Observe But Don’t Absorb

Observe But Don’t Absorb

“I wonder how much of what weighs me down is not mine to carry”

I used to be very confused about who I was and suffered with a very distorted and incorrect self-image. When I began to self-heal and unearth the truth of who I was at the soul level, I realized that I had been projecting to the world a set of beliefs, paradigms, and perspectives that weren’t mine. I had been absorbing from birth both the world and personal views of those around me.

Additionally, as an empath, not only was I able to read people’s energies and emotions, I absorbed them. What they felt became my feelings. The way they saw themselves, was the way I saw myself. What they believed, I believed. Their limitations became my limitations. Their fears became my fears. Their measure of success was my measure of success. Their pain became my pain and I could only feel happiness to the extent they felt happy. Subsequently, I shrunk to make others comfortable.

I was not my own woman; I was a perpetual melting pot of those around me. It’s no wonder I couldn’t distinguish between illusion and reality. It’s no wonder I struggled with low self-esteem and felt eternally conflicted about who I was.

When I began to self-heal physically and energetically and resolve my past trauma, I began to unburden myself of the baggage of others. I understood that the way I saw myself; from my physical appearance to my capabilities were projections of how others saw me and ultimately how they saw themselves. The ugly, nappy-headed, fat-faced girl I saw in the mirror was an illusion. The woman who needed to calm down and not be so vocal with her black radicalism wasn’t real. The woman who was brutally soft and beautifully vulnerable didn’t need to change.

The woman I was had been created by people who battled with themselves vicariously through me. The beauty they refused to see in me was the beauty they couldn’t see in themselves. The ugly they saw in me, was the ugly reflected back to them from their own mirror. The fears they had of truly being themselves needed a scapegoat, so they dumped their fear onto me while convincing me that it was my own. This would ensure my courage didn’t highlight their cowardice. Because they didn’t believe they could do or be anything other than what they currently were, they wanted me to believe that I would be no more than what I was.

I had to learn to distinguish what was mine and what wasn’t. I had to go through each self-perception, each belief, and each paradigm and ask myself, “Is this mine?”. If it wasn’t mine, I discarded it and returned it to its sender. I had to learn to stand up for myself and say, “that is not mine. I will not share your pain, low self-esteem, trauma, and fears with you. Unpacking your bullshit is not a group project”. I will only carry my own load. I will only unpack the baggage that is mine. The more I saw the truth of who I was, the more I saw the truth of who others were and I began to establish boundaries.

I learned to observe without absorbing. I observe, I see, I acknowledge, but it ends there. I do not absorb, engage, or integrate the emotions, perceptions and beliefs of others that negatively impact the way I see myself or life. This is self-preservation and self-care at its best. I protect who I am from others, while keeping an open heart and being compassionate. I allow people to be who they are without it taking from who I am. Observe, but don’t absorb. I am learning to be my own woman. I am learning to establish healthy boundaries. I am committed to only carrying my own burdens while remaining empathetic toward others. My constant reminder is, “observe but don’t absorb”


Kathleen Nicole

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