I Wanna See You Be Brave

“Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”
— Sara Bareilles

I used to believe I had to make EVERYONE happy.  I was not allowed to make ANY mistakes, and if I made one, the world deserved an explanation of what led me there and a promise to be better.  I even apologized for other people’s mistakes and misdeeds.

I had to judge myself by everyone else’s standards and when I couldn’t meet all of them, I judged myself to be a malfunctioning human being.

If someone was angry at me, it meant there was something wrong with me.  If someone close to me was unhappy, I almost always blamed myself.  If I said something people didn’t like or didn’t want to hear, I regretted it and was ashamed.  How could I say something that people wouldn’t like?  Shame on me for not making everyone happy all of the time.  I needed to do better.

There were people along the way who perpetuated my unforgiving self view and fed their egos on the collapse of my own.  Anyone who says words don’t hurt is foolish.  Words can be the worst form of abuse.  Psychological abuse cuts you up from the inside — particularly if you are prone to empathy.

Empathy has always been my strength and crippling weakness.  Even my anger turns to empathy.  I have empathy for people who’ve carried out some of the worst things I’ve ever experienced.

I was 26 years-old before I began to break this cycle and listen to my own feelings.  You can only make everyone else happy for so long.

Now I’m saying what I want to say.  And if someone doesn’t like it, that’s okay.  And if someone doesn’t like ME… that’s okay, too.  I am not solely responsible for the happiness of others; the people who fed on putting me down have been extricated from my life.

While I still care greatly about other people’s feelings, and try not to hurt anyone, I no longer cater to those feelings at the cost of my own.   I won’t sacrifice myself on the alter of endless empathy.

There’s a name and a disorder for everything these days, but I haven’t yet heard of a classification for having too much empathy.  Maybe this disorder is next for the American Psychological Association 😉

A sign of maturity is to put another before yourself —  however difficult it may be.  More daunting a task, is to find a balance so that you are not putting another before yourself at the PRICE OF SELF.  For a compassionate person, standing up for other people is often easier than standing up for yourself.

I love this song…

“I wanna see you be brave” 😉

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