Empaths sense everything going on around them, feeling it as their own, within themselves. An Empath can’t turn off empathy (unlike someone who might be ’empathising’). It is possibly one of the most challenging of spiritual gifts to master. I am an Empath who has spent over two decades, since awakening, mastering my empathic nature. It is an ongoing process. I doubt I’ll ever be perfect at it, although I am delighted with how far I’ve come, despite the challenges. I see being an empath as an incredible gift to humanity.
Empaths incarnate into this world without a manual. To make things even more challenging, they often find themselves surrounded by people who don’t understand the trait. Until an Empath becomes fully aware of their ability, it is often difficult to tell the difference between their own energy and someone else’s. After all, an empath, feels the energy ‘as their own. Something happened on my journey where I just ‘got’ the difference. It came from increased presence. There is a subtle vibrational difference that we can discern when we are fully present. Constantly bringing awareness to our empathic nature is a very important key to mastering our empathic beingness.
Everything is energy
Everything is energy, pulsating at particular vibrations. Since an Empath feels energy, just like a living person breaths air, it is understandable why a few issues might come up! Humanity (apart from perhaps the rare, few remaining indigenous cultures), is in one big confusing, energetic, vibrational mess! The modern world is a melting pot of fractured and frantic energies: for example, loaded emotional projection, hidden agendas (whether personal or global), wi-fi, mobile phone radiation, electric gadget emissions, multi-media marketing designed to allure and captivate, highly processed foods, TV, the thudding din of consumerism… the list goes on and on. No wonder it’s challenging.
Empaths will feel the energy in the field, feel the energy of conversation, feel body language, feel words used (or not used) without intellectual interpretation. They will intuitively know what an energy is ‘really’ about despite what is conveyed on the surface. They will also know what a person is really saying, no matter what words are being said.
Because of the tendency for people to hide the full story, or attempt to control the situation, an empath will tend to feel a huge inner conflict or inability to process the enormity of the engagement. One of the main problems for Empaths is the lack of transparency and honesty in the world and the consequent resentment of having to process all the energy that is not in full view. Of course lots of us sensitive beings struggle also with things that are in full view too.
“Make it go away!!!”
A lot people with this this trait do not see it as a gift. I would more often expect to hear the cry to make it stop. Initially, it often involves being so overwhelmed with feeling energy that it is challenging to function in an ordinary sense. Empaths sometimes come across as over-emotional, at other times others they might become emotionally detached in order to cope. It wouldn’t be unusual that an empath might ‘freak out’ or have a panic attack, without apparent cause. They often prefer their own company and don’t like to build many personal relationships because of the intensity of having to feel everything.
In my early days I used to cry out to the universe…“I don’t want to feel all this energy – it’s not mine”…the universe would always reply that it is a gift.“How on earth is this a gift I would anxiously wonder!!!”
I often found it difficult to get close to people in a personal ‘every day’ sense. It would drive me nuts to feel all that extra energy, so I would prefer independence or distance. Independence and contentment with only a couple of close friends still feels very natural to me.
Powerful impetus to sort it out
The initial overwhelming intensity served a wonderful purpose for me. It evoked a powerful yearning to master my unique configuration here as an earth-being. It created the impetus for me to come to terms with my natural born empath traits and master them, eventually finding a higher altitude of peace and functionability with it all (well, mostly anyway).
The importance of boundaries for empaths
As empaths we often forget that boundaries are our birthright. Personal boundaries are about self respect. It’s where we draw the line. A boundary establishes what is ‘you’ and what is ‘another’. Boundaries are simply deciding what is OK for you and what is not. Boundaries are about owning your inner space and knowing that you have a choice in what you give yourself to. With boundaries you see what you have responsibility for; what you are in control of (that which is within you) and what you are not in control of (that which is outside of you). You get to be in charge of your own feelings, your own attitude and your own energy. Boundaries are about making a conscious choice not to take on someone else’s stuff. It’s not even that we won’t feel another persons stuff. An empaths boundary is about not letting that stuff stick inside of us and not letting it consume us.
The concept of boundaries might even sound restrictive and limiting to some. Yet the paradox is that boundaries actually mean freedom – freedom to fully feel the innate beauty of our inner most selves – the freedom to unfold our true empathic gifts.
The importance of letting go for empaths
Letting go is a big key for empaths. Most Empaths suffer so much because it is can be difficult to let go of emotional attachment to feelings. What do I mean by that anyway? As empaths we are going to feel it all. It’s incredibly difficult to process such a massive amount of energy if we become tangled up and lost in it. Letting go doesn’t mean we won’t feel. It just means that we don’t let the massive melting pot of emotions own us. It means we can watch as things happen and discern that ‘that isn’t us’, ‘that isn’t our own feeling’ and really begin to embrace when we are DIVINELY GIVEN to take action or not.
For me this involved years of becoming consciously aware and centred. Once I started coming more from a centred place of presence, I began to discern what I was meant to do, letting go of attachment to both that which is not meant for me and that which was. This is a very powerful factor as it means that we can still feel the energy empathically, but it doesn’t bother us as adversely any more. We are able to function so much better, when we are not attached emotionally. In fact unless we come from this place, we might end up making a situation worse not better. That’s the bottom line. It means we feel the energy with the deepest compassion, yet we can truly hold the space for another. In so doing, we reflect the light of benevolence, allowing true healing to take place.
Finding inner peace and stability
Daily centering, meditation practice, yoga, compassionate eating, conscious lifestyle, conscious choices that cleanse our energy field and promote centredness will all help big time! Being in nature serves to recentre and recharge depleted energies. Spending regular time in solitude away from idle chatter and drama can be invaluable. I would say that making sure that a bare minimum of half an hour per day consciously looking after yourself is crucial. The more the better. The above are very important. There may also be many other ways, such as swimming in the ocean, hill walking, having a bath with oils or salt, giving yourself a foot massage, listening to your favourite music, playing an instrument, conscious bodywork or massage… basically whatever it is that helps you maintain balance and build up your sense of inner peace and stability.
The only way out is through
Another important key is ownership. If you are an empath, then to deny it just makes it worse and thwarts our spiritual growth. Our evolution happens when we embrace who we truly are. So we need to be 100% honest with ourselves and know that it will get much easier the more and more present with become with it. The only way out is through.
Without these practices it is very difficult (I am not sure if it is even possible) to master being an empath here. So if the motivation is a little lacking, JUST DO IT anyway until you find a rhythm to your daily life that you see working.
A true gift of benevolence
So whether you are an empath or you know one personally, hopefully this is helpful in some way.
I truly believe that, the challenges as highlighted are there to help us refine and alchemically transform this true gift of benevolence. The gifts of empathy have the power to really make a difference in this world. This is what most people who feel the call of Divine Service long for, to be able to help others in a life changing way.
An evolving Empath has the natural ability to connect on a Soul level, helping to release blocked energies with another, not with intention, but just by being themselves. It’s a reflection the light within one, reflecting the light within another, which inspires true healing. An Empath, if given, can also release stuck energy within the field at large, discerning between what is benevolent and what is not; again, not with intention, but just by being. Since everything oscillates a frequency that can inadvertently influence everything around it, then an awakened Empath can help make a huge difference in our world.
Whether an Empath not, if we can all work together with our gifts, we can allow this higher paradigm of love, compassion and respect, to unfold and make the world a much better place.
Soul to Soul
Note: I originally wrote this article in 2009 and it was shared widely across the internet. I am delighted to bring it full circle and post here on my new website.