It’s really hard to be a mom who’s an empath, especially when you’re just learning to flex your empath muscles and have a hard time turning off the big feelings before they affect you.
It’s extra hard when parenting topics go viral in the media — topics that literally make my stomach turn — and I find myself smacking my dashboard until the car radio shuts off, or hiding stories on Facebook, because I cannot stomach the conversation around said topics.
The latest challenge I’ve had to deal with is Kelly Clarkson, one of my favorite singers, defending her choice to spank her children.
Now, let’s get this straight: I’m not judging (though I do judge people, just like everyone else on the planet). I’m not mom-shaming. But I struggle to turn off the part of my soul that tunes into the feelings of kids being smacked around by their loved ones. I struggle to entertain the idea that it’s OK to physically hurt anyone to assert dominance. It’s senseless. It makes me sad. I’m not up on my high horse, saying I’m right and someone else is wrong — I’m trying not to cry when it’s brought up, and honestly I just don’t want to talk about it because it puts so much pain in my heart.
I remember so much emotional hurt from my childhood, and how I absorbed the energy from the actions of others. Maybe some kids could waltz through life after routinely being hit by their parents, but if that would’ve happened to me, I promise you I’d be damaged today. And my parents wouldn’t have had a way to control if it affected me into adulthood or not. That’s out of their control. My parents didn’t know I was a medium, but I know at least two of my children are, so I parent in a sensitive, gentle way. Discipline in our family should be mindful and meaningful, because they’re likely to have long-lasting negativity from anger and punishment. (Read about the difference between discipline and punishment here.)
Despite being as sensitive as the day is long, I’m not weak. I’m easier to upset than most people, but that doesn’t mean I’m not strong. My face just leaks sometimes. With time, I think I’ll develop the skills to dial back on how much I’m affected by this and other topics. I long for a day when I don’t have to cover my ears and yell LA LA LA LA until I can find the remote control when something emotionally taxing comes on. But… today’s not that day. Tomorrow probably won’t be, either.