A Romantic Entanglement and the Empath

flower-wallpaper14The one really frustrating part of this gift is that I can tell if a person is cheating on her spouse just because she happens to be standing in front of me at the Dunkin Donuts, but I cannot tell if someone I am interested in is interested in me.  To be fair, I don’t think it’s the ability that holds me back, I think it’s my ego.

I have a crush, which is annoying because I am not sure what this significant crush is thinking. Again, I can see a video of a perfect stranger screaming at his son in my head, but I cannot for certain know if one of my guy friends thinks I am attractive. The other frustrating part of this is that I used to really dislike this man.  For the sake of time, I will begin our story and continue it tomorrow.

Here’s how it started…picture it.  A high school library filled with students three years ago…

I sat at a table near the main computer lab situated in the center of the library.  The room was packed with students.  Thirty of my Honors students swarmed around my table and the adjoining areas.  They were working on their research papers, and in true Honors style, they had so many questions.  I was answering some and reprimanding others when I heard a booming male voice, “Women’s rights?”  He yelled.  He waved a paper in the face of a young girl who looked to be in ninth grade.  Her eyes were wide with horror.  She stayed silent but backed away.  “Why would you want to do your paper on women’s rights.” He shook his head and threw the paper on the table in front of him.  “Either way it must be more specific.  Go and pick a better topic than that please.” I stared, incredulous.  When he looked up, our eyes met and I waved my hand.

“Really?” I mouthed, hoping my eyes and gesture conveyed my disgust.  He smiled and shrugged,  Disgusted, I looked away. I was shocked, not only by his blatant disrespect for the topic of women’s rights, but that he would staunchly yell about it across the library as if it were ok.  In addition, the look on the girl’s face stayed with me, even later that day when I was at the lunch table with other people from department.

“I don’t know who it was, but I can’t believe he would say that.  It’s the 21st century and it’s a public school. I know he’s a Social Studies teacher, but I have no idea who.”  My friend Sally walked from behind the wall that separated the two sections of the lunch room. “I know who it is,” she answered.

“Who?” I asked.

“It’s Brewster.  He’s always making sexist comments like that.”

“I don’t know,” I answered.  “What’s that guy look like?”

“Cute,” she answered.  “Brown hair, kind of built.”  I nodded.  For all of my irritation while I was in the library, I could tell he was cute.  His arrogant smiling face showed a guy who was used to getting away with things because of his looks.

“Yep, it sounds like him,” she said.  “I am so sick of his shit. My kids tell me the male chauvinistic shit he spouts off in class all of the time.  Someone should really talk to him.  He needs to know that the stuff he’s saying is not ok.  I was at an in-service workshop with him once, and we were working on an exercise where we had difficult and stressful situations.  We had to explain how we would work through money issues with a spouse who was upset that we were working long hours.”

“Oh, yeah,” one of my male colleagues said.  “That was so weird.”

“He said,” she continued, ” I would tell her to shut up and just enjoy m my big fat check.”  There was a hushed silence followed by various comments.  I shook my head.

“Such a dick,” I said. “And so smug, standing there smiling.”  I have never liked arrogant men like this, regardless of what they look like.  Looks have never been something I’ve focused on.

“That’s it,” my friend said suddenly, slamming her hand on the table.  “I’m going to talk to him.”

“What?” I croaked, choking slightly.

“Yeah, I am going to set this guy straight once and for all.” She stood up.  My fried Sally has always been a powerful ally.  An ex softball player, she was always dealing sexist stuff on the field and off.  Her solid, athletic body was poised for a fight.  “Wanna go?”

“No,” I answered as my heart raced.  “I feel like I’ve said enough.”  My heart fell into my stomach.  So many doubts, so many misgivings.  What if this guy wasn’t even Brewster?  And what is he going to think if he is?

Sally gave me no time to plea for some kind of reprieve.  She threw her lunch in the trash and angrily marched down to the Social Studies office.

To be continued…

How to Tell if You’re and Empath

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There are many sites and books on being an Empath.  Went I started my journey to figure out exactly what this is, I found many insights.  Some of them were helpful; many of them were not.  One website actually contained a quiz that I could take that asked questions like, “Do you think of a person and then he/she calls you?” and “Do you get a bad feeling in your stomach and then something terrible happens?”.  These quizzes did not help.  What I am capable of doing/feeling was not really listed or discussed in the blogs and chat rooms, even the helpful ones.  I could not find anyone else who seemed to be able to help me with the ability to “feel through” or “read” a person.  They also did not help me with the largest piece of the puzzle.  Why was I sometimes so right and other times so wrong?  The times I was wrong seemed to trump the times I was right and provide undeniable examples that perhaps this was all in my head.  But then, when I would be at the height of my “yes, this is all in my mind,” something would happen.  I would be in a situation where I was so insanely correct and felt something so deeply that I could not deny that this was real.

The truth is that there is no precise way outside of you to ever truly tell if you are in fact an Empath.  I could give you a list of questions and you can add up the numbers to see if they coincide with someone’s idea of what an Empath is, but the reality is that you must find the answer within yourself.  It is during my quiet meditations that I know that I am what I am.  My many validations prove only that I know something at that moment.  It is the voice that is inside of my soul that tells me that my intuitions are more honed.  This is another reality.  We are all able to do this.  Like any skill set, some of us have more natural ability, but we can all access our intuitive selves and feel others.  We can do this when we begin to believe that we are all one and there are no separations.

So if you still want to know if you are an Empath, here is what I recommend you do:

1) Find a quiet spot that you can call your own. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

2) Make sure there are few outside distractions. (I meditate at night after my two boys are in bed.)

3) Sit with your back straight and your legs crossed in front of you.

4) Allow your mind to wander where it will, but don’t let it take you.  Don’t invest in it.  You may have to process many emotions that have been dormant beneath your protective coating for years.  Let them come to the surface.  Don’t give them a story.  Just feel through them.  Emotions only have power if you give them power.  Greet them like old friends and they cannot have their way with you.

5)  Imagine yourself surrounded by a safe and protective light.

6) Try to do this for 20 minutes everyday.

At some point you will feel it.  Do NOT expect it to come to you right away.  Be patient with yourself.  You will have stuff to wade through.  You will have other people’s stuff to release.  We live in a world that seeks to create noise and distractions so we don’t have to feel.  This is unhealthy.  In time, you will feel it.  There will be a change in you.  Silence creates a space.

7) When you feel that space, ask your question.  There may or may not be an answer.  You will know that it is your soul’s answer if it comes from deep within you.  This is not your mind.  This is the place that feels what others are feeling.  This is the place that has the answers because we are all connected and the light that shines through me shines through you.  If you give yourself over to silence, you will feel it.

Love and Blessings

Some people who have helped me in my journey:

*Elizabeth Harper has been a great resource for me-Sealed with Love is her website

*Suchitra is my teacher and guide here.  Her guided meditations are amazing.  Soul Source is a great site and located in Delaware County, PA.