Does anyone know a cactus sister? You know that friend that lacks empathy and can't show vulnerability. She's as loyal as they come, she will stand by you when you really need her, not like she knows how to comfort you hahahahhah but she will be there.
She's more of a doer, probably good at her work, intelligent, a practical problem solver. She will send you songs or quotes to let you know how she feels but not in her own words. She will tell you like it is, the best sounding board if you need logical solutions. It can come across a little harsh, you might even hate her a little, sometimes you just want some empathy you know? Cold-hearted cactus! Aaaarrrggghhh.
How I wish I can see the real her more often! The flesh beyond the thorns, the sponge that contains all her tears. I do catch a glimpse of it from time to time, usually it's these sudden accumulated BIG emotions. She's especially vulnerable in a relationship, not like she will tell you straight. She doesn't have much practice sitting with her emotions, you see. She lets it pile on like a haystack and then try to find the needle. Not the best idea.
When will she understand vulnerability isn't weakness, it bonds people. We are all human and emotions are natural. It's what we do and how we communicate after feeling that makes a difference. Brené Brown puts it best, "to show empathy, you need to be vulnerable. Rarely does a response make a difference, it's the connection that matters."
My biggest wish for her is that she shows some vulnerability from time to time so her emotions don't become a haystack and she doesn't need to continuously hunt for that needle. I see how tiring it is for her. Also, shower me with some empathy so we connect a little better.
Either way, she's on her own journey as I am on mine. Rest beside me, my dear cactus sister, I got your back like you've got mine.
To love, light and peace,
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Cactus is by Mi-Kyung Choi
Find Brené Brown's video on empathy here.