What it’s Like to be an Empath

In this blog I’m going to be talking about how I discovered that I am an empath and my experiences of being one. Let’s start with the definition of the word. According to Google, “an empath is someone that senses and feels emotions as if they’re part of their own experience. In other words, someone else’s pain and happiness become their pain and happiness.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

I did some research on this topic, and I encountered a great book that can help you if you’re an empath like me or educate you on the subject if you are just curious.

empath: book suggestion
Source: Mikolaj on Unsplash

The book is called “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People” by Judith Orloff. Judith Orloff is a physician with fourteen years of conventional medical training at USC and UCLA.  The author gives their own explanation of the word,  “Empaths are emotional sponges who absorb both the stress and joy of the world. We feel everything, often to an extreme, and have little guard up between others and ourselves.” The author then proceeds with questions that can indicate that your compassion levels are higher than common ones, basically a self test of some sort.

We all have a decent portion of empathy, but what is the difference between a common “amount” of compassion and being an empath? As Judith Orloff has already mentioned, people can sympathize with someone that is going through a difficult time or feel proud of an individual’s success. We empaths, on the other hand, feel other people’s emotions, energy, physical symptoms as our own. We are very sensitive to the tone of voice and/or body movement; we can hear what you’re thinking without you actually speaking! By all means, we are not mind readers! Just a bit intuitive to your thoughts and feelings.

As stated in the book, there are a lot of types of empaths. Physical ones, emotional ones, etc. Someone can either be born hyper sensitive to the emotions of others or by practicing compassion and understanding one can increase their levels of empathy. Your family environment, workplace, and society in general contribute as some kind of exercise, if you will.

How I discovered that I was in fact, an Empath.  

empath: world view
Source: RUSTU BOZKUS on Pixabay

Little clues here and there, feeling sad for no apparent reason, hurting for the families that lost someone as though it was my loss, being super sensitive to environmental issues and extremely close to nature. Getting incredibly angry with the injustice surrounding our world, and so much more, however, these signs are not responsible for finding out. Let me tell you the story…

One sunny day where the birds sang and the flowers were dancing in the rhythm of their music- Kidding. I don’t even remember the year, let alone the weather. Anyhow, one day I was visiting a church, to pray and pay my respects. I always believed that your religion brought you peace and reassurance, so you can understand my shock when I went inside and I was overwhelmed by hate and anger. I was so confused, wondering what I had to be angry about. The hatred, a feeling so rare and unfamiliar to me.

I started walking further inside and it only got more intense, my mood was all over the place. When the church was over, I was exhausted and feeling drained. Parting from that experience, it had come to my attention that I felt most at peace when I visited, alone, remote monasteries with little to no people inside. It all made sense, the mood swings, sudden surfaced feelings, why social gatherings were a bit much for me and needed to be recharged the next day.  

As a result, we are often overwhelmed by excessive stimulation and are prone to exhaustion and sensory overload.

– Judith Orloff

How you can “recharge” after draining situations.

empath: meditate
Source: Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

1.  Take a day off of everything. Social Media/gatherings, work if possible, chores. Take a day off from life in general! Relax, pour yourself some wine (if you are of age, of course), read a book or do something else that you love.

2.  Meditation is your best friend. There’s nothing more refreshing than letting go of the negative energy and focusing on the positive side of life.

3.  Wicca has helped me so much and maybe you will find it helpful too! Here are some of the “tips” that have helped me:

A) Grounding techniques and Centering. Helps with focusing, connecting with the earth and reinforces the connection you have with yourself, it also helps with balance.
B) Herbs, to help you purify your energy, protect and build a wall so most of the emotions you feel are actually yours.
C) Smudging with sage for purification and keeping your home a safe space.

4.  Avoid energy vampires. People that “feed” on your kindness, understanding and manipulate your caring nature. Keep your friend circle small and filled with positive humans that are proud of you and care for your emotional health.

Our innate capacity for empathy is the source of the most precious of all human qualities.

– Dalai Lama

In conclusion, being an empath is difficult, especially because we are more vulnerable to mental health issues, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We have such a unique connection with nature, energy, the tune of the universe. It is worth it. I hope you found this blog helpful and a safe place to rest your cluttered mind. Thank you.

©Parting Stories 

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