Getting out alive when it comes to the impact that others can have when you’re an ‘absorbent person’ isn’t easy.
Learning to live among the chaos that an Empath is surrounded by takes practice. It’s not a done deal even if your heart is kept isolated from trying again, I know, I tried. Going through the emotions of recently getting caught in someone’s chaos I have had new questions, yet also clarity. If I let others into my world and give in to the power of someone else’s pain/mood impacting mine how can I hold on to all the serenity I have created for myself?
Why the hell do I feel the need to let myself absorb like this? Nothing should shatter my resolve to live with a simple balance. When I allow my feet to walk in someone else’s discontent my balance is tipped and rocked tenaciously.
“The world according to an”Empath”.
An Empath is born, not created. Becoming an Empath is a genetic trait, inherent in our DNA, and often is passed from generation to generation. Empaths are not ‘A Something’ we can learn how to be; either you are or you are not. I’d like to also address the misconception that an Empaqth’s is part of some pagan belief. Some claim practicing Empathst “is the work of the devil” which I find absurd.
So that we have a mutual conception of how I am referencing Empath as a noun I include my perspective based from my own experiences and the broad belief:
According to the dictionary ’empathy’ is described as one’s ability to recognize, perceive, and feel directly from the emotions of another. The word itself, is derived from the Greek words “empatheia” meaning “passion” + “pathein” meaning to experience or suffer. Most of the world’s population has empathy, to a degree, it’s part of the human make up. Most of us “understand” how another feels.
But a practicing Empath is quite another matter.
For the natural born Empath understands holistically that we cannot help but feel the feelings and emotions of others as if they were our own. It goes far deeper than just relating to the feelings of others. As an Empath we channel the absorption in through the realms of physical, physiological, psychologically and instinctual channels from others. It’s a visceral flood of those emotions.
Empathy… it’s not (as is commonly believed) the same as sympathy. Sympathy is how we react to someone who is suffering. We feel sorry they are suffering, which is our own emotional state. An Empath instead is someone who finds themselves standing in the others shoes, we feel their joy, and their pain as if the emotional spike was our own. My experience; literally, Learning to decipher has been a lifelong study. What makes it difficult to navigate is the empathetic impacts that we’re not able understand the whys..
For an Empath absorbing isn’t an option, no switch to turn off/on.
However.creating boundaries is.
I am learning finally that there are effective ways to practice while being directly involved and interacting with the world as an Empath without getting struck down. There is the other side of the emotional coin -trying to completely disconnect/disengage from the flow of empathetic energies by isolating. Isolating was worse; the consequences of which had me numbed down in every aspects of my life. Emotional Isolation is emotional suicide. .
But….I learned rapidly that this was not going to be something I was willing to give up. It would have meant isolating my heart and soul and as a chronic empathetic person I don’t think that is a viable choice. Yet 24 years later with this awareness there was still no clearer understanding of how not to absorb.
Baffling for me was having done the work to get to a place of serenity while still being absorbent fooled me. That I was in a mindset that I was in full control of my feelings was misleading. Neither could have been any farther from my truth. I am surprised by what it is that can knock me off balance. I realized that simply trying to deny what my heart and soul was screaming wasn’t working either.
Unspoken feelings are no less feelings, nor no less true.
Around our physical body there is a layer of energy, it’s electric, it’s often referred to as an “aura” If this a new way of thinking for you perhaps think of it as your Aura being devoted to your interface with your environment. Our aura’s shape and condition what is indicative of our relationship to our world.
People who are Empaths are often thought of as having a “thin skin” in relation to absorbing their world. Creating boundaries, or a “thick skin” to help insulate our spirits is crucial, yet holes will still develop, no matter how vigilant we are. Empaths are too easily influenced by the environment.
I am an Empath with many years to my credit banked, and finding ways to navigate the onslaught of emotions that flood my spirit has been one of the longest studies of my life. My spirit and heart had to discover the need to create a visual of an ‘energy shield ‘around my physical body as my saving grace. I use imagery to see it as a radiant essence of the complete me. I see different emotions as different colors..
Once boundaries are drawn, “energy armor in place” I again use imagery to see the spark in the center of my being, that is the pure essence of my spirit. With my attention focused on that spark I become keenly aware of the sensations and emotions that continuously flood my spirit. My thoughts bring me far more clarity.
I first tried this practice when alone, after a time I began to practice it around others. Soon my hope is that I will be adept at switching my awareness from my environment to myself, and back again, all the while noticing the difference between the two.
As a Practicing Empath I have found what works for me, keeping that fine balance requires some proactive thinking and doing, my sharing follows:
- Don’t Take On Responsibilities That Aren’t Yours-
I need to be reminded. As an Empath I learned that I was used to care taking, even to the point at one time that I felt as though I was supposed to do it. I am not. You are not.
My agenda became finding a balance between being as compassionate as possible without going beyond the limits of what I need to do to maintain my health, serenity, and my sanity. That balance meant understanding that I am responsible up to that point, and not beyond it. As Empaths we are often seen outwardly as kind and caring, we are often misunderstood. We typically have the
curse benefit of everyone thinking that we are almost saintly but it’s not a comfortable thing to get attached to always being the “nice guy”.
However, and it is a big however, it is not easy dealing with people’s negative emotions and reactions, but know that the chronic care taking of others will not in the end serve you, or even serve them for that matter. It doesn’t even help to protect them from their feelings, instead it will keep them from growing. People who have became accustomed to your care taking may get angry or sad at you, or with you, when you don’t do what they want you to do, or what they expect. It is important to remember that their feelings are not your feelings, and your well-being is not dependent on their well being. Stay mindful of your own reality.
A fellow Empath expressed my sentiments perfectly- *Nick said; “As empaths, we can’t cut ourselves off of ALL emotion from others. We need it. I had my empathy go away temporarily a few months back and it HURT. It was like talking to a brick wall whenever I would talk to someone.”
As I continue to move forward in my life I close my eyes. I imagine myself being covered by a pink bubble of light, because pink is the color of love. With my mind I make the bubble flexible enough so that it won’t be shattered when other emotions hit me. I imagine it thick enough to be resilient, making it solid first, then letting it develop very small holes in it so that I’m able to absorb what I do choose.
Taking a deep cleansing breath, I realize immediately that I’m going to be Okay.