Undoing Some Empath Bullshit

 See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?” ~ Buddha

One of the reasons I began the empath myth-busting task was that as I worked with people struggling how to navigate this way of being, I began to realize that their distinct experiences, fears, and the responses to the fears they’d adopted, were not unique, not occasionally similar but were damn-near identical. The latter were mostly tied to ‘I’m too literal, I can’t possibly be psychic’ and the myths one stumbles upon when googling ‘what is an empath’. Before the Fuckery became my life, I was well into writing a book demystifying all things empath-related. Since that book may not come to fruition, I’m going to bring the drafts here and expand on them as we go.

Another reason I chose to dive into it is because I’ve known since the first time I facilitated the healing work, the first day of my only class, I’ve known that it isn’t ‘just’ a ‘spiritual gift’. It, indeed, may be a gift but it is beyond spirit in that it is observable, measurable, and replicable. Similar effects on physiological and psychological systems can be reproduced by technology. If science could measure the energy that moves from my hands and the physiological response of the client I’m working with…..Actually science can, the tools and technology exist. The previous sentence should probably read ‘If science would…’  Traditional ‘energy’ medicines have been doing this same thing for a long time and have been long studied around the globe.  Does that change it’s often perceived and described spiritual or ‘Divine nature’? Nope. That’s like trying to separate daylight from the sun. It is all of that; divine and holy and inexplicable and measurable and replicable, even by objects associated with what we identify as tangible and far removed from ‘spiritual’ like electrodes or acupuncture needles. I’ll share more on that if there’s interest in it but, for now, let’s come back to the object of my attention–the empath.

For eons, the capacity for feeling the way empaths reportedly do has also been called a ‘psychic’ or ‘spiritual’ gift. It’s not. There’s magnificence to how we’re individually wired and universally interconnected but it’s not magic. Energetic, though? Absolutely!

I feel the need to state here that I’m taking us down the science-trail not to diminish the powerful, often spiritual, nature of energetic work. I’m steeped in it, led by it (or rather, it’s got me by the nose pulling me along like Toucan Sam), believe in it, and am alive because of it. I have visions of the future,  speak in ‘tongues’ in ceremony and have been prophesied. People I work with experience the Christed heart merge with theirs, out of body experiences and, as one man put it, “I just met God.” I work with Ancestors, angels, invisible animals and plants, and other beings every day. I’ve seen them, am touched by them, have great respect for and receive responsibilities from them. They are those with whom I have the most intimate relationships with. However, it is time to put to rest the fears that have led most of us away from these kinds of relationships. I want to demystify the things that frighten people into disconnection from themselves and their communities. It’s time for truths that offer new explanations and stories and room for growth of our greatest potential–our relationship with each other.

Before we explore some research together, I want to create something of a framework that begins with a story. The complaints I receive from empaths I initiate work with remind me of one traditional Buddha story. Sakyamuni was born into a royal and wealthy family who, at the time of his birth, received a prophesy that he was born to be either a great spiritual leader or a great warrior. His parents attempted to prevent the former and cultivate the latter by keeping him ‘protected’ from the larger world. He was reportedly confined within the castle walls while the lame, sick, homeless and dead were banished from within sight of those same walls. All of this to keep young Saky from being aware of and responding to those suffering around him, to be compassionate toward them. Then, like any self-respecting youngster who felt confined, he snuck out.  His initial exposure to the realities of the world from which he’d been protected, and his courage to walk away from the throne, have brought us some of the greatest teachings.

For me, the ‘feeling too much’ and ‘anxiety’ that is nearly universal to those empaths I’ve been connected to is directly connected to their deepest ownfineself, trying to sneak out. To emerge, engage, and respond. And not knowing what the fuck to do about it.

As we meander this together, through story and science, I’ll share what to do about it to make life more fluid, satisfying, sane and hearted.  One blog post at a time. Join me. Ask questions. Do the homework. Bitch about it. But be curious and invite some of the questions I offer into your own life.

If you are new to my empath myth-busting, start here:  Myths of Being an Empath, Some Empaths are just Ath-holes, Traits of an Empath and The Importance of Being an Empath.  The most recent is here: Empath Bullshit

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“Empath Bullshit”

“Empath Bullshit”

That’s the Google search that brings the most people to this blog. I’ve addressed some of the bullshit that’s out there about the nature of being an empath, I try to assure folks that having the capacity to feel the emotional energies of others is real. It is real, it is purposeful, and has little to do with one’s beliefs, identification as literal, logical, psychic or spiritual.

 

It is the most visceral expression of our interconnected nature and the presence of love.

It seems important to put this out there again:

There is so much craptastic stuff that’s being cut & pasted into ‘facts’ about what being a psychic empath is & how to be one that I decided to address it rather than keep bitching about it.  The myth-based framework   perpetuates the misplaced ideal of empath as an overly sensitive soul, unable to move through the world without fear, hiding behind barriers to others and other, frankly, cowardly crap.

Once we move past the fluff-n-stuff we can get to the nitty gritty of what being an empath is all about.  And the significant roles we play in leading & guiding others.Although empaths have the capacity to do so, being an empath is about a whole lot more than feeling other people’s emotions & other energies.  It is about our connection to others, about engaging with others openly & honestly.  However, it’s even deeper than that.  Before we can connect and engage with others at something more than a superficial level, we first must be able to do that with ourselves.  Accept that responsibility first, then accept the responsibility for others.

Because that’s what this stuff is about.   Being an empath is about others, about what we emit & how we transmit as much as the manner in which we receive.   We’re not meant to feel others for the sake of the feeling alone.  And, usually, the gift of ’empath’ isn’t a stand alone.  It’s more often than not accompanied by a purpose, passion, job, direction, gift, talent, desire that allows us to turn that ‘feeling’ into life-changing connection to a person or group of people.  That‘s what this is about.

To be an empath, an empowered one–one that comes from a place of strength, compassion, knowing & readiness for action (which sometimes means not acting at all)–takes the willingness & capacity to know ourselves intimately.  To recognize aspects of ourselves that we’re often not comfortable doing–particularly those aspects that are related to emotion.  Almost always, those emotions we’re not comfortable with are grounded in relationship to another person or a group of people.   For many that has been coupled with being taught or teaching themselves not to express those emotions and there has developed a fear of both.  And it’s time to get past that.  This is where the rubber not only hits the road but moves and creates change for individuals and communities.

There’s always been a mystery connected to psychic phenomena.  Ideas of what it means to be an empath have been as twisted as many other things related to the unseen and unknowable.  But, in my experience & knowing, past all the bullshit and blather, the role of an empath is very simple: it is about truly connecting with other people and creating change within ourselves and for others in our own unique way.  When you choose to do so, your world will open up in ways you’ve never had the capacity to even imagine.