empathy is a tricky, beautiful, difficult thing. someone without enough can come across callous and cold, heartless and unkind. but someone with too much can seem fragile and sensitive, or can take on so much of another's feelings that they seem to forget whose feelings are whose. i've been thinking a lot on the role of empathy lately, and what it means to be an empath, so pulling the mother of cups today feels just right. i've gotten this card in both daily readings and larger spreads before, and i always love to see this queen in all of her glory. i love her intelligence, her mystery, her sensitivity and strength. to me, she is the master of her own heart and emotions, but is also incredibly attentive to the needs of others. she has the gift of intuition, a deep awareness of her emotional self, and the ability to care for others in a way that seems to go above and beyond what many are capable of. there's such kindness in this card, a tranquility and inner strength that i admire and hope i can someday find.
i don't consider myself to be an empath, but i do find myself feeling exhausted or bogged down if important people in my life are having a tough time. my partner has been dealing with intense work stress for most of our marriage but particularly the past six months or so, it's impossible not to feel the impact it has on my own emotions, and can sometimes even manifest into physical symptoms. similarly, when close friends or family are going through difficult periods, instability with moods, or times of stress, i have to work hard not to drown in it myself. i want to care for them and take some of that weight, but i often don't know where to put it except onto my own shoulders.
today, the mother of cups feels like both an acknowledgement and an encouragement. compassion is generally good, empathy is generally helpful, being in touch with our emotions is generally powerful. but putting aside our own mental health to aid others isn't something that should be done lightly, and expressing kindness to ourselves can be just as important as finding kindness for others. the mother of cups is quiet and wise, and knows when and how to use her abilities in the best way possible. it's a lesson i need to learn, and i believe she can teach me a lot.