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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What It Means To Be An Empath

I didn't grow up knowing I was an empath. I knew I understood what other people were feeling--so much so that when someone around me was feeling sad or angry I would do what I could to make them feel better. Often this included playing the role of defender when I saw someone getting bullied. There were times when I felt other's feelings so well I could pretty much tell what they were thinking. I always knew when someone had a crush on me, which usually resulted in me turning distant in order to keep would-be boyfriends away. I just knew I did not want to engage with people in that casual way.

I didn't know there was such a thing as an empath until I had a very unusual experience. I was working as a Pre-K teacher at the time. It was a normal day in my classroom and I was supervising my class during their free choice time. As I stood there watching the kids at play, I heard words form in my mind. The words were, "You are an empath." My first thought was, "I'm a what?" I didn't have the first clue as to what the word meant, although I assumed it had something to do with empathy. The voice was comforting and familiar, as I had heard it many times throughout my life when I really needed something extra. I know now that voice belongs to my main guardian angel. I'm still not sure why he chose that particular time to give me that information. I just know he did.

When I got home, I did a quick computer search and asked, "What is an empath?" As I began reading articles on empaths, several light bulbs went off. This is why I hated being in large crowds and needed lots of alone time! (Emotional overload.) This is why I can't stand horror movies or movies involving human tragedy. (Too much suffering.) I adore spending time hiking in nature because of the calming energies I am able to absorb. There were quite a few different traits that seemed to fit this description of empath. Considering I didn't even know what the word meant when I first heard it in my head (and that it turned out to be a real word), I thought it was quite significant.

It has taken me a long time to be able to shield myself from certain emotional situations. Some of my shielding comes from my gifts themselves. Because I understand others' emotional needs in a very intimate way, I can often find ways to help them feel better quickly, which in turn helps me feel better. Other parts of my shielding involves life lessons where I have learned to understand that others poor treatment of myself and others usually stems from pain that is part of their BEing. I am able to understand it is theirs and not take it personally.

On the flip side, it has taken me a long time to appreciate what I can do. It has only been the past couple of years that I realized I am very good at my customer service job because I can read people well. I know what they need and can sense small problems before they become bigger problems, Over the years, I have found that I can talk to hurting people for just a little while and help them find solutions to the problems they encounter. I used to take this ability for granted, but no more. It is a blessing to be a spiritual/emotional healer.

The more we begin to tap into the wisdom and guidance of our hearts, the more empathic we become. Like all muscles, empathy must be practiced. It is not for the faint of heart. Courage is required when you allow your heart to be opened to others. After all, you are allowing yourself to be opened to pain. Harnessing empathic power gives one the ability to heal whatever is focused on, whether self, others or the planet. Empaths are here to help heal the world.

~CSE

 






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