Let's talk about what it means to be an empath...
Being an empath is when you are affected by other people's energies, and you have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others' desires, wishes, thoughts, moods and even pain. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it's not just limited to emotions or physical pain. Empaths can also perceive the motivations and intentions of people around them. Being an empath, you are always open, so to speak, to process other people's feelings and energy. This means that you really feel, and in many cases, take on the emotions of others, sometimes unknowingly.
Many empaths experience things like chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivities, or unexplained aches and pains daily. These are all things that are more likely to be contributed to outside influences and not so much yourself at all. Essentially, you walk around this world with all of the accumulated karma, emotions, and energy from others. Here are the listeners of life. Empathic people are often problem solvers, thinkers and studiers of many things.
I personally have 'felt' things for a very long time in my younger years and I had no idea I was an empath. I just knew sometimes that I was sad, unsettled, had unusual pains, or was even angry with no apparent reason to be. It wasn't until I was in my late 30's that I learned what it was to be an empath, and why I always felt so different. And it took me quite a bit to truly realize this gift. Today, I'm calling it a gift. In my earlier years, I didn't always think of this as a gift because I didn't know how to contain it, control it, or even protect myself. You can read my article on "Tools for an Empath's Protection" here.
Now I'm usually (and I use the word "usually" loosely, LOL) aware of things I'm feeling that aren't specifically mine, whether emotions things or physical symptoms. Sometimes, however, it takes me some time to figure it out and realize what's happening. An example of this is something that happened to me the other night at a yoga class.
The minute I walked into the yoga room, I got a tickle in my throat that I couldn't quite clear. It was just the instructor and me in the room so I just drank my water and didn't think anything more about it. My throat became very scratchy and I had some coughing for a few minutes. The more I thought about it, I realized that I was perfectly fine before going to class, so I was beginning to think that this issue with my throat was not my own. In chatting with the instructor before class, she mentioned having a sinus thing going on, and suddenly during the class and my coughing fit, it clicked, that I was probably feeling her and not me at all.
At one point during class and much coughing going on, I stopped doing yoga and walked around the room to clear it. I truly wasn't certain if I was feeling the energy of the room or the instructor. What do I mean by clearing? I sent Reiki Energy to the room. I walked from one side of the room, all the way around it, sending Reiki, and continued all the way to the door. Once I made it to the door, I opened it and literally pushed any stagnant energy that may have been in there out through the door. Of course, naturally, everyone looked at me like I had 9 heads, until I was able to explain later what I had just done.
Naturally, being used to people reacting like this, I giggled to myself and went back to my practice. I noticed after that, my throat was clear. I had no more tickle and no more coughing. At the end of yoga, right at the beginning of Shavasana, I went back to the intention set earlier and sent Reiki Healing Energy to the instructor, the yoga room, and the entire room full of practicing yogi's! After class, I explained what I had done and the instructor told me that her head suddenly felt completely fine.
And that, my friends, is what it's like to be an empath! There are too many more to even get into. My next few articles/blogs will be concentrating on how to protect you from absorbing others' energy as well as protecting yourself from the negativity of other people and things, even if you are not an empath. Stay tuned!