The Real Reason Empaths Struggle with Exhaustion…

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No doubt I’ll come away drained after an entire day of ‘peopling.’ Especially after an intensely emotional conversation.

But is that the real reason empaths struggle with exhaustion?

We could blame it solely on picking up others’ emotions, but what if there’s a simpler explanation?

Is it because we’re ‘tuned-in’ all the time?

On 24/7, like a super antenna.

I’ve observed that our sensing of energetic flow never stops. (Even when we’re sleeping, which is why many empaths report having difficulties sleeping with a partner in a bed or even in the same room).

Like a wire that continuously conducts an electrical charge, we’ll eventually fray and short out.

What if our exhaustion is caused primarily from constantly sensing shifts in the energy fields around us?

Bit by bit, wearing us down until…

BOOM! An emotional spike!

Your co-worker’s intense fear, the aftermath of a car accident you witness during your lunch break. Dreadful news delivered on channel 5 right after dinner.

True, those spikes are rough as hell, but what we really need to be paying attention to, are the energetic environments we’re choosing second after second, minute after minute, day after day.

It’s what I believe either builds up our resilience to energetic spikes or wears us down.

Empaths need to check in with this almost constantly.

I call it your Personal Energetic Baseline.

What does it feel like when you are fully in your own essence, grounded and centered?

What does that vibration sound like, smell like, taste like? What is your body telling you?

Which environments align with your Personal Energetic Baseline and which do not?

A solo walk in the forest is the best place to experience my own personal baselinebelieve me, some days Ive strongly considered moving into a tent like a modern Druid.

Ask yourself: how quickly am I able to notice an energetic spike that has nothing to do with my own experience?

‘Hmm, that was strange. Nothing happened in my life to make me feel this way, I must be picking up the shifting energy of someone or something else. Not absorbing. Not taking in. I choose to acknowledge and release.’

Because empaths are always tuned-in, we don’t need added energetic burdens.

This level of awareness is a ongoing practice and I slip up a lot. Especially if I’ve pushed myself too hard, am healing from illness, or just plain forget to pay attention.

It’s not always easy to have this gift we call empathy; the counterpoint is we must remind ourselves to be vigilant.

The more quickly you connect back to your personal energetic baseline, the more energized you will feel.

Be gentle with yourself, it takes time and practice.

Try it, I think you’ll feel surprisingly refreshed.

 

*This post originally appeared on Medium.com, click here to follow my latest writings…

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Empaths are Not Here to Transmute Other People’s Energy

There’s a dangerous idea being posted on the Internet that the purpose of an empath is to transform negative energy into positive. I know personally how dangerous this is, as I believed this was my purpose for many years before I even learned there was a word for who I am — empath. One who can sense subtle shifts in the energy fields around me.

Empaths are naturally drawn to healing. Where this can go awry is when we begin to self-identify as a ‘rescuer’ of others. Since I was a child, I could easily pick up anyone’s energetic state — I read them using my empathic antennae, having a knowing of their pain while at the same time being able to see their Divine inner essence. Because I was born with this gift, I mistakenly thought I was somehow responsible for everyone else’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health.

I didn’t want them to be in pain because when they’re hurting — so was I. So, I took their hurting into my mind, my heart and my physical body in an attempt to release them from it. And, of course other people allowed me to do it, some even deliberately pouring their wounds into me because it provided them with the temporary relief that at least someone else understood what they were experiencing.

I lost myself.

I could not differentiate who I was from their pain. I stayed in dysfunctional after dysfunctional relationship, thinking I was ‘helping’ others step up into their power, but instead I was actually encouraging their victimhood. Why would someone need to face their own wounds and do their own healing when I was holding all of their pain for them?

The cost to me was enormous.

At one point, I simply shut off all external emotional reactions. I remember during an employee review my supervisor asking me, ‘Bevin, do you ever feel anything?’ I never see you get angry or sad…’ What? Are you kidding me, I feel absolutely everything! This was one of many wake-up calls to come…

Wake-up call #2 came after ten years of a friendship with a woman who experienced a very difficult childhood and manifested those wounds into really poor life choices. Every time I thought that she was starting to get her life together, making positive steps, she would self-sabotage. I was there to help pick up the pieces over and over until one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore and closed the door on our friendship forever. I still think about her and if I’m being honest still hold hope that she was able to heal and create the life she deserves.

I went through the same process several more times: holding other people’s pain before finally awakening to the impact. Experienced this in a past marriage and with a close family member. I came across people in my workplaces with deep wounds and for a while I attracted them out in the dating world.

I’ve come to understand that these relationships were brought into my life not for me to heal them, but so I could learn how to set healthy boundaries. So I could learn how to simply hold space for other people to do their own healing, but not hold their actual pain. We each need our own challenges and struggles in life in order to grow. If I pick up and carry someone else’s baggage, I am denying them an important personal growth experience.

I can now begin the deep healing process in my own heart, my own mind and my own body — which has held so many wounds from others inside. The chronic body pain I’ve lived with since age 8? I no longer wish to carry that pain, let me clarify, I will not ask my body to carry that pain any longer.

As an empath, you are not responsible for transmuting other people’s energy, other people’s pain. You are only responsible for healing yourself, embracing that strong, beautiful, loving light within you and radiating out as an example to others.

Letting go and allowing them to experience their own personal journey while you experience yours.

An Open Letter to My Fellow Empaths

It’s time to embrace your inner warrior.

I belong to multiple Facebook groups for empaths and intuitives and noticed so many describing relationships with toxic people. I can’t even count how many posts state something like: ‘Please pray for me, I finally summoned the courage to leave him/her.’ Sending love and light, especially those who are still engaged in that very real struggle.

During a recent meeting of our meditation group, narcissism was the selected topic. Every person around the table had one or more intense stories to share, stories of pain but also stories of triumph and growth.

On the recommendation of a close friend, I found myself reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ classic, ‘Women who Run with the Wolves’. I was immediately struck by how the author, who upon writing this book over twenty years ago, casts light on the mythological figure of Bluebeard as the sociopathic antagonist to the young, naïve gentlewoman.

Much has been written about the empath-narcissist dynamic, which impacts so many on such a personal level. However, let’s take a deep breath and step back for a moment to observe this on a much larger scale.

Why are so many of the same references emerging in our world right now?

As a global culture, we’re traversing some of the most difficult energetic situations. It seems like we’re constantly exposed to the energy of violence, divisiveness, inequality, war and separation. Positively, we’re also experiencing one of the greatest surges in mass consciousness in modern history. Multitudes are awakening to a greater understanding of our role as spiritual beings, of our purpose here on this planet.

We’ve begun to ask truly imperative questions like:

·        Who will we become as we move forward into the future?

·        As a society, will we continue to concern ourselves, with just ourselves?

·        Or will we learn to make decisions that honor both our individual and collective needs?

While it can certainly be a challenging time to be an empath [we feel absolutely everything until we learn how to enact healthy energetic boundaries]. It’s also, in my opinion, precisely why perceptive souls are here.

What if collectively and in loving support of each other, we don our energetic armor, strengthen our resolve and embrace our inner warriors?

As a self-proclaimed pacifist, it’s been a long and winding road to come to terms with my inner warrior. Battle seems like the type of environment where I could easily be enticed to morph into someone I’m not proud of. I believe this is our greatest empath fear. That amid the fight, we will begin to exhibit the same spiteful characteristics as the ‘enemy’.

Until we recognize the only real enemy is the one inside ourselves.

One of the most profound insights I’ve read about this topic was recently posted on an empath forum (author kept anonymous for privacy):

‘An empath has to learn to love and embrace oneself completely. Then, when they trust themselves, they will not be attracted to the kind of ill treatment expressed by narc. The way a narc treats an empath is usually reflective of how the empath talks to themselves inside. It could be an inner bully-thinking voice that was adopted from an earlier childhood abuse or the like. So, empaths on some inner level agree with the bad treatment and already believe they are not “good enough.” How a narc treats them actually resonates with them. Instead, they have to learn to fall in love with themselves. Then the inner dialogue changes and they attract a person who reflects their inner health and treats them well on the outside. Narcs have their hearts completely closed, so the empath is drawn in to heal their wound. But really, empaths need to heal their own wounds with self-love.’

The longest distance on our journey to empowerment is exactly what she just described: learning to trust and believe in ourselves.

Listening to your intuition, receptive to every message meant for you.

Believing you deserve a great life filled with loving, healthy and reciprocal relationships. Once you internalize this new awareness, you will never go back. I invite you to join me in the following empath affirmation:

I have faith in every situation that I bring the intention to think, feel, speak and act in the highest good for myself and others. Certainly, I will make mistakes. Sometimes, I may even inadvertently say something hurtful. I will take responsibility when I do, ask for forgiveness and apply that learning forward.

I am not responsible for others’ emotions, problems or challenges: only my own. Each person must step forward to tackle their own life lessons. I will not take learning and growth away from another by trying to fix or rescue them.

I will trust my inner knowing, when I hear that wise, still truth and when I feel in my body that something’s not right. I will use my voice as a powerful weapon, not to hurt or maim but to uplift and strengthen. I will go to battle on behalf of my own inner spirit, my beautiful light. I am meant to glow, to shine, to radiate and I will not be dimmed!

Our world is poised on the edge of a threshold, between what we’ve known for so long (territorial, warring, self-serving) and endless possibilities for peace, love and respect. A world in which we empathize with each other, consider our choices carefully and treat each other with a gentleness and compassion befitting a unified and evolved human race.

The shift begins with you, my empathic friend.

*This post originally appeared on Medium.com, click here to follow my latest writing…