Step 1. Don’t. Ever.
Step 2. F**k anyone who tells you that you need to.
As empaths, we are told all the time to toughen up.
In Australia, we even have a saying for it:
“Eat a can of cement and toughen the f**k up.”
After hearing that more times than I can count, I made a pact with myself.
I would never toughen up.
I knew, no matter how much the overculture told me otherwise, that my ability to feel deeply existed for a reason and I wasn’t going to stifle it.
The idea that we need to toughen up is dangerous. It’s dangerous because it forces us to develop a twisted relationship to our emotional body.
To toughen up, we have deny our truth.
To toughen up, we have to deny that life truly hurts.
To toughen up, we have to pretend to be something we’re not.
And when we stop listening to, or start trying to change the truth of how we feel, bad things happen.
We think our feelings are wrong and stop trusting ourselves.
Our feelings start to explode like fire hydrants in other unhealthy ways.
We become overly needy or defensively independent.
We start to question why we are this way, or think there’s something wrong with us.
Having feelings is how we know we are alive and living a full and meaningful life.
But sometimes, there’s a need for us to grow our capacity to hold the trials and tribulations of life. This is not toughening up, this is expanding ourselves.
It’s not trying to wrap our emotional body into a present with a neat little bow.
It’s feeling all our feelings, AND MORE.