Being an Empath is not exactly the SAME as its mother word *empathy* but it certainly draws on the main features. So let's explore Empathy:
to feel someone else's feelings
Not everyone was born with the ability to *empath* (psychically channel) emotions or physical symptoms, but most can certainly develop empathy.Allowing yourself to feel other people's feelings can place you in a unique position in life. The minute you begin to truly sense this interconnection with others you can become a healing source. Perhaps not one who can set cancer cells in remission or magically touch and heal deep wounds but a *soul healer*. -- In fact, whenever you have a positive effect on someone's mental or spiritual aspects you will support their immune system and impact the physical. So therein lies the trinity of empath healing.
There is no grand transition from singular vision to empathetic nature. No bolt of lightning from the sky when the moment arrives. In truth it's all very private -- very personal. You begin to leave your self centered childish vision behind and move through the journey of *exploring the universe of interconnection* But before that journey begins, we must stand alone and get to know ourselves. Some people can get *lost* in this self exploration. They begin to feel *alone*. They think it will always be this way. Alone in their head. Alone in their inner realm. Eventually they start thinking so much about themselves being lonely that they move back towards that self centered vision and away from empathy. (those would be the popular kids at school who are shallow and mean. Not that all popular kids are shallow & mean. Empathy opens doors and invites many friends and popularity. Like those *radical* circles who want to change the world and save the planet. I'm kind of guessing every High School has them.
I say don't be intimidated. Go *through* your alone time -- your self exploration even if it's lonely for awhile...go through it so you can get to the other side where empathy begins.
Focusing on self and learning to be alone with yourself can contradict the signals you see coming from the pounding media:
The Media doesn't want you to *truly* know yourself. They want to sell you an image of who you should *want to be*. Afterall they have a lot of products to sell. They want you to know what FRIENDS are suppose to look like: To them a successful social life should look like well dressed successful career folk meeting for coffee at Central Perk all day and night. With big fat SMILEY FACES and never ending sarcastic quips. -- Funny show, but hardly real. That's why it's called *entertainment*. But real friendships begin with empathy. Human connection on all levels.
So, in my humble opinion, the road to true friendship and empathy begins with turning away from external signals of what a successful social life looks like, and make friends with yourself first.
Again, this stage of transition can feel lonely at times, unless you are one of those truly lucky persons who was born knowing all this. Or some of you may have been lucky enough to have parents who were living, breathing examples of true *empathy*, and the necessary flip side: "to thine own self be true".
i also want to say to any young people out there that you are NOT * a loser* if you don't have ten friends who meet you every day and night and hang out endlessly getting into trouble and somehow escaping legal ramifications just in the nick of time. TV can confuse the brain into *wanting* unrealistic things. I mean seriously, who talks in witty/ sarcastic come back lines ALL THE TIME.-- Ok we all like wit up to a point. It can even act like a path leading up to true human connection but at some point in time it gets old. It's like *trying too hard*. -- And trying too hard is the opposite of just being. -- Also, and more importantly, If you want to develop empathy, at some point in time you have to stop trying to be funny and connect to the painful side of life. That's why the best movies make you laugh and cry. They know how to create empathetic connections and reel you in.
Take your time and figure out who you are and treat yourself the way you would want your daughter or son to be treated (if you don't have a child of your own, there must be a child in your life that you love. Use your imagination and explore specific examples of behavior-- Would you ever want that child to be treated the way we often allow ourselves to be treated? Probably not.
To begin your journey out into the world of empathy you have to start thinking like your own *inner parent* so that you can have healthy boundaries in place when you begin connecting on deeper human levels. This is how you protect yourself from getting *lost* in your empathy. Or being used by people who mistake kindness for weakness.
Take your time. Be ALONE with yourself so you can take a complete self-inventory without distraction. List all of your character traits: The ones you like about yourself and the things you don't like. Decide which things you want to change about yourself and start slowly moving in that direction. Most importantly: Be HONEST! Our ego loves to lie to us and tell us we are not this way or that way. It likes to think we are right and everyone else is wrong.
It rarely wants to admit when it's jealous. -- I happen to think jealousy is one of the most damaging roadblocks to human connection so please be honest with yourself about your jealousies.
Next: building blocks
Make a list of the things you are interested in and find workshops or meetup groups in your neighborhood that will draw you into circles of people who share the same interests as you. It can feel unnatural, and it takes courage, but Empathy is meant to be used *out there in the world* not alone in your room. Until you reach this level you will continue to feel alone. So again, if you are nervous about stepping out of your comfort zone, imagine what you would tell a beloved child in the same situation. You would probably take him/her by the hand and work them to that place that they want to go to. so take yourself by the hand and just do it.
My niece who is quite an accomplished adult, use to tell me when she thought she *couldn't* bring herself to do something that she really wanted to accomplish she would tell herself her mother's life depended on it. You would be surprised what you can bring yourself to do when you become your own *champion*. If you can't do it for you *become that beloved child* and do it for him/her.
turn off the *reactive* mechanism in your mind that shoots off those well learned one liner responses from TV and observe people and situations in real time. Imagine yourself in other people's shoes. I MEAN TRULY imagine yourself on their path, going through the events of their life. Once you catch that vibe play the tape to the end. You'll be surprised how many times a vision may change halfway through .
To start this visualization: Choose someone you know or read a current event and Imagine the situation.
Public Service Announcement: (Not meant for naturally empathic people who *feel too much*. This is meant for people wanting to try to *develop* EMPATHY .
so, imagine the situation and ask yourself How would you feel, what would you do. Picture the entire drama in your head. What do you think would be the appropriate reaction to achieve a positive outcome in this other persons situation. Think in terms of cause and effect. For every action what would be a possible chain of outcomes. Let the information flow through you.
The more you learn to make true inner connections the more friends you are likely to draw into your life. But they may not speak and act like the gang from Friends. Or Topanga from Boy Meets World. Some of them may not have the gift of gab like Amanda Bynes. Chances are they will be a little nervous and excited about making new friends. Shy. Withdrawn. -- Chances are many of them will be just like you on the inside. Once you get past that protective outer shell covering.
Just let it be. -- Let Life flow ...on Life's terms. Fill your time with interesting hobbies and never stop feeding your head. Be nice to people. The way you would want people to be nice to you. Treat others the way you would want your daughter or little sister or any beloved child to be treated .
You are not alone. Not now . Not ever. We are all on this Earth walk together and the world is filled with friends you just haven't met yet.
If you choose to let them in...you'll find them. And a new healing begins.
updated by @roxanne: 05/08/17 07:54:51AM