I've been *told* I'm an empath, and in reading articles about empathic abilities, everything "rings true": being told I have a "thin skin", being overly sensitive, maybe even moody. I was pretty much an outcast as a kid, no one wanted me around, not even the adults. I learned to enjoy and accept the solitude, and whether that's the reason I now prefer it as an adult, I can't say - all I know is that I HATE crowds. I get anxious, shaky, overwhelmed, and then it takes me literally DAYS to re-center myself and feel normal again. Despite interaction being so wearing on me, I still crave it. It's like a double-edged sword.
There have been many instances where I'll be at home, alone, watching TV, and I'll suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety and sadness. As it turns out, these events seem to coincide with deaths of my son's friends, or my mother being admitted to the hospital, or something else of this nature. Once, I was at work when at about 10am I suddenly felt like I wanted to hide in the bathroom, curl into a ball and just sob. I had no idea why. When I got home from work that day, my sons greeted me at the door with the news a classmate of theirs had collapsed and died in gym class...at about 10am that morning. A day or so later, I was reading this boy's obituary and was stunned to discover that he was the son of my second cousin, someone I'd lost touch with.
Another time, I was watching TV at home while my then 17-year old son was out with friends. Suddenly, all I could think about was my son. Was he safe? Was he okay? Had something happened to him? In a panic, I began texting him, becoming more anxious as the minutes ticked by without a response. Eventually, he angrily texted back, asking me what my problem was. I was relieved he was safe, but the next day I learned that the brother of one of his friends had been killed in a car accident the night before - right around the same time my panic set in. Interestingly, this young man bore a striking resemblance to my son.
This seems to support the idea that I am sensitive; however, I recently joined a paranormal investigative group in my hometown and there are other people in the group who claim to be sensitive as well. Often, they seem to sense things (independent of one another), yet I don't pick up on it. It makes me doubt myself and wonder if I'm just being silly about this "empath thing". On the other hand, maybe it's just that I haven't figured out yet how to tap into my abilities and actually USE them.
I've tried meditating, but beyond this, I haven't the foggiest idea of how to go about strengthening my abilities - if I truly have them. How can I know? If I *am* empathic, how can I focus these abilities so as to maybe use them for the benefot of both myself and the people around me? If I *am* empathic, then I've been blessed with this ability for a reason, and it bothers me greatly not to know how to use it. I feel like I'm wasting a great gift. There's a part of me that believes that if only I could figure out how to use it, I could maybe help souls that might be trapped in our physical realm, or people who are grieving the loss of their loved one, etc.
Anyone have any ideas for me? I'm too broke right now to buy a book, or recorded class, or anything like that - others have suggested I enroll in an online course, buy this book or that one, or this audio thing or that one. I can't afford anything like that right now, but if you know of a good one, let me know anyway. I'll write it down and look into it when I do have money again.
I guess I'm still just trying to figure out whether I'm just imagining things, being silly, in need of psychiatric help, or just what.
Another thing I'll throw in here is a question about spirit animals, animal totems, etc. I know very little about them, only things I've dredged up on the internet here and there, but I feel like I have one, and that she's a fox. I imagine a blackish little fluffy fox with a greyish & black "mask", like a silver fox, I guess. In reading about "fox magic" or Fox as a totem, it makes sense. As a little girl, I often felt compelled to hide somewhere and just observe the world around me. Oddly, I've had people tell me I remind them of a fox (maybe it's my pointy nose, lol). I feel so connected to this animal I even got a tattoo of a fox on my shoulderblade...not because I wanted everyone to be able to see it, it's always hidden by my clothes. I guess it just felt like I was acknowledging a commitment to Fox. Weird, maybe. So, any wisdom you have to offer about animal totems, the fox as a spirit guide, etc., would also be very welcomed!
Thanks in advance for any guidance you have to offer, even if it's just the number of a good mental health provider, lol..
Thank you! Part of me still wonders whether I really even AM an empath, or just what...
I really love the respond from Marcel Kwedi, I think that is a wonderful point. Another note: Accepting who you are without questioning it or having expectations will open up answers and let other truths will arise. Also I really loved your honesty and self analysis in this subject. Thank you for posting.
You were/are overly sensitive because empaths attach themselves to energies of others. It's normal. You were an outcast because you have a spiritual gift that others may not understand... and we have differences that don't fall in line with what mainsream society desires. I've heard some say that our solitude is because our thought processes are higher than the 3rd dimension we live in. Who knows? I don't, although I believe it could be possilbe.
What I wanted to talk to you about is not to confuse being an empath with being psychic. We may be sensitive to energy, but most of us won't be able contact loved ones of others... or do similar readings. What we do do is recognize emotional energy, without a word being spoken. You may be walking down the street, and really want to give someone a hug, because behind their smile, you can feel their depression, saddness and pain. On the other hand, you can feel someone's happiness, love and appreciation as well. As an empath, even where we may not have the same experience, their is nothing better than being in the presence of a couple who are together in the power of unconditional or true love.
What you must become aware of is shifts in energy. To strengthen your gift is to recognize what energy is yours and what is of others. If you are feeling fine, then "as you said" all of a sudden feel sadness, or anxiety, changes are you are reflecting the emotions of another. If you don't recognize it's not yours, you begin owning the emotions, and can easily become overwhelmed, and heavy with emotion. That's where your gift can become your curse.
I hope this helps you.
"You were/are overly sensitive because empaths attach themselves to energies of others. It's normal."
Conversely, naturally sensitive persons are more likely to be affected by emotional fields from without themselves. This post does not refute what you have posted, it is merely a POI and addendum to it. There is more than one way to look at things and I have found some things regarding empathy to hold true often enough to make the following point below:
Not always. Rather it is more productive to see the matter other way around for the sake of groundedness and sanity. The emotions of others attach themselves to the empath (so to speak) if anything, but that is not exactly accurate either. The important thing to remember is that for the empath who is mature enough in his or her ability, it is recognized that boundaries, once properly set, allow the empath to distinguish between his or her emotions and someone else's. Granted: that if the specific emotions are already active in the empath, sometimes it does require teasing apart what is what and what belongs to whom.
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to demean your post, which I think is a helpful one, all in all. But I think the point where empaths get into emotional trouble within themselves and end up emotional wrecks is the lack of ability to draw this kind of boundary between what is their own emotion and what is another person's emotion; so it is important for the empath to put his or her self in a position to be able to begin to do this.
Allowing one's self to see the situation from the perspective that they are entangled in someone else's emotions on the side of the other person is not the best place from which to begin the make the necessary distinction in actual practice, it seems. One needs to be thoroughly grounded and centered in one's self to make that discernment more easily and rapidly once one becomes aware that one is feeling the heart based energy fields of others as it turns out.
I just had to say that because there are so many who come to the Temple seeking help with empathic ability who are having the problem of not being able to understand where their personal emotions begin and end and where someone else's pick up because of the entanglement factor. The entanglement factor will happen. That is a given; but, if one does not learn how to tweeze out someone else's contribution to one's emotional state, one is necessarily off balance and not in full control of one's own being...not a good situation to be in to say the least.
There is a term to describe the state where one is not able to maintain one's personal emotional integrity and mental integrity, therefore, as the emotional center, the heart, is quite capable of overruling mental processes. The general term for us laymen is *insanity*. There are so many borderline cases running around just because they make the mistake of not centering themselves within themselves firmly enough to perceive emotions carried along through what we call empathy as resonant with, but not originating from within themselves. It is so unnecessary to go through that, don't you agree?
So, I just wanted to make that little POI as an addendum to your very worthy post, Richard, for the sake of those who are having issues. Some of us are more naturally grounded and centered within ourselves than others. Some of us need to work harder than others because their awareness is less focused in self, it's really out there! While that kind of orientation has such an important place in human interface, we have to remember to know ourselves first and foremost or we do little good for others.
Lol,, I should know. It didn't come naturally to me. Personality wise, I naturally relate most closely to Air which is not exactly the most grounded of the anciently recognized metaphysical "Elements" in Western Philosophy. It has taken inner work and growth in awareness for me to come to a place where I can tell the difference between my emotions and other people's emotions. Sometimes it is still a struggle if the input is subtle enough. Just trying to pass on what i have learned for the benefit of others. It's not like this small bit of knowledge is as readily available to all empaths as it is crucial to emotional/mental balance in the long run.
Simple Field Test:
If you are standing close to someone who is having a loud argument with someone else or is showing a lot of anger towards another and it affects you emotionally without even knowing them, then you're probably Empathic.
If on the other hand your only feeling is that you want to choke the living shit out of the noisy asshole, then you're not.
Hello, your title is what caught my attention & I find if most titles are the same I breeze right on by. But I felt an urge to read what you have written. The more I read the more it brought back memories of when I first started to understand what these urges/empath means to me. So I will give you a couple of websites that I started to do my research with. http://www.whatismetaphysics.com/
After reading these over and over I found out many many things which now has become a section of the inter-connectedness I was searching for. I have since saved over 200 different websites that have the same connection and brought me into all senses not just 1 of empathic. So check out the websites. The more indepth we can focus into something, is the practice we need to get good at something. Good luck, have a beautiful day in the land of possibilities :)