Empath Problems 

Living the life of ( what is largely described as) an empath is a very challenging experience to say the very least. After all trying to exist and live a ‘normal’ human existence is frequently fraught with anxiety, stress, drama and perceived obstacles. 
So it is not surprising that those of us who share a predisposition to being energetically sensitive have more than the average person to contend with. 

Whether or not we agree with the term ’empath’ many of us indeed share similar proclivities. There are going to be variables depending on individuals however many ( including myself) experience the following :

  – a tendency to pick up on the emotional states of others ( and sometimes confuse them as our own) 

  – a tendency to pick up on Earth / Nature energies 

  – an extreme sensitivity to whatsoever is in the energetic field of our vicinity, including spirits, ghosts and paranormal entities 

  – we may take on physiological and psychological aspects of those to whom we are close to 

  – numinous spiritual occurrences, for example Advaitic, Kundalini et al episodes 

  – moving in and out of anothers dreams. 

This list certainly is not exhaustive nor exclusive but it gives us an idea of what ‘ normal’ can be like for the empathic on a day to day basis. 

Before we discover and understand our ‘ energetic sensitivity’ we are largely at the mercy of whatever situation we find ourselves in. This can leave ourselves prone to intense uncontrolled emotions, questioning our sanity as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness ( due to not being able to confide our feelings to those around us). This is when being empathic can feel like a curse. 

However it is possible to embrace these abilities and to enjoy the rich depths of insight and sensuality open to us. 

The first step is to understand what being empathic is. 

The next is to find what works for us to enable the individual to maintain balance and reign in some of these disparate energies. Some find grounding, shielding and meditation helps. 

We do though need to bear in mind that we need to be loving and compassionate to ourselves. The fact that on our journey so far we have encountered many, many challenges, possibly more than most others. And this is often without the advantage of peer support due to the uniqueness of our predilection for sensitivity. 
Namaste ( “I bow to the divine in you” – Hinduism) 

  –

Tough Love……….? 

Equanimity can be hard for most people in life but especially more so for individuals with strongly empathic traits. The reason being is that we are so sensitive to the energies of other living and none living entities that even the smallest energetic ripple from another source can on some days be enough to unbalance us. 

Our own emotions can be so amplified at times that our effect on others ( for me anyway) can be intense. I have known occasions when I have been in an highly emotive state that I have felt like an affective nuclear reactor influencing other people’s moods and cognitions around me. 

But more often than not it is the emotions of others that can so effect our day to day lives. 

Fortunately for myself through practicing meditation and mindfulness I am usually aware of the how my mind can try and fool me and send me on fools errands in seeking happiness or avoiding discomfort. 

According to Buddhist psychology emotional attachment to the sense world results from mental and physical feelings. 

When we experience pleasure, we seek more. If we do not attain more then craving can develop. 

When we experience discomfort in situations we then we seek to avoid them causing aversion. 

When we experience neutral phenomena we tend to ignore them. 

Thus what we encounter in our day to day lives can cause disturb our emotional balance. 

I wish I had been aware of this in my youth instead of being carried away by the depths of my passions to feel the great highs and lows of existence. Even the low points had addictive properties by virtue of their ability to utterly consume me into another state of profoundly sensual reality. 

As empathic individuals living in Western society however provides us with another challenge. That being trying to exist and survive in a community that promotes greed and the consumption of material things. The media, peers, friends and acquaintances are seemingly infected by ego driven lives e.g. having the latest mobile phone, wide-screen television, fashionable clothes et al. 

It is my belief that this lifestyle is much to blame for many people’s, let alone empaths, unhappiness and feelings of isolation. 

If there is one element of truth we can learn from this, as hard as it may be, it is that it is not what happens to us that can cause the most pain. It is our response. If we have developed a deeper understanding of ourselves then this can be somewhat mitigated against. 

Tat Tvam Asi……?

As many of us go through times of what seems spiritual growth a number of occurrences may happen. 

  – Our human ego becomes transparent ( as do the covert ego led actions of others). That is to say we still have instinctual urges and drives but we see them for what they are, merely actions to defend itself and preserve its fragile integrity.

  – We transcend in our awareness of the world around us, well over and above our previous human egoic based interpretations we had held before. 

  – Paradoxically we may perceive ourselves and the world around us as a vastly interconnected web yet seamless in our shared existence. 

  – Whereas our previously ‘reality’ may have been defined in human terms as the experience of life that is identified with the majority of individuals within that particular society. It may now include much numinous experience. For example of being aware of the mythic aspects of self and society. Of the subtle but substance of dreams,  visions and unexplainable personal epiphanies. 

 

If these instances occur one can easily find oneself feeling isolated and alone as few others share similar experiences. 

These feelings may not be new, especially to those of us who have ’empathic tendencies’. 

For those of us who are ‘energetically sensitive’ ( or empathic), most, if not all of our lives can be spent being misunderstood not only by others but also by ourselves! 
Ironically if we can incorporate our empathic perceptions into an understanding of the nature of existence, we see that we are far from alone. The fact that we can preternaturally sense the energies of people, places and objects suggests that there is an aspect of self in others. As in the  Sanskrit phrase ‘ Tat Tvam Asi ‘, meaning ‘ Thou art that ‘ ( from the Chandogya Upanishad). 

Empathy therefore, if one is able to nurture it effectively can be a springboard into spiritual awareness. Whereas if one sees it as a solely personal, human quality in isolation, it may well become something of a burden. 
In summary, empathic awareness along with spiritual awareness can easily leave our human, egoic selves feeling alone and isolated. Yet paradoxically from a spiritual / objectively empathic perspective the suggestion is that of the unity of all things, of there not being a identifiable separate self.

The Story Thus Far…………….

My previous post was about an epiphany I had a few weeks ago now. I have had requests to elucidate what exactly I experienced, so here goes.
I generally sense that we all grow develop in different ways in terms of spirituality, that is to say that there is no generic right path. However if we are authentic in our approach to life we have the capacity to individuate and thus are more able to fulfill our own potential.
There have been many subjects and experiences historically that have resonated with me although at the time I was not sure as to why. A kind of intuitive nudge I suspect.
These in short have been :
– sense of oneness with Nature
– Neolithic and pre Neolithic history
– ancient sites
– quantum physics
– Taoism
– Buddhism
– aspects of Paganism ( pantheism and pantheism)
– animism
– the works of Carl Jung
– deep ecology
– Hinduism
These are to mention just a few. I have also experienced instances of Advaita and to some extent Kundalini.
I also am very empathic by nature and can sense feelings and energies in people, animals and places.
However until now I had been unable to unite them into a coherent understanding of my own individual vision of the world.
My current suspicions are as follows :
– in primitive early man there was a strong empathic connection with our planet and its flora and fauna
– in sensitive and empathic individuals today this is also the case. Part of our mind is not ours but is found outside in the object. That is to say that intuitively we feel the unity with existence, that we are part and parcel of the the world around us. Thus due to this kind of unconscious link we are able to feel the energies of others and places around us. We recognize that we potentially share the same soul
– this would explain why many spiritually empathic types feel that do not belong to this world as it is currently. Due to Western Societys propensity to subjugate Nature in many of her forms, to live among the general populations casual acceptance of this is uncomfortable to say the least
– some Animistic belief systems ( e. g. American Indian cultures) recognise the Divinity in Nature and treat the world around them accordingly. This tradition and its maintenance would continue to maintain that natural empathic link.

For many people in Western Cultures these feelings are now lost or irretrievable due to the generic dualistic and Cartesian mindset. Hence many people are concerned about the environmental impact it is having upon our planet.
I hope that I have explained myself coherently as it’s rather a tricky topic to write about, mainly because the essence of it all is not about thinking but feeling.
I’m now going to have a read of the Chandogya Upanishad.

Tat Tvam Asi

The Ghost in the Machine ( a paradoxical reflection) 

” Listen – are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? ” – Mary Oliver. 
So, what happened? 

I understand the premise that the whole is more than the sum of parts however it gives little in the way of logical explanation. 

So a coal miner marries a factory worker who begat a son. Neither parent ( or any other relative) ever had an interest in the esoteric or spiritual. They were both very grounded in their day to day human existence. Conversation generally touched on the unremarkable topics of football, work, family members and associates. Therefore in terms of hereditary and environmental conditioning I should not be whom I am. 

Also it appears that the majority of society live similar lives to that of my parents. 

I seemingly cannot. 

I am consumed by an inner restlessness, a thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world about me. An eternal journey of inner and outer discovery, of questioning everything that I happen upon. 

Despite society’s pressure to live within recognised and largely acceptable themes, I cannot. 

Many of my feelings and ideas used to remain locked away in my head and my heart for the fear of rejection and ridicule of others. Some such were:

  – my ability to read people, their histories, their hearts desire and their hidden agendas

  – the barely tangible energies of places and people, linking past and future existences 

  – the experience of none duality, in the light of which the physical world dissolves into a dreamlike state

  – the daily synchronicities, of eels and Ouroboros, of Nataraja and quantum reality. 

 

So here I stand, watching the world go by in a neverending stream of apparently meaningless activity. Very few seemingly stopping to question what they are doing or why. Most comfortably coccooned in their experience of mortal existence, of living within the confines a predetermined, linear and purely reactive life. 

So, back to my original question. 

What happened? 

Am I cursed? Gifted? Possessed? Individuating? 

A man’s knowledge is always going to be finite in the grand scheme of things, sometimes one has to accept that there are no simple answers. 

Personally I go with gifted and individuating . 

The immense depth and painful beauty of my experience of the world though at times a little overwhelming, is something that I cherish and would never relinquish. 
  – 

  –

My Cheatin’ Heart 

I know by now not to go by first impressions. 

My hearts compass however has frequently directed my attention unconsciously to the presence of another. 

It can only take the briefest of eye contact and a fierce flame of attraction erupts within me.

In that simple glance I know you. 

You are :

– Hiding deep emotional scars wrought on you in your youth

 – Desperately in need of closeness and an unequivocal love

 – A raging passion for becoming physically and emotionally lost in the soul of another 

 – Seeking someone with whom to  live your life so intensely that all that will remain in the end are intermingled embers and ashes of two souls. One indistinguishable from another. 
Your wounds are deep and irrevocable. 

You seek to soothe them in the balm of another’s unconditional love, no more, no less.

That love will ease the pain and the feelings of emptiness within you.

But I know the cost.

I would myself become lost within you.

I would truly feel and share your emotional burden.

I would give my all to vanquish any past, present and future sorrows. 

I would be your knight in immaculate armour. 
But I know that I would be paying the ultimate sacrifice of losing my heart and soul. 

And for all that I am, I could never truly heal your past hurts. 
Yet I see within you an incandescent beauty.

A youthfulness retained.

An energetic vibrancy for life.

An ocean of love with which to impart.

A single mindedness and uniqueness found rarely in another. 
I can still love you but you can never know.

It’s Not You, It’s Me……….? 

Society largely considers what is normal by the agreed consensus of the majority. If I was in complete agreement with this then most of my communication in the outside world would consist of the phrase under which this is written. 

Indeed being empathic ( energetically sensitive) I feel that many of us find growing up and maturing in the outside world something of a unique challenge. 

At an early age we may discover that we are different from our peers and often our parents. 

The constant emphasis when at school and by others on the physical, percievable, allegedly concrete world felt as if most people only lived in a 2D reality. Their world seemed to have little depth, a linear monologue of an existence. 

My awareness of my sensitivity and my spiritual path are inextricably entwined. Indeed being energetically sensitive has helped create a somewhat unique spirituality in me that is reflected in many aspects of other belief systems ( that is Buddhism, Hinduism, Pantheism and Taoism to name a few). 

Through many conversations that I have had with others with similar experiences it seems we have much in common when it comes to living our lives and the challenges we face. For example, having been born into a society which operates on a model that is the antithesis of what we feel to be right.  This can lead to :

  – subsequent feelings of loneliness and alienation which may lead to social withdrawal, addictive behaviors ( in order to numb our sensitivity) or wearing a socially acceptable mask in order to fit in. 

If we do this however we compromise our ability to individuate and fully bloom into complete self actualization.  This may leave us feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. 

  – having to constantly assert our needs to others as most people presume that our needs must be similar to theirs ( in terms of space, down time, opportunity to be creative etc) 

  – finding oneself in constant conflict with others and institutions that prioritize materialism and egotism

  – having the desire for honest, open, loving human contact but mostly having to compromise due to the apparent lack of individuals who are unable to form relationships that do not involve some degree of attachment and / or dependence. 

 

Despite the difficulties encountered on my path and the many years spent in a spiritual wilderness, it has all been worth it. For every challenge I have faced has shaped me and furthered my understanding of the world in which we live. 

The ability to experience the external and internal worlds in such a searing depth and excruciating beauty has led to a true appreciation of lifes pulchritude. 

Any solace that I have needed has come largely from my inner self and has not been found in relationships within my social circle. For those that have found some with others, you are truly fortunate. 

So if over the years, you yourself have been your main source of solace, rest assured. 

To have retained your authenticity and to still be here is testament to your inner strength and tenacity.