The Disconnected Empath
Empaths are the sponges of the world. Soaking up the emotions of the world, people, places, the environment. I worked with a lady, who as soon as she entered the office you can feel the negativity and unhappiness radiating off of her. In my novice years, I would have soaked it all in. I would have owned it. Until, I understood how energy worked and the complexities of being an empath, was I able to deflect and move on.
As Empaths, we are often so busy wringing out, sorting out and processing everything others feel, we lose connection with ourselves.
Our emotions get yanked tangled into everyone else's. We start to identify with everyone else but ourselves. We own everyone's emotions.
This can lead to feeling drained, exhausted and depleted.
The empath child is a people pleaser to ease tension and discomfort we feel. Too young to understand why we feel the way we do. We become the holder of family emotions. Empath children become people pleasers in effort to ease the internal tension, to stop the discomfort. Believing that happiness in others will stop their pain. And still not yet understand the complexities of emotions.
As adults, we often feel overwhelmed, lost, burdened, not sure who we are, and taken advantage of.
What to do?
Remember to be gentle with yourself. Learning how to connect, identify and give back takes time. It takes practice, just like learning to ride a bike or drive a car.
Identify. What are the emotions you are feeling? Do they reside anywhere in your body? Are they yours?
Decide to own or give back what you feel. I use to say release but it's more than that. There's a human component that needs responsibility. Empaths often suffer here. Taking responsibly when no one else will. That's where you learn to walk away. Give it back to the owner and hold them accountable. Empaths, it isn't your job to shield this from others, especially loved ones.
You are here to guide others in the beauty of emotions. Not to hold and carry. You do yourself and others a deserve when you hold and claim someone else's emotion. Emotions are a gift, a lesson, an opportunity for growth, regardless of which emotion. Check in with authenticity, can you provide support to the person whose emotions you are feeling? A hug? A smile? A conversation? Remember, you are supporting them, not taking on.
When it’s your emotions, meet them where they are. We run from uncomfortable emotions - sadness, anger, anxiety. Think of them like an old friend. Invite them in. Offer them a snack. Befriend them. Learn from them.
Create rituals that serve your soul. Be childlike in your self-care. Engaged in those things that bring out or curiosity, and awe. What your soul care looks like is going to change day to day. It isn’t a checklist or part of a to-do list. It’s asking yourself what you need today? A hug? A cup of hot tea? A warm bath? Nature? Dancing? Give yourself permission to meet yourself where you are at each moment.