Paul Watkiss

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Being an Empath, a Blessing and a Curse

2016-07-24
By: Paul Watkiss
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Being an Empath, both a Blessing and a Curse.........Just for clarification, I only really write from my own experience as this is as close to any kind of reality I can describe. Everyone has a unique way of viewing the world, therefore my hope is that some of my experiences and thoughts resonate with others and possibly help them at some stage with negotiating their way along life's often precarious and confusing path.I have been reflecting on my life prior to having discovered that I had empathic tendencies and have realised just how much chaos and confusion was as a result of my lack of understanding. I see many posts describing individuals situations to which I can all to easily relate.I dated a lady who was extremely emotionally unstable, she was quick to become overwhelmed with devastating negative feelings which all to easily transferred to me. I felt her despair, her nihilism, her ambivalence to life and death. In that ambivalence she had made herself free to act and not be concerned about the consequences. She was often in emotional and behavioral freefall, chaotically going from one disastrous and self damaging situation to another. Those feelings at that time I had felt to be mine also. I therefore acted in a similar manner, it was as if I was committing acts of deliberate self harm to myself and my life. Thankfully much time has passed but when I look back I feel that being empathic allowed me to experience these emotions in a way that has helped me understand others in a way that is unique. I truly do know what emotions and feelings certain people are experiencing and this has helped myself to assist others through difficult times in their life.Previous to becoming aware of my empathic side I also have felt great sorrow, great fury, great peace and great love to name a few emotions. At that time, as I had attributed those emotions to myself I fully experienced them, I lived them and was consumed by them. So although historically my life has been a complete emotionally supercharged mess, I have seemingly come out the other side with a wealth of compassion and understanding that otherwise I would not have had.For me the key to being more conscious of my empathic involvement with others has been meditation. Meditation has allowed me to simply observe my thoughts and emotions dispassionately making the much easier to monitor and control. Also through meditation, spiritual insights have occurred which have shown me that I am not an independently existing entity but that I am part of the vastness of the universe, a wave in the ocean of life and matter. Through these insights the ego diminishes and can be lost. This knowledge has turned being an empath from being a curse to a blessing. I have realised that my life isn't necessarily about me, it's about what I can to others in the hope of promoting love, compassion and understanding. However if we interpret our empathic / sensitive experiences on from an egoic and an "I" centered belief system, that is when it can be a curse.

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