As I have moved through this journey from mere survival to recapturing a joyful, energetic life, I am aware of how diligent I have to be in protecting my emotional space. I need all of my resources to help me heal and move forward. I have learned how to move away from negative personalities and heavy energy. I am working on tuning in to what really moves me and put more time into those things. I've pretty much eliminated the word "should" from my vocabulary and I say "no" with ease. I fill the pages of my Art journal with colors and images that I love and light up my heart. I leave promptly after work and go to my favorite park and watch the squirrels and draw in my sketch book. I have scanned the people in my life to see who was sucking my energy and who was nurturing me. Healing after traumatic loss takes to much of everything I've got to allow any darkness to overshadow my light.
Even with all of this work, I was not prepared for a co-worker losing her son in a tragic death. I felt myself freezing, being pulled into the darkness. I knew I couldn't go there, but how could I not? How could I keep the light I had found in the face of such heavy, sadness? I knew I had to be proactive with myself. I started reading more about energetic boundaries and how we absorb the energy of others without being aware of it. I could not afford to absorb this grief. But did that mean I didn't care? Maybe I could actually care more if I wasn't holding her pain and becoming responsible to save her. I began to create images of handing back this grief and tragedy to my co-worker. I released myself from saving her, even though I was the one who had been through a common experience. I let other people take the meals and send the cards. I spent two hours with her sharing my experience and supporting her. Then I gave it back to her, and turned back to my own journey. It wasn't really an action I took, but more of a mind shift. Staying where I knew I needed to be gave me more life and energy, which, in turn, helped me to be more compassionate.