We all pretty much know what Empathy is, right? We've all read the descriptions (usually more than one) that give off a list of traits we compare ourselves to, in order to determine if we are an Empath or not.
And most of us, if not all, have learned, through their sense and feel of other peoples emotions, to shift, mimic and/or reflect not just others emotions, but personality traits as well. Most normal people would call this chameleon type behavior a way of fitting in, a form of manipulation, or an out and out lie. And the result of this misunderstanding is that what they fail to comprehend and/or understand hurts you, pushing you further away from those who judge.
But once you step beyond the censorship of society and the unfounded judgments of others, you come to the heart of what is going on. This is where we ask ourselves the hard hitting questions.
'Am I so superficial that I can not connect with anyone without wearing a mask?'
'Am I that 'see through' to other people?'
'Is my reaching out to others merely a subconscious cry for what I lack in my own life?"
'Am I really doing any good with my gift?'
'Am I really an Empath? Or am I ___________(insert crazy, weird, freak or any other term you wish here)?'
All of these things begin to whisper and reverberate through your mind. And with a seed of doubt planted, your insecurities, fears, and embarrassment grow. This occurs while all of your innate abilities are suppressed in an effort to conform. How long did your last attempt to conform last?
The truth here is subjective, just as empathy on a whole is. We do what we do for a multitude of reasons. One of these reasons is because we truly do care and wish to help others. Another is that it is an avenue of escape from focusing on yourself and your own problems and emotions.
But in all of this complicated mess, there is an important question that is almost always overlooked. Is the mask that you wear when you are helping others a part of you, a facet of the totality which is you? Or is it a lie, something made up to appease the other person and subtly manipulate them at the same time?
Are you an Empathic Shapeshifter, who can shift their personality from one facet to another at your leisure, in order to help others cope and deal with their problems? Or again, is it a lie?
Is this situation perceived only in black and white, or is there a gray middle ground where compromise can be found facilitating balance?
Of course I can not answer these things for you, even though a part of you wishes i would offer easy answers. But if I did offer an answer, would it be right for everyone or just some people? And how much value will you truly place on an answer that is handed to you, instead of you finding it yourself? So, as always, this is offered up as food for thought. ^_^