I have this theory about processing feelings. Making a complex manoeuvre around life a bit less tangled. Theory based on filtering feelings.
Filtering feelings is something I learnt very recently, after being overwhelmed with feeling everything all time. There was a sense of fatigue and burning out.
Not that being empathetic is bad or one should totally be opaque but there needs to be a balance in life in the way we react and process people, events and decisions.
I have grown up with empaths all around me, my grandmother, my mother, some close friends and we do become like our tribe rather the qualities rub off on each other.
I was always in awe of my grandmother being the selfless counselor and friend for one and all, every summer I spent at her home gave me an insight into kindness and generosity. But in hindsight I wonder if she was kind and compassionate to herself too, or that did she have a source of strength in others.
In complete contrast I grew up watching a plethora of series and reading books on how to secure your emotional availablity and be less of an open empath. The idea was to feel free while feeling for someone else. That really appealed to me.
But as aspirational as I was to be a free empath , I infact became a lot like my grandmother. Always being there for people, always taking words to heart, always draining myself in situations I had no power over. This led me to discover the magic of filtering my feelings. That not every person had access to my emotions, not every person could affect me, that I didn’t have to save the world and most importantly that I didn’t have to feel for every situation.
It came with lot of practice but eventually I understood the mechanism and it has been liberating to feel only as much as I can handle,rest is just noise filtered out.
Filtering feelings doesn’t mean that I am not available for a person should they need me, it helps me to respond in a manner that doesn’t deplete me off my own strength.
There will always be people who are more important to us than others and it is essential to keep our strength to give to them , else if we deplete ourselves for everyone and everything then we keep our cup empty.
An empty cup can not be of use to anyone, especially ourselves.
Aim is to feel free while feeling even the most heaviest of emotions.
Roopa Swaminathan. I write real and fictitious stories about life, issues, love, loss, g…