Confessions Of A Highly Sensitive Empath
This has been coming on so strongly for me recently, so I think it's time I finally share.
Sometimes it really sucks being so sensitive and empathic.
Taking in all the energy around me and feeling it in my body - the range of emotions and energies of other people and events - is exhausting.
This makes me ultra sensitive. I feel it when others experience pain, confusion, and mental anguish. I feel it when someone is ungrounded because they share their anxiety with me. When someone is in a bad mood, I feel it.
It’s hard for me to watch movies with violence and suffering in them and, even if some of them are just an act, because of the tone, these movies affect me deeply. I feel the pain in my body.
Just last week, I saw the remains of a car crash almost immediately after it happened. I was driving down the highway and a wave of knowing that the person in that upside down car was not ok. I burst into tears and started asking the angels and the Universe to send love and protection to that person.
I usually don’t react that way to accidents. But with this one, I could feel it in my body that this one was different
Before I continue, I want to say that I’m not writing this post to complain or be overly dramatic. I’d like to express the reality of what it’s like to be a highly sensitive, empathic person and to let others who are highly sensitive and empathic to know that they aren’t alone.
We can empower ourselves to be this way and consider it a gift.
It wasn’t until I reached my 30’s that I started to learn how to master this gift within myself.
I spent my entire life before then being told that I was “shy” and not “go-getting” enough.
I’ve been told that I was “too sensitive” when the people around me were being insensitive and I didn’t laugh at their passive aggressive jokes or criticisms.
The combination of trying to be someone who I wasn’t -- someone who didn’t care, someone who thought she had to be a specific way to be accepted and loved, someone who carried a deep love for humanity, animals and the planet, but who didn’t carry that same love for herself -- meant that I was a magnet for people who prayed on my energy.
And as long as I was getting “love” and “acceptance”, I took what I could get and pretended that I was happy. Sometimes I even thought that I was put on this earth to help them. To shine my light and my love on their life to ease their burdens and pain.
This isn’t to say that it was wrong of me to shine my light or to have compassion. In fact, that’s what we’re all here for.
But we are not here for codependency.
When you’re a highly sensitive, empathic person who takes in energy from all around yourself, sometimes you are taking all of that energy in and then giving all of the good stuff to narcissists and energy vampires who leave you drained, and leave nothing left for yourself.
So, what can we do?
We can learn to love ourselves. (But how do we do that?)
We can also learn about who we really are and how we really function.
When I discovered my soul’s story -- my Human Design -- I discovered where and how I actually take in energy from others in my open energy centers (and what that looks like), so that I now find myself catching it when I feel something that isn’t mine.
I’ve also learned my archetypes so that I can honor my energy. For example, my personality archetype (in Human Design) is the Hermit. As a highly sensitive person, when I learned this, it was music to my soul.
Now I don’t feel bad for needing time alone -- a lot of time alone.
This is just me. It doesn’t make me wrong. It just makes me different to those who don’t have that archetype.
I’ve learned this and so much more about the different energies that we all experience on a fixed, consistent basis; or that we experience the full range of, based variably on who/what we’re around or exposed to, even at different stages of our lives.
So, by knowing who I am and how I function, I can navigate my way through life, seeing red flags more clearly (instead of blatantly ignoring them) and when I do experience things that cause discord, I’m more aware of what’s going on. And then, I either take precaution so that I don’t take that energy on anymore or, if that’s not possible, then I can remove myself from the situation, realize that these emotions are not mine, do a cord cutting exercise, or just let the emotions roll through me like waves until they pass.
All of this takes LOVE and compassion for myself.
All of this takes being deeply accepting of myself for who I am.
And, it takes practice.
And, you can do all of this as well.
Here are some resources I can suggest for this journey that we sensitive, empathic souls have decided to take here in this lifetime:
The Empath Experience: What To Do When You Feel Everything, by Sydney Campos
The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies For Sensitive People, by Judith Orloff
Sending love, always.
WHAT’S YOUR SOUL STORY?
Discover your soul’s story -- the energy blueprint that tells the beautiful story of your soul’s journey throughout this lifetime.
Learn who your soul came here to be and really SEE yourself for possibly the first time.
Learn how you can unbecome all that you were conditioned to be and confidently become the highest expression of who you were born to be -- living your soul’s story.