’s been a year which could have been lived better.

So what about 2013? What do I want to happen in this year? What is my intention?

I’ve spent several months asking the question, “What is it I’m meant to do in my life?,” and then in the most recent couple of weeks, I’ve started asking, “What is my gift that I can offer the world?” and have been hoping that this kind of phrasing may lead to a more direct answer.

So far I have many ideas, but not so many decisions.

However, during a recent energy surge session a few nights ago (it was my turn as the Fairy again), I felt I received some answers.

Instead of worrying about the greater plan for my life and struggling with whether or not I’m on course, I need to focus on doing the things that bring me happiness and that I know are positive, sustainable, and energy-sharing. Things that I enjoy, but that are also geared toward the greater good.

So what does that mean? Well, for starters, working on this permaculture farm is definitely something I “should” be doing. And, taking care of people and animals, creating gardens and tending to nature, designing and writing for myself, for those I care abou,t and for causes I believe in are positive and make me happy. Lending my ear for others who need someone to hear them out, creating understanding and facilitating compromise, cooking, making things more beautiful, participating in communities and music and literature… so many things! There are so many things I genuinely LOVE to do that are GOOD for this planet and the creatures that inhabit it! I can do these things, and I will be happy. That’s it!

Just do what makes you happy, and you’ll be full!

So, no more fretting. No more confliction. No more self-doubt and insecurity about whether or not I’m fulfilling the greater purpose for my life. My life’s natural flow, lived happily and with intention, IS the greater purpose.

My best friend wrote me a special, secret letter in a journal she purchased for me just before I left the states. She said, “I want you to remember that the purpose IS the journey — not the result.”

The purpose is the journey.

Words of wisdom, right there. (Thanks again for that, Annie! I love you.)

The process of traveling through life wherever my heart leads me IS my purpose. I’ll have experiences and encounter people along that path that will help me make this world a more positive place. To achieve my purpose, all I need to do is live in the now and trust that my gut will lead me exactly to where I’m supposed to be. Everything meant to happen is happening and will continue to happen and long as I trust my heart to lead the way, and to respect and honor the ebb and flow of life. There will be ups and downs. There will be moments of greater confidence and lesser confidence, but no matter what, I need to listen to my heart and make time for reflection and honesty within myself. If I do this I’ll always know when to stay, when to go, and where to walk.

This may not align nicely with the way I’ve always anticipated living — at some point, I’ve always thought I’ll “settle down,” and maybe I still will, but when asked, “So what are you going to do in the long run?,” the answer may not be as cut and dry as I’ve thought it would eventually become. Instead, the answer may be more like “I’m going to keep on traveling through life with a hand on my heart and an eye on the road, and we shall see.” This will be met with some criticism and people may think I’m non-commitable or flaky, but really, it takes all types in this world, and there need to be people who are flexible and open to flow with the changes and go where they are needed. I can be one of those people. There’s no reason not to be if I feel like that’s my role.

So, for 2013 and beyond, my intention is to live in the present, to trust myself and to honor and take action on the callings from within, and to fully live with myself as the only one able to place expecations or criticisms on me and my choices.

We’re given one life to live, people, and it’s up to US to live it, each and every day, exactly how we want. And as long as we’re living with intention and conscious effort, we’ll be doing great things for ourselves, for those we love, and for the greater good of this planet and all beings on it.

Bring it on, 2013. I’m ready 🙂

Happy New Year!