I have been wanting to write this Empath guide for such a very long time. I wanted to be brutally honest and thorough. I did not want to leave anything out. I had no idea when I started this intention how much this was going to impact my life personally. As I have been trying to gather the words I was flooded every time with emotions, stories, images, feelings, thoughts and experiences from my past that kept me frozen in my feelings about what it means to be a highly sensitive person. I feel like it has been one of the most defining aspects of my life up until now. The main feelings that come to the surface when I connect to the “frozen” feeling that I was describing, would be powerlessness and self doubt. These were the most dominant feelings from my past, relative to the concept of being a highly sensitive Empath.
I felt as if what I was sensing or picking up on was imposed on me from others, as if I had no choice in the matter. At some point I realized that others did not experience this overwhelming flood of sensations through their entire body just by standing next to other people or from being in certain environments. Unbeknownst to me, at the time, I would often feel others emotions more strongly than even they would. I had no clue what was going on. I just knew that others could be in a very busy setting without feeling bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, and all other types of sensory input. I knew that I would burst out into tears at the slightest things.
“Why are you being so sensitive”, I heard this my entire life. It was often framed in a way that was clearly a burden to others that I wanted so desperately to please or feel acceptance from. “It’s not my problem that you’re so sensitive”. It was as if people thought I wanted this. Almost as if I chose that morning to wear one article of clothing over another. Like it was simply something I could turn off. I was commanded from others so often, just stop being so sensitive. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I accepted that others knew better than me. I assumed that something was in fact just wrong with me. I internalized the belief that I needed to stop being so sensitive, in other words I needed to stop being myself. In an effort to be accepted I decided that I would just change. This process of rejecting myself caused me an immense amount of pain through my life. I felt often at times that my mere existence was a mistake. I questioned how God could have made such a mistake so I assumed it had to be me. Little did I know that not only was I rejecting myself but I was also disconnecting from the non-physical beings that were ever present in my journey as my guides, angels, and ancestors. I felt haunted and even cursed by their presence, yet ignorant to the torturous inner circumstances I was creating.
I had not gone into these feelings for so long because I have not felt this way in many years. But as a clairsentient/Empath/highly sensitive person we have the ability to conjure any feeling that we chose so embody so I traveled back through my past in order to be able to write this. I decided to experience all that came up, to be with it all, to be present and most importantly to show up for myself in a way that I never had been able to. This time I went through those feelings without the judgement, without the limited perspective, from a more enlightened witnessing point of view. Believe me it was not easy. I ended up retrieving so many fragmented pieces of my soul that had been disassociated from the trauma of being too sensitive to cope with many of the overwhelming experiences of my past. I came back with even stronger extra sensory gifts than when I first decided to embrace this as who I am about four years ago.
The universe is so brilliant in that it knows what we need to heal and move forward and is always offering that to us if we are brave enough to take its hand. It’s our purpose to listen, allow, and show up for the work that is needed to direct us ongoing back to Source energy, to enlightenment and ultimately to more love. Some are not on here on a spiritual growth life path and I highly respect that. So I write this now from the point of view of someone who understands that I was always me on a soul level that chose to incarnate as a highly sensitive person. And that so much of my karmic lessons were created for me to be able to come forth and share this work to heal others. My life purpose is to be who I am and thus give others the permission to be who they are.
I hope to inspire you to embrace this as your gift. I hope to be able to teach you how to use this effectively and to feel safe and empowered. I am writing this as much for the people who are highly sensitive as well as those who love us. They need as much support as we do in understanding this unique way of experiencing the world. These next few weeks I will be speaking directly from the heart of some of my most intimate spaces. I really hope you enjoy it. With love, Hasnaa
What is an Empath?
An Empath is a highly sensitive person who has extra sensory perception. Many people are aware of Clairvoyance, as it refers to a sixth sense relative to perceiving the Unseen realms. Some may refer to it as being Psychic but this has such a negative connotation that I tend to stay away from using it. Empaths are born with an innate ability to sense and perceive the world through non physical overtones such as feelings, emotions, sounds, dreams and visions . We pick up on people’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, emotions, intentions, urges, states of being and a range of other pieces of vibrational input. We not only pick up energy from people but also the environment. We hear more sounds in musical composition, we taste more flavor in food, we step into the ocean and become one with it. We watch a movie and experience each character as if we have lived the experiences ourselves. We channel spirit.
We are highly sensitive in the most fundamental way. We feel everything. We feel what is not spoken out loud, we feel people’s fears and we more importantly we feel peoples pain. We know things about people that they are hiding from themselves. And we don’t know how we know. So often we may state something that seems fairly obvious (to us) and the response is, I never said that, how did you know? It’s really hard to lie to an Empath who is in their power and tuned in, because they feel you. We perceive nuances. The issue up until now is that we have not been able to use this gift because many of us have doubted what perceived. We were conditioned to only see “reality” through the five senses. Once we embrace this way of knowing as a gift the world of sensing opens up for us.
These are a few of the various gifts associated with being an empath:
Psychometry — the ability to receive energy, information and impressions from objects, photographs or places
Telepathy — the ability to read people’s thoughts
Mediumship/Channeling — the ability to feel the presence and energies of spirits
Physical Healing — the ability to feel other people’s physical symptoms in your own body (and often the ability to heal, transform or transmute them)
Emotional Healing — the ability to feel another person’s emotions
Animal Communication — the ability to hear, feel and communicate with animals
Nature — the ability to read, feel and communicate with nature and with plants
Geomancy — the ability to read the energy of places and of the land — geomancers can feel the energies of the Earth, such as Ley lines. They can also get headaches, pain or anxiety before earthquakes or other disasters occur anywhere on the planet.
Precognition — the ability to feel when something important is about to happen (often this can be a feeling of inexplicable dread or doom)
Claircognizance — the ability to receive knowledge about any given circumstance. It is often most strongly associated with a clear knowing that goes beyond one’s own experience.
One of the challenges with being an Empath, in my experiences is that we are so tuned into others feelings and picking up energy from the environment that we often lack the discipline or focus to assess our own feelings and needs. To us self-care is not indulgent or pampering, it is actually the only way that we will be able to show up as ourselves. Our body is our antenna. When most people perceive someone in a state of pain their natural defense is for self preservation so they withdrawal, this trait is referred to as the selfish genes. Empaths lack this gene. We are actually drawn towards people who are suffering or anyone who is the underdog. Without a doubt, taking on too many emotions can be detrimental to our health. The longer the thoughts, feelings and emotions we are carrying aren’t released, the more power they build. This can lead to eventually becoming explosive. This is the cause of that feeling of powerlessness that I spoke about previously. You can literally be rendered crippled by taking on too much of others energy. The result can be mental/emotional instability or the creation of a physical ailment, illness or disease.
From my research I have found that Highly Sensitive/Empaths make up about 15% of the population. We also tend to be introverts and hermits. This is why it has taken so long in order to find accurate information and insight on this experience. Empaths have a highly tuned nervous system. Our nervous system is working overtime to process the input we are receiving from people and the environment. We are prone to what is referred to as over arousal. There are specific signs to look for that are associated with learning our own capacity for what are safe levels of arousal. This is imperative for each of us to learn on our own and then communicate it with those close to us. What they may experience is simply us shutting down, withdrawing, disengaging, avoiding, and generally not being our warm open selves. It may be perceived as being moody, bitchy, depressed or bipolar. Please note the distinct differences. With about 20 minutes of focused self-care time we can recover from over arousal and become fully present again.
Empaths have a hard time with boundaries. We often may have lashed out in relationships by not having our needs met through lack of honest communication. We may end up coming out of the episode feeling bad when we sense that we have hurt someone we care for in the midst of our misalignment. This is what we are hoping to avoid. Chronic over arousal of the nervous system can and will lead to disease. Abandoning an empath who is in the middle of an empathic episode can have detrimental effects. Many empaths don’t understand what is happening within them. They have no idea that another person’s emotions are being absorbed psychically as their own and being reflected outwardly. They are confused as to how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed and alone. It can indeed be an emotional roller coaster that we end up taking others on. The thing to keep in mind is that it is not intentional. The need to understand the power of empathic connection is a vital part of the empaths journey for themselves and for those around that love them to all be healthy.
Common character traits of an Empath.
1. Empaths just know things. And we have no idea how we know (but as I mentioned this second part it changing). The more attuned we are the stronger the gift becomes. It is a knowing that goes beyond everyday intuition.
2. Public places can be really overwhelming. We have a low threshold for sensory input( and emotions of others) which can lead to over arousal.
3. We are psychic sponges. We absorb everything.
4. We are averse to watching violent or scary movies.
5. We know when someone is lying. We can sense when someone is saying one thing and feeling another. We might not be able to assess why or about what but we can sense the disparity.
6. We are always attracted to the underdog. Anyone who is suffering or in emotional pain draws our empath’s attention.
7. We are listeners. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own. Often complete strangers will find themselves telling us their entire life story. Things that they may have never shared with those closest to them will flow from them with ease in the conversation. It is easy to talk to empaths about anything and before you know it someone has poured out their hearts and souls to you. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding
8. Constant fatigue. Empaths often get drained of energy by taking on too much from others. Sleep is our medicine for recharging.
9. One of the things that characterizes an empath is a lack of mastery of the solar plexus. The solar plexus chakra is known as the seat of emotions. It’s associated with a sense of self, confidence, and worth. We truly feel we are all one. So the idea of separation is counter intuitive. We literally feel that we are other people, this is why the emotional absorbing happens.
10. We are healers. We are drawn to holistic therapies and all things metaphysical. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths. Nothing is too out there for them because they have seen it all in their dreams or imagination. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unbelievable. Empaths have known the world was round when others still believed it was flat.
11. We need solitude. An empath will go crazy if we don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empath children. Many Empath children are being misdiagnosed and this is a huge aspect of my personal work. I will share more in depth insight into Empath children in a future newsletter.
12. We are creative. As people who are highly sensitive to nuances we do well with forms of expression from singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.
13. We have a thirst for knowledge. If we have a “knowing” about something we continue to seek answers to look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.
14. We are free spirits. We love adventure and new experiences. We are constantly wanting to explore new sight and sound. Often this can be hindered by our fear of overarousal but again with practice we can find the healthy balance to get all of our needs met.
15. We love nature and animals. We feel extremely at peace with the soothing vibrations that nature offers as well as a friendly safe (non-emotional) close companion. We love intimacy although we may not always feel safe so a pet is an amazing source of joy.
16. We abhors clutter. It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy. A simple life often is best.
17. We are generally ungrounded. We can get carried away by our emotions and end up creating a bigger issue than is truly present. This is why learning techniques for feeling grounded, shielding, and clearing our field are vital to our wellbeing (more on this later).
18. Empaths are very vivid dreamers. We often have had a range of supernatural or mystical experiences, Everything from OBEs, lucid dreams, Deja vus, Synchronicity, spontaneous parallel/past life regressions, and near death experiences. A lack of understanding about the nature of these extra sensory experiences can lead to more feelings of being different or alone. All of these are signs of guidance from the higher self-intended to tune us in. I have found that once we integrate our gift and stop resisting it that the need for these higher levels of awakening experiences become less dramatic. It’s as if we are so sensitive on a regular basis that we need something dramatic to wake us up to our higher calling. Many of us have learned to ignore what we are feeling because it is so overwhelming at times that we are not fully present in our bodies. So it can take a dramatic spiritual awakening to bring us fully on to our path.
We are in a time when many of us are being called to do our soul work. It is my belief that many Empaths are here to help absorb and transmute the pain of the planet. However as people continue to raise their vibration this won’t feel as daunting as it has up until now. We are powerful creators. For example, I receive insight and inspiration through dreams and visions. The combination of being a dreamer and a visionaries as well as highly emotional lends itself to being someone with the gifts needed to create powerful change in the world. Science is proving that our emotions not merely our thoughts are the driving force behind creating our reality. Once educated and trained these gifts are endless. Psychic empathic traits not only involve the ability to receive energy, but also include the ability to heal in many cases. For this reason, an empath’s life path is often intended to be aligned with the healing arts. When you have a positive outlet for the psychic abilities of being empathic, you can experience peace and fulfillment. This allows you to overcome many of the negative overwhelming experiences and feelings of being an Empath.
By: Ascension Lifestyle Guest Contributor Hasnaa