When I first learned that I was an empath, the strange experiences I had struggled with all my life started to make sense. Prior to writing Whose Stuff Is This? ~ Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You I was troubled by mysterious sensations in my body. When I prayed for people, I often took on the pain they were dealing with. Some emotional responses and disturbing thoughts seemed like they belonged to someone else. Since I didn’t know how to clear the energy of others, I felt drained and out of control of my own life. I now realize my empathic abilities can be used as part of my guidance system.
We all have thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we pick up from others–it’s part of being a sensitive human. How we respond to the energy around us is what makes our empathic ability feel like a gift or a curse.
Most of us were taught to care for others even at the sacrifice of our own well-being or intuition. We were not taught to love and care for ourselves. In fact, many religions value martyrdom and discourage self-empowerment. This co-dependent practice must change if we are to use our gift of empathy wisely. Self-care and living authentically is what keeps us from burning out in our service to others.
“Most empaths are silent sufferers. They are members of communities and service organizations, and sometimes we get sucked into the roles that need to be played and the duties that need to be carried out. We can inhabit the role so thoroughly, we get lost. We are so dutiful in the tasks we volunteer for that we burn out. We are so enthusiastic, we can carry other people right along until one day we sag under the weight. We flood others with our love until we drown them.” ~ Dr. Caron Goode, ED.D., NCC, DAPA, author of Raising Intuitive Children and Kids Who See Ghosts – Guide Them Through Their Fears
I have felt the mental anxiety and emotional draining that happens when we try to play too many roles, do too many things, or please too many people. Living authentically compels us to look at our own lives and see where we are neglecting ourselves and our alignment with Source. As we get in touch with our inner guidance we begin to give up co-dependent behavior. We allow others to have their own experience. We stop trying to rescue people who are doing nothing to help themselves. Instead, we focus on our personal responsibility and create a life that makes us happy. We start living in the present; we let go of the past/future worries. The surprising benefit from this practice is that others start looking to us as a role model. Those around become curious. Some may attack our happiness, which gives us an opportunity to stand strong in our self-love. Others will begin to see that they can take charge of their lives–that they are the creators of their experience and not the victims of circumstances.
Once I learned to manage emotional energy, I began to utilize my empathic gift in my spiritual coaching. Nowadays when I’m in a session with a client, I expect to feel or sense what they are feeling. It may be a discomfort in my body, or a sudden emotional shift, or a “knowing” in which information pops into my mind. I allow this energy to guide me. When the codes in their matrix have shifted, the empathic signal lifts and I do not continue to carry that person’s energy after our encounter.
Staying in alignment with your own joy and having an attitude of gratitude is the key to staying clear of detrimental energy patterns. How many things can you find to be thankful for right now? The thoughts you hear in your head are part of the human programming. They are not who you are. Thoughts and feelings are information. They give us an opportunity to learn something about our subconscious beliefs in order to shift them. Next time you have a negative thought about yourself, flip the thought into a positive statement. The thought of not being good enough can be met with an affirmation such as “I enjoy being aligned with my highest potential” or “I receive God’s love right now”. Think of your own positive statement about some degrading thought you deal with.
If you will practice this consistently, you will notice a change after just a day or two. After a week or so, you’ll find yourself spending less time protecting and clearing yourself from something “out there” and you will begin reaping the pleasant benefits of connection with your higher self. If you need more tips on using your gift of empathy as a guidance tool, please contact me for a free 15-minute chat or schedule a coaching session.