Thursday, April 2, 2015

Are you an Empath?

Ever wondered what an "empath" is, and whether you might be one? If so, you are encouraged to read on!

    • Do you sometimes wake up in the morning feeling like you have been run over by a freight train, with no discernible reason other than having spent time with a larger than usual number of people the day before? 

  • Would most people who know you well be inclined to agree that you are “sensitive”?

  • Do you experience frequent bouts of telepathy? For example, do you often find yourself thinking or dreaming about someone and then receiving a phone call, email or text message out of the blue from them?

  • Do you sometimes find yourself carrying intense emotions and not being able to figure out where they are coming from?

  • Do people (even complete strangers) have a tendency to gravitate towards you to “offload”? For example: do you find that people tell you things (as though they are confessing) they have never told anyone else before?

  • Do you have odd experiences with electricity and other sources of energy (for example, you get electric shocks (a lot!); the batteries of many things around you seem to drain very fast; light bulbs tend to flicker in your presence)?

  • Do you have a tendency to experience visceral discomfort when witnessing, or hearing about someone else’s pain (physical or emotional)?

  • Are you frequently fatigued for no apparent reason?

  • Do you suffer from a host of very real physical ailments which are unable to be verified medically?

  • Do you communicate with animals and/or plants?

  • Are you visited by what you suspect may be entities from other realms?

  • Do you routinely experience strong (sometimes unpleasant) sensations like nausea, anxiety and choking while in the presence of specific people?

  • Do you have significant problems sleeping?

  • Are you often told that you are "too emotional?"

  • Do you find yourself frequently “knowing” when someone is emphatically stating one thing (or acting in a certain way) while actually feeling the opposite?
  Do you ever feel like you are picking up the physical symptoms of another?
  Do you have a frequent need for solitude?
 Are you drawn to water?
  Have you been told by others that you have "warm" or “healing hands”?
  Do you tend to put the needs of others above your own?
   If you answered "yes" to half or more of these questions you could be an empath!

    So, what is an Empath?

At first glance the word “empath” may appear to bear some resemblance to the word “empathic”; however, there are some fundamental differences between the two which are important to clarify.
One of the more important distinctions is that being empathic tends to be a conscious choice, whereas the experiences of an empath are often involuntary. Furthermore, while an empathic person strives to understand and feel the experiences of another on cerebral and emotional levels, the empath literally takes on the energy of another, and can do this across space and time; via face-to-face encounters, telephone conversations, dreams, music, thoughts, sex, clothes, food – the list is endless, as everything is comprised of energy.

 For the empath, then, it is all about energy. An empath can be likened to a large sponge, knowingly and unknowingly soaking up the energetic vibrations of anything and everything they encounter. Consider the following points:
 Empaths exposed to various sizes of groups of people often find themselves “taking on” a plethora of (contradictory) emotions belonging to others, which can leave them feeling confused, conflicted and worn out (it is because of this phenomenon that many empaths get labeled with mood disorders);
  • While involuntarily taking on multiple identities, some empaths may notice a loss of their authentic self, leading to a feeling of little to no control over the direction their life is going;
  • The empath who wears used clothing, jewelry or shoes may adopt certain aspects of the personality and characteristics of the previous wearers;
  • Many empaths may develop instant feelings of aversion towards certain individuals that are so strong – without apparent reason - that it impacts their ability to tolerate being in the presence of some people;
  • If you are an empath, you may notice some people distancing themselves from you due to unconscious and/or conscious fears of the uncovering of things they would rather were kept secret;

  • Empaths engaged in healing work may notice themselves becoming ill with the same ailments as the healees they serve, while the healees recover.

  If the preceding list of experiences identified as being common to empaths seems daunting, it might be helpful to consider the idea that there is actually a “double-edged sword” nature attached to being an empath. While one side of the sword has been described above, the other side corresponds to the fact that it can be extremely powerful, in personal and spiritual ways, to be deeply perceptive on intuitive, mental and emotional levels. 

 In the same way that some empaths can be repelled by the energies in some people to the extent that they are unable to be around them, they can also be magnetically drawn to others who have active or latent empath ability, thus helping to contribute towards the development of a collective consciousness which is geared towards the sensibility of healing, through merging with such others. Moreover, if an empath is truly paying attention to/trusting their intuitive abilities and connecting with others who are similarly "gifted" they are able to influence the direction of the Universe in a way that is consistent with its ultimate survival.

~       ~        ~

Closing thoughts:

A great deal of the more challenging aspects of being an empath can be offset by investing in relevant (spiritual) education with a particular view to developing greater awareness around issues of self care. Some "Dos" with this regard include:

  Learning how to recognize and trust your instincts; 
  • Resisting the temptation to succumb to the idea that you are crazy or freakish, even though other people may try to convince you of that when you tell them about your feelings, due to a lack of understanding on their part;
  • Discarding articles of used clothing if you notice yourself changing significantly after wearing them;
  • Taking particular care to be informed about where your food has come from, especially if you are a meat eater: meat which has been processed inhumanely will carry toxic energy;
  • Making a conscious effort to engage in an array of grounding techniques as a way of facilitating energy renewal, especially if you are engaged in healing work. Some of these may include drinking plenty of fresh water; doing yoga or Tai Chi; taking regular walks in nature and participating in various forms of meditation and visualization practices;
  • Making efforts to conserve your own energy by remembering to shield using crystals, amulets and pink/purple/gold light protection;
  • Remembering to cleanse when feeling drained, or sensing negative energy in a space by using sage, and/or showering;


    • Remembering to nurture and honor yourself in the same way you do others! 


    • Photo by Russell Link 



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