I am an empath. Up until about 5 years ago I didn’t even know what that was. I would call myself emotional, sensitive, even moody really, but then a good friend pointed out to me that I was actually something called an empath and my whole perception of myself changed.
You see, an empath is someone who feels on such a deep level. Empaths not only feel the pain of others, but they literally embody any and all the emotions of the company they find themselves in. Love, joy, anger, hatred, there are no limits to what an empath can pick up on, and it doesn’t stop there, empaths feel the pain, the sorrow, the sadness of tragedies all over the world once they become aware of them. Some may call it a curse, being an empath, because in many cases, empaths struggle with social interaction, especially when they haven’t quite mastered how to handle these intense emotions. They become so easily aware of all the different emotions in their surroundings and if they haven’t yet realized they are empaths this can be very overwhelming and incredibly confusing since the emotions they are sensing genuinely feel like their own. Large crowds bother them and they try to avoid drama at all costs as they don’t really know how to process the emotions that come with it.
For me, I always just considered myself as “emotional” I would cry at movies, video clips of army parents coming home and surprising their families, not to mention those damn Huggies commercial that get me every time, because you wanna know what, We do all need a hug in the morning, and I do believe a hug is the best cure of all!!
I am highly sensitive and it seems as if that only becomes more intense the further I delve into my spiritual journey.
For a long time I thought this to be a huge downfall to my personality. I was ashamed that I was as “soft” as I was and I tried really hard to become tougher, harder, to ultimately take the emotion out of who I was in an effort to appear more “together.”
This however, is not my strength, although, I can now say with total confidence, that I believe it’s a strength that it’s not my strength.
Yeah, I said that right.
I’m not ashamed that I feel things deeply. I don’t feel weak for having such intense emotions, and furthermore, I am totally ok with expressing whatever emotion that presents itself as I interact with friends, family, or even clients who are experiencing struggle, I no longer feel the need to resist these emotions that surface because I can now recognize it as one of my superpowers.
When I first started working with clients I had it in my head that I had to maintain a certain level of professionalism because I was the coach. I was the one facilitating the transformation, so I had to be the strong one.
I was convinced that in order to help people through their emotional trauma I had to be the rock, the tough one, the one who maintained level ground so they would take me seriously. But you know what? That doesn’t work for me.
Being an empath is actually one of my greatest strengths. It allows me to really feel what it is my clients are going though. It gives me a deeper understanding of what they’re telling me, and it allows me to genuinely feel the anguish, relief, and ultimately joy, as we transcend on a deeper level.
It is so easy, as an outsider, to be the tough one, to give a third party opinion and tell someone to “let it go”, “look at the bright side”, or my personal fave “suck it up” (insert eye roll here).
All of these seem like reasonable suggestions to someone who is lucky enough to not feel the pain of someone who is struggling. But their pain is very real and to discredit it as something that should be easily dismissed is not only unkind to the person struggling, it’s not fair for anyone to assume it can be that easy.
When I was struggling with my husband I felt as if I couldn’t tell anyone, not because I didn’t have a great support system, but because I was afraid that someone who couldn’t understand how I was possibly feeling would have tried to convince me to simply “let it go”, to “move on”, that I could “do better”. All which would have been loving and encouraging advice from a friend who saw me hurting. But they didn’t know the real struggle, that I didn’t want anyones opinion, or judgement for that matter, I wasn’t looking to move on from the hurt and simply mask it with new distractions, I wasn’t looking for revenge or to respond with anger and malice, that’s not how I roll, the part I was trying to hide from the rest of the world, was “How do I come back from this without doing more damage and hurting more people?” A question I felt that not I, or anyone I knew, could help me with at that point.
I didn’t know about empaths at that time, I just knew I was hurting, my husband was hurting, and our family was hurting. I could feel it with every ounce of my being.
Now, you guys know how I feel about staying together for the kids, and I have also voiced on many different platforms the importance of doing what is right for YOU regardless of how other people feel, so although I could feel the pain we were ALL experiencing at this time, I also knew that the sooner I healed MY pain, the sooner the rest would be healed as well.
That’s the struggle of being empathetic. Because you feel everyones pain so deeply, you make it your mission to heal them first. Empaths are tough as balls and I’m not just saying that because I am one. We literally feel everyones darkest emotions and still put ourselves on the back burner in order to heal others before taking care of ourselves. I’m not sharing this because I think its a lovely and chivalrous trait, in fact, its not our best trait and I genuinely believe we need to be better at putting ourselves first. Because we are so used to feeling these emotions at such a deep level we make it our mission to take on the pain and suffering of those we love because we decide that we can handle it, and if we can take it away from them and offer them some relief then we will just deal with the burdens we have taken from them later.
Except we don’t.
Because we are always making it better for everyone else and rarely making time for ourselves.
We need to change this.
My goal as a healer, as a confidence coach, as a fellow empath is to not only remind you of the importance of taking care of yourself, but to demonstrate WHY that is so important to your own personal health and well being.
We have all heard the phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup” meaning, you can only give so much of you until you have to refuel your reserves. In other words, if you don’t take care of yourself, you wont be able to take care of others. This applies whether you’re an empath, or simply just a friend, a mother, or a caregiver of any sort. It is essential to take care of your own personal health and well being BEFORE putting yourself out there to take care of others. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is necessary, not to mention essential, in creating your joy.
I am fortunate enough that large crowds don’t seem to bother me. Although I don’t really enjoy large parties, I have no problem attending concerts, live sporting events, or busy shopping centres where large groups of people congregate. I do however panic in airports, at border crossings, and every time I pass an accident on the highway.
I can literally be in the customs line and begin to feel my heart race as if I am smuggling copious amounts of drugs in my forbidden parts. Believe me when I say that drugs are not my thing, nor is strategically hiding them inside my body for transportation. But that doesn’t mean I cant feel the fear when I’m in line. Does that mean that there’s someone in my presence who is lining up with something to hide?? Perhaps. Or, I’m just sensing the panic, fear and worry of someone who is nervous as hell to cross over and my sensitivity to energy is picking up on it.
This is the life of someone who is an empath. We have a sixth sense for people who lie, we well up with emotion as we pull over for a passing ambulance with its sirens on, and we get uncomfortable watching the news or other shows that display tragedy, fear or trauma.
Ask my daughter about the only 10 min of Greys Anatomy I have ever watched before leaving her room with a tear streaked face asking her “why the hell does anyone even watch this???”
It’s a joke in my family anymore, if we are watching a movie and something sad happens, they all turn to look at me almost simultaneously to see if I’m a blubbering mess yet. But I don’t hide it anymore. Because I love that part of me. Feeling deeply is one of my greatest strengths and although I resisted it for so long I am incredibly grateful that I can now embrace that softer side of me. And here’s why.
I will always be your friend when you need me. I will feel your pain with you. I will embrace your emotions and honour them for what they are. I will call you out if you try and boggle me with bullshit and I will do so from the most loving and heartfelt place. I will become so emotionally invested in your overall happiness that you will ask yourself why I seem to care more then you do about your own emotional wellbeing. I will cry with you, laugh with you, and cheer you on every single step of your journey. I will love you with my whole heart because I simply do not know how to care half assed. I will support you, encourage you, and remind you how freaking incredible you are, because you will likely forget at one point or another. I will hold your heart and kick your ass and both will be delivered with the same amount of love. I will be there, always, without judgement, to help you along the way. And when you begin to recognize the transformation of who you are becoming, I will not take credit, because this is your journey, your transformation, your new way of life. You are the one who created it, I’m just along for the ride to remind you of what I have always known was possible for you, what you’ve had inside you this whole time.
I am an empath. Its not a curse, its one of my greatest gifts, and I couldn’t be more proud to share it with you.