Growing up as an empath in a Western culture can be pretty difficult. We are taught not to trust our feelings and to put our faith into facts. But as an empath all you have are feelings and it is important to know how to respond to them. I have always been able to understand more of a situation than what is being said, but through my culture I was taught that this was “nonsense.” In my heart I knew what I felt was true, but I could never articulate why or how I knew this. I could read someone’s energy and detect their thoughts as they walked by me and I could tell if someone was lying to me or was omitting facts from their story. But since my upbringing taught me to ignore these things, I questioned myself and lacked confidence in my abilities.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned what an empath was. When I found out that there were other people like me and that I wasn’t crazy, I read as much as I could about how to use these abilities to my benefit and not get wrapped up in negative energies. Many empaths struggle with issues like depression and addiction because they don’t know how to process all of the extra emotions. For many years I was depressed because I had all of this hurt in my heart and I didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t even sure why it was there or where it came from. While there are many reasons for depression and I am not trying to minimize any of them, for me, a large portion of mine stemmed from the pain I absorbed from the world around me.
While there are several different types of empaths, my strongest ability is clairsentience. Meaning, I can sense the thoughts and emotions of others. I have many memories growing up of being told that I was “over-reacting” to a situation that I had no personal involvement in. For the longest time, I thought I was just being dramatic, until I realized that although it wasn’t my situation, I was genuinely experiencing the pain from it. Learning how to differentiate the pain of others from my own and to trust my intuition about people are the two best skills I have developed. This has allowed me to take ownership of my empathetic abilities while living a happy life. Now when I begin to react to outside situations, I acknowledge the thoughts and tell myself that while they seems legitimate to me, they aren’t actually mine. Recognizing the difference between the mental state of myself and others has allowed me to not only process my feelings in a healthy manner, but to also work through issues I have put on the hold due to emotional burnout.
Being an empath can be a great asset when you understand how to distance yourself from the negative energies of others. Use your insight to help you with relationships and be confident in what your intuition is telling you. If you don’t think someone is looking out for your best interest, trust that feeling and move on. You know what your needs are better than anyone else. Even though you can sense the pain of others, it isn’t your responsibility or your place to fix them. True change needs to come from within. Most of all, be patient with yourself while you are learning to trust your abilities. It can take a while to gain confidence and as with any new journey, there will be setbacks. Use them as lessons while you continue to grow into your most authentic form of self.