It has taken me a long time to figure out what my abilities are and a short time to realize that most people don’t believe it. It’s one of those things a person carries alone, except for the quiet souls who believe because they too have these abilities. Being an empath is a fantastic way to experience life but it is also very exhausting.
Let me briefly get something out of the way here regarding what an empath actually is. It is best described in an article by The Mind Unleashed– “Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions. Empaths can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual urges, as well as just knowing the motivations and intentions of other people. You either are an empath or you aren’t.”
Many empaths experience issues such as chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivities, or unexplained aches and pains daily. These are all things that are more likely to be contributed to outside influences and not so much themselves.
Being able to read people, to know what they are feeling or when they are lying or holding back, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand the truth is not hidden. I know what I know. On the other hand, I can’t (or more accurately won’t) always call someone out when they are lying so I have to keep it in. This might not seem like a big deal to most but it’s like putting bubble gum in the hole of a leaking dam and hoping the millions and millions of gallons of water behind it stay put.
Having empathic abilities means feeling what other people (and animals and plants and the earth) feels emotionally, psychologically and physically. I’ve had these experiences my whole life but had no idea what they meant or why I had them in the first place. I thought I was too sensitive. That’s what I was told. It turns out there is no such thing as too sensitive. It’s just an opinion of those who know little about sensitivities.
Empaths tend to be sponges…we absorb the feelings, emotions and physical issues of those around us. Our nervous system is constantly on overdrive, picking up every vibe and feeling that is carried by those around us. We look at people and know what they are feeling, if they are lying, what they are experiencing. It’s not mind reading, it’s knowing. Most empaths, myself included, spend the better part of their lives thinking they are crazy or overly sensitive or whatever you want to label it until the day comes when they discover who they truly are.
There is so much more to being an empath than what I’ve described here but I figure if people truly want to know what it is and what it means they can research just as easily as I can.
It’s a shame we live in a society where things that are considered different are so easily dismissed. There was a time in the history of our world where we didn’t have anything but our intuition to go on. We trusted our gut and were in tune to each other in ways that have long since been abandoned. Trusting our intuition has been replaced with info garnered from Google and Wikipedia.
I’m not particularly fond of labeling but knowing that I am an empath has changed how I look at myself. It explains so much about me and how I’ve lived my life. It’s allowed me to stop beating myself up by thinking there is something weak in my character and something wrong with me. I see now that my sensitive side is not something to be ashamed of – it’s my way of life. It’s something I can’t help and wouldn’t if I could. It’s my strength.