The Shadow of an Empath

Over the past couple of years, there has been an increased exploration of empathy and highly sensitive people in our mainstream pseudo-science and social psychology realms. With these categories and terms coming out, I feel it is important to talk a little more about the difference between being empathic, psychic, and highly sensitive, and more so what we should do with the information and sensations that we are now becoming privy to.

As we embark on our spiritual journey, we gather important insight and awareness about ourselves. This consciousness, of what’s happening within us and outside of us, with skillful mastery or a willingness to feel, can also offer us information and feedback about what’s happening within and around others.

This heightened sensitivity, amplified awareness, and increased presence can even lead to developing psychic abilities or further maturing gifts that have been present since childhood. Some of us - most of you reading this - are able to feel emotions, moods, or feelings within those that are around us, and some may even be able to intuit the need for healing in others.

Let’s take a look at what this all means...

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is someone who experiences a high level of sensitivity to external stimuli. This sensitivity tends to correlate with more cognitive processing and emotional reactivity. Thus, highly sensitive people tend to feel a lot, think a lot, and process a lot.

An Empath holds a spiritual connection to another person’s experience. An empath is aware of another person’s feelings and experience, by the knowing - or spiritual connection - of walking in another’s shoes. Empaths, bound by their awareness of emotion and impact, are typically most healthy when functioning under strict ethical standards of behavior - empathy becomes a lifestyle.

A Psychic is someone who has awakened a ‘sixth sense’ through spiritual journeying or has an inborn gift of clairvoyance or mediumship (to name a few) from childhood. Psychics will typically receive information in flashes, and their gifts function separately from the ethics or permission of others.

From these brief descriptions above, we can see that although all of these individuals attain information about others and their surroundings, not all of them receive the same information, or experience their feedback in the same ways.

Not all psychics, for example, choose to be bound by the same ethical standards as empaths. Have you ever met a psychic who looked at you straight in the eyes and said, “you are going to die in 4 years” or “your husband will leave you for another woman”? Here is a perfect example of a psychic who is not an empath, they are not aware or present to the impact of their wording or their sharing of information. Whereas a matured empath has learned through experience and knows they must walk and talk in alignment with their values or they will feel the hurts they inflict on others and themselves.

“I am in control of my empathy. I choose to switch it on and off.”

And yes, if you are wondering, it is possible to be both or all of the above. As a psychic and empath myself, I have learned to govern my practice through my empathy and self-developed ethical code. And whether or not you are any of these, all of them, or some, it is imperative that we all develop an understanding of our own ethics and practice functioning from that space.

Our bodies are our temples. As Gandhi once said, “My life is my message.”

How many of you have carried the story that your ability to connect with others’ stories and feelings is unworthy or undeserving of love, respect, and being highly valued? How many of you have been shamed or felt belittled for your emotional vulnerability and courage to be and feel what is present?

Often empaths, HSP, and psychics experience this world as unsafe, fearful, overwhelming, or lonely, keeping them out of touch with who they are and what their true purpose is.

“I release the belief that I am too sensitive. I balance my sensitivity with strength.”    

Our society, addicted to substances and artificial realities (social media, video games, television, and movies), continues to teach us how to flee our bodies, flee our realities, and hide in the depths of our internal existence. In doing this, empaths, HSP, and psychics can develop chronic illnesses or get lost in spiritual realities that disconnect them from the Earth and the communities here on Earth needing and waiting for our light workers, our feelers, igniters, and shakers.

Are you one of our light workers?

Do you have more of an internal focus, rather than external?

Do you find big crowds overstimulating?

Have you battled with feeling overly stressed (experiencing lower levels of serotonin)?

Do you have allergies, have a sensitive digestive and nervous system?

Have you experienced emotions and feelings that you cannot identify as your own or where they came from?

Do you have a strong gut feeling about people or places that are not explainable, instead they are simply known or felt?

Does someone’s name or face pop in your mind and then later they call you or you cross paths with them?

If you answered yes to some or all of these and you have not considered yourself to be empathic, highly sensitive, or psychic, I would recommend doing some more reading and exploring these gifts further.

I also think it is important to consider how living in this world as a light worker can be sustainable for YOU. The balance is different for everyone, and yet the tools are sometimes similar. When talking about self-care with empaths, HSP, and psychics, I hear a lot of people talking about “protecting themselves.” However, the wording around protection has never really resonated with me. The assumption that I am being attacked or that I need to protect or separate myself from the other doesn’t seem like it’s actually the solution - instead, I judge it’s creating another problem.

“When empathy and compassion overwhelm me, I return to awareness of myself and my heart’s center.”

Lighthouse, rooted & tall

In my experience, the question I like to pose to our light workers is, “how can you ground yourself?”

We don’t need to protect ourselves from others, we simply need to know ourselves and remain confident in understanding where we begin and end. Then, when we are around others who don’t (yet) have our sensitivity or knowledge of self, we can remain tall and rooted and resist the pull of confusion and energetic instability. And, the beautiful thing about this, is that when we stand tall and rooted in ourselves, not only are we taking care of ourselves but we are also acting as a lighthouse for others to recognize where they are in space and where home is.

The act of doing this work as a light worker is both self-serving and society shifting.

“First, I take care of myself. Each day I do work that delights my soul.”

So I ask you, what do you do to take care of yourself? How do you know where you start and I begin? When do you identify feelings and stories within yourself that are not yours? Do you have a system or process that you can use to check in with yourself?

If you don’t have these answers, please do not feel overwhelmed, shamed, or anxious. Life is a journey, and we must find the answers, and learn about what we need along the way. What do you need? Room to explore yourSelf? Eldership? Guidance? Resources? Experience and exposure?

Starting Tips & Practices for growing Empaths, HSP, and Psychics

Elaine Aaron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive when the World Overwhelms You, shares, “high sensitivity can be an asset if you arrange your life to accommodate this gift..."

  1. Spend at least 8-10 hours per day in bed, whether sleeping or not.

  2. Make time every day for meditation and movement. If you are just beginning with this practice, perhaps aiming for a practice 2 or 3 days a week is a good starting place until you have a more established routine/habit. Meditating with music or a guided meditation is also a great place to begin. Slow movement like tai chi is a meditative movement practice as is yoga. Throwing on some good music and dancing, shaking, spinning, is also an accessible way to exercise (and it’s fun!).

  3. Carve out downtime for yourself, including one full day of the week off, one month of vacation per year (split up, preferably), and share time with animals and plants in nature as much as possible.

  4. Keep the following items on hand: earplugs (for loud noise), a silk wrap or scarf (to cuddle up with), essential oils or sprays and incense (I always carry an aura spray and a palo santo stick with me), crystals that ground you in your heart, roots, and higher mind, a journal and pen to reflect or get things out, and protein snacks (as sensory over-arousal can deplete blood sugar).

Affirmations for the empath

  • I am in control of my empathy. I choose to switch it on and off.

  • My heart is my sanctuary. I visit my heart before I visit the hearts of others.

  • When I hear my inner truth I honor the God/dess within by following through.

  • I release the belief that I am too sensitive. I balance my sensitivity with strength.

  • My love is strong, grounded, centered and empowering. I can say NO in love.

  • When I show up in life in a grounded way, life shows up to me in a powerful way.

  • My compassion is powerful, transforming and radically kind to myself.

  • First, I take care of myself. Each day I do work that delights my soul.

  • When empathy and compassion overwhelm me, I return to awareness of myself and my heart’s center.

Which tips & tricks or affirmations are you ready to start using today? Let us know below...

Be sure to check out Natasha LIVE on facebook tomorrow as she chats about the Shadow of the Empath and more.

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AUTHOR: Natasha Allain is an OSYL Igniter and Mirror of Truth, Modern Medium, Healer, Yogi & Intentional Artisan. Her main purpose is to truly see You. She is here to mirror your Gold and hold space for you to reclaim your Spirit! Together, you will journey inwards and foster a stronger communication line between your body, mind, and Spirit.

Find out more about Natasha and her services HERE.
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