The Daily Care & Feeding of an Empath
Have you ever heard the phrase, “On The Inside looking out”? Or Can you “feel what I feel”?
1. Empathy (noun) to understand another’s feelings. (Encarta Dictionary). Empath (you won’t find this word in the standard dictionary): a person who is able to identify and understand another’s feelings. Someone that can echo the thoughts and feelings of another sometimes without realizing it.
2. em·path (Oxford Dictionary)ˈempaTH/ (noun) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
The Wiccan path (this is not the only religion that recognizes Empaths, as empaths have been around forever defined in different ways through history. A Seer one has been called for example or even a predictor) embraces a number of people who are extremely sensitive (to one degree or another) to other peoples emotions, pain and pleasures. These people are usually called Empaths. Everyone (with the exception of sociopaths) can usually empathize with someone else’s feelings but a true Empath actually feels what people are experiencing as they experience it. Extreme Empaths can even feel another person’s past feelings and what they have encountered. Just depends on the sensitivity level of the empath. Sometimes this is good but other times it can be very bad especially if the empath doesn’t realize they are picking up on the emotions of someone else. Picking up and echoing someone else’s feelings can have disastorous results at times. It can ruin friendships, relationships and even cost employment. Some empaths throughout history have even been persecuted almost in the manner of the Salem With Trials. It isn’t quite as extreme as that now a days but still….
Most of us spend years thinking we are crazy or just extremely good at reading people. (I did until I was in my late teens) That was when I started seeing things and feeling things differently. We are also accused of reading minds (we don’t, but sometimes the emotion is so strong that we can only express it in words). We usually learn to shield ourselves from others at a very early age and during our training discover that we have a gift (or curse) and learn to channel that gift in a conscious way. Compare this to the man who is feeling the sympathy pains of his pregnant wife or girlfriend except at a much higher level of sensitivity.
I have heard over and over “gee it is like you know exactly how I feel”, “so and so are really good listeners and really get it”. They somehow know how I feel…. Sometimes even “It’s like you were reading my mind!” Yes – we do “get it” (sometimes more than we want to). The first thing an Empath needs to do is learn to really shield or block. I didn’t at first, with disastrous consequences. I was picking up the emotions of even the neighbors upstairs – ALL the emotions (yep – even when they were fighting AND making up). The toughest emotions to shield is those of your spouse or even your children. In a relationship or marriage you want to feel all warm and fuzzy and enjoy the time together but if you don’t turn your shield on at the time your spouse is feeling overwhelmed or in distress then you can pick that up as well and it can and will cause problems. I promise from past experiences that it will and being an empath for me a lot of times is more often a curse rather then a blessing. Can you imagine going through life with very little to be surprised about? Can you handle knowing things ahead of time when you shouldn’t? Such as a dear one or a family member being hurt or even dieing? Like I stated I consider this more of a curse then a blessing.
Most Empaths I know don’t like to be touched without warning. Just coming up and grabbing us makes us very uncomfortable. I personally react so quickly that I have accidently hurt people when I didn’t want to. Therefore I am not one to wrestle or get physical with people unless I am completely aware of my surroundings. We aren’t being snobby or standoffish or even rude. We are trying to protect ourselves and you. Touch can put us in direct link with your emotions and we will “read” you without meaning to. This poses a threat to our well being and an ethical problem. Frankly, I don’t want to be a “lurker” in your mind and I’m sure you don’t want me “snooping” either.
If you have an Empath in your group or around you – ask before touching and be sure to give them Chocolate and coffee (ok, the last has nothing to do with being an Empath, but …..)
Writing is something I used to do an awful lot of in the past but has gotten away from me for many years. in the last several months my significant other has inspired me to share more and do more of the things I have in the past. Yes she is mighty special to me as she is my universe. I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few thoughts within this note based on events that have happened. This allows me to put things into persepective properly. Life is something that continues to evolve almost daily at times for me and I am sure she has a lot to do with it. It’s hard to understand sometimes what the last 50 years of my life has been about but I know that the next 50 years should be a piece of cake compared to the past.
If there is anything here that needs clarifying then do not hesitate to ask or comment.