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Suck it up buttercup!

“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate.”~Anthon St. Maarten

This quote encouraged my heart because I am one of those people. I'm one of those people who have as their number one strength, empathy. Yes, empathy. Clifton Strength finders define the empathy strength as one who "can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective."

I used to perceive my empathy strength as a weakness (sometimes others still do), but now I embrace who I was created to be, because this strength allows me to do other things naturally that other cannot do, especially combined with my other top strengths.

I have the ability to pick up on subtleties that others might miss when I walk into a room; I can see things that others miss. This empowers me to help others who might not feel safe sharing with someone else. It also allows me to see unhealthy things that others may not see.

There are a few things I've learned about how I need to guard my heart in certain situations. I often need to remind myself that I cannot fix or take on everyone else's pain because this robs them from growing through the pain when I do. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to throw their baggage on my shoulders, but I've learned that in order for me to care for myself, I sometimes need to set boundaries with others.

Another lesson I've learned is that, God created me this way and others may not like it, but guess what? What other people think about me is none of my business! If other people do not value the gift of empathy, then they are missing out on having a deep and meaningful relationship with someone who could be a catalyst in changing a mundane life to a meaningful life.

What are some lessons you have learned about one of your strengths?

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Doreen Steenland 
101 Brighton Ave.
Spring Lake NJ 07762



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