20% of the global population are empaths, so now I am left with a furrowed brow wondering:
“Why did I feel so alone,”?
Wait let’s back up a bit.
Born with an innate empathetic nature, I felt like cotton candy in comparison to the world. Odd and no matter where I placed myself… never quite fitting it.
Easily brought to tears and not just for myself; though I didn’t always know it.
Growing up is a hard enough time, yet somewhere out there there are constant choruses of: “they’ll grow out of it!”
or comparisons drawn to some mysterious old great aunt or uncle on your father’s side. Or was it my mum’s side?
I was unable to articulate why I felt the way I did.
Crowds overwhelmed me, I despised that exhausting two step of meaningless small talk (still do) and never mind the countless times you tried to reassure me, ‘you were fine’…
I could see way beneath that veneered masquerade that all wasn’t as it seemed.
For the most part I’d retreat into my rich inner world, deep in thought until I was jolted back to earth by my mother’s startling reminders, “to stop staring into space”.
Who knew I had this – superpower?
I didn’t always view it this way. To begin with, this ‘annoying’ uncanny sixth sense felt like a burden.
Being this empathic, this sensitive sometimes meant I cared…a little too much.
And that little too much, meant I got hurt.
What’s An Empath?
Empath (n): a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
Back then I was labelled overly sensitive, cry-cry, or “too deep”, nowadays being highly attuned to your surroundings and the thoughts and emotions of others has a name:
In short, what it means is that along with 20% of the global population, empaths feel and absorb things – emotions, noises, non-verbal cues, energies on a deeper scale.
Now I see it’s hard to package spiritual feelings into humanistic words without sounding a little woo-woo, but I’m okay with that.
Some may scoff at this definition and I get it.
Unless you’re Michael Myers (sociopath) who doesn’t have empathy right?
F.YI: being an empath isn’t the same as having empathy.
Most humans have that capacity.
As an empath you have an overflowing abundance of empathy and an unwavering instinct when something is off.
Sounds amazing right?
But until an empath owns and accepts this beautiful trait, it can feel like a curse, rather than the blessing it is.
Or at least this was the case for me.
Over the years I have learnt to embrace being an empath and here are 5 powerful tips that help transform your gift from a curse into a superpower!
Dear Empath, Stay Close to People Who Feel Like Sunshine
In epic stories, have you noticed that main characters always have guides or mentors who travel along with them on their journey?
The guides don’t have the same power but they are always around to share an awesome anecdote or help the hero realise their destiny.
Being an empath is a bit like that.
After all, you are the hero in your own story.
Empaths unleash endless joy into the world, they balance energies, lift others up, twirling them around and make sure they feel 10 feet tall.
However like all epic stories, there is always a nemesis and in the case of an empath: narcissist, emotional vampires and other energy zapping people who lay in wait ready to feed off your empathic nature.
In your quest to unleash joy into the world you must pay attention to how you feel when you’re around certain people. Dear empath: ‘Stay close to people who feel like sunshine’.
Find your guides and mentors or what I like to call your tribe, the people that help you to live in accordance with your life’s purpose.
As the saying goes: your vibe determines your tribe, so… trust yours.
Dear Empath, Mother Nature Knows Best
When I first visited Malta, I had a real sense of being home. I had dreams of living close to the sea long before I even knew what an empath was. But, it turns out, nature is incredibly healing for everyone, but especially for an empath.
Spending time outdoors in the presence of mother nature is like hitting the mute button on the world. It fills you with clarity and is incredibly soothing (and healing) for overstimulated nervous systems.
Being an empath can distort your one-ness and greatly impair your ability to know what’s your “stuff” and the stuff belonging to others.
Whether you’re in the mountains, on a beautiful quiet beach, or even a local park, sounds, crowds, people fall away forming a natural filter around your aura.
Spending Time Alone
Are you an extravert, introvert or ambivert (mixture of the two)?
It doesn’t matter, but often empaths are mistaken for being introverts (the whole rich inner world thing).
Though not true, empaths are sponges, absorbing everyyyything in the environment. Sometimes this can become overwhelming, so similarly to spending time outdoors, make sure you spend time alone. 100+ life points if you spend time alone in nature too.
This helps you to come down from overexertion of energy, rebalance and will re-energise your own (depleted) energy.
Dear Empath, Trust Your Power!
As humans we all want to belong, not realising by our very existence we already do.
Popular culture exploits this need, showcasing conformity and holding up standards of “normal” that can make us want to run and hide from everything that makes us us.
Growing up as an empath, you were probably labelled cry-baby, dramatic and even over-emotional. This created self-doubt and left you with the feeling like
something you were wrong.
My advice to you is: to start to pay attention to that dance going off in your tummy. That’s your power. I bet you know yourself better than you give yourself credit for.
For a start you wouldn’t be reading this now.
One quick sure way to cultivate higher levels of self-awareness, and thus trust is through journaling. Check out my journal prompts to kickstart your self-discovery journey.
Dear Empath, ‘NO’ is a Complete Sentence
“Self-centered people often get angry when someone tells them no..”
After reading Boundaries by Henry Cloud this quote really stood out. (mainly because I tested it on my own tribe ha!)
This final tip goes hand in hand with staying close to people who feel like sunshine. Your tribe, your people will love your no’s just as much as they love your yes’s.
Learning to say no, is the first step in owning your power.
Saying no defines where you begin and everyone else ends.
Saying no gives your deepest desires a voice.
Saying no is how you take care of yourself
And the best place to practise saying NO... on the people that make you feel like sunshine.
By the way…NO is a complete sentence. You are not required to give an explanation.
To begin with, setting boundaries and/or saying no will feel overwhelming and just icky…
But keep going, you’re getting to the best bit!
From calming my triggers, untethering myself from toxic people and learning to instil boundaries these tips have proven a mahooosive help.
I wanted to share this with you today
Too many times difference is seen as inferior and I want to rewrite this narrative.
You’re not alone. You don’t need to fit in. Own your gift and you will come to see it as a strength.