“We Are All Connected” - how I came to recognize myself as an empath
I wrote this up as my introduction to the world of empaths for non-empaths. If this is useful to you, please enjoy and comment!
In a world of internet connectivity and Global Village, the fact that we are all connected is almost a clich. But I am going to give you a different spin on that phrase sharing my own experiences.
Let me start a few weeks ago. For four days in a row I had been feeling unpleasant emotions that I identified as belonging to a friend from work, even though she lives at the other end of the country. The intensity and the recurrence was such that I knew it was something serious. I had had no material communication with her for a couple of weeks, either directly or indirectly, before I spoke to her on the Friday afternoon. As soon as she picked up the phone I said OK. You are having a horrible week and in fact I am surprised that you are even working. Even though she knew much of my story that I about to share here, her confirming response was an almost sheepish How did you know? before filling me in on all of the details of what had been happening for her.
This was not an isolated experience. In fact, these experiences are occurring almost daily.
I am an empath.
I am able to experience other peoples emotions in my own body so I really know when someone is having a lousy week.
I first heard the word empath in the late 1980s in the context of watching Deanna Troi, the star ships counselor on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was to be another 25 years before I would consider using the term to describe myself.
In the early 1990s, I was sitting at my desk at work around mid-morning. I felt hungry and thought to myself My stomach thinks its lunch time but its only 10 oclock. At that moment the woman sitting opposite me looked up and said Im really hungry. I missed breakfast this morning. It was at that moment that I knew something interesting was happening to me.
During the following years I was becoming increasingly aware that my emotions were being influenced by the people around me, especially work colleagues even though I was working from home. I still didnt think of myself as an empath but I wrote myself a reminder that I put by my desk that read Its not your stuff. Be aware.
Which brings us to the summer of 2012. July was a difficult month for me emotionally, full of self-doubt and confusion. I got to the end of the month and realized that the emotions I was struggling with were not my own, and in the moment I realized who they really belonged to and what those emotions where they melted away. It was a tremendous release. And yet most of August followed a similar pattern until I recognized what the emotions I was processing were and which person, a different person, to whom they belonged. Well, I must be a slow learner. I repeated the same pattern a third time through most of September. At that point I remembered about Deanna Troi and realized I am an empath.
I have known people who considered their empath ability a curse. At this stage in 2012 I knew it was a gift, an untrained gift but nevertheless a gift. I went looking for training.
That December, one of my alternative health care providers practiced a new form of energy healing on me. That evening I downloaded the ebook and 24 hours later I phoned a friend of mine in Dallas and was telling her about this new mode of healing. In my naivet I offered to practice it on her, remotely, over the phone. To my own surprise she got it immediately and could feel the impact! I was off! This was my transition from being an empath to being a remote energy healer.
I started working on two people a day for the next few weeks, mostly friends and relatives. I wanted volume. I knew that the way to become good was to work on as many people as possible. After a few months I started working on complete strangers over the internet, usually knowing nothing about them other than a name.
There is a subtle difference between being empathic and being an empath. Being empathic means a personal identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others. Tell me about what you are going through and I can empathize. Being an empath and especially being an unskilled empath means taking on the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others as if they were ones own even before there is any conscious awareness of what is happening. Empaths experience feelings in our body; it is our minds that create a justification for why we feel a particular way.
I first noticed how insidious the mind can be for myself on the occasion of one of the early times I sat down to work remotely on someone I didnt know. I had already created a procedure that I still follow each time I work with someone new. As I sat down to work on this person, lets call him Jim, I started feeling angry. I immediately starting thinking about the cable company that was giving me terrible customer service. I started reliving the anger I had for the cable company to the point that I had the thought OK. Jims going to have to wait. I need to write another letter to the company. Ive had it with them. Then I stopped myself and realized that the anger in that moment had nothing to do with the cable company and everything to do with the energy that I was picking up from Jim. I was feeling his anger and my brain want to find a rational reason for why I was feeling anger.
At this stage, the information I was tuning into was becoming more and more personal. It was a shock to me the first time I told a woman what had happened to her and how old she was when it happened. She was a complete stranger to me, I only knew her first and last name and we were corresponding through email. I had written that she has been 16 at the time of the incident. Her email reply corrected me and said it was actually just before her 16th birthday but she confirmed that, indeed, it wasnt rape, but the only reason it wasnt was because she didnt know she was supposed to say no to her step-father.
It was a shock to me. It is a responsibility to be given that much insight into somebodys private life although I truly believe I am only given information that the other person is willing to share, at least on some level. Often when these type of exchanges happen, I give them part of the story and they then tell me the rest. The whole purpose is one of healing but it still feels odd to be given intuitive insights into somebodys deeply intimate life details.
My empath abilities are continuing to grow on a daily basis. Although, just in case you are concerned, this still isnt anything I can do at will. I have no control over when this happens and for whom. I cant decide to find out all the juicy details about whom I choose when I choose. Bottom line, your privacy is still safe!
My experience is that human connectedness is not limited by physical distance, not by town, not by state, not by continent. The more I share my experiences, the more I realize how many people around the world are experiencing this phenomena for themselves. I know this is a new idea for many of you. I just ask you to entertain the possibility that, in whole new ways you may never have thought possible, We Are All Connected.