Much of my life was spent totally unaware of the empathic gift I was endowed with. Growing up, I’d watch certain relatives tear up for seemingly no reason and wonder if they were losing their grip on reality. It wasn’t until later in my mid-forties that I actually began to do the same. The television was a major culprit.  I kept wondering why I would cry and feel sorry for even the villains, whom most would feel got what was coming to them for their dastardly deeds. My husband pointed out one day that I was crying over nothing. He would say I let myself get too emotional over things.  His comments made me begin to question if I was now losing MY grip on “reality.”

There were many instances in my working environment where I’d been so overcome by the emotions of another that it affected my job performance. As a medical office manager, it was my responsibility to hire and fire employees. Hiring was the easy part. Firing, not so much. I had to only ever do it twice in my career and neither time did it feel good. In fact, it took a toll on me. The buildup of emotions from the anticipation of having to do it clamored through every cell of my body. Stress was generated over feeling responsible for hurting another human being by causing them the financial anguish of not having a job.  I’d gotten to know these individuals involved and understood their family life. However, when their home problems began to invade the work environment and affect the ability for them to perform their job in the necessary manner at which was needed for the office to run smoothly…it forced me to step in and do what was best for the company. In one instance, tears streamed down my face as I sat in front of this young and single mom then uttered the words, “I have to let you go.” It was Christmastime and such a hard thing to do but I had no choice. My boss was pushing me to do it as soon as possible.

Eventually, I realized I needed to leave management. It wasn’t a good position for me to be in as I didn’t handle stress well at all.  Not until these past few years did I understand why. Having empathic abilities can be seen as a hindrance or curse by some. And when I was unaware of being an empath, I honestly thought something was wrong with me.

As I began to be spiritually aware, I allowed myself grace to discover my gifts. Yes, I call being an empath a gift…now. Back then, as I mentioned before, I felt it more of a burden even though I was unaware of what was actually happening. I felt abnormal. Over time, I am realizing how much of a blessing it is to be able to feel what others feel. It helps me to have more compassion for those that may seem a bit crusty on the outside when inside their hearts may be hurting. Where others see bitterness, I feel their inner suffering and offer instead of hateful comments; love and understanding.

I want to encourage anyone who is or feels they may be an empath, not to reject their gifts as I believe we are given these abilities for a reason. A greater purpose, one that this world so desperately needs. It is up to us to do the abnormal. To love, to care, to offer comfort even if it’s only a hug, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. It might feel like a small thing to others but to that person who is hurting, it might mean the world. It might mean the difference between having hope to carry on or not caring to exist anymore.

Learning how to handle your gift is definitely a process and I am not saying it is an easy path, but it can be rewarding and most of all it’s so very needed at this time on the planet. Empaths feel with their heart…their whole heart. When we listen with our heart, we feel and learn more and can be better stewards of our planet. We can be instrumental in making the changes that will benefit our world and those around us.

Now when my husband tells me I am being overly emotional, I thank him. In my heart I know that I am not losing my grip on reality. Reality is finally losing its grip on me.