I know, it’s hard being an empath.
I understand that you are ultra-hyper-sensitive, and literally feel and experience the emotions, moods and energies of the people around you. It’s like being stabbed in the nervous system with a thousand live electrical wires, 24-hours a day. I know it’s exhausting and overwhelming to constantly feel so many emotional currents, and they all get tangled up inside you, so you no longer know which emotions belong to you, and which are other people’s. I understand why crowds, cities and malls drain you, and why spending time with other people makes you lose your sense of self.
And you lose that sense of self all too often, leaving you floundering in a turbulent sea of anxiety. The only way you can cope, is to flee to a quiet place where you can be totally alone. Only in peaceful solitude can you decompress, recharge and reconnect with yourself.
But even this is not enough. The daily onslaught of other people’s emotions is just too much – especially aggression, anger, or conflict – they make you physically sick. I know your sensitivity makes you unable to cope with much daily stress. Life can become one big sensory overload, leaving you completely exhausted and unable to function. Then you find yourself slipping down the torturous black hole of soul-numbing depression.
I’m not surprised that you struggle to sustain healthy relationships, and you are misunderstood by most ‘normal’ people, so you often end up alone. But despite your apparent intolerance of people, I see how deeply compassionate and selfless you are, with a strong drive to help others. And people gravitate towards you, unloading all their pain and problems. It looks like you are here just to soak up and alleviate other people’s suffering, whilst you suffocate under the toxic weight of it all.
So you often spend your days battered by the emotional storms around you, and can sometimes feel too overwhelmed to achieve your dreams or live up to your full potential as a deeply intuitive, artistic and creative being.
Yes, it’s hard being an empath. I understand why you often see it as a hellish curse. I understand why you sometimes feel angry and resentful towards the emotionally chaotic people around you. I know why life can feel unfair, because all those ‘normal’ people seem to breeze along so easily, and they often judge you for being too sensitive, weak, moody, a misfit.
Yes, when you are overwhelmed, it’s easy for you to get trapped into feelings of powerlessness, self-pity, unworthiness and self-hatred. And when I see this, I just want to help you. I want to carry the burden for you, to give you a moment of respite, so you can remember how uniquely special and gifted you really are.
You do manage to find some coping strategies – spending time alone, setting boundaries and knowing your limits. You may also use visualization techniques, psychic shielding, grounding, energy cleanses and positive affirmations. Sometimes you burn white sage, and take hot Epsom or clary sage baths.
These strategies help, but they become part of your daily struggle to stay balanced. They don’t offer a long-term solution, so you will always need to take these daily protective measures.
Is this the only way for you to live?
I feel so much compassion for you, and I want to wrap my arms around you and make it all better. I want to tell you that you are gifted, not cursed. I want to apologise for the injustice and suffering in the world, because it gouges at your heart. I want to tell everyone on this planet to give you a break. Most of all, I want to snatch away your feelings of unworthiness, powerlessness and despair, and replace them with self-acceptance and self-love. But it won’t help. I can’t fix you, just as you can’t fix me.
But we can fix ourselves.
So I want you to know that whilst you are an empath, you are also something beyond and above your human or empath experience, something more vast and beautiful than your suffering mind. You are conscious awareness – that quiet and endless space in which your thoughts and emotions arise. I want to tell you that you are not the pain and emotions you feel every day. You are not the ‘self’ you think you are. You are love, the same love which vibrates in every atom of the universe, the same love that is me.
And you have the sensitivity to connect with that unconditional and expansive love, if only you will allow yourself. It starts when you can be really honest with yourself, by admitting that part of your empath suffering is caused by your own demons… by admitting that you are not feeling other people’s emotions from a neutral space.
Because, we all experience the world through our own personal ‘filter’ of ego, beliefs, fears, wounds and conditioning. And we project this ‘filter’ onto everything we feel as empaths, so other people’s emotions just trigger our own pain. It’s not your fault if your ‘filter’ creates negative stories in your head, leads you to make assumptions and judgements, exacerbates your feelings of powerlessness, unworthiness and self-hatred, and causes you to feel intense resistance to being an empath. It’s not your fault that you are wounded. But you are not powerless, because recognising and owning your wounds is the first step to healing.
The second step is letting it all go.
I finally saw through my ‘filter’ by practicing mindfulness – by fully accepting and engaging with each present moment, and connecting with conscious awareness, beyond thought. From this space, I saw my ‘filter’ clearly, and this enabled me to let it go – all those toxic beliefs, insecurities, traumas, self-sabotaging patterns and conditioning. I let it all go, over and over again, layer after layer.
And you can do it too. I know it seems hard, but it’s the only way – how can you carry the burden of your own demons, whilst also taking on other people’s? It’s too much for any soul to bear.
Imagine if you could feel other people’s emotions without so much judgement, reactivity or self-talk, without getting triggered… instead, simply allowing those emotions to be there, and then watching them go.
Imagine if your sense of self is no longer rooted in ego, and instead, you recognize yourself as conscious awareness… so you no longer lose your sense of self, and can separate your own emotions from other people’s.
You will still get overwhelmed sometimes, but imagine if you didn’t feel any resistance to it… instead, fully accepting and embracing it, allowing it to process and lift off faster.
Imagine the freedom and peace that comes in knowing you are much, much more than the stories your ego tells you. Imagine if you could remember your true nature, and embrace the limitless universe inside you.
I know the task of healing yourself might seem as hard as climbing a mountain, because you are already very tired. But that space of conscious awareness has always been there, behind your pain, behind your resistance, behind your ‘filter’, behind your ‘self’. It’s just waiting for you to hold compassionate and forgiving space for yourself, to sit quietly, to reconnect with the love that you are.
I know your burning desire is to heal and nurture every soul you encounter, to lift and inspire others, to add beauty and creative expression to the world, and to offer yourself in service of our planet’s wellbeing.
You are here to do all those beautiful things, but most of all, you are here to offer your unique healing gifts to yourself.
Published on Elephant Journal: READ MORE