Are you an empath who feels that they know everything there is to about being one? Well, there are more vital truths you can discover as an empath.
It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply. – Unknown
I’ve always known that a person’s energy reveals much more about them than their words do. As a child, I was the quiet, shy type that preferred to observe people rather than to get involved. I could pick up on and feel so many subtle nuances of meaning, so many imperceptible undercurrents of emotion and many implied but unstated, thoughts.
There was no doubt that people overwhelmed me. As a teenager, I grappled with the onslaught of my deep sensitivity to the world and paired with low self-esteem and poor boundaries I ploughed through many years of depression, confusion and intense anxiety.
Later, in my early 20’s – the years of my “awakening” – I continued to juggle relationships, work, education, and eventually chronic illnesses that came as a result of the constant emotional tension I was under and knew nothing of how to deal with.
People. Faces. Words. Meanings. Feelings. Sensations. Energy. Pain. I could feel it all, and it made me sick to the core. So at last it was with great joy that I stumbled across the term “empath” one day on my journey of self-discovery and healing, discovering that I wasn’t alone in what I was experiencing – and never was, to begin with.
Since then I have written a test on being an empath, and a few other articles including myths about empaths, empaths, and Spiritual Awakening and the 10 types of empaths. Collectively across all of these articles, I have received hundreds of comments from readers all throughout the world detailing their joys, their pains, and their life experiences with empathic abilities.
Building from the collective knowledge of the many empaths I have spoken with, plus the lessons I have personally learned during my years of self-exploration and healing,
I want to share with you 8 of the most important truths to discover as an empath.
(If you want to discover whether you’re an empath, go to this article.)
1. It is not necessary to take responsibility for other people’s hurt.
If you are an empath you are finely tuned to the pain of other people, tend to internalize it as your own. Remember that there is only so much you can genuinely do to help other people. Of course, you can try to help them or guide them as much as you see fit, but at the end of the day, the person experiencing the original pain must be willing to help themselves for any true healing to occur.
Often our caring natures blind us to the fact that many people don’t want, or aren’t prepared to be fixed because they are content in the safety of their misery.
2. Go into your pain rather than trying to escape from it.
It sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it, “going into your pain”! But it’s a very important step to releasing the pent up energy inside of you. When we are preoccupied with escaping, repressing, and avoiding our pain, we perpetuate the cycle of our suffering.
Rather than giving in to the temptation to run – stop – be still. Sit down and let yourself feel the fatigue, the confusion, the anger, the hurt. Only once you face the truth of the pain you feel can you then progress to the next stage of letting the suffering go.
3. Realize that as an empath, you are not immune to projecting your feeling onto others.
Let’s be honest here. Part of the appeal of identifying as an empath is that it sometimes provides a doorway of escape to us; an opportunity to pin the blame on others. Yes, you might soak up the emotions of others like a sponge, but that doesn’t mean that you are exempt from creating, and deeply experiencing, your own emotions.
It is all too easy to portray ourselves as victims in life, and much harder to take responsibility for our own happiness. A key realization on the path of healing as an empath is to learn to distinguish what WE are feeling from what OTHERS are feeling. And there isn’t always a clear-cut distinction.
Often you will find that you are feeling about 45% of the emotions, and others are feeling about 55% of the emotions, or you might be feeling 20% and others 80%, and vice versa.
Related: What it Really Means to be an Empath
4. Self-esteem plays a big role in your ability to deal with your empathic traits.
Empaths with low self-esteem will suffer much more than those with healthy and balanced self-esteem. Obvious? Perhaps. But not always. Being an empath can be confusing, and it can be very easy to blame the hopelessness and worthlessness we feel on the bombardment of stimuli we experience every day.
It helps to realize that the more love, respect, and trust you develop in yourself, the less you suffer, and those thoughts such as “I’m cursed,” “I’m so weird and different from everybody,” “I hate being an empath” and so forth, are all often products of low self-esteem.
5. Being an empath is not the same as having empathy.
This was very difficult for me to learn. “I must have lots of empathy if I’m an empath, right?” was the assumption I used to make. But I was wrong. Thanks to my emotionally stunted upbringing I was a very sensitive child … and yet I lacked a lot of empathy for other people. Empathy is not compassion; it is not feeling sorry for people and wanting to help them. No.