I first learned the word empath when I was about 23 years old. In a rehab up near Spokane in Washington, close to the border of Idaho, I saw a Shaman woman who told me I was an Empath and Starseed (I’ll get into this later). This was also reaffirmed by a lady I had seen back in Austin, TX, who claimed—and proved to me—she could speak to the spirit guides, or angels.
I still wasn’t quite sure what it all meant until six years later while working on my memoir. I learned that I would not fully understand until I was truly ready to receive it. And here I was ready. Through writing, I discovered all these patterns and what I had thought of as coincidences were not random at all. Everything was a setup for what would happen next. Everything happened for a reason.
You see, it had taken me a long road of searching and some suffering to get to the place where I was truly ready to start taking care of myself.
As a kid, I had followed a pattern of codependency in my relationships, starting in middle school and well past high school. I couldn’t be alone, and I had focused all my energy on my relationships, like it was my purpose in life to be attached, but also to make sure my partner, thought highly of me. Subconsciously, I was operating under the belief that if my partner loved me enough, I could fill the void within me that was desperately seeking validation and love. I would wear their heart on my sleeve, instead of my own.
With the discovery of alcohol and drugs which had turned into addictions, it was my confusion at processing such a high degree of energetic stimulation as an unidentified Empath that had been too much for me that made me an alcoholic and addict. These overwhelming stimulations sent me into a downward spiral of self-medicating in order to avoid experiencing what to me were extremely intense feelings.
In the six-month rehab in Washington, I had regular sessions of Reiki performed on me to help feel more balanced and connected to my own energy. Then I was trained in Reiki I and II. If you don’t know what Reiki is, it’s the moving and balancing of energies in your body. While snowboarding, I slid across a rail and fell, hitting my back. I couldn’t move. On the car ride back, one of my house mates had been trained in Reiki and asked if he could perform it on me. I was in pain so I said yes. His hand hovered around my back until he found the spot where the pain was. He kept his hand there and I felt a warming sensation getting hotter and hotter. Then, POOF. The pain was gone. I asked him what the hell he did. He said he just transferred the pain somewhere else. I was in awe and dumbfounded. I had never believed in that Reiki crap until then. It’s real and I highly encourage you to look up where you can get a Reiki session done wherever you are.
Another interesting consideration when it comes to Empaths and other intuitive distinctions is the difference between Empaths and highly sensitive persons (HSPs) Highly sensitive people are estimated to be around 15 to 20% of the world’s population. No one knows exactly how many HSPs are Empaths, but it doesn’t really matter.
What’s important as you know you’re not alone.
The thing that sets highly sensitive people apart is they’re extremely sensitive nervous system.
They tend to be affected more by temperature, sounds, and visual stimulation, than non-HSPs.
There are many types of intuitive beings as there are people on this planet—since every individual operates from a unique perspective.
There’s the emotional empath who can pick up the emotions of others. For example, being at a party, filled with excitement, stress, and other intense energy will feel overwhelming due to all the energy being transmitted around you. Also, you may experience confusion, until you are aware of your tendency to absorb other people’s emotions.
There’s the physical empath who can feel others’ pain, physical sensations and symptoms.
The animal empath can experience the emotions of nearby animals. And they may have a stronger connection to a specific type of animals, such as dogs or cats.
Global empaths pick up the emotions of humans on the planet as a whole. They can absorb the stress of global catastrophes and traumas happening on a mass level.
And then there’s the earth empath. They can pick up sensations and feelings derived from the Earth’s energy. For example, before natural disasters about the strike, they may feel symptoms of stress, nervousness, nausea, back pain, dizziness or anxiety.
I’ve always felt a deep connection to the world around me, sensing a particularly strong kinship to the earth, nature, and the universe.
So I guess I’m a global empath.
When I was younger I felt like I rose with the sun, and could gaze of the moon for hours. And as I grew up, I started to sense that I could tune into other people’s feelings rather easily. I also noticed that people close to me, and even strangers at times, would feel comfortable sharing with me on a deep level, trusting me to be space for them to be truly seen and supported.
So you’re probably asking, “Why is all of this here? What is the point of all this?” And I have an answer for you, as well…