I started realizing that I had been a lifelong empath in 2012. Shortly after, "They" started showing me how to do healing work. Although I never do my full emotion clearing work without explicit permission from both The Guides and from the recipient, I do send light and energy to the people from whom I "pick up stuff"
I regard picking up their stuff as the request for support.
Some people have told me that I shouldn't be sending ANY light and energy without permission. I regard that as over the top. It's almost like saying you shouldn't smile at people you pass on the street without permission. There is a time, a place and a right way for everything.
You have to decide for yourself what feels right for yourself.
Bottom line though - for me, being an empath is not the destination. It is a signpost on the road to becoming a healer (some people will want me to rephrase that as "becoming a facilitator of healing" which is longer but more accurate).
Hope this helps,
I cannot speak for anyone but myself and believe we will all have our own understandings on what connecting with others actually means.
Personally I believe we are becoming more aligned as the universal oneness that we are.
There are lots of differing perspectives as to what we `do with it`.... I am not convinced we are to do anything with it per se (unless a knowingness when a need arises). I am more inclined to believe we (those able to sense and feel others) are raising in vibration and leaving behind those who are not....
Its not so simple as to say we are enlightened and perfect as to be above others, on the contrary many are finding this process extremely difficult - I sure am
Do you meditate? - It may benefit you to ask yourself what all this means and await an answer. Be aware of your surroundings many answers come in forms of random obvious signs everywhere... the more in sync with whats going on around you the more answers are staring you in the face.....
Songs, words, a quote off of the telly etc.... Anything that suddenly seems coincidental but, perfect in timing dont hesitate to respect it for what it is..... Empathy being only a part of the route to enlightenment