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Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Empath's only line of defence

Peace without is peace within

I have been reading many articles about empathy lately, and I must confess I am quite disappointed by their content. These have clearly not been written by true empaths. A list of relevant articles is included at the end of this post

While I find that all of these articles have, to a greater or lesser degree, a certain amount of truth within them, they all fail to see the world from an empath's perspective.

Firstly, there is a difference between an empath, and a person with empathy. And, although in my mind an empath is clearly also a psychic, there is a difference between the typical psychic, and an empath.

Let us start by looking at the definition of empathy on the Oxford Dictionary:

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another

I would like to emphasize the point that empathy is different from sympathy. Borrowing from the notes given in the Oxford Dictionary:

People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’ (as in both authors have the skill to make you feel empathy with their heroines), whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune’ (as in they had great sympathy for the flood victims).

In this article, we are clearly discussing empathy, and not sympathy. Without any further delay, I will return to the definition of empathy given above, which, personally, I find it to be a very good explanation.

The Empathic and the Psychic

When someone talks to someone else and discusses their feelings in some details, the empathic listener will be able, to a certain degree, to share an understanding of the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of such emotions.

Quite often, a shared experience will enable the listener to empathize better with the speaker, and to gain a more profound understanding of the sentiments being discussed. When such shared experience does not exist, an empathic person will still be able to connect pieces of emotions form their own past to understand the feelings of the speaker.

If we look at a psychic, this person will be able to detect, and describe the sensitivities of their subject, even if they do not feel or share them, and even if they have no previous experience of the sentiments being shared.

Both, the psychic reader and the empathic person, will be able to “switch” on or off this understanding at will. When they find that they are affected by the intensity, negativity, or power of such souls, they can simply detach, and be devoid of any consequences.

The real Empath

The situation is very different for a true empath.

True empaths will absorb any emotion around them, whether known or unknown, and make it their own. Just as a sponge absorbs any liquid it comes into contact with, whether that is clean, contaminated, poisonous, or lethal, so will the empath.

An empath will soak up whatever feeling is present in an environment, whether this comes from a person, an animal, a plant, a room … Even a cartoon can have devastating effects on a true empath.

Furthermore, there is no respite for empaths. They will make that emotion their own, they will possess it, and this feeling will become part of them, and they will live it to its greatest depth.

There is no shutting off, or running away. Even distancing themselves from the source of such emotion will provide no recess, no comfort, and no reprieve.

This causes many true empaths to become isolated, insulated, to shy away from anything and anywhere that contains any shred of life. It can often cause depression, and serious mental anguish, with many resorting to medication or turning to some form of addition to escape their natural and God given psychic gift.

The line of defence

Yet, as an empath myself, I have found a line of defence that can work rather well. A strategy that allows one to live life normally and that gives room for happiness and continued self-improvement.

This protection is self-awareness. The understanding of one’s own emotions, of one’s being, of one’s ins and outs, which enables the empath to draw a line between what is being absorbed, and what it is in fact one’s own. It enables the sensitive soul to regain self-determination, and to clean up the scourge soaked up by the emotional sponge within, in many ways.

All this with one added benefit. If we can shake off all the negativity, the sorrow, the pain, and the desperation that we meet, there is also much happiness, joy, and pleasure in the life from which we so often hide away. We have the unique ability of absorbing that too, and make it our own, thereby increasing our own enjoyment of what this Godly hearth has to offer.

It may not be an easy feat, but it is an achievable, realistic, and most satisfying goal to pursue in an otherwise miserable, disconnected, and discontented existence.