It's not easy to be an empath. Especially if your scores on almost all tests are close to maximum.
According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, empathy is "the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner”.
To be able to feel the pain of others and to walk in their shoes can be tricky.
But in a way, it is a supreme blessing. Without a person even saying a word, you know what they are going through and, because of it, you are obliged to help. To be there for them. To listen.
You know how to ask the right questions and how to adapt to their sensitivity.
How all this affects you is the other side of the coin.
Empaths tend to have periods in which they enjoy solitude, silence and, and not so rarely, they like to go off the grid completely: turning off their phones and cutting off almost all contact with the outside world.
From their point of view, it's not selfish. It's the only way to stay sane and prepare for the next battle, to process the pain, sadness, anger and other emotions they’ve picked up from people around them and their surroundings.
Empaths don't watch TV; they don't prefer going to large gatherings. They are affected by loud sounds and even different smells.
They are highly sensitive individuals experiencing physical manifestation and illnesses, as whatever they absorbed is hard to cope with.
To many people around them, this is unnecessary. In most cases, they are labelled childish.
It is hard to understand an empath, because of the general absence of empathy in the world.
New research in psychology shows that we humans are losing the ability to truly care and be compassionate, especially with the next generation. This is rather frightening.
If we are losing the ability to be humans, what are we turning into?
This is a question for all of us. Empathy is something you can work on, but it requires a sincere attitude and much introspection.
It is the responsibility of parents, teachers and society to inculcate empathy in children. It should be imperative in the 21st century.
One of my favourite books is “The Giving Tree” by Shell Silverstein.
The book is for children aged four years and above. It contains beautiful illustrations and should be a must-read for adults as well.
We have a responsibility to the world and the generations that will follow us. It is our duty to value basic qualities like kindness and compassion.
Reading this book with your friends and family might be a great place to start.
Here are a few additional suggestions on how to find the way to empathy:
Try to become the person you want to understand. Feel their pain by letting yourself walk in their shoes. Do not try to imagine what would you do in that situation. Remember you are the person you are trying to understand
Small acts of kindness
Go out and do one unplanned act of kindness every day. Surprise yourself by surprising someone.
Master the art of giving. Do not expect something in return. Be happy to just give.
Put your phone away while talking to people. Give them full attention. That way, you reinforce your ability to feel their trauma.
We are all unique. Honour differences. Enjoy adapting to the new company, circumstances, conditions. This is the best way to learn.
Engage in social activities in your area. Volunteer. It is a beautiful and powerful way to connect.
If you are an empath struggling with the lack of energy and strength, try the following:
For me, the first and most important thing when I feel low is in contact with nature.
Walking, meditating or just sky-gazing is sometimes enough for me to fully recover in a short time.
This is a favourite exercise when I feel totally drained. This very simple technique is given by Mohanji, a great spiritual master. Thiry minutes of conscious walking is equal to three hours of meditation!
I started doing it without even knowing it exists. At times when I felt over-exhausted, I would just go out for a walk, looking down at the ground, keeping the focus on a single spot 50 cm in front of my shoes.
Salt baths are a powerful way to discard bad energies. I enjoy them at least two times a day.
Empaths feel better when they help someone. Feeding the birds, fish, cats, dogs on the streets always helps me feel better.
Taking care of plants is a special way to be one with nature, especially if you don’t have the opportunity to go for long walks.
Give yourself. Rise. Let’s do this together.
Author: Lea Kosovac