A lot of people look at me and see a stay-at-home mama with two beautiful, healthy babies, a home, a hubby, and, yes, flawless white skin. What they don’t see is the burden of the oppressed and marginalized African American experience that has been energetically passed onto me. But I bear that weight on my pasty shoulders. Fore it is the curse of being an empath: racism actually affects me more.
When you’re an empath, you take on other people’s pain like it’s your own. Whether you know them or not, their energy becomes your energy. Just yesterday I got into a conversation with a person of color at the coffee shop about the rising cost of rent in their neighborhood. Before I knew it, they were having to comfort me because I was in tears about the structural inequity of urban housing. It wasn’t my experience, but it did become my pain.
As you can imagine, the key to keeping my sanity has been learning to develop healthy boundaries. Even though they don’t mean to, many people of color don’t realize the discomfort they’re putting me through when they share stories like being passed over for jobs they were more qualified to get. It’s not their fault, but unloading all that hurt onto me drains me of my positive life force. Unless you’re an empath, you can’t know how this feels.
Some people have accused me of having “white privilege”. I wish that were true. It really would be a privilege not to constantly feel the anguish of inequality wreaking havoc on my aura. But like people of color, as an empath I was born into experiencing injustice. Only, for me, it’s worse. Sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. And my hubby wonders why I can’t do the laundry. LOL!
My advice to white empaths afflicted with generational racism is to speak out. Let people of color know that, on an energetic level, you understand how it feels to be subjected to racism. Maybe even more than they do. I’ve found that once they know what you’re struggling with, they’re actually shocked silent and will quickly leave to give your energy the space it needs to recover.