To me, being an empath is so much more than just feeling overloaded with compassion or having a sensitivity to crowds. Being an empath isn’t just about feeling one with nature or requiring time to reset either. Empaths are an entirely different species altogether, one that intuitively feels the emotions of others and absorbs them as their very own.
Empaths can feel the energy of a room upon first walking in. They can interpret if it’s a lazy river of indifference, a bouquet of bliss, or if it’s charged with enough electricity to shock all those who enter.
Although having the ability to comprehend the verses of someone else’s poetry is a beautiful talent, it certainly has its drawbacks. As once quoted in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” When an empath breathes in the force of another, they can inadvertently take on someone else’s turmoil. In fact, sometimes the lines are blurred so much between our problems and their problems that they become one and the same.
When empaths see someone else crying, salty water threatens to shed from our tear ducts just the same. When empaths see someone fall to their knees after having just learned their universe collapsed, our hearts feel a similar bankruptcy.
The problem with choking on someone else’s sorrow is you start to embody it as your own. When an empath sees someone hurting, they feel it like jagged glass and they can’t tell whose pain is whose. This is why it’s crucial to shield your energy and not allow it to get tangled with that of another.
It is possible to support those we love without taking their demons as passengers, we just have to name the feeling that’s tapping on our shoulder and release it before it tries to make a home in us.
Ask yourself if what you’re feeling belongs to you or the person you’re interacting with. When our joy comes to a screeching halt the second a maddened friend tumbles into our orbit, this could be indicative that this madness is not ours to feel in the first place.
Reminding yourself to stay present through all the surrounding chaos is another great way to keep the negativity at bay. Remind yourself of your blessings and run through a list of every facet of your life you’re grateful for.
This is also why boundaries are so imperative. Empaths need to practice self-love by standing guard of their own fortress of well-being and knowing when to separate from energy vampires. Energy vampires have a tendency to drain their victims of all good vibrations without ever being aware of it.
It’s perfectly acceptable to bathe in solitude to recharge after having been dealt someone else’s motherload. Strangely, self-care is key to helping others. We cannot prove helpful to someone in pain if we ourselves are aching from a similar injury. Never be afraid to limit your exposure to these fatal environments.
In the end, you’ll be a far better friend for not allowing the dampness of negativity to seep into your flesh. If you’re an empath, that is something to be proud of. You have an almost magical ability to feel the multi-layers of others from within the crux of you. Use this as your power, not your weakness, but never forget the colossal responsibility that comes along with it.