I’m an empath.
Until recently I didn’t talk about that with anyone outside my witchy-woo circle. I needed to come to an understanding with what that means for me and how it’s shaped my life. Recently in a conversation I said, “I’m an empath,” and I didn’t give it a thought, it just came out of my mouth. So I’ve been saying it more and lately I’ve been hearing, “I am too!” from others.
So what’s an empath?
Simply, it’s someone who senses, feels and absorbs the emotions of others, situations, and environments.
You know when you walk into a room you can sense tension and you feel awkward, like when someone is having an argument? Or you’re at a celebration, a wedding, and you can’t stop smiling because the vibe is so great? Everyone can sense these kinds of energies.
Now imagine walking into the room and the tension, anger and frustration between the people who were arguing sits like a cement block on your chest. And because we like harmony, you’ll unconsciously spend the next hour using up a lot of energy by loving the crap out of the people who were fighting by smiling and laughing and trying to smooth things over.
(As I type this, my friend is texting me to say her Kitty is gone. I can feel her anguish and heartbreak in my chest – it’s tight – and I feel choked. This feels more than sympathy for her loss.)
Being empathic means we often feel completely overwhelmed and can’t always explain why. Now that I have the awareness, I know why I’ve felt completely overwhelmed and anxious almost my entire life. Before unpacking my empathic nature, I couldn’t identify my emotions or understand why I was feeling something so intensely or where those emotions came from. I shut it off and shut down, going into survival mode which often meant avoiding a lot of situations. I started to feel like I was missing out on living.
By learning more about myself, how my energy works and how to move out of survival mode, I’ve reclaimed my energy! For me this involves a lot of self-care by listening to my body, mind and soul, and I have a toolbox of techniques that keep me thriving.
I’ll create an entire post on those so you can try out ones that resonate with you. I also have a workshop that delves into ways of reclaiming your energy. Because I’m running into so many people saying, “I’m an empath, too”, I feel called to share and support and develop materials to help others understand their own empathic nature. Stay tuned …
Do you suspect you’re an empath?
Here’s a quiz I stumbled across by Dr Judith Orloff.
“To determine whether you’re an emotional empath, take the following quiz. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I been labeled as too emotional or overly sensitive?
- If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
- Are my feelings easily hurt?
- Am I emotionally drained by crowds? Do I require time alone to revive?
- Do my nerves get jarred by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
- Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
- Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
- Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?
If you answer “yes” to one to three of these questions, you’re at least part empath. Responding “yes” to more than three questions indicates that you’ve found your emotional type.”
There are lots of tests that you’ll find by Googling, and here are a couple for you to check out.
What did you discover about yourself by answering these questions? I’d love to hear from you — leave a comment or message me @OMhaleWellness on Facebook or Instagram.