Hey there, rockstar. So you think you might be an empath (or maybe you know/love someone who is)? Over the next 4 entries we’ll explore what it is like to not only live with a sensitive heart, but how to thrive with one.
You are not merely surviving, you are killin’ it.
Empaths are affected by other people’s energy. They feel what other people, animals, even the earth feels. You are unconsciously affected by other people’s moods, energy, the social climate and even physical ailments. I call them my “spidey” senses. Think of it like a superpower, a gift, instead of something to dread or merely drudging through life in survival mode.
Feeling empathy is a bit different than sympathy. As an empath, we feel right alongside the person suffering as if the feeling is our own. This is what makes being an empath so hard. We literally feel people’s pain, but we get to feel their joy too. For example, I love being around grandmothers because I can literally feel their joy when in the presence of their grandchildren. It’s not a knowing, it’s actually experiencing that feeling of joy and it’s wonderful!
Empaths are wonderful listeners and we just seem to know things. Do you need a picture painted, help with your term paper, a costume made, or just someone to listen to your day? Ask your empath friend, sister, mother or boyfriend. Do you want to watch a bloody horror movie, go to a heated political rally, or wax poetic about yourself? Don’t call an empath. We have a hard time stomaching violence, injustice, and people with large egos. Want to take a road trip? We are all over that! Want us to cat sit? Okay! We’ll also take you up on a hike to a waterfall over shopping at a crowded mall any day.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is that not everyone is an empath like me. Not everyone feels what I feel and that’s okay. Some people who I thought were just like me turned out to be the opposite. You live and you learn. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and the less time you spend trying to label people, the more time you have to check in with yourself and determine your own feelings.
The most important lesson I’ve learned being an empath is setting boundaries. This is coming up in next week’s entry about “Empath Abilities & Tricks“.
Homework: Keep track of your intuitive hits so you can start trusting yourself and distinguishing what is yours and what is someone else’s. Check in with yourself often. Ask yourself the following questions, Is this my feeling? Is this feeling coming from my life or outside? What is my first sense about that person? Does it hold true over time? Really focus on listening to YOU. Try this for a week. Write down your insights or text yourself. You don’t have to act on these feelings, just acknowledge them. Then check back and see if you were right.
- Suggested reading: “The Empath’s Survival Guide” by Judith Orloff