Empath: The Human Sponge

From one empath to another, the struggle is real. For those of you that are not quite sure what an empath is, or if you yourself, might be an empath, it’s almost like a personal hell for someone who doesn’t know how to protect one’s self.

So what exactly is an empath? Me being me, I very much enjoy looking up definitions and research. Not saying that I’m not already fully aware of what one is, seeing as I am very much one myself, but I like to make sure that those who are reading my articles are to the best of my ability, educated on the matter. Of course, the quote “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” always hits home for me. I love to know as much as I can about everything, and have no issues when someone tells me that I am wrong, as long as they can back it up with facts. But I digress, back to the question, what is an empath?

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I first had to start with the real question, what is empathy? According to the dictionary, the Merriam-Webster dictionary to be exact, definition number two states “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; also: the capacity for this.“  What exactly does this mean? Basicly, if you were to see someone, or hear someone’s sad story for example, you are going to feel as if you are going through it yourself. You in turn, would feel their sadness, their pain, their struggle, as your own.

This of course, can sound very similar to compassion, but really, there is a huge difference between compassion and empathy. Compassion is to have an understanding of another person’s pain and the desire to somehow lesson it. Imagine that you see someone on a street side that is holding up a side that says “jobless and hungry”. Your first instinct might just be to keep on walking. For others, you might dig into your pockets or purse for any extra change to give to the person for food. Maybe try to help the person by giving them information on a job or somewhere they can find help. Why? Because you feel compassion for the person. You want to lessen their pain, try to make it a little easier on them. Take some of the weight off. Even if it’s just an encouraging word or a simple gesture such as a hug.  Someone who feels empathy, feels that person’s sorrow as their own. They feel that person’s frustration and feeling of despair, even by just looking at them.

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What then, is an empath? We know what empathy is. Some people have it, and some don’t. An empath is a special person all together. Imagine an empath like a sponge. They suck in all the emotions around them. In a supernatural kind of way, an empaths job it to remove all the negative feelings and emotions around them. This really seems like an odd thing to someone who maybe isn’t an empath themselves. Let’s use another example. You are having a really bad day. Maybe you had a very stressful day at work, or you broke up with your girlfriend or boyfriend. What are you going to do? Well, in some cases, someone might just go home and crack open a beer, or they may shut themselves in and feel sorry for themselves for days on end. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t live in that state of mind. But have you ever come across someone, maybe a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger that you’ve contacted or ran into, and just you just poor your feelings out to, and suddenly felt a little better for it? Maybe the pain or frustration has lessened, or maybe you feel better altogether. Mentally you would think, well that’s because you’ve gotten it off your chest! What if what actually happened was that the person you were talking to was an empath, and using their abilities, sometimes unknown, they sucked that negative energy out of you, leaving you feeling lighter, happier, and a little brighter? That’s what an empath’s job is. We take all the dark and negative energy out of the world and we absorb it into ourselves leaving behind people, places, and so on, feeling a little bit brighter, happier.

Remember that statement that I made in my opening about the struggle being real, and how it can be a personal hell for an empath? That’s because empaths feel more deeply than others. Their love, fear, need to help others, experiences, are on a completely different level. They see the world for what it is. A treasured jewel that it both magnificent and beautiful in all it’s glory. They feel a drive to help and heal others. To take away their pain. They are not here to perform acts of compassion, though they do if they can, because they know that people must learn their lessons on their own and that they must make their own choices to help themselves. They are here to take away all the nasty stuff that has blinded people from the beauty of what life really is. A gift. To remove the doubt and dark thoughts from people’s minds and bodies, so that they can feel the positive aspects of life.

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It’s not just limited to emotions. At the age of about 16 or 17 years old, I started to really take notice of my empathic abilities. I felt other people’s physical pain. I’d have sudden headaches for no reason. Sudden and extreme knee pain for no reason. At first I would take these things as part of just growing, but then I realized that I could pin point exactly what person that the pain was coming from. Being in high school, I was surrounded daily by about 900 other students. Passing them in hallways, sitting in class together, standing next to them at the lunch counter.

At first I said nothing about the pain, not approaching the other person about their pain. I kept it to myself because surely I was going insane. After weeks and months of this, I finally started approaching people. I could be minding my own business, sitting on one side of the building in sudden pain,  and then at class change cross to the other side of the building, and have a deep deep feeling that the pain was resonating from a specific person. After much frustration I finally found the nerve to approach people. Excuse me, do you have a headache? I would ask. Yeah I do, they would reply. I would quickly suggest to them where they could find an over the counter drug at the nurses station and be on my merry way.  After acknowledging this pain, it would quickly go away after talking to the person. At this point in time in my life though, I had no idea what an empath even was or that I was absorbing their pain. It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old did I find out what an empath was.

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Now that we know what an empath is, what are some signs that you might be an empath?

  • You feel other people’s pain
  • You get strong first impressions about people, and are typically right
  • You can’t watch the news- Okay, I watch the news, but only certain parts of it. Other parts I cannot handle
  • You are hyper-sensitive to bright lights.
  • You feel physically sick and cannot stand violence of any kind. It is almost impossible to acknowledge its existence
  • You find yourself helping someone emotionally so much, that you become completely emotionally and physically exhausted
  • You feel sick around certain people. Feeling like something is way off
  • You are more aware of people’s suffering than maybe other’s want to admit or talk about. It can really make you an emotional wreck sometimes.
  • You can sense other’s emotional states and can feel it physically. This can happen without even someone showing it.
  • You can tell when someone is lying. It’s your own built in lie detector
  • You’re hyper-sensitive to noise. You would rather be somewhere quiet.
  • You are hyper-aware of shifts in your surroundings. You notice any changes in moods or picking up on other people’s “vibes”
  • You have a difficult time saying “no”. You want to people please and constantly help.
  • You cannot seem to detach from someone in need, even if it’s hurting you and becoming a toxic relationship
  • You’re constantly attracting “lost souls” and narcissist in relationships
  • You have a deep need to make the world a better place, to make people happy and heal them.
  • High levels of anxiety and depression
  • Knowing exactly what to say so make someone else feel better
  • You crave solitude

The signs are there, you feel them constantly, but how do you protect yourself? It took me a long time to find the answer to this. Mostly because when I was younger, this was taboo and hush hush. No one talked about it, and to admit to it could cause public humiliation.  Now, I’m trying to help others from my own experiences and research. Here are some ways to help you:

  • Develop a shield around your body. I call this a protective bubble. Ask your guides and angels for assistance. Imagine a white or purple light starting in the center of your body. Imagine it growing until you are completely surrounded in this bubble.
  • Center yourself. Imagine a bright light in the center of your body, this is you, your essence, focus on it.
  • Ground yourself. Take a walk out into the woods, take a bath, there are all sorts of ways to ground yourself.
  • Learn to say “no”. Trust me, it will be for your own good.
  • Understand it is not your responsibility to take on every person or project that comes your way.
  • Balance your chakras, especially your root chakra, it helps you be fully present in the world
  • You can use cedar or white sage bundles to remove negative energy from you
  • Don’t forget to breath! Focus on your breathing. Realize that the pain and emotions you are feeling are not your own. Send them to the Light.
  • Get some rest. Sleep is your best friend, this is the best time to heal yourself
  • Ask Arch Angel Michael to clear the ties that you have created between you and anyone else. Make sure to thank him for his assistance.

Like everyone else, we can go through some pretty rough lessons in life. Just keep in mind these important empath lessons and rules:

  • You cannot help or save everyone. That’s just too much energy, and if you don’t put yourself first, you will be quickly depleted.
  • Sometimes you cannot save the ones that you really want to. We come into this world for the purpose to learn important life lessons. If you try to help everyone, those lessons will not be learned. You have to allow them to stand on their own two feet. No matter how difficult is it for you to watch their world fall apart.
  • If the situation has proved to be toxic for you. You have to get out. You are only putting yourself and your mental health at risk.
  • Put up healthy boundaries. And stick to them. Do not let others try to sway you. This is for your own good.
  • Always take care of yourself first. Remember the quote “Remember to take care of yourself, you can’t poor from an empty cup”. Taking care of yourself first does not make you selfish. It is for your own health.

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Whew! That was a lot to take in! I really hope that this has helped you to better understand what an empath is, and how to protect yourself and keep yourself healthy and sane! Good luck out there! Keep up the good fight!


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