This article will help to clear the Empath Misconceptions that there are. There are a ton of empath support groups and materials on surviving the world as an empath. There are a lot of articles, books and sites devoted to empaths. It is generally agreed upon that an empath is able to feel other’s emotions strongly and most of the time issues come up because they also take in and take on other’s emotions.
This is different from empathy because empathy is a way of being able to ‘stand in someone else’s shoes’ and see and feel from their perspective. Empathy can be practiced by everyone. Not everyone is an empath. Not all empaths are actually able to engage with empathy. They can feel an overwhelm of emotion and not actually put themselves in someone else’s place.
Emotions have energy. They leave the body and they go out into the world. They pick up energy of the same resonance and they come back home. There is a collective field of emotions and they are contagious. Empaths often suffer from a form of emotional contagion. This can be a complete overwhelm and create illness, shut down or inability to cope with the outside world. A lot of people think that the answer to these issues is to shield, block, avoid and blame.
We have already started working on the protective field to build strength, vitality and understand our own natures and recognize when we are taking on other’s emotions. I have discussed how some people simply have a more porous and open field. While some people are simply born this way and are natural empaths, it is also important to know that a lot of this is trained into the system when we are children and trying to manage the emotions and energies in a home which felt unstable or unsafe.
Another important reason (that I do not see talked about) that the feelings are so strong, so overwhelming is because of resonance to our own repressed, constricted emotions stored in our bodies. When we look at this it makes sense. A home is unsafe, the system goes into place to learn how to feel and suck up emotions from others. At the same time, personal emotions are not able to be fully expressed, seen and moved through. If we have not fully felt, accepted and expressed our pain, when we come in contact with this field in others it is highly triggering. We are overwhelmed not only by the emotional field of the other person but by the resonating energy stuck in our organs and energy field. This trigger, in a way, could be seen as trying to help us to tap into and release our own repressed emotions. But, instead of looking at it this way I see a lot of people who are only interested in declaring themselves a victim to other’s horrible energies.
When we are in right relation with our emotions and have dealt with the repressed emotions of our childhood, we can still have the experience of feeling other’s emotions, but they are more like signals and waves moving through. They present, give us information and then move on. There isn’t anything in our field or body to attach to. The intensity is when they come up against a block and basically start bouncing off of it and resonating with it creating a larger field of emotion. We can still feel these things, use them for helping us to navigate the world or to receive information in healing work, but it is not so triggering, exhausting and debilitating.
We can engage with this in a healthy way. It does require awareness not just of protecting ourselves from other’s toxic energy but of doing our own self work of moving repressed and stagnant energies so that we are not as resonant with their toxicity. This is why we must be devoted healers of ourselves, moving our repressed emotions and stagnant energies out of our bodies so that we can be a clear vessel for our work.