Empath: Blessing or Curse?
Being an empath comes with many powerful gifts, but it can also be extremely painful. If you’re an empath but don’t yet realize it, it can be debilitating. You feel there’s something wrong with you, that you’re a failure and a loser when you can’t please everyone, and you don’t value yourself enough to get paid for doing work that you love. Even if you recognize that you’re an empath, unless you know how to harness your intuitive energetic abilities, they can hold you back from fully realizing yourself because you always see “the other” as more important.
As empaths, our senses are easily overloaded, which can lead to our being reclusive. Let’s start by identifying the different forms in which sensory overload can present itself. Our senses can be overwhelmed by too much work, big crowds, noise, and even, yes, simply by watching or experiencing violence in any form, real or fictional. Empaths feel it physically and emotionally.
Sensory overload also comes in the form of other people, particularly people who are emotionally needy or dysfunctional. When sensory overload is caused by other people, empaths often have a hard time disentangling themselves from relationships, for fear of disappointing others. This is particularly the case in situations that initially start out well but eventually tax our senses to the point of overload—prolonged caring for sick or demanding people (including loved ones who require special help), being in an abusive relationship, and dealing with an unfair boss or a toxic work environment. These situations trigger conflicting emotions that run deep, particularly when people we love are in the mix.
One reason empaths are so susceptible to sensory overload—and thus easily lose their connection to their inner self—is that sensory overload is not just registered in our minds. We empaths actually feel sensory overload physically in our bodies, even if that overload is emotional in nature. In other words, we manifest in our bodies the physical symptoms of the people around us, never mind the energy in any given environment. This happens because we’re often unable to distinguish other people’s emotions from our own. Imagine picking up the energy of every person’s pain, hurt, sadness, joy, happiness, or grief, just because they’ve come into your spatial awareness—and not necessarily realizing that these emotions are not your own.
How to Live Life More Optimally as an Empath
The outside world is loud and demanding, so the first step in honing our powers is learning to deal effectively with sensory overload. We have to identify and manage the things that jam our inner guidance system. And that involves turning the volume down on the outside world so we can hear what’s going on inside.
You can start this process by making a simple commitment to turning off all your electronic devices for at least one full day—for a full twenty-four hours per week. Yes, this means turning off your TVs, cell phones, and computers for one day a week and only taking emergency calls. You can slowly increase this to two days a week so that, like fasting, you start to detox your system from all the noise and information that we constantly “ingest.” If it’s not feasible to unplug completely for one or two full days a week, you can get creative—maybe you unplug for three hours each evening and first thing in the morning. Try whatever works for you and provides relief.
#2 Get in Touch with Your Inner Mystic
The next step in the process of empowering yourself and supercharging your gifts is to get in touch with your inner guidance, or
your “inner mystic.” If you commit to the simple practice of plugging in to yourself, pretty soon you’ll have extra space in your mind and your psyche that was once filled with stressful thoughts overloading your senses.
This state of listening to our inner voice or voices, and heightened clarity, is available to us all the time. Our busy, stressed-out, overloaded senses often prevent us from accessing this state of mind, and when we’ve lived like this for a number of years, it starts to feel normal. Often, we don’t even realize that the fears and stresses we’ve taken on in our minds and bodies aren’t ours. This is why it’s important to have strategies that both honor and empower our sensitive natures.
Accept that your inner world is real. It’s real, and you have to empower it. This guidance from our inner world is not just for a chosen few. It’s not as though some cosmic guidance counsel is sitting up there saying, “Huh, are we going to pick on her? She’s going to be chosen. He’s going to be chosen,” and forget about the rest of the people. It’s available for everybody, but in order to tune in to it, you have to do the work. Our guides are sending these signals out to us all the time. And the more we tune in to them, the more they send these signals to us, and/or the more we hear. It’s there all the time, but it’s our choice as to how much we want to tune in, how little we want to tune in, or not to tune in at all.
#3 Connect with the Web of Consciousness
Once you connect with your inner mystic, you can reach out to connect with cosmic consciousness.
our natural state is one of freedom and liberation from the torment of loneliness, guilt, and other burdens that we take on during our lifetime. The more we can release or transcend these emotions that shackle us to our dramas, the more we can feel the connection to our inner mystic and to the vast cosmos that is our natural home.
In the same way that electricity is always available to us if we plug in to it (even if its force is invisible), so, too, is the intuitive wisdom of our infinite selves always available if we choose to connect to it. We can do this by working through and clearing any emotional baggage that bogs us down
We can do this by forgiving those whom we perceive have harmed us, instead of holding on to past resentments (which doesn’t mean we condone their behavior, or allow them into our lives if we don’t want to). And we can connect by feeling grateful for all that is good in our lives, or anything else that elicits a feeling of lightness, relief, or liberation.
We are always connected to our spirit, whether we realize it or not. To own our emotional or spiritual power in the world we don’t need to “fix” ourselves or add more layers to our lives. We don’t need layers of spiritual dogma or layers of self-denial masquerading as self-improvement. As with Michelangelo finding his angel in the block of marble, we need to strip away these layers and chip away at the false beliefs, thought patterns, fears, and unnecessary pressures that jam our internal radar and hinder our connection to our inner mystics.
#4 Strengthen Your Energy
Empaths have different levels of energy—partial, moderate, strong, and full-on, or mystic. But no matter the level, it’s important to build your own energy practice.
Grounding yourself helps you relax, strengthen your spiritual connection, and get clear about which energies are your own and which belong to others. The more grounded you are, the more easily you can connect with your inner mystic, and the less susceptible you’ll be to the energies of others.
- Find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. If the weather’s nice, you might want to find a patch of lawn outside to sit on. You can close your eyes or leave them open. It’s totally up to you.
- Take a deep breath in. As you’re breathing in, imagine that you’re breathing in life force energy (power or cosmic energy), positive life force energy, just breathing it in and filling your vessel with that life force energy. You can do it slowly.
- Now take a deep breath out. Let it all out. Your breathing is slowing everything down, including lowering your blood pressure, slowing down your heart rate.
- Do it once more, a deep breath in and another breath out.
- For the third and last breath, draw a deep breath in, and just allow yourself to visualize that the breath is going even deeper, into your legs, into your feet, and in fact, you’re drawing it in so deeply that the breath is coming out through the bottom of your feet and rooting itself into the ground. And then take a deep breath out.
PROTECT YOUR AURA
It’s critical to protect your aura daily, especially if you’re in crowds, around energy that’s making you uncomfortable, or with someone, such as a narcissist, who may be depleting your energy. There are all kinds of methods, but many of them require you to shield yourself from the energy of others.
- Carry a piece of black tourmaline with you. It’s well known for protecting against energies that might cause you discomfort. You can carry a stone in your pocket or find beautiful jewelry made with this crystal.
- Smudge your aura with a white sage smudge stick. Or you can achieve the similar effect by spraying sage mist. This Native American practice is especially helpful to cleanse your aura. Try it after you’ve been in groups of people. You can also spray witch hazel or water.
- Strengthen your aura. Sit down in a quiet place. Picture your aura—whatever color comes to you—expanding and filling the room, getting larger and larger, as far out as you want to extend it, then slowly pull it back, until it’s inches from your body. Repeat this a few times. Strengthening your aura helps you expand and contract it at will, so that if you’re in an environment that makes you uncomfortable, you can pull it closer to you and avoid picking up unwanted energy.
- Keep your body healthy—drink plenty of water, exercise, go outside. These practices help you clear your energy and center you
RUN YOUR ENERGY
Running energy—moving energy through your body to avoid blocks, like turning the water on high to undo the kinks in a hose that are stopping the flow of water—will help you ground with the earth energy and with the divine. It will open your body’s seven major centers of energy, or chakras, and balance your life force energy.
- Sit quietly and close your eyes. Imagine a beautiful, bright beam of light entering through your crown from above. As it enters your crown, be aware that this is your connection to the divine. This is your divinity.
- As it’s entering through your crown, it’s bathing the entire inside of your head and your throat, and going down into your chest, your arms, your abdomen, down into your buttocks, through your legs, and down to your feet. This beautiful light can take on any color that you would like it to, or any color that it chooses. It can be a rainbow of colors, or it can be pure white. It’s beautiful, bright, and strong. This is your divinity. This is you.
- See this light as being really bright, so that it actually emanates a beautiful aura that surrounds your body, a bright glow that appears around your body. The brighter the beam of light that’s in your body, the larger the aura that it creates. That is your powerful life force energy.
- Now see that light coming out through the soles of your feet and going down into the ground, all the way down into the earth in all its colors, or in whatever color you have chosen.
- See it spread its branches in the earth, going deeper and deeper and wrapping itself around the magnetic force in the center, the core of the earth, so that you are very much part of the Earth. You belong to this earth right now. But you are connected to the divine because you are divine. You are a piece of heaven living on Earth, a piece of God, a piece of the divine living on Earth right now, being an expression of love, shining your light here.
- Feel yourself back in this room, in this moment in time, and feel yourself back in your body again. Feel your fingers and your toes. Take a few deep breaths, then open your eyes.