The more I understand about empaths, the more I learn concepts that I had never considered. Please read to the end for the newest information.
Empaths experience more than empathy. Empaths not only care about the others’ feelings, but also feel the other’s physical sensations and/or emotions in their own being. It’s a wonderful gift and is especially prominent in those who serve in the healing professions; yet this gift is often accompanied by the challenges that can arise when one feels deeply, intensely and expansively.
Unfortunately our society doesn’t talk about it (thereby normalizing it), nor do we teach our children to understand, accept and foster this gift, thus minimizing potential challenges.
How I have approached the challenges:
- Cognitively: It is not your role to take in the fullness of another’s experience so that they may be spared their own distress. As a healer (medical, spiritual, or even as a friend), you only need enough information to know what the individual experiences in order to direct them, or your healing modality, to their healing. For this to happen, you only need a little information. Think filling a thimble instead of a bathtub.
- Energetically: Now that you understand ‘why’ you needn’t bring it all in to you, it is often important to know how to modulate the entry. I use the visual model of the whale or dolphin’s blowhole, which opens after coming to the surface of the water, and closes before diving again. Since it is most likely that you access others’ energetic information at your gut, close your eyes and try to identify the size of your own ‘blowhole’. Then try closing it a bit, and opening it again. Just play with the idea and use your imagination. See how you feel when you are more open, and see if you feel differently when it’s more closed. Play with the concept and see what size works best for you, in this moment. Please note that some folks like a different concept for modulating their energy intake. Consider a screen/weave, or a color that is translucent (pink) to opaque (red). I have also had kids and adults choose ocean waves, firewalls (computer security concept), selectively permeable membranes (biology – cell membrane), force fields (Star Trek), and other ideas. Find what works for you.
During the last year, I have had clients (a couple adults, and even a 7 year old) who felt certain that it is their job to take others’ discomforts. They were not deterred by the teachings described above. So we took the following approach:
- If it is indeed your role to be the receptacle, must you KEEP their stuff for them? As these individuals acknowledged, from their own intuitive knowing, that they are to be the receptacle, but not maintain the input, they have used guided imagery to remove from their own system what has already accumulated. They instantly felt better.
- Can you create a way where you remain the receptacle, helping others to release, but then set a ‘drain’ within you for continual release from your own energy field? All of this is done with intention and imagination. See what resonates for you as you acknowledge your ‘receptacle’ and ‘drain’. The technique(s) that you develop today might change in the near or distant future.
Recently, I have been learning about energy frequencies and vibrations. It only partially reflects the procedures and explanations that I have previously taught about energy modulation. It is raw, and there is more for me to learn, but I’ll share it with you now:
When information is shared, received and interpreted, all at the level of frequency, there is less chance for misunderstanding (every stage of transmutation risks altering the message). Additionally, by drawing it into the denser levels of your three-dimensional self in order to “understand”, there is the risk of the body not being able to properly handle it. This can lead to physical or emotional challenges.
In metaphor, let’s compare frequency information/communication to the states of water. Think of frequencies as being the energetic equivalent of a gas. Thus frequencies can enter and leave your system with ease. When you attempt to understand the message of a frequency and draw it into the levels of words or emotions, you drop it to the level of a liquid. As a liquid, the message now has less ease to flow through the system. As it slows and is “seen” by the body, it might even drop its density to more of an ice/solid as the individual purposely or accidentally strives to understand it even more.
If we can remember that in order to understand, we do not need to dwell on that information, running it back and forth through the mind, and through our past, current and future experiences, then it can be understood in its purest state — that of energy/frequency/vibration (the metaphorical gas). This is why the exercise of ‘finding the space between the molecules’ works so nicely. We are taking these extremely dense/now-solid structures that have been formed in the body, and recognizing them as energy/vibrations/frequencies once again. In doing so, they change their state and bring the system to ease once again.
Since I work with a lot of individuals on the autism spectrum, I have considered the application of this concept with this population. Those who are looked at as having developmental delays may actually be exquisitely able to understand their world via frequencies. Their challenge has been to understand the denser neuro-typical styles of communication and language. Dr. Temple Grandin, who is autistic and known for her work with animals, famously describes her life in pictures (in the biographic novel and movie – Thinking in Pictures). She is extremely adept at accessing verbal communication (and the energetic experience of animals) by translating it into pictures. Although this is still dropping the original transmission of frequency and vibration to a denser state, doing so with pictures seems to be less dense than words/language.
I also work with a lot of clients who deal with anxiety, and wonder if a major difference between humans and animals is that when animals experience fear, it is pure and kept at the level of frequency/vibration. I frequently teach anxiety in terms of the prey animal that has a near miss with a predator. The prey narrowly gets away, and then it shakes itself (shaking off the trauma) and moves on with its day seeking food, etc. The rabbit doesn’t sit there thinking, Wow, that was close. I wonder if the fox will catch me next time. I hope that I can get away then. By bringing in thoughts to describe emotions humans anchor these emotions into a denser state.
Since empaths are attuned to the energetic frequencies and vibrational aspects of others, they absorb others’ emotions readily. Going full circle to the beginning of this article, learning to retain the frequencies in and outside of us in a “gaseous” state, will allow us to live in a greater state of ease.
As always I look forward to your thoughts and questions regarding this information so we can all learn and develop our gifts.
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield, MI. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties, work or school related anxiety, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders, and those who wish to Remember and Become ‘Who You Really Are’. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.SpiralWisdom.net for more information.
This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to replace medical care.