October 01, 2019
The Empowered Empath
People who are drawn to do healing work, counseling, and social work are often very empathic. They instantly feel the emotional state of another. This can be a great gift in these fields, as it helps create instant rapport, but for many this can also be a burden. We are not born knowing how to deal with the overload of all of the incoming information, nor how to sort through what is ours, and what belongs to another, we are just wired to pick it all up.
In youth an empath may not even recognize that they are different; we all assume our normal is everyone else’s. After some time, however, we find we cry easier, melt down easier, and are singled out as “overly” sensitive. Depending upon how supported we are, this “oversensitivity” can become a journey of self medicating and not fitting in. As the overload redlines our stress response capacity, our anguish often leads people uncomfortable with emotion to reject us. This, of course, affects our self esteem.
It’s important to understand just what the empath is, and is not, to truly own our gifts. We say an empath “picks up” other people’s emotions, but what does this mean? Are we actually picking up a bolus of energy each time we are in the vicinity of another’s emotion, and do we carry it around, getting more and more encumbered by the day? Many believe this to be true. Or is this phrase meant more in an electrical sense, as in we receive a signal, much like a radio receiver “picks up” a radio station?
From the perspective of science, emotions are both molecules and electrical signals, but they don’t exist as transferable bulks of energy. This means we detect other’s emotions as signals, but they are simply information, or frequency, not a measurable weight to carry. The heaviness we feel is actually our own reaction to their emotional state. Similarly, a radio receiver picks up signals from a radio transmission tower, but it does not carry the heaviness of each sad song sent along its frequencies. The song may evoke sadness, but this is our identification with the music that saddens us.
We gravitate toward victimhood readily in our culture, thinking we have been slimed by another’s emotional state, but in the Andean healing traditions they see it very similarly to our scientists. Everything is made from the Universal source energy they call Kawsay. We don’t pick up other people’s dense energies, instead we generate our own, in response to their states of being. This is a game changer for the empath, as it takes us out of victim and gives us back our personal power and autonomy. It does mean we have to take personal inventory and responsibility for what is being triggered, however. Why is someone else’s anger or sadness feeling like a burden to us? What have we not resolved within ourselves that makes us uncomfortable with their state of being?
Emotions are feedback from the soul, information meant for the individual generating them. We are not the heroes we think we are in trying to carry someone else’s pain. It is information meant for them. To try to carry it is to enable them. As empowered empaths we must learn to distinguish what is ours from what belongs to another. Is this mine? If not, message received, I can feel that you are sad. What can I do to support you? Now that I know, however, I am going to back up and let you sort through things yourself. It’s about creating healthy boundaries and making conscious choices on when to engage. Empathize, but cultivate a place of personal peace for yourself! There is no reason on earth for us to carry someone else’s pain. Our personal sovereignty is sacred.
Christina Allen, Shamanic Healer, Teacher, Founder and Director of the Austin Shamanic Center, combines a strong science background (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Yoga, Reiki Master, Shamanic Healer based, in part, on traditions the Andean Mystics of Peru). ASC offers profound Shamanic Self Development Workshops, professional trainings, and personal healings. Learn more at www.AustinShamanicCenter.com.
© Austin All Natural, October 2019