You know that you’re an empath, so now what?
The first thing that you should understand about this little quirk that you have is that it’s a psychic ability. You probably know this already, but I mention it, in case you
Most professional psychics, mediums, energy healers, and medical intuitives are empathic. It’s a big and important part of their skill sets. You are a part of this highly hallowed club, so welcome! Give yourself a pat on the back and pump your fist in the air a couple of times. This is a good thing.
It’s not something that should make you feel frightened. You are simply made a little differently than other people, that’s all.
There are tons of books out there on being empathic, written by well-meaning, wise, and intelligent people. They give you lots of advice on how to protect yourself from the big, bad “feels” that are currently making you want to hide in your home like Howard Hughes or Boo Radley.
They explain that you absorb other people’s energy, emotions, and illnesses like a dish sponge.
They give you tips on how to keep their stuff separate from yours, like making sure that the peas and mashed potatoes on your dinner plate don’t touch each other.
Unfortunately, very few of the techniques that they suggest that empaths use, like imagining a silver egg around yourself, putting on a suit of metaphorical armor first thing in the morning, or keeping certain crystals on your person at all times, is going to stop this gift from doing what it does. They might help you feel comforted and safe, but that’s about it.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If what I’m saying is true, then what’s the solution? Am I telling you that you are stuck feeling too much and suffering for the rest of your life? Are you always going to feel overwhelmed in crowds, or anxious for no reason, or sick when there isn’t anything physically wrong with you?
Am I telling you to suck it up and live with it?
Heck no! Don’t be silly. All I’m saying is that protection doesn’t always work. Attempting to keep yourself energetically separate from the masses doesn’t always work. Crystals that draw other people’s emotional cooties into them so that you aren’t infected don’t always work. I know that they can help a little, but they’re just band aids, not solutions.
None of these tools work all the time for one reason; they’re not supposed to.
When you decided to be born into this life, you gave yourself a little something extra to help you on your journey. You made a clear and conscious decision to experience what other people can’t, because it makes it easier for you to bring healing to this planet.
The human collective was crying out for help and you heeded the call. You chose to be an empath because you are one of the strong ones, and you knew that you could handle it. And you CAN handle it. You just need a little help getting control of it.
Being an unskilled empath is like trying to break a wild thoroughbred horse, but having no idea how to ride one, or driving a Ferrari at 120 miles an hour through city streets. It’s a crazy ride!
You signed up for this rodeo, and yet experts in the field of intuitive development suggest that you treat yourself like a victim who needs to be protected from it. They are unwittingly helping you stay in a victimized state, which attracts the very things they are telling you to protect yourself from. If you think about it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Being an empath is a complicated thing, and it would take an entire book to explain it all, but getting a handle on your skills isn’t that difficult. Here are five ways that can help you get started:
1. Find out if what you are experiencing is “yours” or “someone else's.” All you have to do is ask.
The biggest problem that empaths face isn’t that they feel other people’s stuff, it’s that they own it. They absorb it and take it on as their own, which ultimately causes them to suffer. They carry it around for a while, then have to go through a process of cleaning and clearing their energy field, but usually the damage is already done.
An easier solution is to figure out if it’s yours to own, and you can do that by turning yourself into a human pendulum. In a standing position, close your eyes for a second and ask your body to give you a “yes” response. Your body will lean a certain way (mine leans forward for yes). Once you’ve got that, then ask it for a “no” response. It will lean a different way (mine leans backward). Once you’ve established your “yes” and “no”, then you can ask it whatever you want. You can ask “Is this emotion/physical pain/etc. mine?” If the answer is no, then you say to yourself “Not my stuff. Be gone.”
You can do this in public whenever you need to. I used to do it every time I had a random feeling or physical discomfort, and I finally got to the point where I started recognizing the difference between what I feel like and other people feel like. Once I understood that, the rest was easy.
2. Become the ruler of your domain.
The health of our energy field has EVERYTHING to do with what we think. If we think that other people’s energy is more important than our own, then it will be. Whether we like it or not, that’s the truth. Your space is yours, and you have the right to claim it.
Get yourself into the mindset that you are the ruler of your domain and you reign supreme. Say that 100 times a day. Write it on your bathroom mirror. Imagine yourself putting a crown on your head before you leave for work. Do whatever you have to do to remind yourself that your energy is just as important as everyone else’s, and do it until you start to believe it.
3. Work on relationship boundaries.
Many books for empaths have you work on energetic boundaries, but if you don’t have healthy relationship boundaries, it just carries over into your field, so trying to shore yourself up energetically is a waste of time. You will have to constantly do it.
First, check in with yourself and see how good your boundaries are. Do you feel responsible for other people’s emotions? Are you overly concerned with the opinions of others? Is it hard for you to say no, and if you do say no, do you feel guilty about it? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you’ve probably got some work to do in that department.
A couple of good books that can help you are The Ever Transcending Spirit by Toru Sato and Where to Draw the Line by Anne Katherine.
4. Do a daily morning body scan.
The key here is to get to know yourself and how you feel, which is a big issue for empaths. Most have no idea how they feel without interference from other people, which makes it easy to take on other people’s stuff without realizing it.
Empaths are also notorious for being out of touch with their physical bodies. They often pull away from being fully present because they feel so much discomfort. Most skilled empaths have one thing in common; they practice yoga, tai chi, qigong, or other form of exercise or meditation that brings their awareness to the energetic flow within and around the body.
The first thing that every empath should do when they start their morning is quietly check in with themselves. Do a quick body scan and feel what you feel like before you’ve had any interference from anyone else. Check in with yourself and see if you are experiencing discomfort, either physical or emotional. This is how you feel when your “fresh.”
Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information, please visit her website at www.barbarabuck.org.