First, what is an empath? An empath is someone who feels other peoples’ feelings. Another way to say this, though, and a way that might make an empath’s challenge clearer, is this: an empath takes on other people’s feelings. And takes on other peoples’ agendas. And other peoples’ problems.
The challenge for the empath, then, is to learn to discern their feelings from among the feelings of those around them. Another way to say this is that someone with an empathic nature can lose themselves to the endless distraction of other peoples’ feelings—maybe even other peoples’ entire lives.
There are several moments where we can catch this process and intervene on our own behalf. The first is learning to be aware of our feelings, allow us to be aware of the moment our feelings change. This can take time—getting in touch with our own feelings is not exactly an empath’s strong suit. But, over time, we can discover that when our feelings suddenly change it may be that those feelings aren’t ours. Instead, we may be picking up the feelings of one or more people near us.
The second moment is when we feel overwhelmed. We can ask, are these really my problems? My issues? My feelings? If we have reconciled ourselves long ago to occupying ourselves with the lives of others, we may have learned to suppress both the first moment of realization and this second moment. But any moment of realization can be helpful—and prove to be a turning point.
The last moment is really any moment that we can begin to understand that we are not making ourselves the center of our world. Maybe a friend makes a gentle comment, or maybe we lose an important relationship—and realize that we lost ourselves long before. Or maybe it is this moment, learning that we may have been taking on much more than is ours to hold, or carry or solve.
Take a breath and reflect. Are you making your Self the center of your world? That is the only place of strength, the only place from which we can be accountable, the only place where change can begin.
To contact Fran:
www.ReallyFlourish.com | Fran@ReallyFlourish.com | 303-722-5115