I have lived most of my life unaware of my ability. I didn't know I am highly empathic. I thought the way I feel is no different to anyone else. I had no idea one can feel more intensely.
I went through some tough times living with people who had great difficulties communicating their emotions. When they came home with stress I felt stressed. When they came home happy, I felt happy. Like a yo-yo. When there was tension in the house due to multiple people living there, I felt it all. I felt all the minute nuances in the vibes, their UNTOLD worries and UNEXPRESSED frustrations. Feeling really uneasy, subconsciously I was looking for ways to escape it. And of course I was on hand to ease the pain they were unable to name...
Being around people who were depressed made me depressed. At a particularly low point when I felt really lost, something inside me intuitively knew that I am the only person who can help me. So I started to seeking professional help. From there it was a few year journey to getting to know me, discovering WHY I was the way I was, why I felt so miserable. And that it wasn’t only because the emotionally unhealthy people I was with, but mainly that I (!) was emotionally unhealthy. That the fact that I was surrounded by those people was just a reflection of how I felt about me due to low self-esteem. Me being in pain, I was attracting others, ALSO in pain.
Your world is your MIRROR. If it is filled with abusive people who indulge in escapism from their own emotional issues, you are too. So you have to start somewhere if your life is messy, and it has got to start with YOU...
Can you tell how others feel by just observing them? By looking at their facial expressions or posture, without the need for them to even open their mouth? Do you get sometimes a weird sensation in your stomach when looking at certain strangers? If you do, you are actually ‘reading' them. Not everyone is capable of this, and you may not know you are doing it, as the data are subconsciously processed in the background of your thoughts. It happens so fast that you just instantly KNOW. It comes to you as an intense feeling felt on the level of your stomach, but it can be felt in other areas of your body too (like your heart or head).
For example, you may find it easy to engage in an angry exchange as you ‘soak in’ THEIR anger, not being aware this emotion does NOT belong to you. You will feel angry yourself as though you are angry AT them (which you may be too), finding it hard NOT to lash out. Similarly when someone is really happy or laughing you will find it hard not to join them, feeling their joy as your own. When you see person in pain, you may find yourself feeling it too in the corresponding part of your body (or feeling physically sick, even faint). As a medical student I found it really hard to watch certain procedures on patients whilst they were awake. I absolutely felt their pain. Whilst this is a great tool for medics to 'know' what their patients feel (particularly if they are unable or embarassed to communicate this), it can be equally greately draining for an unaware empath. Your emotions can feel so unpredictable, out of control, that it can lead to ANXIETIES.
The start of a journey to knowing oneself is to become aware of our intense way of feeling. Suddenly our world gains another dimension like the first time we put 3D glasses on in the cinema. Our life starts to make sense and gains certain depth. Our daily existence isn't so scary anymore. As we experience many 'AHA' moments, gaining deeper understanding into who we are, and life becomes fascinating!
We also start to understand that the way we react to another's pain is not only to help them, but to help ourselves! By controlling how THEY feel, subconsciously, we are in charge of how WE feel. We start to see that instead of attending to the wounding of others we need to attend to our own. Because if we can heal ourselves, if we can master our gift and change how WE feel, we won't need to change how OTHERS feel. Which on many occasions serves nothing but our own detriment anyway (read more on helping a narcissist).
Have you found yourself in a relationships where you felt the need to emotionally support your partner because you understood them more than they understood themselves? Do you feel that people used you repeatedly?
Healed empaths HAVE:
1/ awoken to their ability. They know they are highly attuned, absorbing emotional energy from their surroundings.
2/ understood and trained their senses to distinguish their own emotions from the emotions of others. They have their emotional landscape mappedemotionally and they are able to anchor themselves in their body. They have established their 'calm zero'. Their ability is no longer a curse but rather A SUPER-POWER.
3/ got to know their mind, and how their thoughts relate to how they feel. Hence are in charge of their emotional states, NOT by cutting themselves of their emotional feedback but right the opposite. They use their emotions to lead them, to find the thoughts/beliefs responsible for them. If they are feeling miserable they know how to manage it without emotional denial.
4/ they understood that all emotions, although temporary, are important messengers. Read more about anger and how to set your boundaries with others.
Mastering empathy needs daily practice. In time this allows you to bring all your old pain to the surface. If you are courageous to face the intensity of your emotions, you will become more WHOLE. You will be capable of TRUE HELP and support of those in need. Not NEEDING to support them, but rather support them when THEY need.
Allow your emotions to heal you. By healing all your insecure needs your will cease needing to change others to your ideal. You will find that the compulsion to fix them at the detriment of your own wellbeing will just fade away...
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel