Empathy + Boundaries = SuperPower!
A little bit o’ Biz Wiz…
EMPATHY + BOUNDARIES = SUPERPOWER
It’s imperative as facilitators, coaches, and soulful service providers that we tend to our empathic health with boundaries that allow for compassion and understanding without depleting our own resources.
When you learn to utilize empathy with strong boundaries you will actually be able to do more with less energy!
If you are a soulful service provider, chances are you have great empathy for the feelings and the plight of others. Which can be a blessing and a curse.
The blessing of empathy is that it gives us the power to help our clients feel seen, listened to, and understood. I think of empathy as my energetic ‘scout’ that can check out the feelings or intentions of another person before they even speak, or read the energy of a room before I begin a presentation.
The curse for highly empathic people is to literally feel someone else’s painful emotions, and even other’s physical pain. This phenomenon can become socially crippling for some who feel bombarded by the chaotic and often traumatic feelings and emotions flying around in social settings and public places.
The good news is that empathy is a skill that can be fine-tuned and utilized for the highest good for yourself and well as others. Most everyone was born with some degree of empathy. Unfortunately, until recently, our society has not rewarded empathy as the powerful communication tool that it is.
Most of us were taught not to trust or pay attention to the intuitive messages your empathy picked up on as a child.
You might have been told your ‘feelings’ weren’t valid or accurate or that you were being ‘too sensitive’. As children, this is very confusing. Children don’t have the ability yet to discern the truth and will usually comply with the authority of the adults in their lives. Now what the child ‘feels’ is true versus what they are told is true doesn’t match. This incongruence causes internal conflict and anxiety for a child who is learning to navigate their own safety and place in the world.
Fast-forward to adulthood. In order to thrive in a fast-paced world of misinformation, you’ve either had to turn down the dial on empathy (if you can) or you’ve had to reduce the amount of time you spend in the ‘real world’ because the energy of so many others is not congruent. Meaning, what they think, how they feel, and what they do are not in alignment.
Horses are masters at detecting incongruent energy because they haven’t been intellectually programmed to believe their intuitive empathy is invalid. They implicitly trust the energy they ‘read’ as truth, because it is the truth!
In the presence of a horse, if your thoughts, feelings, and actions are not in alignment, then to the horse you are a physical representation of a ‘lie’. Liars are not trustworthy leaders. Under those incongruent conditions, a horse will not voluntarily choose you as their leader.
You also experience incongruent energy from others in your life, it’s unavoidable. Incongruent, chaotic energy can literally leave you feeling exhausted and confused.
Enter Boundaries to the rescue!
Many heart-centered practitioners are unaware of their own mushy boundaries because they care so deeply for the well-being of others. Another symptom of mushy boundaries is wanting to be liked and accepted by your tribe. Saying YES to everyone but your own needs is a sign of mushy boundaries. Unfortunately, the intention of helping others or being seen as valuable to the ‘tribe’ often turns into resentment, exhaustion, and even passive-aggressive behavior or chronic complaining.
Having clear, well-defined boundaries does not mean you say NO to everything. It means you honestly discern whether a YES is in your best interest or not. And a YES may be negotiable based on more ideal conditions for you!
Most people will not consciously take advantage of your generous heart and accommodating nature. But if you leave the door open 24/7 they will walk right in and take as much energy as you have to give!
Your boundaries provide a sacred container for your vital energy to thrive. You will actually be of greater service to others because of it and you’ll require less recovery time from social interactions and gatherings.
Connection to others is critical for our collective healing and spiritual evolution. As the energy of our society continues to amplify and connect in a multitude of directions it’s more important than ever to know how to anchor your peace within your own sacred container. Because here’s the thing… as we evolve as a species, we are actually expanding our empathy and ability to ‘read energy’ in all sentient life. Incorporating healthy boundaries provides ‘superpower’ energy to your necessary and important empathic skills. It’s up to you to determine whether your gift is a blessing or a curse.
Thank You for your contributions to this work and thank you for reading.
To Your Horse & Soul Success,
My mission is to empower and educate equine inspired practitioners in the art of profitable program design and marketing. My dream-come-true is to see equine-assisted personal and professional development be recognized and celebrated for the unique transformational modality that it is, and to become as popular as yoga and Starbucks!