Empaths & religion - Control & empowerment.
Some people, particularly teens, have asked me about whether there is a conflict between being an empath and religion (primarily meaning Christianity). I thought it appropriate to share my answer here.
If you follow any particular religious leader, even if that means at your local church, you are in some way giving your personal power away to them. So if that person says that there is a conflict then, indeed, there is a conflict regardless of what I say here.
If you want to make up your own mind about this question, however, I offer the following guidance in terms of societies evolving from control to partnerships.
History has had controlling societies since Sumerian civilization in 4,000BC or earlier. Over thousands of years, civilization based on controlling others has developed to unsustainable greed to a point where the planet itself may not be viable for many more generations. What was replaced can still be seen today in what is left of the planets indigenous people who live in partnership societies. To the indigenous people, the idea of a small percentage of the population controlling a huge percentage of a societys wealth is their idea of insanity. What we are seeing around us today are the early signs of controlling societies crumbling. Institutions are set up to control the people within their sphere of influence. As the planet evolves, people are increasingly intolerant of being controlled. Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and the Arab Spring all reflect resisting control.
At the level of our person relationships, how do we interact with other people? Is it from a basis of who can control who, with a winner takes all outcome? Or is it on the basis of mutual empowerment, where the only acceptable outcome is a win-win for all involved parties?
The financial world is driven from fear ("everybody else is profiting, you are being left behind" or "unless you act now you are about to lose it all") or else from greed ("you'd be a sucker to miss this opportunity").
Specifically from a religious viewpoint, ask yourself does the religion try to control me or empower me? More precisely, do the practitioners try to control me or empower me? Do they pretend to empower me by teaching me how to control other people? What feelings do they engender in me? Never mind their words, if they speak of love but there is a tightness in your gut they are installing fear. On the level of society we are evolving from control to partnership.
On the level of the individual, the rising awareness in empaths can be seen as a move from individual separation to a collective perspective that we are all one. Concurrent with that, at the individual level, is learning to trust what we are experiencing in our own bodies rather than what other people tell us we cannot or should not be experiencing.
The Native Americans have a story of having a wolf on each shoulder, a bad wolf on one, a good wolf on the other. The bad wolf represents fear, hate and greed. The good wolf represents love, compassion, and hope. Which is going to win? Which one are you going to feed!