For most of my life, I was told that I was too sensitive. I cried a lot and, though I did not understand what was happening, I often called out the emotional Truth of situations. I had (have) this knack for knowing when people aren’t telling the Truth and for knowing for when they are denying their feelings and needs. I call ’em like I see ’em. Did I mention ALL THE FEELINGS?
As you are likely aware, these qualities aren’t exactly revered in our culture. So, like a “good little girl”, I did every thing in my power to shut that part of me down. I tried to keep quiet. I tried to shut off the feelings. I tried to do as I was told.
But, it never really worked, because I would eventually just EXPLODE with all the feelings at once. I coped with it in a lot of ways: the yo-yo diet roller coaster, drugs, alcohol, bad boys, and an all around sense of self-hatred that festered inside of me for years.
Thankfully, I eventually realized that I was both a highly sensitive person (HSP) and an Empath. While I don’t like to put myself inside a pre-destined box or use these things as an excuse to hide from life (even though sometimes, I still do), knowing these things felt like genuine relief to me. To know that there were others like me. That I wasn’t crazy or making it all up.
The knowing helped me to unfold into the Truth of my intrinsic worthiness and embrace the gifts of the very things I hated about myself.
And, I want the same for you.
So, if you have resonated with what I wrote above, you might also be a HSP and Empath. But before I get into the signs that you are an Empath, I want to clarify what I mean when I say Empath.
Being an empath is an intuitive gift. Specifically, an empath experiences within their own being what it is like to be another living being (humans, plants, animals, and/or rocks/crystals), without relying on external cues to access that information.
One of the greatest misconceptions about being an Empath is that you only feel other people’s feelings. This may be one of the ways you experience your empathic gifts, but, you may also experience them through your thoughts, your physical body, or just a knowing without knowing how you know.
Here are some Yes/No questions to help you figure it out. There won’t be a tally of answers at the end. Just make a mental note of your answers. Do you:
- experience people telling you that they just feel better after being around you?
- have mood swings that seem to come out of nowhere?
- feel responsible for the well being of other living beings (humans, plants, animals, and/or rocks/crystals)?
- know how people really feel, even when they tell you, or their face tells you, that they feel something else?
- feel better when you are in nature, especially by water?
- feel dirty or overwhelmed some stores and malls?
- wonder if you are a hypochondriac?
- put other people’s needs ahead of your own and/or feel selfish for thinking of yourself?
- struggle to figure out why you feel the way you do. And sometimes, you can come up with a reason, but it will feel “far fetched” or like you are grasping at straws?
- feel drained or burnt out by doing coaching or healing work but feel called to do it anyway?
- experience shifts in your personality to match whoever you are around?
- avoid watching intensely emotional movies because they are just too much to handle?
- feel deep sadness or physical pain when you see animals who are suffering?
- have trouble understanding your own needs and desires?
- feel drained after being around others, even if the experience was a “happy” one?
- ruminate on and/or feel worried and anxious about other people’s problems?
- seem to know how animals, plants, or crystals are feeling?
- feel guilt and/or shame when you are unable to help someone in need?
If you have answered yes to at least three of these questions, it is likely that you are an Empath. All of these things, and more, are signs of being an Empath and not knowing how to manage the gift.
What I want you to know is that being an empath is not a curse and it does not have to be a burden, in your life or in your business. You are in charge of what happens, always.
You just need to understand your unique needs and learn how work with your intuitive gifts (instead of them working against you). Here are some resources to help you do that.