Learning How to Exist in this World as an Empath

 

Being an empath is overrated and highly romanticised.

 
Yes, you get to know what other people are feeling.
Yes, you are often moved to compassion.
 
And yes, you often spend a long time feeling burnt out, needing to recharge, and simply not knowing where your needs and emotions start and the other person’s begins
 
Having that level of psychic, spiritual and emotional sensitivity makes life extremely challenging unless you develop the right skillset to use it well. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up to be a spiritual punching bag.
 
Contemporary spiritual writings valorize the pain empaths experience, pinning a blue ribbon on top of all that pain to give it meaning. Eventually we will see that pain being normalized, as part of the definition of what an empath must be.
 
 
That is outrageous.
 
 
But that’s where we are headed …
 
 
Empaths frequently experience challenges in setting their boundaries, or knowing that they exist in the first place. More often than not, part of their sensitivity to others and inability to turn off comes from a deep deep wound that comes from not being seen, loved or understood. They tend to overcompensate by increasing their sensitivity to others and filling their needs – instead of the Self.

 

Through this there is the silent but often ignored request to just, maybe, please skip over a puddle for the one who has moved mountains for you. . . .

 
In other words, the empath, over time, becomes willing to erase their boundaries to see if that primary, existential need will ever be filled. This attracts them to relationships in
which the all-too-callous are all-too-willing to be the non-reciprocal recipient of the empath’s energy. Till they have no more to give, or choose to walk, or both.
 
And this is where that (sadly classic) dynamic between the empath and narcissist arises from. One is too eager to fill another, but is reluctant to fill itself. The other is happy receiving that that energy, but is reluctant to reciprocate. It makes for a terrible, vicious cycle or a lock-and-key scenario that opens the doorways to pain. Many lessons, yes – but also much pain.
 
Empaths are either shamed to or convince themselves that the kind of heartache and suffering this brings reflects the depths of the romance idealism and is a deeply spiritual act of noble surrender and ego-death. Those are real things, but they come from other places.
 
A spiritual sacrifice exists without expectation. It comes from a place to goes beyond your needs, desires and wants. A space wherein detachment and compassion co-exist without contradiction. And that´s not an easy space to pull off.
 
What empaths tend to do is to sacrifice their well being in the hopes they will be taken care of in turn.
That has nothing to do with love or spirituality, but rather the dynamics of psychological control and abuse.
 
One thing you may want to consider before jumping on the empath band-wagon is that it is very, very similar to co-dependency. Similar kinds of traumas and similar coping mechanisms characterize both phenomena. I´m still looking into the differences between the two, if any (in observed practice).
 
I´d highly recommend Robin Norwood´s Women Who Love Too Much for an excellent introduction to co-dependency and an understanding of the neural chemistry that underpins relationship addiction. There´s certainly an overlap.
 
Having said all that …
 
 

So,  what does one do about it?

 
 
Everyone´s journey is going to be an individual one and there is no one-sized-fits-all process. However I can assure you that there will be at least one common key element to all of your / our journeys:
 
To discover and honor your own energetic field, presence and experience of Self, space and vessel of Being – and to embrace the beauty it has to offer to the world.
 

 

Key words: Self-Love, Self-Nurture, Setting Boundaries, Grounding, Discernment

 
 
There are other skill-sets the empath could greatly benefit from, such as the ability to interpret the psychic information picked up from another´s field. But really, I would say that comes after a solid foundation of Self (Being) is set.
 
 
So to begin ..
 
 

 

You first have to give yourself permission to exist.

 
 
 
That sounds nonsensical on the surface as you do exist, but there are likely to be parts of you that still find it hard to accept the fact you´re here. Path of the empath´s drive to help others comes from that need to find purpose, to justify one´s existence through charitable acts. That is, unless you´ve gone the other end of the moral compass – but that too is motivated by that same need – to find some larger purpose for being.
 
But words are words, and unless they move you at a deep level – reading this is not going to do much.
 
In my journey, the biggest changes have come through the actions I have taken, catalyzed by tools such as gemstones, essential oils, homeopathy, spiritual practices – and so on. It´s been a mixed bag of tricks, each one unveiling a different layer of the puzzle.
 
 
But through it all, my actions – at a physical, embodied, level have made the message sink in over time. Not my ideations, not my careful celebral justifications, not the feverish writing and journalling through so very many notebooks over years of work.
 
 
It´s been the little things – which are not truly that little.
 
 
It´s been being able to buy myself some rose-scented hand cream when I´m down (and my skin gets cracked and broken) because I´ve worked too hard and didn´t feel like I deserved anything.
 
 
It´s been making sure I had a healthy meal for myself when life just felt cold.
 
 
It´s been taking the time out, not to hide from people, but to find out what it is that I as a person liked to do in the world – and learn not to apologize for it.  Or find a deeper need to justify it.
 
 
It´s been honoring my instincts to do what is right for me, even if it freaked out other people.
 
 
It´s been saying no to relationships that seek to ´fill me´ without giving me room to do that for myself.   (Hallelujah!)
 
 
And when I found myself unable to make these choices, overwhelmed by the pain of my own journey (of which there has been a significant amount) … I thought of the one being I wanted to unconditionally love: the that daughter I would one day have.
 
 
And then I would ask myself again, – Would I ever want her to feel this way?
 
 
It´s so very important to be compassionate with yourself when you can´t immediately snap into a sense of self-love and self-preservation that seems to come effortlessly to so many others.
 
Step by step, day by day – these are the choices that help you override neural pathways that have been ingrained for so very long. It´s not something you wave away with a magic wand or have removed from you in a  brilliant flash of insight. It´s a process that takes time, commitment, and the realization that …
 
 

Just being is one of the hardest things to do …

 
Gemstones, essential oils and previous articles of relevance are written below.
 
 
Blessings to the Collective ❤
 
Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess

Related Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTASf6awS78
Other Links/Resources:
WHEN DOES THE WOUNDED HEALER, HEAL? Reflections on Woundology (Part 1) : http://wp.me/p4OUNS-Hh

Wounded Healer, Wounded Teacher: Questions for Self-Reflection : http://wp.me/p4OUNS-EV

Tracing the Path of Cupid´s Arrow: The Romanticization of Woundedness in Relationship Dynamics : http://wp.me/p4OUNS-15B

Spiritual Shaming, Self-Worth and Why Suffering Isn’t the Way You Need To Go … : http://wp.me/p4OUNS-JV

Original thread with lots of valuable comments from empaths who have successfully managed their gifts:
https://web.facebook.com/bairavee.balasubramaniam/posts/1154516704652323

 
 
Essential Oils (Please research usage, dilution, contraindications, etc. before use – especially if pregnant, vulnerable, immunologically compromised, etc.)
 
Rose, Geranium, Ylang Ylang – bringing out your deepest emotions
 
Vetiver, Patchouli – getting into your body
 
 
Gemstones:
 
Rose Quartz, Unakite, Peach Selenite, Rhodocrosite – reactivating your ability to feel your own emotions
 
Hematite, Labradorite – protecting and strengthening your auric field
 
 
 
There are many others for different layers or stages of the process but this is just an introductory guide.
 
 
* * *
 
 
Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.
 
Post & Video ´Personal Boundaries and Being An Empath – Vid 1.´ © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2017. All rights reserved.

 

 

9 Comments on “Learning How to Exist in this World as an Empath

  1. Damn you so fucking get this, love that about your posts. Blessings and much gratitude for your direct on point explanations. Agree on all points including the book Women Who Love too Much” – nailed it for me when I was at the place to receive it (already had to be deep in the process, and be willing to realize I was a textbook co-dependent). You fucking rock this stuff. Keep bring your truth to cut through the massive amount of BS out there – loving it!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post so much. You even mentioned the book which got me started on my path to finding ME about 10 years ago. Thank you for so eloquently voicing what I often try to tell people who think it’s “so cool” and want to learn to be an empath.

    You are such a blessing and joy to read. I look forward to your posts, I think as much as I look forward to my coffee in the mornings. Thank you. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Learning How to Exist in this World as an Empath – Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD | dreamweaver333

  4. This. This. This.
    So much this.
    Thank you so much…it’s as if you heard and replied to the questions that I have never quite known how to put into words.

    Liked by 1 person

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