Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you all. I pray you find the wind at your back today and always.
I’ve finally completed my garden updates and wanted to share something with you that I suppose I’ve always known about myself, but just recently Kay has helped me define it. I’m an Empath.
An Empath is defined as a highly sensitive individual who has a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking or feeling- experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others. It’s also defined as a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend (take on) the mental or emotional state of another individual.
Whether or not you believe in paranormal or spiritual things…I can tell you all of this is completely true for me. My most recent empathic encounter was, of course, with my Kay. There’s something so incredible about getting to know someone and finding that you are undeniably meant to be connected to each other. We continue to help each other in ways I can hardly explain. Sometimes it can take a toll. *WHICH IS NO ONES FAULT BUT MY OWN*. I want to make it very clear that I do not blame anyone but myself for what I take on. It is my gift to learn.
A few weeks ago Nate, Ethan and I took a family camping trip. This was after our yearly camping trip with just our adult friends (Kay included). Man, I just couldn’t get her off my mind no matter how much I tried to shake it. I could feel pain; agony even. I had been feeling it for a while by then but chose to ignore it. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do. The codependent in me wants to fix everything for everyone else; to control their feelings and emotions…so I have a hard time deciphering when I should and should not act. These feelings, though, are usually the first sign to me that I need to reach out.
With reception being shotty at our rustic campsite texting her was my best option. So, I did. And, of course, she was feeling a lot of emotional pain. All I had to ask was, “Are you okay?”, and the flood came in. When you open the door for the pain to come in, you better be prepared. I wasn’t prepared. I know better…but it hit me quite hard. Mostly because she was going through something I’ve already been through. So, memories come flooding in from my past, connecting to her present. It’s one hell of a ride, going through someone else’s hell.
Something I’m learning as an Empath is timing. You remember all of our posts about self-care? Empaths NEED self-care like no bodies business! It is a requirement. We cannot help others if we cannot first help ourselves. It hurts, feeling others’ pain. A lot. I get so emotionally exhausted from it. I have to be careful and allow myself space so I don’t get too emotionally involved. Kay’s flood hit me so hard that I became depressed for three days. (AGAIN- no blame rests on Kay- this is my lesson to learn). It actually took me a few days after to realize what had happened. I remember telling her how I wish I could just take it all away. That…if I could just remove the pain I would. I would take it all from her. What I didn’t realize is that’s exactly what I did…I took it but I didn’t take it from her. I just took that pain and amplified it upon myself. Ouch.
Another thing about Empaths is that we have a hard time intellectualizing our own feelings. (We have a hard time explaining what is is we feel and why we feel that way…it’s just a gut feeling…just because, okay?!)
My favorite part of being an Empath, though, is my ability to give off light and healing. It’s an indescribable, wonderful feeling when someone tells you how full of light you are and how much you’ve brightened their day just by being yourself. I love that. I own that. It’s mine and I love sharing the light. I really enjoy walking into a room and feeling the energy. I love meeting a new person and knowing exactly who they are just from meeting them. Yet another reason why if/when you meet me I’m gonna go in for a hug- touch is huge for me. And if I don’t go in for the hug, it’s usually a vibe coming off that person telling me to stay away, which I do not take with a grain of salt. That shit is serious. We are not meant to connect.
Giving off light is exactly what it sounds like. Kinda like a super power! Even while writing this I can feel a warmth inside my chest. Imagine a soft white glow that radiates starting within and moving outward. Someday I hope to see peoples auras (the colors that surround them)…now THAT is a super power! For now I’m good with getting in tune with my feelings. I’m sure that’s where it all starts, anyway.
That light attracts other Empaths and people who desire to be around it. It’s amazing to me to walk up to a friend I haven’t seen in a while and go in for that hug, and just feel that warmth and connection. Even if little words are exchanged I get to give, and take with me an amazing feeling. It’s a total rush. It’s so good that it makes me well up inside and I can feel my eyes start to flood.
One of my favorite people to vibe with is my mother-in-law, Michelle. I wasn’t always close with her. We actually had a hard time getting to really know each other. I believe most of this was because we are both Empaths- but I hadn’t fine tuned my abilities yet. Ignoring them is more like it. Now that we are more in tune, I feel her often. Just like with Kay, it’s an extreme thought of her that is heavy on my heart. When I think of my mother-in-law I think of unconditional love, support, honesty, integrity, and trust. When I feel her heavy on my heart I feel all of these things, but with an urgency to be heard. Almost like her heart is crying out to me saying, “can you hear me? I need to be validated. I need my heart to be heard!” If you know Michelle you know that she has the largest heart in this world and she would do anything to try and help you.
The other week (or month) she said to me, “something I hate about myself is that I try too hard” (we were putting tape down on Nate’s truck to put some fenders on, and she was trying to make it perfect). I said, “but you love so deeply, and that is why you try so hard.” OH! her reaction was priceless. Instantly tears welled up and she gave me the sweetest kiss on my cheek. I’ll never forget that moment. It’s true, though. She has a heart the size of the Universe. I am so blessed to call her mom.
My empathy is usually triggered by hurt. I think it’s because I want to help hurting people…not that I don’t want to share in their victories, but the victories are sweeter when battles are fought and won together, don’t you think? Those moments are so precious to me. To know that I made an impact on someones life just by saying, “hey, you’re heavy on my heart- what’s up?”, or, “are you okay?”. It’s an amazing feeling to help loved ones fight their battles and F**KING WIN! I just have to work on timing, and make sure that I’m taken care of before I move on to help others heal.
Are you an Empath or in a relationship with someone who is? What’s been your biggest struggle?
Stay tuned for next weeks post. I want to dive in more about what it means to be an Empath, and add some tips and tricks on how to be a HEALTHY one.
Feel ya later! (see what I did there? HA!…Goon.)