How Empathy Saved Me

When you are blinded by mental illness- especially BPD like I have been for a decade- it’s is hard to see the world in hints of grey. You truly immerse yourself in the black and white thinking: someone is either your best friend or your worst enemy. It sounds stupid, but one day I woke up and discovered empathy- to the point where I would consider myself an empath. I was so blinded by my own heightened emotions that I soon adapted the emotions of others. This talent (as well as a burden) has allowed me to connect better with people and to see the world for what truly is. Not everyone can be placed as good or evil. Following the version of Jesus- who ever remains kind and empathetic- I stopped judging people for what I saw on the outside and started to see them for what they were- a person with their own suffering and thinking. It has allowed me to put myself in other peoples shoes- they are just as nervous as I am- and has allowed me to understand people better and with that it has helped healed myself. I previously viewed people as saints, and then as soon as they upset me I cast them off like broken pieces of drift wood- but then I placed myself in their story and found myself more able to forgive- just as I myself asked for forgiveness when I made a mistake. People I saw previously as horrible, I just saw as just loud and trying to make up for an insecurity they had. Whenever I had a problem with an authority figure I thought of them as a person and it worked on my favour quite nicely (as well as theirs). This skill has allowed me to forgive myself – I am allowed to have a bad day- I messed up but it’s OK. Trying being a little kinder to yourself and others; but at the same time don’t be pushed into a corner.

Empathy and understanding starts at home.

Amy Belle

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