Empaths: Sensitive people whose primary mode of communication is vibrational – highly responsive to energy.
Conflict: Most have used this ability to hide or manipulate rather than feel and thrive. We call this “helping others.”
When I first realized there was a name for what I was, I read as much as I could about what it meant, and was immediately discouraged.
You’re basically the most vulnerable person on the planet. Good luck with that. Don’t forget to “buckle up” with your “shield of protection.”
Great. So I’m sensitive (already been told that my entire life).
But perhaps the most nauseating part of it all was reading the many blog forums and online articles where empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP) glorified their terrible boundary issues and blood doll status as if it were a badge of service to the planet.
I can’t say this is true for everyone, or that how I’ve learned to thrive as an empath will work for everyone. All I know is the prescribed classic remedy of “shielding/protecting/coping” didn’t work for me. At all. And in fact, it made things worse.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
I’m no more special than anyone else because I’m sensitive. Nor am I more vulnerable or weak. People develop acute empathic abilities for all sorts of reasons: some are born that way, others learn to read people’s emotions as a means of survival due to abuse. Whatever the reason, being an empath is no more special than being good at playing instruments or sports. It’s just part of the human diversity.
I’m not trying to take away the importance or power of this gift, but I also don’t want to elevate it as a super human ability, and here’s why:
Many empaths have a deep, core sense of unworthiness, and while it is important that we learn to see our value, it is equally important not to believe that being ultra-sensitive makes us more special than others. This only breeds further isolation and elitism, which is counter intuitive, really, because the mere fact that we are extra sensitive to other people’s energy is a reminder that at a fundamental level, we are all one – we’re all connected. Deep healing, then, comes from harmonizing with that energy around us, not creating separation from it.
Second, when empaths set themselves apart from the rest of humanity as the “sensitive” ones of the planet, we typically end-up glorifying co-dependent relationships and unhealthy boundaries because we falsely believe that everyone’s happiness depends on us and we develop a sort of “helper” complex.
Or we take the shielding/protection advice and hide ourselves from the world, believing the only means of survival is to go into the psychic’s version of the “witness protection program.” We disengage from relationships and “normal” life and call it “coping with our sensitivities.”
These are two of the most common pitfalls many unskilled and unhealed empaths stumble into (and I was no exception). The problem is, helping or hiding from the world is not thriving.
Those who take the “helper/light worker” title often end-up further blurring the lines with unhealthy relationships, creating a sort of dependency on other’s needing them and identifying their ability to disempower others (by creating emotional dependency) as their empathic “gift.”
Allowing others to suck your energy dry is NOT what it means to be empathic.
You can’t make your life better (and you certainly can’t get empowered) by trying to make others happy. Making others’ happiness your primarily focus doesn’t make you a hero, it makes you a blood doll.
What to Avoid:
Don’t become an energetic food source for others. Not only is it unhealthy and unsustainable for you, it is the equivalent of energetic suicide. If you make others believe you’re the only one who can make them happy, heal them, or save them, you do them a diabolical disservice: you disempower them.
Hence the drama with empaths and narcissists since the beginning of time.
It is not your job to change the world (or others) and you couldn’t even if you tried.
The only person you can ever truly change is yourself. Self-mastery is the greatest gift you can give to others, because when you do it, the world sees it can be done. You become an inspiration. You make empowerment attainable.
The only reason you would choose to come into this world with highly sensitive vibrational abilities is to learn how to USE them, how to navigate with them, in order to facilitate your own self-evolution. When you evolve, you “upload” (in a manner of speaking) the codes for self-evolution/mastery into the human consciousness grid. When others see it can be done, they have more belief that they too, can have self-mastery. Running around trying to fix the world will only give you more people to fix (and will drain you of your power in the process).
The world doesn’t need to be fixed. This reality works exactly as it was created to. It gives us what we put out. It perfectly reflects “us” back to us. This is why it is so useful for our self-evolution. And this is why self-mastery is so crucial. The only way we will ever truly have enough power in the world to make a difference is through mastering our own lives, first.
This is not to say that loving others is not important. No doubt the planet could use more love. But altruism isn’t the same as dependency. In order for people to learn, they have to be free to walk their path. God loves us enough to give us that freedom, and it’s crucial we give it to others. When we do help, it should be because it feels good to do so, not because we need to be needed or because we feel obligated to do so. Even when Jesus healed he said “Your faith healed you.” The emphasis was always empowerment.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
We simply got lost. We forgot our true purpose is inner mastery.
Most of us focus our attention on the external world, feel too much, shut down, and that’s the end of it.
We tune-out how WE feel and make other people’s emotions our primary focus because we think that will make us feel better. Feeling other’s emotions and trying to ‘fix’ them seems much easier, because it’s less threatening. Our own emotions, quite frankly, scare the shit out of us.
Why? Because we’ve been told our entire lives that to feel too much is to be weak. And most of us have untold amounts of heartache, pain, and even abuse we’ve never looked at. Our sensitivities make us feel too vulnerable.
The problem is, focusing on others doesn’t actually make us feel better. Sure, it distracts us, but it doesn’t set us free. It doesn’t empower us, and it certainly doesn’t empower anyone else.
At best it gives us a temporary sense of worthiness by being “needed” or loved for what we can do for them – at worst it fuels co-dependent relationships that bleed us of our power. We’re left with nothing but emptiness. And that emptiness is too unbearable to feel, so we bury it, along with every other emotion that would indicate we are OFF COURSE, and go back to allowing others to feed on us. Being an energetic food source gives us a feeling of worth and purpose – for a moment, anyway – an empath’s equivalent to a drug fix.
After the effects of the ‘fix’ wears off, we feel weak and lonely. We may have a lot of “close friends” but we feel like they don’t know us at all – not our true selves anyway, because how could they? We’ve buried our true selves along with all of our emotions. We fixate on the external world and expend our energy to its never-ending need, giving what little power we have to a cycle that can NEVER give back to us. It’s unsustainable, and it’s energetically barbaric.
So what’s the solution?
Here’s what I’ve learned:
FEEL. FEEL. And FEEL!
The biggest mistake empaths make is to shut off their emotions.
But the ability to feel deeply IS our power. It is the power of humanity as a whole. When you allow yourself to feel the emotional space WITHIN and communicate back to the world with your strong, finely tuned, highly sensitive capabilities, you create a sort of empathic dialogue with the energy around you and begin to learn what it means to create your own reality (or really, just line-up with a reality that is best suited for your growth and evolution). When you create a harmonic internal realm, the external begins to harmonize around you. That is how you bring more peace and love to the world. This is true compassion. It starts within.
This is a vibrational Universe, after all, and emotions are the strongest vibrational indicators we’ve got at our disposal. When you look at it his way, emotions, and the ability to feel deeply, becomes our super power.
Don’t believe feeling deeply makes you weak. Vibrational sensitivity gives you the power to move anywhere on the grid you wish. It’s not a matter of brute strength and it certainly has nothing to do with “logic” – it is vibrational intelligence.
This is as simple as asking yourself (in any given moment) what feels good and what doesn’t. Then moving in the direction that feels most empowering. But you will never know what that is unless you TUNE-IN!
So how do you tune-in?
Go within. Allow yourself to FEEL where you are, without judgement or identification. Emotions are not YOU — they are simply your indicators. They help you know where you’re at so you can get to where you want to be.
Give yourself the sustaining, nurturing power of your own presence. Love yourself enough to be free from the emptiness of co-dependency.
Don’t allow the world to make you feel your emotional capacity is a weakness. Don’t believe the lie that being empathic is an acute form of vulnerability. And NEVER shut your heart down.
Emotions are your greatest tool.
59 thoughts on “Empaths Forgot Their Power”
Reblogged this on Awakening Journey.
Reblogged this on The Company of Spirits and commented:
This has been my experience as well… a clear article on the two biggest pitfalls for empaths and HSP’s, and the solution for many of us ♥
Reblogged this on myfemininecore.
Happy you came by! 🙂
Once again you have written a super helpful article, Amanda. Than you.
Thanks, Kim. I’m so happy it resonated. Much love!
I really loved your article Amanda. I am an empath who’s been struggling with my emotional vulnerability for my entire life and you really put it into perspective. When you said that Jesus made it clear that our faith made us whole and that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach him how to fish you’ll feed him for a lifetime it made my heart soar! My gift starts from within and I shouldn’t have symbiotic relationships got to me. It’s not a weakness but a weapon! Thanks! All these other bull crap articles said that we need to block the world out around us
Reblogged this on Healing Your Heart!.
Nice very interesting! Would you like to Meet and Greet? If you want check my last post!
Sure. I’ll check it out. 🙂
Great thank you!
Wonderful and insightful post. Thank you!
I’ve been told my entire life that I’m too emotional. Recently, just before one of the deepest emotional crisis’ of my life, I was learning about how I use my feelings for others to avoid my own. Now I am emotionally broken and bleeding badly. Now what. All I do is cry and cry and cry… Not trying to be a martyr. Just getting exhausted.
It can be difficult when we first start allowing our emotions to come to the surface (especially if we’ve ignored or suppressed them). The important thing is to not judge them, create space for you to feel, and also ask yourself what would bring you soothing/comforting. Self-soothing is important. You might find this article helpful: https://chakracenter.org/2015/06/17/4-ways-to-transmute-difficult-emotions/
I’m the same I quit relationships because they always ended up co-dependent now everyone’s telling me to have them again- and my therapist expects me to use the cloaking device which makes me feel more vulnerable, didn’t protect me from a predator-in fact it may have contributed to the guy targeting me as I felt better without using the cloak! She expects me to be over decades of abuse which I never was allowed to work through and is threatening to kick me out of therapy.
The problem with “cloaking” or shielding is that it often just makes us focus on the fact that we are “unsafe” (which creates more of that which we need ‘protection’from). The focus is on the fact that we’re “unsafe,” not the fact that we’re empowered. It works for some people (who are able to focus on the “light” and not their vulnerability) but for many, it actually makes them feel MORE hyper-aware and narrowed in on anything that feels unsafe. Trust your instincts. If cloaking doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it. Try to focus on the things that DO make you feel comforted, soothed, empowered.
I know how you feel. I’ve always wanted the best for everyone, ever since I was a child. I could not understand the ego-driven behavior of others, and until recently it all was a mystery to me. I’ve been bled dry by every relationship (friend or lover) that I’ve ever had. It was always me getting the bad end of things, and everyone thrived on my behalf. Eventually when I was of no use to them, they left me empty and without ability to heal and regain my energy. I believe empaths have a lot of energy, but that makes us attractive to others who aren’t as connected and they intuitively know that they can use our energy. They may not admit it, and may not even realize they act this way.
Recently I’ve found the cure for my problem, and I really wish you’d read this comment and take it seriously. Basically, what makes people act like vampires is that they’re mentally sick, because they’re entirely driven by thought. They’re never present in the current moment, and hence they NEVER have contact with their emotions. You have to be present in the current moment as often as you can, because that shuts out your thought activity and makes you less of a victim for others. It’s also a way for you to regain your energy, since thoughts drain energy A LOT. The present moment is the only thing you have to worry about, so stop thinking and please learn how to be present and work with what’s available in the NOW moment. Don’t over-think, come up with strategies, or protect yourself. Just be present in the moment, and you’ll open yourself up to receive the energy you need to heal.
Trust me, I know your journey because I’ve been a victim all my life. But not since I learned how to be present in the moment. Meditate a lot, and be mindful as often as you can. Try not to think so much, OK?
Thank you, Adam!
Hit the nail on the head! I have been co dependant my whole life. Not easy to break 55 years worth of chains, but I’m trying!
I feel you. And it definitely can be overcome. It just takes a lot of self love, focus, and willingness to put your health first. I like to ask myself on a daily basis, “what would someone who loves themselves do?” It helps me make better relational decisions all the time.
Reblogged this on vegamel and commented:
Ive only read partway through, but im so glad to see a blog speaking against shielding from the world. It doesn’t work. Neither does trying to save the world, whatever that means….
Thank you I really needed this today. Going through a lot of crap and trying to sort it all out. What’s mine, what’s not…. I shut down for a long time because of the pain I felt with strong emotions, but I refuse to do so anymore. ❤
So glad you are taking care of yourself. You are worth it!
Oh my!! This article is absolutely gorgeous. Love your writing, the flow, and of course, the wisdom. Thank you for sharing your gifts. 😘
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
…thank you…so i don’t have to save the world or my family to be a good person and i don’t have to feel guilty to enjoy and feel my own inner joy!!
Yes! Isn’t it such a relief!
Fantastic article! I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and Facebook pages since I found 1 year ago that was an empath and haven’t seen anyone who would describe things with this clarity, positivity and more important, without victim energy.
Thank you for the article
I’m so glad it resonated. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Yes! You are totally speaking my language! I found you on twitter, and I’m so glad I did, because this article describes me perfectly. It is basically my life story. Thanks for the advice, even though feeling everything more is probably the most difficult thing you could tell me to do. But I’ll keep working on it. Thanks for your perfect words.
Feeling can be difficult, for sure, but once we stop judging our emotions (and identifying with them) and just allow them to function as they are meant to, it not only gets easier, we come to appreciate their brilliance and function. Thanks for commenting. I’m glad the article resonated. 🙂
I’m not one for labeling things, but this empath thing describes my situation. Been shielding since before I can remember. Got really good at being cynical. I can tell this is something I should look into because my inner critic is going haywire and then there’s the massive amounts of fear. This should be fun. Keep up the good work.
Thank for for this well written and insightful article. Having always been sensitive it’s taken years for me to harness and understand how to work within myself in a healthy way. I now work healing animals, in particular horses who share everything with me, pain, fear, love, even hopes dir their future. It’s raw at times but it allows me to heal them and often they show me something new about myself.
Working with animals is a beautiful way for an empath to heal. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad the article resonated. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I had never before heard the term of empaths before, but “empathy” and “feeling” are very much a part of my daily vocabulary and daily thinking. I look forward to reading more.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you resonated with the article.
Thank you Amanda! I just want to give you a big hug! Reading your article made me find myself again. Brightest Blessings to you!!
Awe. I’m so happy it helped. Blessing right back! 🙂
Very powerful thank you for sharing your light 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
wow. I’m a very attuned & aware empath, INFP, (self proclaimed, closet psychic) but also a christian. When I say christian understand that I thought I would never believe in god my entire life religion was pushed on me… I always felt I had a sense of “knowing” and I thought without a doubt nothing ever changed my mind about not believing in God. Until by the grace of God, about 5 years ago in my darkest of times I was found. “you can’t believe in God until God calls upon you.” my life was changed at that instant and til this day it is the most amazing and authentic thing I have ever felt.
I have felt so alienated my whole life and came to a self realization of who/what I am at a very young age, just didn’t know there was a name for it. I’m so blessed to have found you, your youtube, and this article. Always felt a push/pull anxiety from believing in God and the message behind the bible; of Jesus and believing in this energy that for me anyway, seems to come along with a “bad/crazy” stigma, it is relieving to hear your perspective. I’ll surely be following 🙂
Any advice you have or recommended reads would be appreciated!
you seem to embody all the same spiritual ideas as I do.
God bless Amanda!
I’m so glad the article/anything I’ve shared could resonate. (And I’m an INFP too — go figure). 😉 The Christian thing I totally get, as I’ve had very similar experiences. In my current class (How to Heal and Thrive as an Empath) I use Jesus as the ultimate example of an empath (because he is!). Seeing him through those eyes as really changed my view on a lot of things, and helped relieved my anxiety about a lot of this stuff. If you’re interested in that class, you can click on the link here: https://chakracenter.org/2015/07/12/how-to-heal-and-thrive-as-an-empath/ The mentoring group (that goes alone with it) just started yesterday, so there is still time to sign-up if you want to be apart of it. Otherwise, I definitely recommend Teal Swan’s videos on healing the emotional bod and inner child/shadow work (her tools are great empowerment for empaths).
Thanks for stopping by! Happy to connect! 🙂
great article ! Recently found one on another website that was nice and short and dealt with “shielding from negativity” but seemed superficial. It was published in July on spiritscienceandmetaphysics . I think you did a wonderful job in relating own experience, giving good examples all wrapped up in a nice writing-style. I really enjoyed reading it and thought it nailed it pretty well. From own experience and from (yeah, there is the helper-syndrome, but I was trying to turn the “curse” into a “gift”) a psychotherapist’s view working with some highly sensitive kids….
I’m glad you enjoyed/resonated with the article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I definitely can relate to the helper-syndrome. 🙂
Thank you for helping be begin to face and dispel the lies with which I have been programmed and have conditioned myself.
I’m learning to be ok with being sensitive.
I’m learning that not only is it ok for men to cry, but tears used with the right motive are my prayers.
I’m learning that not only can I cry with joy, but I must do so. Tears of awe, of wonder, of the majesty around me are good.
Tears for myself, because I’m having a pity part, not so much.
There’s a whole side to myself that I sensed was there but it was never ok to say. Today, gradually, it is not only becoming ok but I must no longer deny that which I know to be true – that I have been gifted in very special ways in order to fulfill my part in the universe and these gifts must be used for the benefit of others.
Thank you. Needless to say this article prompted a lot of thought and honest self-examination!
I’m so glad it helped. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your sensitivities are your superpower! Don’t forget that. 🙂
Thank you that was and is perfect
I know I’m late to the game, but this is fantastic!
As I started reading about high sensitivity a few years ago, a lot of the material just felt off to me. Oh, they all say how sensitivity is a gift, but then many go on and on about how we’re overwhelmed, can’t do much fun, how we’re stressed all the time. Err, what was the gift again?!
I like the comparison between someone being good at an instrument and empaths being good with energy. I like that we’re not special! And I’m thinking, people feeding off of empaths’ energy, couldn’t that be similar as when some other person allows other people to use them for their time/fame/wealth/beauty? Empaths aren’t the only ones who can have people feed off of their energy, in some form or another.
Feel feel and feel is great advice! 8) It’s just..there’s so so much inner pain there, it takes so long to get through it and feel good again.
Frankly, I believe the main reason we get triggered isn’t because we’re so sensitive, it’s because we haven’t felt through and therefore healed our inner pain, so the world keeps bumping into it. Doesn’t mean the solution is to isolate us from the world!
This comment is ON POINT. You articulated better than I could. YES! It’s not being sensitive that hurts, it’s the inner pain/trauma that festers in the shadows, because we’re unwilling to look at it — afraid that “feeling” somehow makes us weak (or will rule if we let them show their colors). Emotions don’t need to control us, they are merely indicators — messengers (if you will), to show us where we are. They are superful helpful servants, but like the mind, terrible masters. We still can find and live from the center of our hearts (abundance in all things) and feel the lowest of lows, and highestest of highs. We don’t have to get lost in it, because we’re not meant to be controled by it — simple to gain the wisdom of experience. Feel, validate, experience, release. That’s why we’re here, after all. 🙂
Awesome article. thank you, Amanda.
Fabulous article! Reshared on several platforms 🐬🐬🐬 Sabali to everyone here 💓
Thank you Amanda, this is exactly what i needed, you are so eloquent and so TRUE!! I’ve been fumbling for a new approach and it’s by no coincidence that i found your messages 💖💞💗 Love and gratitude to you!!!
I know this is super late, but this article almost made me cry. It’s so reassuring to know there’s other people out there that deal with the same ups and downs and not knowing where to do with such a thing. Some call it a gift and others a curse. For me it’s mostly a burden, but reading this definitely has helped.