Since I can remember, I’ve always had the propensity to feel the emotions of those I’m around. It was almost like a sixth sense that I couldn’t explain until I started to understand what Empathy was.

Placing yourself in someone else’s shoes, at it’s core, this is what empathy is; trying to feel and understand the emotions that another may be feeling. I’ve always been able to get along well with others because I was empathetic, I could understand their feelings and I could act accordingly to those feelings however as I’ve grown and experienced things, I had an idea that maybe there is much more depth to empathy than I originally understood and just understanding someone’s feelings in relation to my own was just the surface.

I’ve learned that it is impossible to understand the complete inner workings of someone else. To do that you would have to know every experience, every thought, every emotion that someone has gone through and that is just impossible, however we can show our understanding of others in a different more generic way. I like to call this: Awakening.

I describe awakening as this: We all live in our own worlds, that is, we all have our own unique collection of experiences, ideas, thoughts, relationships, behaviours and emotions that make up who we are. We mostly see things from our own worlds which we can understand for the most part. When we awaken, we realize that everyone else has their own worlds that they see and experience from and by understanding that, we can try to empathize with the world from which a person experiences their life from.

An example is perhaps someone said something hurtful to someone else and caused them social withdrawal. Basic empathy helps us to relate in that we understand how it would feel if those hurtful things were said to us but by realizing that this happened in another person’s world and not ours, we can see much more. Perhaps this isn’t the first time something hurtful like this was said and they’ve been traumatized because it’s been said their entire life or perhaps this is the first time they’ve ever been put down and they don’t know how to respond. We don’t have a way of telling exactly why or how a person feels the way they do but by trying to understand that they have their own world of experiences that they draw emotion from, we can be more sensitive in our own responses and become more understanding of those emotions.

Our worlds are all constantly interacting and learning to empathize and see perspective from not only the surface feelings, but understanding that there is an ocean of depth to why other’s experience emotion is what I believe the key to awakening is.

I’ve always been empathetic, but now for me, empathy is no longer about placing myself in another person’s shoes and understanding their feelings. I try to put myself in another person’s world and understand that a lot might have happened for someone to reach the emotion that they are at and that anything I say and do might have an effect on that world.



I’m someone who has always had a utilitarian type point of view, I do what’s best for the greater good of the group. I remember in a biology class in high school, our teacher used an example of if the entire class was deserted on an island and we only had one raft that could fit everyone except one person, we would probably end up with a raft with a hole in it because we would be unable to determine who to leave behind and end up sabotaging everyone. I put my hand up and told him that I would stay behind because it would cause the most survival and no one else would probably want to stay and sacrifice themselves. My teacher didn’t believe me at first but I was quite serious, I would bite that bullet in order to cause the most good with the least amount of pain. He told me I was being altruistic and that in the event of that actually happening I would probably not do it, and who knows? Luckily I haven’t been placed in that situation yet but I feel like I would stand by my decision.

I remember another time, I was about 12 years old, when my siblings and I were in trouble. Our mother’s favorite vase had been destroyed by someone and she was not letting us go until whoever did it fessed up. There was silence for a short time, as it appeared none of us were going to own up to the destruction and so I took a bullet for the team. I told her I did it (Even though I did not) and my punishment was a spanking with the wooden spoon. Funnily enough, my mom ended up missing my butt and hitting her hand on the counter, spraining her finger. That was actually the last time she tried to spank us, but this was another case of my altruistic tendencies.

Even when I was living with my first girlfriend, I remember coming home from the store at night and the door was slightly ajar and she panicked thinking that someone had broken in, again without hesitation, I was in the door, unarmed and searching for the intruder making sure the area was safe. Luckily nothing had happened and we believe we just hadn’t closed the door properly before we left, but that willingness to put myself in harms way came as second nature.

It’s not that I wish to die, that’s the last thing on my mind in these situations, I just want to make sure that others are alright. I guess I’ve always been like that, giving to those around me even when it’s not always in my own best interest (Blind Trust and Betrayal) because as long as I have what I need to survive, I’m willing to put myself out a bit if it means setting someone else up for success. This isn’t always beneficial to my future but thanks to my therapy, I have learned how to better weigh these decisions to make sure I can still succeed as well because I’ve also learned that you can’t save someone from drowning with a boat that’s going to sink.

I think of myself in this way: There’s the saying, “Look out for number one,” and I like to think that I am doing that… It’s just that my list is in a different order.


I’ve always looked towards the sky at the clouds and my imagination would run free and it’s made me feel as though anything was possible. I’ve gazed at the night sky with curiosity towards the constellations and contemplated the mysteries of the universe, as well as the mysteries of my own life. I’m a dreamer.

I’ve had many dreams for my life, many of which I realized were not realistic for me and I’ve had to let go of, but there are a few that I have held on to which I want more than anything to fulfill. Two major dreams come to mind; the first is that I want to have a family, a very simple dream but one that I’ve always had and hope will one day come true; and the second, to find a way to make a career helping others. For my second dream, I’ve decided that I want to walk the path of psychology to help others to understand their own traumas so they can become unabided by them as I have.

As I’ve tried to pursue these dreams I’ve constantly run into an issue with my own conviction in making these dreams a reality. I want them, but I’m afraid to do the things I need in order to achieve them, and I let that fear stop me from taking action. Perhaps its a confidence issue, or perhaps I just don’t want it bad enough (Even though I feel like I do) but finding a way to gather the resolve to do the things that I might not necessarily want to do for the bigger picture seems to be the struggle I am dealing with now as a dreamer.

It’s so easy to dream and picture the end result however, sometimes a dreamer needs to wake up and find the resolve to chase those dreams into reality. I’m a dreamer for now but I need to learn how to become a chaser so I can chase my dreams true.

Time to get out the running shoes…



Hopeful Romantic

Ever since I can remember, I used to describe myself as a hopeless romantic. I’m a dreamer, I long for things to be almost like a fairy tale especially when it comes to relationships; to me, life equals love.

In previous relationships, I gave my everything. My life was my love, their dreams became my dreams, and my thoughts were about them. This led me to do many wonderful things, I would randomly pick flowers for them, I would write letters and poems, I used to sing one to sleep, I even wrote a college paper on descriptive writing with my first love as the subject and I got 100% on it as my teacher was touched by the love I felt. I did so many small little considerate things that I would consider romantic however, I truly was hopeless.

The problem I had was I didn’t have an identity, I would attach myself to my significant other and they would become my life. I dreamt of making their dreams come true, I dreamt of them being happy and I felt like that was my happiness. I learned over the few relationships I’ve been in that I can never gain happiness from someone else, not truly. Someone else could not give me an identity, but that didn’t stop me from feeling neglected because they weren’t trying. I blinded myself with love and romance to mask the depression I felt from within myself. I was a hopeless romantic.

I’ve recently dealt with that depression, I’ve discovered my own dreams to follow and I’ve found my identity. I’m no longer hopeless and when I’m being romantic, its no longer a cover from my own self doubts and depression, it’s an expression of who I am.

My life equals love; love of self, and love of others. I follow my own dreams and help others to reach theirs. Where ever and who ever life might take me to, I will always be hopeful and romantic.




Whenever I do something, I strive to make it as close to perfect as possible. I’m a perfectionist…

Mostly I am a perfectionist when it comes to my own projects and experiences, and I am not so critical when it comes to others and what they do. Now I say mostly because I understand that people have varying skills and as long as they put forth their best efforts, even if it is not perfect, I’m not bothered, however, it’s when someone is lazy or apathetic that my perfectionism can cause me to feel disdain towards them. This is detrimental to myself and my own psyche because I always believe I’m not doing enough, I can do more, like nothing I do is as good as it could be.

Whenever I pick up a task, I feel I need to make sure that it is done in the best manner that anyone could possibly do it in which means I do things very well… However it also means the things that I just don’t have the aptitude for can truly frustrate me. It also means that I spend a great deal of time on simple tasks that don’t require much detail so when things are time sensitive, my perfectionism becomes an issue.

I wondered how I ended up becoming a perfectionist and although I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, I can remember a feeling; Failure. Failure was one of the worst feelings that left a huge lump in my throat and it made my chest tight. I felt that if I didn’t do something well enough, I failed… I let myself down, I let someone else down, I wasn’t good enough and so I needed to be better, and make sure anything I did, was perfect.

My perfectionism was something I struggled with for a long time, I accepted it as part of myself and didn’t think of it as a problem until I started working full time. I quickly got good at my day job and the tasks I was given but eventually I started trying to take on too much work because my perfectionism demanded the task be done by me because I knew the work I did was near perfect and I didn’t trust anyone else to attain that. Of course I couldn’t complete all the tasks I picked up either and that just lead to letting myself down and telling myself I needed to be better then trying to pick up even more tasks and continually letting myself down when i was unable to do them all.

This behaviour obviously wasn’t sustainable because no one is perfect at everything but that’s the pressure I tried to put on myself. Identifying this behaviour throughout my journey really showed me how self destructive being a perfectionist is. Looking deeper, I didn’t attain the skill of doing things with a high quality because I was trying to achieve perfection, I did so because I took pride and care in the things I did. I developed those traits through the pursuit of perfection but they are not reliant on being perfect and now that I can see how self destructive trying to be perfect is, I’ve held onto those traits while allowing myself to make mistakes and letting go of my perfectionism.

Now that I can accept my mistakes, failure no longer makes me feel as though I am not good enough, in fact failure is another way to become better. Failure is a lesson and through these lessons we can actually come closer to perfection without the obsession of never making a mistake.

Lonely and Loving

I’ve never truly been alone, in the sense that no one was there to support me or have my back or even give me a hug when I needed one however for some reason I’ve always felt lonely. I’ve always felt like there was an absence in my heart; a void that was never quite filled; a piece that was missing and I had always felt like that, unless I had a significant other in my life. This was because I believed the opposite of loneliness was love and the only way to fill that absence was with someone else.

I’m sure that for some people love is their answer for loneliness and having each other makes life complete, however for me and from what I’ve experienced, even though that void was filled when my significant other was there, when they were absent, that hole ended up bigger than ever and the piece that was missing from the puzzle made it unrecognizable. Loneliness from that absence in your heart hurts, but to feel that loneliness when you’re with someone because that void still exists can be unbearable.

It truly made me wonder; if I had the love of another and still felt that loneliness inside of me, then what exactly is that absence that exists in my heart? That void that I recognize as loneliness?

It was only until I started taking this journey of self discovery that I recognize what that loneliness is. Loneliness and the missing piece that exists, is a lack of friendship and understanding that you have with your own self. Throughout this journey, I’m getting to know who I am, and learning how to respect and love the person that I see in the mirror and it honestly feels like there is a presence within myself, a presence that is filling the absence in my heart, filling that void and becoming the missing piece. By becoming friends with my own self and loving who that person is I’m starting to feel whole.

The opposite of loneliness is still love, not love in the sense that I used to think, but love of one’s self and the friendship that one forms with one’s self.

This has changed what love with another is to me… I had always believed that I needed the love of another in order to be whole and that my own love could make others whole, so I loved as much and as often as I could regardless of how much it hurt me and regardless of whether I was loved back. I was trying to fill the void that was in others… the void that I felt so often in myself and hoped that eventually someone would complete me. This just led to my heart being broken and making that hole even larger every time.

Eventually the hole was becoming too large and I was tired of loving for the sake of others. I was becoming jaded and started feeling hatred for the world. My heart felt fragile and I needed to protect it. And so I was left with a large absence in my heart, and an increasing distrust of love for anyone… Until I began this journey and realized that when people said that you need to love yourself, it was about actually getting to know your own qualities and truly understanding and loving your own self.

I no longer want to love another because it fills a hole that exists in myself or anyone else because of loneliness. I want to love another because loving someone else is a bond that has nothing to do with being lonely, it’s sharing the friend that you have made with yourself with that special someone that you cherish.


I was driving in my car to play soccer with a friend listening to the music on his phone and a song came on that I was particularly interested in; fragile. I had been recovering from a minor heart hiccup from someone I had been interested in and nothing in my life seemed to be going in the right direction. I was feeling vulnerable and left a little broken up by my life and the uncertainty of where it was headed. I was nearing bankruptcy with no job and in quite a bit of debt with no assets to show for it. … In all sense of the word, I felt fragile, like I was about to break. After hearing this song, I started on a Youtube journey and started listening to some gangster hip-hop music which transformed some of my feelings of fragility into feelings of anger, but more-so feelings of frustration.

Life really doesn’t owe you anything, I got that, but I didn’t really owe life anything either, I know you get back what you put out and doing nothing meant I was getting nowhere, feeling broken and sorry for myself wasn’t getting me out of the situation I was in but I was frustrated and didn’t know what to do.

Luckily I ended up reconnecting with an old friend who got me a part time job in retail with him which wasn’t quite getting me away from bankruptcy but it was slowing it down. Plus it gave my something to focus on, and started to make me feel like I mattered again, like I wasn’t a broken shell of a human, like I had some purpose, even if was just to sell something I didn’t care about to people that treated me like crap; I had a use and I wouldn’t break so easily.

Lucky for me again, I caught a few breaks thanks to one of my closest friends. He had always been looking out for me to find a job and there was an opening. He ended up recommending me for the position, I had an interview and I was hired! Not only was I hired for that job but I also had an interview for another job that was through him, and I ended up getting hired there as well which is where I currently work.

I finally had a job I could call a career and felt stable, like things were ok and I wasn’t on the verge of breaking, but why had I been afraid and so frustrated by my own fragility? Looking back with some perspective, I can see that it was frustrating because I felt like I didn’t have control over my life and I was afraid of where it was going. I was afraid to be fragile, afraid to break at any moment at the weight of the uncertainty of my life which is a valid reason to be afraid.

So I’m fragile and I feel like when things get too difficult I am going to break, and honestly who doesn’t feel like that when the world is crashing around you? The thing that I need to start learning though, is that I shouldn’t get frustrated and suffer because I’m breakable, I should seek help if I need it. Don’t endure something alone when you think it’s going to break you. I’m fortunate enough to have a great group of friends that I can go to if I need help but even if I didn’t have them, there are people out there that can help in the most fragile of moments; we just have to be willing to look and accept that we are fragile.