If you are reading this, then you currently identify as an Empath, or maybe Empath curious. As a teacher of Empath empowerment for the last four years, you’ve come to the right place for all things Empath related. I am a Psychic Empath and what I’m about to tell you is useful both to support you and also to blow the walls off of the confinement of your identity. My own experience as an empath has seen me as a suicidal drug addict engaged in toxic and abusive relationships, a perpetually depressed and anxious introvert with fears of leaving the house or ever having a peaceful, fulfilled life. Suffice to say, I’ve been where you are at every level of Empath-dom and I’m here to tell you the truth about how to create a meaningful and contented experience for yourself. It IS possible!
Every human being is special and has a unique imprint. We are each here to add to our collective. Often times, we seek labels and identities to create a mental structure around our experience, so that we can make it more pleasant for ourselves through understanding, but we also can use labels as excuses. Eventually we come to realize that all labels and identities can create separation, which, in turn, is the antithesis of spirituality. We’ve all read the articles and books on the traits of an Empath, but the following steps I will walk you through today are the much less acknowledged aspects. I believe they can help you to create a better experience for yourself: one of peace, contentment and ultimately, your own fulfillment. You are an integral piece of the pie here on earth; the collective needs you and your unique experience. But there are a few things that you’ll need to get clear on first (and so will the rest of us).
1) Everyone is an Empath.
Each human being has the same empathic opportunities. Even though our spirits have come to fulfill different missions and learnings, we all have the same opportunities for growth and expansion through psychic gifts. Some of us, through our childhood conditioning, learned how to ramp up our empathic gifts to stay safe. Take, for example, if when you were growing up you lived in a volatile or dysfunctional environment–perhaps a parent was an alcoholic or some such. As a child you might have learned intuitively how to use empathic skills, such as sensing out chaos and disorder, to stay safe – our Empathic qualities can also be a safety mechanism. In today’s society, most people have intricate and deeply rooted systems of denial, escape and numbing so that they are unable or unwilling to connect with their empathic qualities in a healthy way. If you are identifying as an Empath, and you’ve brought some beautiful consciousness to these intuitive abilities, you are just a little further along in your self awareness than your fellow man. This doesn’t make you more or less sensitive than anyone else. Being an Empath is not a blessing or a curse– it’s just who we are as spirit beings inhabiting human bodies. Being aware that you have these capabilities does mean, however, that you are doing a fantastic job at waking up to your authentic self!
2) No one is making you feel anything
“How do I stop feeling everyone’s shit!?” – asks every single unskilled Empath (including myself). I believe that one of the main misconceptions about Empaths is that we are walking around being influenced and dragged down by the suffering of others. This is only partially correct. Our energies meet the energies of others, so if you are around someone who is depressed or angry and become overwhelmed by the energies, it is because their energy is meeting your own depression and anger and exacerbating it. Subconsciously, you are matching their vibration. When I first started practicing energy healing I would sometimes find it uncomfortable to experience anxiety or distress in my body from working with my clients. However, once I surrendered to my own feelings of suffering and truly took responsibility for my own healing, what other people were experiencing merely became informationthat I was feeling and I stopped having an emotional reaction to it. Your feelings are your own, always. When you attach a “good” or “bad” concept to a feeling it is because you are perceiving it as such and this has a lot to do with your own unwillingness to dive deep into your personal experience of healing. You don’t need to beat yourself up either if you are still experiencing your own suffering. It doesn’t mean you are in a bad place or not doing a good job of healing. It means you are doing a fantastic job at evolving your spirit – keep going.
3) You are choosing “toxic” or “narcissistic” people
If I never have to read another article about how Empaths are drawn to narcissists… This type of identification is very counterintuitive to healing ourselves. The difficulties we experience are never “out there”– they are always “in here,” meaning that we are attracting what we are attracting from our vibration, or our inner belief systems. Unhealthy relationships appear when we have distinct patterns to break in our own psyche. If we’ve been unwilling to do the work on a spiritual level, or maybe the work is still unconscious within us, we can find ourselves in some pretty intense situations. Now I am not saying that I believe people are calling abuse onto themselves; no one deserves to be in an abusive situation and I have myself been in many. I am saying that we engage in these types of relationships because we betray our intuition, the red flags, and we betray our self worth. It’s no good trying to figure out how to avoid abusive people or how to place the blame on what someone else is ‘doing’ to us. Co-dependency, a fear of intimacy and not believing subconsciously that we are actually worthy of receiving unconditional love are the true perpetrators of these kinds of experiences. If you are in a pattern of these types of relationships, it is paramount that you take some time to delve into your own conditioning and support your inner child, for a good long while. This means looking at the the experiences that influenced your sense of self worth and self love on a subconscious level. I recommend finding a supportive practitioner or therapist to help you as you traverse that landscape.
4) Your new full time job is self care
I believe there are two categories of Empaths, which are skilled and unskilled. If you have a difficult time with your capabilities, then you are still working on becoming skilled. This is in no way a failure– it takes time to develop a healthy human experience. It has taken me about eight years to truly come around to the meaning of self love and self care. Our daily actions are the best way to support feelings of peace and contentment. From morning until night, it is time to really take charge of the way you are doing things in your life. Our actions help to feed our beliefs, so healthy actions will help to feed healthy beliefs, and as such, we will call in healthier experiences through our own energy.One of the biggest obstacles to self care is when we are practicing it as a way to always feel good or to be spiritually good and to avoid feeling ‘bad’. We engage in self care for one reason and one reason alone: because we are divinely worthy of it. It is there to support us when we are feeling down but it is not a way out of the human experience. Self care means I’m eating healthy because my body is an intuitive machine and deserves to run on it’s real gasoline, I’m saying no because I deserve to be seen and heard in my needs and boundaries, I’m resting because I deserve to practice “being” in balance with my “doing,” and so on.
5) Focus on healing yourself, not others
Being in tune with your empathic qualities often means that you are very good at being a helper and supporting others. Helping others is a wonderful service, but a healer is ultimately someone who heals themselves every single day. Being able to hold space for others in their darkest hour is an extension of where you are at personally. If you are unable to hold space for your own deepest suffering, discomfort and uncertainty, then examine your motives for wanting to become a practitioner, and make sure it is not because of underlying co-dependency issues (which can manifest in any relationship– not just romantic ones). When you have a healthy personal routine and are truly feeling at peace in your experience, then being a practitioner is a healthy extension of that. Helping others is about offering healing suggestions that you know work, which you have to know for yourself first though.
6) See the divine in everything
A daily practice that helps me with the suffering in the world is to connect with that divine seed of light that each and every being has, regardless of the out picturing of their behaviors. I hold the intention in difficult situations or with difficult people that the seed may grow bigger and that they may fully own the divinity within them. Today when you walk out onto the street, try to visualize this beauty in everyone. Ultimately, it helps to raise your own energetic vibration so that others can get a taste of that divine worth and raise their own, as opposed to lowering our vibration to meet the suffering in others.
7) Healing takes time. Get support.
I worked with a holistic coach for two years when I found out that I was an Empath, and that was just the beginning! I went to school for another year to learn nutrition and holistic methods of healing for myself, and I got my Reiki certifications to practice energy healing on myself. Working with many practitioners, teachers and mentors one-on-one over the last eight years has helped me to figure out what works for me in my healing, to be accountable to myself and my goals and to learn how to receive love. I think that is the hardest thing for us: to be vulnerable and intimate with someone else and let them love us, but it is so cleansing and brave and integral to healing. Many times, I didn’t know how I would pay for the training financially, but I knew that I had to invest in my healing and that it was the most important thing I could spend my money and time on.
You’ve identified your empathic abilities, so I know that you are a courageous and strong soul with a lot to share with the collective. Now it’s time to own your feelings, own your suffering, surrender to the repetitive messages your intuitive guidance keeps sending you and let spirit guide you. Being aware that you are an Empath means you can deal with the pain of the human experience, but it takes time and effort to become skilled. Spirit sees you and honors the emotional and physical discomfort you are experiencing, and the collective thanks you for simply being you at this time, in this incarnation. All is always well.
Rebecca Conran is a certified Holistic Life & Wellness Coach (CHHC) and a certified Reiki energy healer located in New York City. She is both a Psychic Empath and a Clairsentient, meaning she has the ability to experience and feel another person’s past, present or future emotional states and can clearly pinpoint areas of dis-ease within the body, mind and spirit. With her knowledge of wellness and nutrition as well as energy, she brings her clients back into balance holistically. More info here: www.RebeccaConran.com
featured image, oil on canvas painting by Lewis Lazar