Have you ever expressed an intense emotional response to something then wondered why? Or how about being in a crowd of people then suddenly becoming overwhelmed by anxiety or feelings not of your own? Does your heart ache with compassion over traumatic or violent events? Do you have an uncanny ability to discern if someone is lying or has negative intentions? Do you often feel like you need to be the peacemaker in situations of disharmony? Are you sensitive to TV, movies or news broadcasts? Do people you don’t know feel comfortable telling you their life’s story with all the intimate details?

If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be an empath. The definition of an empath or being empathic, centers around a person being affected by another’s energy. They possess the ability to innately and intuitively feel or perceive others. Sometimes this takes the form of the empath deflecting the very emotion they are picking up back out to those around them. They do this unaware that it’s not their own feelings they are sending out.

I discovered only a few years ago, after living most all my life constantly feeling barraged by emotional responses I couldn’t explain, that I had been “blessed” with this ability. Though I say “blessed,” in those moments I certainly didn’t feel very blessed. In fact, I was frustrated and questioned why God would put this ability on some of us.
Once I opened up and began allowing my intuition to assist and guide me through life, I realized that it’s not so much about being blessed as it is learning to be grateful. It’s part and parcel of my total being. It helps me to find compassion and love as well as understanding and patience.

Often empaths are the ones who head off violence by being peacemakers. They volunteer for humanitarian type jobs assisting or caring for others. Empaths are creative as they perceive emotions so deeply that they can express it to a point where others experience the feelings in works of art or the lyrics in music.

When my husband watches movies or TV shows where violence is depicted, I have to leave the room. Though it is, as he says “Only Hollywood” my empathic nature does not distinguish the difference. The shows evoke an emotional response. I’m not able to view others being bullied, tortured or killed. I see a soul (no matter how bad their intentions are) suffering. My heart immediately goes out to them.

Even the books that I’ve authored intentionally bring about emotional responses because that is what humans react to. It’s part of what life is about. Though my stories can take a reader on a rollercoaster of emotions, my intent is to usually end them in an uplifting way and with encouragement. Perhaps it’s my attempts and lessons over the years at dealing with being an empath that makes me want to do that. Or maybe I just can’t bring myself to leave someone in a bad space with their feelings.

Watching shows like Little House on the Prairie or movies such as Marley and Me would leave me in a heap bawling. Even certain music can influence mood. It has become the family tease that Mom cries at the drop of a hat. But it’s not just sadness that I can feel intensely; I can also feel joy, love and excitement to the extreme. I will never forget when 9-11 happened. The intense anguish over the loss of many lives in such a senseless act and then the follow up anger that ensued was so overwhelming that I walked around in a funk for days. I tried hard to dump the emotions of others that washed over me like a flood.

Not only do we empathically sense others, but we feel deeply for ourselves. Sometimes this leads to empaths bottling up the emotional energy because we don’t want to hurt others. When we do this we actually are damaging ourselves as the energy bubbles about inside of us and can build on itself. It can cause intense body aches and pains. Why do we do this? Because we feel it’s better for us to harbor the pain than to watch another suffer.
There are also times where I know I’m put into a situation because I’m there to either diffuse it, introduce love and light into it or transmute it in helping another to release their emotions by lending an ear. Sometimes that’s all it takes; being willing to listen while someone else vents.

I used to work in a large medical office. Often I would feel like the camp counselor. My door seemed like a revolving door for my coworkers to come in steaming under the collar, sit and vent to me, then leave feeling better. I would then be left in that room with all the crud they just unloaded. At that time, I had no idea why, what was happening or how to not take it on.

Over the last few years and with the awareness of being an empath, I’ve gradually learned to clear the energies either by using crystals, taking a shower, asking Arch Angel Michael to assist or visualizing white light removing the energy from me. Most importantly, learning how to not take it on in the first place by shielding myself if enough notice is given. Sometimes this is as easy as saying to yourself “shields up” as they do in Star Trek and visualizing a bubble of protection going up all around you.

Yet there are times when a sneak attack of emotions just slips in the back door. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Recognize it and clear it right away.

Most of all take note, if being empathic to you means you are cursed then it will be so as we bring to us what we think. If you focus more on how you can use your ability to help others, then you will see it more as a gift and that makes life just a bit easier.

Being an empath may be what propels a person to get involved when they see injustice or cruelty. If the world held no empaths, it would most certainly be a horrible place for it’s the empaths who are the volunteers, teachers, romantics and care givers in society. They strive to counterbalance all the harm negative energy emits. If I had the choice of living in a world with or without empaths, I would hands down choose one with.

People are attracted to empaths due to their warmth and compassion almost like metal to a magnet. Total strangers tend to divulge even the most personal of things to them because something inside of them tells them that this person will listen with compassion.
Though it’s definitely not easy and not given to everyone, the gift of being an empath is exactly that…a gift. I know that I have written on this subject before but feel the need to do so again. The collective energy of our country at this important time in history is in turmoil. There’s much anger and hatred flowing across the nation. Talking politics is one sure way to light a fire under even the most docile person. We who are extremely sensitive to the emotions of others need to be even more diligent at this time to keep our emotions in check. We need to send out calm, compassionate and loving energy.

Lastly, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, when it comes to my empathic ability I know it was bestowed on me for a purpose greater than I probably realize. I humbly trust in it and have faith that the universe knows what assistance the souls who are guided into my life will require from me.