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Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

topic posted Fri, August 8, 2008 - 8:49 AM by  Merrill
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I've been really struggling with this lately. Although I was an empath as a child, I've been "numbing" myself out since I was about 15. Well, now I'm in my mid 30s and the numbing with substances isn't blocking stuff. I have no idea how to control, or shield, or protect myself and what I'm really wondering is what is the point of all this? How is this a gift? I feel as though I'm going insane. How does this gift help other people? How does it help me? Does anyone have any insight as to what you can do with this? I feel like all it is is suffering. How do you use this to help yourself and others?
posted by:
Merrill
Los Angeles
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  • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

    Fri, August 8, 2008 - 1:00 PM
    Welcome on board. :D

    I think most of us are on the level of exploration, you are not alone.
    Some say it's a gift, others say it's a curse, some people think it is our duty to help others - I don't.

    What helped me to begin with was to tell myself, that it really doesn't matter, what others might think about this potential. What matters is what you want it to be all about. After all, there are no clear answers. And maybe you will come up with the same insight or idea as others, but you have worked it through by yourself, and that is the most important thing - in my opinion. ;-)

    If you have recently opened up for it, I can tell you, that the overload of expressions will withdraw at some point. It feels very strong to begin with, but that effect takes of at some point, and you might even think, that it has completely vanished again. At least that's how I felt, and I am not the only one.

    I am not really sure about why that is, but I would imagine, that it has something to do with the amount of focus, we give it in the beginning. Then, after a while, other things caches the attention, and things start to slow down again, to a more subtle level.
    All in all, if you want a starting point, everything you focus on will be enlarged. So if you focus on empathy to be a curse, there is no doubt about it - it will turn out that way. But if you look at it as just a part of you - the authentic you! Then it will become just that.
    What you want to do with it, is completely up to you.

    Haven't you felt a deeper connection with your self? Despite all the frustration that comes along, haven't you felt something "real" something breathtakingly honest about being you, that you didn't feel when you where blocking the signals?

    I am not trying to put words in you mouth, but that is how I felt. Having opened up after so many years, where I just couldn't feel "me", I just feel so alive now, and I wouldn't trade it for the numbness ever again.
  • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

    Sun, August 10, 2008 - 7:11 AM
    Is it a suffer for you,Merrill ?
    What exactly makes you suffer ?

    • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

      Sun, August 10, 2008 - 9:28 PM
      Feeling other people's feelings is exhausting to me..especially when it's something along the lines of lonely, despair, rage, depression, mania etc. (lots of that in Los Angeles). I'm constantly feeling depleted. Thus it feels like suffering without a benefit.

      I'm sorry if this sounds negative. I just am trying to come to terms with this and was really looking for the bright side from others who may be a little further along than I am. Right now, I just feel depressed...or is that even my depression I'm feeling?..ha ha. That was a joke.
      • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

        Mon, August 11, 2008 - 12:00 AM
        Merrill,

        My first thought was,he is an active empath,the best is to be passive ...
        Hmm..I did not even hear it ever ,this term,but anyway this thought came to my mind ..
        So what you think ? Maybe you really stop accepting everything so close to your heart ?? and just be empathic in a passive way ?You still can be helpful for all suffering people ..

        But taking everything too hard and too much to heart will not give you anything except a suffer ..

        and you seem to be smart ,
        it really may be your own depression :)

        When we are depressed ourselves ,we see the world in darker colors :)
        ~E~
        • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

          Mon, August 11, 2008 - 9:02 AM
          Thanks for the input. I'm not really depressed as a whole. Maybe depressed was the wrong word. The prospect of not being able to do much or control this just felt depressing. Anyway, maybe I'm not communicating well. Thanks for the input. ;)
        • CJ
          CJ
          offline 0

          Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

          Sun, August 24, 2008 - 7:56 AM
          Hi-I'm new too...as in I just found this site and am beginning to think that I'm not really crazy/hypersensitive.
          Can you explain more on what you meant between "active" and "passive" empaths?

          Is there a way to control? Sometimes I don't get anything and sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks. And then there are times where I "zip up" but I don't really know how I do it. It's almost out of instinct.

          Thanks in advance for any additional input.

          -cj
  • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

    Sun, August 10, 2008 - 9:57 AM
    Sorry to hear about your struggles. I look at being an empath as being unique. I consider it a gift. I've used it to help diagnose people when they didn' t know what was wrong with them, it's told me when to stay away from certain people. I feel people's pain, but I can also help to heal them by picturing them surrounded by white, healing light wherever they're broken. I use it and know I can really trust my feelings. There is a book online, called the Book of Storms, by Jad Alexander. It's a wonderful help, and there's a whole community of people there who are also learning just what this gift means. It also teaches you how to shield yourself because we tend to take others' pain onto ourselves. Good luck to you on your journey.
    P.S. ( I tried numbing myself for years also, and it didn't help me, either. I finally gave up and gave in, and I'm glad I did.)
  • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

    Fri, August 15, 2008 - 10:30 AM
    Oh, sweet one, it will be ok. Stop numbing out and learn to listen to yourself and take care of yourself. Most of us have either tried to numb out or toughen up but ultimately it is never good to struggle against your own nature.

    So three things you need to learn right away, how to protect yourself, how to ground yourself and how to get replenished because it can take a lot out of you to always be feeling the pain of, not only the people around you but also the generations that came before. Reiki has really helped me, I would highly recommend taking at least Reiki level one from a Reiki Master that stresses grounding and self healing in level one. for some reason not all Reiki masters teach that and for me that was the whole point.

    In a nutshell, grounding is connecting with the earth and your body and learning to be present. I often use the visualization of being a tree with deep roots in the earth and visualize myself drawing nourishment up through those roots as well as discharging anything that is not serving my highest good into the earth and allowing it to become compost that nourishes the earth (harm none).

    Self protection, with Reiki you become a clearer channel for healing energy to flow through you to the other person, healing you along the way, with this you can perceive what you need to without taking any of it into your own system. You can also visualize a barrier of light that surrounds you and the people around you to create some healthy boundaries. It is also important to honor your sensitive nature. I spend many years toughening up, now I acknowledge that I am sensitive and really choose not to expose myself to people and things that cause me pain.

    Replenish, it is important to have a way to release what you take in, perhaps exercise or writing. Make sure to release what you take in and sort through what is yours and what is not. The better you become at discerning your own pain from that of others the better you will become at not taking what is not yours in the first place. Then do something to fill yourself back up, pray, meditate, receive healing work, spend time in nature. Whatever it is that helps you. Surround yourself with people who care about you and respect your sensitivity.

    Once you are taken care of you can better serve the world. Having deep empathy gives you a sense of compassion and justice. It gives you the desire to ease the suffering of the world and the people around, if only so you don't have to feel it yourself. If you listen to your heart it will guide you as to where and how you can best serve. Before you can listen to your heart you have to calm the noise and before you can serve you have to make yourself whole.

    You can be who you are and be happy. Your sensitive heart is a gift to the world. Care for it well.

    Blessings to you on your path, I will be sending you love.
  • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

    Fri, August 15, 2008 - 10:43 AM
    Oh, sweet one, it will be ok. Stop numbing out and learn to listen to yourself and take care of yourself. Most of us have either tried to numb out or toughen up but ultimately it is never good to struggle against your own nature.

    So three things you need to learn right away, how to protect yourself, how to ground yourself and how to get replenished because it can take a lot out of you to always be feeling the pain of, not only the people around you but also the generations that came before. Reiki has really helped me, I would highly recommend taking at least Reiki level one from a Reiki Master that stresses grounding and self healing in level one. for some reason not all Reiki masters teach that and for me that was the whole point.

    In a nutshell, grounding is connecting with the earth and your body and learning to be present. I often use the visualization of being a tree with deep roots in the earth and visualize myself drawing nourishment up through those roots as well as discharging anything that is not serving my highest good into the earth and allowing it to become compost that nourishes the earth (harm none).

    Self protection, with Reiki you become a clearer channel for healing energy to flow through you to the other person, healing you along the way, with this you can perceive what you need to without taking any of it into your own system. You can also visualize a barrier of light that surrounds you and the people around you to create some healthy boundaries. It is also important to honor your sensitive nature. I spend many years toughening up, now I acknowledge that I am sensitive and really choose not to expose myself to people and things that cause me pain.

    Replenish, it is important to have a way to release what you take in, perhaps exercise or writing. Make sure to release what you take in and sort through what is yours and what is not. The better you become at discerning your own pain from that of others the better you will become at not taking what is not yours in the first place. Then do something to fill yourself back up, pray, meditate, receive healing work, spend time in nature. Whatever it is that helps you. Surround yourself with people who care about you and respect your sensitivity.

    Once you are taken care of you can better serve the world. Having deep empathy gives you a sense of compassion and justice. It gives you the desire to ease the suffering of the world and the people around, if only so you don't have to feel it yourself. If you listen to your heart it will guide you as to where and how you can best serve. Before you can listen to your heart you have to calm the noise and before you can serve you have to make yourself whole.

    You can be who you are and be happy. Your sensitive heart is a gift to the world. Care for it well.
    • Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

      Mon, August 18, 2008 - 11:56 AM
      amaranth, i appreciate the way you carefully addressed the "now what" topic. your words and sentiments ring true: stop numbing and listen to your self. take care of yourself. learn to ground, protect and replenish. learn how to work with energy (such as reiki). and my favorite solution - learning to discern... what is yours and what is that of other's. honor and protect your sensitive heart. this is sound advice, and offered compassionately. this is why i joined this tribe - to be part of discussions like this that can really make a difference. thank you for your contribution.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: Okay, I'm an Empath. Now what?

    Sun, August 17, 2008 - 2:51 PM
    Oh my gosh, i know exactly how you feel. My ability has developed very quickly since the last few weeks. I think the best advice is to be with a partner who is very positive and loving, expecially if she/he is an empath. Unfortunately for me I'm with this girl who is VERY negative but she feels like I'm her last hope because I can see deep into her soul which no one else can. But its very draining for me. :(

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