Being an Empath: Shifting a curse into a Blessing!
Hello dear readers,
I know a lot of you reading this today are probably well aware that you are Empathic and Highly Sensitive, but for those that are just discovering this, I have also included some helpful information for them too. I was just being a bit cheeky with the title. It’s not really a curse of course, but until you learn to control and understand your empathic nature, it can certainly be problematic at times!
Well you know it all too well, if you see one more abandoned animal or impoverished child commercial you are going to scream. You tend to hide at parties and talk to the plants and animals, as they understand you and don’t tell you all of their problems. Ah, the life of an empath! So how to we transform from a life of pain and hassle, to a life of bliss and blessings? Well, I’m here to tell you about that dear ones.
Empathy is considered a desirable spiritual skill. It is just that many that identify as empaths at this time were born into a masochistic and co-dependent culture where these gifts were often misused by others. It is up to the contemporary Empath to own and respect their own nature, and to also create boundaries where others will do the same. This is how a new “Empath Culture” will emerge with respect and understanding for those who have these gifts. – The Akashic Wisdom Keepers, 5.7.12
First the down side. Those that are empathic tend to have more physical and emotional issues than their non-empathic counterparts. Some of the most common maladies attributed to the highly sensitive/empathic are: fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (I.B.S.), asthma, stomach issues, anxiety and depression just to name a few. Illness is never fun and if you’re empathic you have to guard your health the way the security staff is guarding Fort Knox. Yeah, it’s a hassle at times but it’s *required* maintenance on this precious vehicle called the physical body. I know from personal experience (don’t try this at home kiddies!) that if you do not take proper care of your vehicle (just like your car,) it may break down at the most inconvenient possible time. I would highly recommend avoiding this as a possibility. Also to take care of yourself spiritually and energetically before problems even start. Grounding and Centering are VITAL processes for empaths. Here is an article with some practical guidance in these matters by Peggy Jentoft.
Co-dependency is often almost a given for empaths. Since we FEEL others pain and problems so deeply, we want to help them too. We do need to remember however, that becoming lost in other’s dramas and issues is a good way to avoid feeling or looking at our own. Also, we can easily become a drug, crutch or on-call spiritual advisor for many in our lives, and this is dis-empowering to both them and ourselves. We are moving into the Aquarian Age which is all about personal responsibility. If someone doesn’t know what a boundary is, SHOW THEM. It may not make you the most liked or popular person and that’s okay. We are learning to not base our self-worth on the opinions of other people any more, right lovelies?
Many of those that identify as empaths grew up in dysfunctional environments where they learned to take care of everyone and put the needs of others before their own at a young age. To shift out of this pattern is not something you cannot expect to do overnight, as it was not created overnight either. There is a distinct possibility that those that you have been emotionally “caretaking” your entire life will not exactly jump for joy when you change up things. Be patient with yourself and others while you are in what I call the “Empath Empowerment Learning Curve.” You could also say that many empaths and highly sensitive people share a “collective karma” in that sense. The lesson is about as my teacher used to wisely say, “Putting yourself first in your own life.” If our cup is empty we are no good to anyone, and not even ourselves.
The Empath Test by Paul Zozem
- Are you extremely sensitive to the emotions and thoughts of others, often confusing the emotions of others with your own?
- Are you an emotional sponge, soaking up the emotions of others, absorbing and dissipating the energy and problems of others, even at a distance.
- Do you instinctively know when someone is lying or fibbing, almost always keeping your suspicions to yourself?
- Do you tend to put others at ease, allowing them to share their inner most feelings? Do you find yourself helping others, even casual strangers, understand the world and themselves better?
- Periodically, do you need to take time out, where you can be alone to meditate, recharge and experience your own mind without the interference of others?
- Have you known about your unique sensitivity since childhood? Have you struggled with a burden-of-perceptions that others did not share.
- Do you sometimes use food, sex, drugs or solitude as a means of coping with you empathic or telepathic nature?
- Do you have to a use masked personality to protect yourself from others, only sharing your true perceptions with those you trust most, or not at all?
- Do you have the ability to facilitate the process of rapid growth in those around you?
On the up side, empaths are among some of the must witty, creative, intelligent and spiritually aware peeps on the planet. They also often have advanced skills and abilities in clairvoyance, clairsentience, healing and telepathy. I’ve met enough in my day to know this for certain. I loved that Commander Deanna Troi was a character on Star Trek and served as the Ships Counselor and Empath, due to her advanced clairsentient and telepathic skills. Her character was portrayed as a sensitive, but also a strong, spiritual and very intelligent being. Multifaceted as we truly are!
1) Find others who respect and understand you. As you learn to love and respect yourself in a greater capacity, healthy and supportive people will be magnetized to you naturally.
2) Don’t isolate for non-therapeutic reasons or long periods of time, but DO take mini time outs and vacations as needed to regroup and recharge.
3) Teach through love, but keep firm boundaries.
4) Learn to walk away from those that are verbally, physically or emotionally abusive.
5) Try to keep on the “bright side” of life and avoid negative or depressing media and people.
6) Notice when and if you are using food, TV, shopping or any other behaviors or substances to “numb out,” and adjust your world accordingly. If you have a problem with addictive substances or behaviors, please seek help.
7) Honor your needs; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Love your beautiful self!
Beloved empath, it your task to love yourself as Source loves you. You are truly important to this world and have a divine purpose. Do not let the ugliness and pain of this world dim your light or make you become ill. Honor yourself, take care of yourself and go shining. – The Keepers, 5.7.12
Prologue: In my own path as an empath I’ve gotten a pretty good skill set under my belt, based on a lot of trial and error. If you are having difficulties or just would like some spiritual guidance from a fellow traveler that truly “gets” you, please contact me. I am also available for energetic assessment to see if and where you are being compromised energetically and how to take steps for improvement. Sessions are available via email, chat and Skype. Thank you.
NOTE: I am current in process of creating a new blog series: “Empath Tools & Empowerment,” that will also contain an optional one-on-one tutorial program that will include energetic assessment, activations and personal evaluation sessions. I am on hiatus currently from client sessions, but I will be returning to them in Spring of 2013. Thank you!
Irma Kaye Sawyer