By Faith: There are a lot of people that call themselves ‘empaths’. I meet many people through my work who are certainly highly empathetic, but not empaths. So how do you work out whether you are an empath, or just empathetic? Is an empath even “a thing”, or are we just amazingly empathetic people?
“It is both a blessing and a curse, to feel everything so deeply” ~ David Jones
I am a claircognizant intuitive empath. Which basically means I am able to help you by feeling what you are feeling, sensing your situation and listening to any intuitive messages I receive, then knowing the way forward using my heart, but also my head, to guide you. I realized later in my life that I’ve always had this ability to feel others energy and pain, and it explained a lot let me tell you! It can be both a curse and a blessing, particularly when you have no idea why you feel the way you do! I now watch my teenage empath daughter with a sense of both wonder and horror, because it’s awesome to see her grow with this gift she has, but I also know just how hard it is being the person who feels and senses everything others are experiencing. Thankfully, the difference is I know what she is (whereas my parents had no idea) and we talk about her ability often. I also help her to protect herself when she needs to.
Empath or just Empathetic?
So, what’s the difference between an empath and someone who is just highly empathetic? We both feel deep empathy for others, and want to help in whatever way we can. Someone who is highly empathetic however, will be able to emotionally detach fairly easily, whereas an empath will absorb the emotions from the situation into our own systems, like a sponge absorbs water. We can feel the person’s sadness, their pain, their happiness, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish whether these emotions are ours or theirs. We take everything on board, so to speak, at the one-time i.e. The persons psychological state (what they’re saying and how they’re saying it), their physical state (visible emotions and their body language) and also their energetic state (what we feel around that person). Some empaths like myself can also tune in psychically with that person.
Are you an Empath?
If you think you may be an empath, these are the most common traits you will have, as researched by Judith Orloff M.D. who is both a psychiatrist and empath herself.
1) You are highly sensitive.
2) You absorb other people’s emotions.
3) You are introverted.
4) You are highly intuitive.
5) You need regular alone time.
6) You can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships.
7) You are a target for energy vampires.
8) You become energized in nature.
9) You have highly tuned senses.
10) You are big hearted but often give too much.
Self-Care for an Empath
Empaths generally have a lot going on, in their head, heart and life, and this can take a huge toll on their health if not properly cared for. You can be left very tired and drained of energy. Headaches and stomach issues are very common (I suffer from these). Anxiety and depression are also common traits of an empath who isn’t looking after themselves. So, self-care is hugely important, and these tips can help you.
1) Use empathetic shielding with pink light. Simply visualize a pearly pink light being poured into your energy field, starting at your crown chakra and moving down to your root chakra. Do this as often as you need to. If you are feeling attacked, repeat this process with a bright white light.
2) Ask yourself regularly “Are these my emotions, or someone else’s?”.
3) Be aware of energy vampires and toxic relationships, and either move away from these or protect yourself from these people.
4) Schedule regular alone time without distractions to simply detox your emotions.
5) Practice meditation, mindfulness and yoga regularly.
6) Get out in nature. Go for a walk, paddle in the ocean, lie on the grass and look at the sky. It helps amazingly to rejuvenate a tired empath!
Being an empath really is a gift. We are often misunderstood, but always come at life from a kind and compassionate viewpoint. We are also earthy and nurturing, and really just want to help and see others happy. I learned a while ago to just ignore negativity, and just be who I am. And I am grateful to be an Empath.
Love and Light,