There are so many things that I struggle with on a daily basis but that gets quite personal and I am not sure that I am ready to reveal those portions of my life yet. So I will share a struggle, that isn’t so secretive but still deep enough that you will get to know me a little bit better. (To read my other challenge posts click here.)
So here it goes:
I am an empath. It is both a blessing and a curse.
If you do not know what an empath is I will explain. Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies. This ability allows you to feel and perceive others more readily than others.
As an empath, my life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. In other words, everybody’s mood or thoughts rub off on me- affecting me, too.
Some people might mistake being an empath with being emotional but it is much more than being highly sensitive. Empaths, such as myself, can perceive physical sensitivities. Many empaths experience constant fatigue, environmental sensitivity, or random aches and pains daily. These are all things that are more likely to be contributed to outside influences, the physical aspect of it all.
As an empath, I am always an open door. This really becomes a struggle for me because I take on other people’s feelings and energies far too much. If someone is crying to me, or is depressed- I can’t just say, “It’s going to be okay.” and make them happy, then go home and be fine. I literally soak up that other persons sadness to make them feel happiness, and walk away being the depressed and broken one. It isn’t something I think of, or anything that I can control. It simply just is that way.
I feel embaressment when people are embaressed- even if it has nothing to do with me. I feel sad when other people are sad. I even feel the hurt an actor in a movie feels when they see their spouse cheating on them, even though it isn’t real. I can’t even watch these types of movies because it affects me so much that I feel so sick that I become nauseous. I cry when other people are feeling despair, and hopelessness even if I didn’t feel that way to begin with- for instance, when I saved that baby raccoon (Read here) I started crying when I saw him because I know how sad and helpless he felt.
Basically, I am walking around all the time with all of the accumulated emotions, and energy from other people. It can become really overwhelming which contributes to much of the anxiety I feel often.
But there is also the great part of being an empath. As someone who is hyper-sensitive to other people- I am a really gentle, caring and understanding person. I really pay attention to how other people feel. I always want to make someone happy, or feel better even though it means I will be taking their energy in replace of my own.
I found a really great website that explains “30 traits of Empaths”
Here are 30 of the most common traits:
1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.
2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.
3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.
4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.
5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.
6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.
7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.
8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.
9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.
10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.
11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.
12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.
13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.
14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.
15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.
16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.
17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.
18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.
19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.
20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.
21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.
22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.
23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.
24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.
25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.
26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.
27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.
28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.
29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.
30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.
If after reading this, you realize you might be an empath, follow these rules for your own sanity. I read them everyday.
Hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe see me a little bit clearer now.
Thanks for reading.