The Empathy Of Nothing

“I am nothing.  I am nobody.  I am garbage.  I am a waste of space.  The air that I breath is wasted and would be better spent on someone more worthy than I.  My very existence has no purpose….no meaning…other than to be a burden upon others.”

It’s comments like these that repel people.  It smacks of low self esteem and low self worth, doesn’t it?  These are the words, often whispered in the voices of those who have cut us down verbally before, that repeat, almost like a mantra, in our heads in order to hold us back.

The ironic thing about this is upon hearing these comments, whether from someone else’s lips or from our own brains, our survival skills kick in.  A kind of flight or fight response ensues, in which we deny it emphatically and jump to our own defense.  And in so doing, we seek to convince ourselves of it’s untruth, much more than others, because the simple accusation laid to bear is enough to crack the safe box of reality we wrap ourselves in, where we deny any flaws or issues we might have.  It hides the question that no one, not even those considered to have high self esteem, wishes to face.  What if those whispers are right?

So instead of answering that question, in the here and now, people can (and often do) spend lifetimes searching for what they feel is missing in their lives and never find it.  Often, in that endless search, they will find ‘things’ to fill the hole they feel dwells within themselves.  This, to some extent, is where addictive behaviors come from.  Addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, and so many others are but a few of the more extreme versions of addictive behaviors used as a salve upon the wound no one seems to be able to heal totally.

Divine Purpose

Another extreme, though, begs to be looked at because it has direct bearing on Empaths.  It begins when people start to search for their purpose through a title like Empath.  The term Empath, instead of meaning simply someone who is hypersensitive to the emotions and emotional states of those around them, has begun to take on much more supernatural/spiritual connotations, particularly where one’s purpose is concerned.

I’ve read many different ideas about this particular extreme.  One site wrote that Empaths are the meek who shall inherit the Earth, as the bible stated.  Another person said that Empaths have a divine purpose to lead the human race into a new era of spirituality and peace.  Another said that Empaths are the next evolutionary stage of the human race.  And still others were known to equate Empaths with lightworkers, who according to the new age movement, are supposed to be people oriented with the ‘light’ who are saviors, of a sort, who help others….healers, if you will.

 Empaths are the meek, the healers, the spiritual leaders, saviors, and/or evolutionary stages.  On one hand, these notions can lift someone up extremely high, giving them a sense of purpose and a drive to do outreach. It can inspire great works of altruism in people who might otherwise never have realized what they are capable of doing.  And these, in every sense of the word, are absolutely beautiful things.

But at the same time, think about the ideal that is being set on the shoulders of these people.  They have a divine purpose to be spiritual leaders to usher in a new age of man.  This has the power to separate people, who are already suffering from social anxiety issues,  from the whole of society, thus robbing them of their support system of friends and family.  It has the power to drive people away from their current lives and realities, while leaning them toward the preferred ideas that they are spiritual adepts with great purpose.  They are special and unique, not part of the ‘normal’ human race.  This ideal gives supposed understanding into what has always made them feel so different and apart from society as a whole.

But these answers do not address a person’s real issues.  They do not allow for real growth, spiritual or otherwise, because once you imagine yourself at the top of the mountain, standing at it’s peak looking down at others still climbing, where is there to go?  Where is there to go when you stand at the pinnacle and the precipice?

When one stand at that point, or imagine one stands at it, the hopelessness can return.  So one turns to altruism, burying themselves in helping others.  And in so doing, one can run the risk of losing themselves even more than they already have, because this is what makes you, as a person, worthwhile.  This and this alone.  And your worth is only proven by the next person you are able to help.

Imagine the crash and burn someone can potentially suffer if they discover themselves burned out and broken from giving so much of themselves, in order to prove their own worth, that there is nothing left but a hallow husk.

And all of this, because one is afraid to face one simple question: “What if those whispers are right?”

The Dyadic Facets Of Nothingness

“I am nothing.  I am nobody.  I am garbage.  I am a waste of space.  The air that I breath is wasted and would be better spent on someone more worthy than I.  My very existence has no purpose….no meaning…other than to be a burden upon others.”

It’s still just as harsh to read now, as it was at the beginning of this blog.  It makes you cringe inside just a little bit, because it niggles at the question in your mind, based on your doubts and your fears.

There is no set equation for self esteem or the building of it.  There is no right way or wrong way, to my knowledge.  Nor am I writing these to offer you a step by step plan toward that end.  What I can offer each of you instead, through this blog, is a shift in perception that can potentially help you stop the flight or fight response that is aroused every time you contemplate being nothing.

Instead of fighting to prove your worth when you hear derogatory comments like those above, be it from yourself or others, try accepting it.  And then try imagining that those comments are but one side of a coin in which you are nothing and equally all things.  See that if your life has no purpose, then it has the greatest purpose you can imagine.  And that if nothing matters in this lifetime, then even the smallest of gestures matters in untold numbers of way.

It is extremely humbling to accept the idea of being ‘nothing’.  It is painful and goes against everything we have learned since the cradle.  It smacks of giving up and accepting yourself as a failure.  And it can drive a person into a great depression, a dark night of the soul, where in you doubt and question all of your long held ideas, feelings and beliefs.  And it can be the beginning of a long journey and potentially one of great healing for yourself, where, along the way you discover that the hole inside yourself was always…..just an illusion.

And here is the interesting part of all of this, it all starts with one small shift in perception.  It all starts with saying to yourself, the one thing you would never rationally say, “I am nothing.”.  Through that darkness we call nothing lays a portal waiting to take you where you need to go in order to heal.  It’s all up to you, though, when and if you are ready to face the unknown within yourself and for the first time in your life, get to know the real you…good, bad, and hairy alike.  Think about it.

Namaste

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~ by Misuchi Sakurai on October 21, 2011.

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