Throughout my life, I have been known as a sensitive person. I am sensitive to just about everything, including other people’s feelings and experiences. I’m not the only one who’s like this obviously. However, we must be able to gauge our sensitivities and know where to strike a balance. Sometimes people have such a high amount of sensitivity towards people’s experiences that it’s hard to encourage them to take personal responsibility. In this case, I am specifically talking about sensitive people who work in the healing profession and work with clients in need of spiritual support.
Encouraging people to take personal responsibility does not mean that we do not understand or empathize. This distinction must be made. There are indeed people out there who want people to take personal responsibility but show no regard to their humanity and the pain they may have endured in their lives. But this is just as ineffective as not holding people accountable at all. This perspective may come from how we have dealt with our own painful experiences. It is possible that if we ourselves are apprehensive about recognizing the power we have to reclaim our own authority, that we may not see the benefit in encouraging other people to do so either. If that’s the case, we must ask ourselves, where are we externalizing our own power? Because the truth is, we can’t fix everything in the external world, nor can we change the past. But we do have the ability to determine how we will navigate through life from here on out. Encouraging people to remember this is not cold or callous, it is empowering. As long as we are using discernment, perceiving the situation at hand and not shoving this belief down people’s throats, there’s no harm in it. The same goes for people who believe that regardless of what you’ve gone through, you need to “just deal with it or get over it” without any flexibility, help or support from others. If you feel this way about people, ask yourself, at what point in your life did you experience something traumatic but felt as though no one was there to help you? At what point did people refuse to see that you are a human being with emotions, NOT a machine?
We tend to be very extreme, lacking nuance and a balanced perspective. But this is what’s needed right now. Encouraging people to remember the power they have to take their life back can be done in a way that supports their humanity. And being compassionate towards people’s life experiences can be done without enabling unhealthy behavior.