Over the past year or so I have come across several people who have been dealing with some level of Empathic ability (but didn’t necessarily know, or at least weren’t very sure if that’s what they were experiencing) and needed help with what it was, and how to deal with it.
So, since trying to explain it all in 140 characters or less is a tad bit more than difficult, I thought I’d tackle it here in my handy-dandy blog so I’d have a reference in my own rambly words to send folks to. 🙂
Alrighty time to get down to business, I guess. And I suppose the best place to start is to explain what an Empath is exactly.
By definition, an Empath is someone who “Vicariously experiences the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another”. If you’re a Charmed fan, then you’ll remember that Phoebe eventually became an Empath…which did cause her a bit of difficulty until she learned to control it. The same is true for us “regular folk” who have the ability.
If you are an Empath, it’s not something you can turn on and off, but you can learn to manage and adapt to your empathic nature.
Personally, it took me quite a while to figure it out….which means a whole lotta proverbial crap hit the fan before I knew how to keep it in check. I became agitated, and uncomfortable in crowd situations, and Holiday shopping?? Forget about it! I couldn’t spend more than 5 minutes in a store without becoming increasingly annoyed and angry to the point of almost bopping someone. (I am most grateful for the plethora of online shopping venues, now I very rarely deal with Holiday Madness).
It used to effect my relationship with my husband as well. How? By turning into a never ending cycle of me not knowing the difference between his bad mood & mine. He’d be in a bad mood….but I was experiencing it, and acting out…which would annoy him, which would feed my emotional fire, etc…etc…etc… Not a pretty picture by any means.
I was a mess. I had such extreme emotional ups and downs that I began to think that I was suffering from a mental illness, and struggled with whether or not I should seek therapy. Then I happened upon the Empathy class at Sacred Mists and BAM, it all made sense. The biggest feeling of relief came from knowing there were others that were going through, or had gone through, the same ordeal.
So, once you know for sure that you are indeed an Empath, what the heck do you do to make your life not-so-nuts? Plenty! Now that you know, you can reclaim your OWN emotions and keep the madness of other people’s invading emotions at bay.
First and foremost: Learn the art of Shielding. Shielding is something that takes practice, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it becomes second nature and can be done anywhere. There are an endless number of shields one can manifest through visualization, and I suggest doing lots of research to learn about them (and certainly use your imagination to create the perfect one for you in any given situation), but I’m going to walk you through a basic Shield, that is a favorite of mine.
My standard “Go To” shield is one made of white light. The only tools required are focus and the ability to visualize. Wherever you are, take a slow deep breathe and relax as much as possible. Imagine yourself surrounded by a bubble/egg/circle of soft white light. This light is your new “Emotion Filter”. The density of the white light determines how much is let through. One you choose how dense it will be, focus your intent into the field of light making it glow softly, yet intensely. Once you feel it is “charged” enough, let it seep into you until it completely disappears from view. It is still there, lying just beneath the surface, ready to go to work. Try your shield several days in a row, experimenting with different densities to see what works best for you. One word of caution: Do not program your shield to block ALL outside emotions…that can lead to a whole mess of other problems.
Once you’ve got the basics of this shield down, you can even experiment with the color. You may find one that works better in certain situations, or one that is just better suited to you. It’s YOUR shield, find what works best for you. 🙂
Next: I highly recommend Meditation. Now, I admit, I’ve never been very good at sitting for long periods, but I do have a couple things that work for me.
Once a month I go to a local Reiki Master for a 1 hour session. It is one hour per month that, no matter what, I am focusing on me and my physical/emotional/spiritual needs. This may not be for you, but, you should make sure to carve out time for you. Believe me, even if it’s a weekly relaxing bubble bath with no interruptions, your mind, body & spirit will thank you.
My other technique, such as it is, is fairly simple. Evey night when I go to bed, I take a few moments to silently reflect on the day. I also use this time to say special prayers for friends/loved-ones/strangers who may need them, and to send healing energy to anyone who’s requested it and to The Universe for it to disperse as needed.
So how does Meditation help? Well, by spending time looking inward, and learning more about yourself, you will more easily be able to distinguish between your own feelings and those of others.
My last little tid-bit of help for Empaths comes in the form of pretty shiny gifts from Mother Earth: Stones.
There are several stones that can help repel or absorb negativity, aid with grounding, and also help to balance your emotions. Whether you wear them as jewelry, or carry them in your pockets makes no difference. This is not an all inclusive list by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a starting point. Trust your instincts, if you’re drawn to a stone, there’s probably a reason, so it’s best to listen (I’ve had lots follow me home this way! lol)
Alrighty, on to the list:
Amethyst – Brings Calm & Clarity, Relieves Anxiety & Confusion
Black Tourmaline – Grounding, Highly Protective Stone, Absorbs Negativity, Acts as an Emotional Shield
Hematite – Grounding, Balances Emotions, Diffuses Negativity
Labradorite – Banishes Negativity, Opens the Mind to New Insights
Obsidian – Grounding, Protective
Onyx – Grounding, Protective, Relieves Confusion, Aids in “letting go”
Rubellite – Calming, Relaxing, Balance Emotions
Sodalite – Protective Stone, Balances Emotions, Aids in Meditation
OK! I think that should do it for now (I feel as though I’ve gone on FOREVER!). If you have any questions or comments, please share them! I’ll do my best to help you out. 🙂