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.

 

The Empath and Her New Love Interest

Yes, I have a new love interest.  It’s been a passionate and whirlwind romance.  It really just started recently when I finally moved out of my ex’s house.  Amid my stuffed boxes and half packed bags, I found someone I never thought I’d meet.  My divorce was so difficult.  It stripped away parts of me that I didn’t even know existed.  How is this much pain and happiness possible at the same time? I knew my divorce was the right thing, but I did not know that I would feel free, guilty, satisfied, fear.

My new love interest has done wonders fforest_path_by_grrroch-d4s8lwgor me, though.  It has been transforming.  I will no longer keep you in suspense…it’s me.  Yes, anti-climatic and perhaps I bit predictable, I know, but it is also very true.  For so many years, I have looked for distractions, things to keep me away from me.  I didn’t want to face my own internal issues.  I didn’t want to see myself. People would ask me what I wanted, and I didn’t even know what that meant.  I was so far from myself. Somewhere along the way, I was taught that I needed validation from others.  I picked up this nasty habit of only seeing myself through the eyes of others.  I became obsessed with what others thought about me, believing that I was only worthy if someone else liked me.  Even worse, I could only understand love from a man if it included sex.  Desire is such a powerful emotion, and I believed that love from a man could not be real without it.  Unfortunately, I started to convince myself it was the only thing.

This summer I plan on continuing this new love affair.  So far I realized that I am a pretty cool person to be with.  I realized that I have more interests than I ever realized before.  Why didn’t it take me so long to realize that I am this awesome?

Love and the Empath: Why Would Anyone Want to Date You?

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I am starting to wonder.  The other day I was talking to a colleague about dating and she said, “Why would someone want to date you?”.  She wasn’t referring directly to me.  She was citing a radio personality who was telling a story about a young lady in the dating world.  The young woman was complaining about the shortage of men or the quality of men, and her mother questioned her.  Her mother asked, “Well, why would any guy want to date you?”.

This question has haunted me since the asking.  Why would any guy want to date me?  I divorced my husband because I was unhappy.  I have tentatively entered the dating world only to find it tumultuous and sad, and my self-esteem has been struggling ever since, and now I am pondering this question.

Part of me is angry.  I have spent a large portion of the last three years trying to pick myself up.  I have struggled with my self-esteem.  I have constantly questioned my self-worth, and now I ignorantly believed that finding the right guy rested solely on there being a “good, right guy.”  Here I have an entirely different ball of wax to consider.  Perhaps I won’t be good enough for this right guy.  It feels too good to my ego.  It feels to good to that little voice inside my head.  “Yes, that’s right,” it says.  “Who do you think you are?”  This makes me question its validity.  This makes me want to fight against it, but…

I am struggling not to get any lower.  I felt for just a few minutes like I was rising up.  Now I am just not so sure.

“Why would anyone want to date me?”

Energy and the Empath

In this world there are an amazing and never ending supply of circumstances that leave me confident that there is more. What do I mean by this? More is such a general term and can be used so wrongly. Here is exactly what I mean. More than what I can see with my eyes, hear with my ears, feel with my hands, with my heart. The intangible guts of life that tangle all around us every day. This electrifying murmuring, the undercurrent that flows beneath the surface of all of these pictures and emotions. I feel the path now under my feet in a way that I never have before. Can you feel it? Have you ever?

Have you ever made a choice that created an inaudible click in your mind, and you knew you had just altered something? I have. I have felt the snap of a right decision. It is not always immediate. I think it is often better when it isn’t. The choice then stays suspended in life, waiting to see how it plays out. This is why life is so much more than what it seems. If I listen, placing my ear to my heartbeat, I can feel it. The excitement and the charge of life as it careens through this time and our existence. I can feel it in you. The Empath part of me allows this strange connection that repeatedly allows me to know that the beat that runs through me runs through you. The same anger, the same love, the same multitudes. So if you suspend any disbelief and allow the truth to take hold for just a moment, ask yourself, “Is it here? Can I feel it?” And see what answers you get…

Desire and the Empath

My meditation class meets every Sunday. It is a really beautiful mix of women. We are so different, but when they speak about their supposed failings and short comings, I see myself in their stories and their words.

One woman suffered a miscarriage last year and is now newly pregnant, but she can’t help but criticize her body’s appearance now that she is starting to show. Another woman’s husband left her and she is dealing with trying to tell her son and moving into her own apartment. There are ten of us, and we sit in the cream colored room of our instructor. The large window overlooks a park, and when the windows are cracked, you can hear the traffic noises and laughter of children. Our teacher talks to us about some salient topic that needs to be discussed. We listen, ask questions, take notes. When this is finished, we meditate and then discuss.

This week our topic was desire. At this point, I just want you to know I do not take any credit for the following ideas. They are a mishmash of pertinent points that I can recall. First, desire is apparently part of your ego. It causes us to want and grasp at things. This wanting and grasping becomes a thing in itself, and we are fueled by desire and believe that it can be satiated. Our egos would have us believe that this is possible. The Buddhists as well as other enlightened beings say otherwise. Desire is used by the ego to keep our minds busy and create suffering. We become unhappy when we do not get what we desire. When we do get what we desire, we create a never ending cycle. The desire fulfilled, we move on to the next object and the next and the next. This happens because it is not truly the object we want. We want the emotional high that is derived from getting that which we desire. For that emotion to continue, it must be fed. Desire creates the hunger that feeds the ego again and again.

I went home that night thinking about this concept. My own desires are many. They are powerful. That night I am on the couch dreaming about buying a new pair of boots. I need a pair of black boots, I think. I start to search through websites for affordable boots when I pause. This is it. This is desire. At this moment I made a choice. I was going to sit with this emotion. I would not judge it or myself for feeling it. I would allow myself the choice to still purchase the boots if I wanted to when all was said and done. So I sat and I allowed the desire to flood over me. I did not give it a story. I merely sat with the feeling. After a few minutes, I felt like I was stepping back. My desire seemed to me a large hamster wheel twirling in front of me. What a powerful feeling this is over something that is not even tangibly in front of me, I thought. What is that about? So I sat with those questions and no answer for a bit. Then I saw the hamster wheel begin to slow, and suddenly I realized that the whirling wheel appeared solid when it was moving, but now I could see the spaces between the bars. Yes, there was space. Glorious space all around the desire and I felt it all slowly dissipate. The desire was not about the boots at all. I knew suddenly that what was creating that feeling would not be dissuaded by a tall, black pair of boots.

This moment of clarity left me feeling tired and a bit stripped away. I felt like a piece of the illusion had been lifted. If all of this is true, then all must be connected and none of this is real.

Love and the Empath

Love seems like such an elusive thing to so many.  I counted myself among those who chased love for most of my life.  As an Empath, I can feel love in everyone around me.  It radiates through people at different times, and if I focus on them long enough, I can feel it coursing through them in some capacity.  Perhaps it is a love for a child or love for a spouse or even love for a drug or possession.  But if I search and focus long enough, I can feel this distinguished bit.  It is like a warm light that is in the center of us.  It is what keeps me from being angry and negative with those around me.  It keeps me from repeating the words of one of my coworkers who repeatedly says, “I hate people.”  I am emotionally unable to truly hate people.  I’ve read that so many Empaths become recluses.  They stow away from others because they cannot deal with their emotions, but it does not have to be that way.  You can search below the conditioned emotions and feel the true source of life and know why you are so blessed to be able to do this.  It is an incredible gift.  My conditioned self, and by this I mean the myriad of immediate emotional responses I have to any given situation, will react and will often want to hide, but with a bit of quiet self-reflection, I can pull into myself and find grounding.

I advise this for everyone.  Look at others and see the light and love.  If you are an Empath and struggle with the ability to see and feel the emotions of others, have strength and know that there is so much more.  I, too, struggle and have struggled, but the light from others is bright and warm, you just need to open up to receive it.

Forgiveness and the Empath

What is forgiveness?  It is a question I ask my tenth graders as we read through our most recent novels.  In its most simplistic form it is an act of bestowing a pardon upon another for a wrong doing.  Something that sounds so easy translates into an action that feels neither natural nor inclined.  This brings me to today.

My sons and I are finally moving out of the house.  My ex-husband is staying.  We are going.  I watch as my son’s eyes fill with tears as I once again explain that we are leaving but Daddy is staying here.  He knows the word divorce; he understands the concept, but now he has to live it.  My heart breaks for him.  My mind begins to spin and wonder.  Can I undo all of this?  Can I forgive and go back and stay?  My gut cries out and begs me to understand that I had to divorce him.  To live, it seems to say.  You needed to divorce him so you could live.  I hope that someday my sons are able to see it that way.

As I push the dirty clothes into the washing machine, an action I have done over and over again, I wonder why I can’t forgive him.  His past actions were deceitful, careless, thoughtless, and wrong.  He never beat me or said a cruel word just to hurt me.  He did not cheat on me or stay out all night and make me wonder if he were still alive.  He did not steal away and spend all of our money on drugs or gambling.  If these are not the transgression, are they terrible enough for there to be a divorce?  For better or for worse, I think.  I couldn’t do it.  I said those words in the presence of a pastor, of our families. I clutched my hands in his and smiled into his eyes and said those words, believing at the time that they were true.  Now I find that I can’t forgive.  Two years of marriage counseling, countless begging for him to change and grow up, losing my hair from the stress of supporting our family in every way, and I cannot forgive him.  I search my insides for where a feeling of forgiveness could hide. Which chakra contains the spider-web thin strand that will allow me to ravel back my life that I have tossed aside?  I come up empty handed.  If forgiveness is a choice, I cannot step on that path.  I can continue to try and perhaps one day  I will be ready.

As an empathy can I feel his pain.  I understand why he did what he did, and I know that he can only be what is in his sphere to be.  I can sit next to him on our couch, soon to be only his couch, and know that his need for me is almost palpable, but I cannot forgive, not yet, maybe never.  Forgiveness in this case is even too much for me.  It seems to me that it will erase I board that I find all to comforting to read.  This are the reasons I had to do this.  I peruse the list over and over again to remind myself of why I needed to leave.  This is the only thing that eases the guilt.  It is the only thing that allows me to brush away my son’s tears and promise him that it will be ok and that we will get through this together.  He smiles and hugs his small stuffed puppy close to his body.  I silently pray that the older man he becomes will forgive me for my choices.