It has been several years since I first read about empaths and what it means to be one, but it was like a huge, bright light got turned on for me, and it helped me understand why I move through life the way that I do. I won’t reinvent the wheel here, because you can do a google search right now and find a million articles telling you what being an empath means and how to know if you are one.
For me, one of my traits is that I am very sensitive to the energy around me. I’ve always been this way, but I didn’t always realize it. I have always absorbed the energy from other people, but didn’t know I was doing it. So at times, I would internalize someone else’s feelings and take them on as my own. This worked to my detriment as a child growing up in a house with a lot of fighting. I was absorbing that negative energy and internalizing it as my own burden to carry without realizing what was going on. Looking back, it was exhausting and was at least the partial cause of my depression as a teen.
In recent years as I realized just how powerfully other people’s energy affected me, I would still feel drained and negative after having an interaction where someone was giving off a very strong, negative energy. I’ve done a lot of work to learn how to separate someone else’s energy from my own. Recently a teacher of mine channeled for me and found that I am able to differentiate my energy from someone else’s about 70% of the time. So, about 70% of the time, when I interact with people, I can tell what energy they are emitting and I am absorbing from them. And recognizing this has been very important for me, because the more I can separate my energy from someone else’s, the less I am going to unknowingly take their energy on for myself. I use this a lot in my day-to-day life. For instance, I use people’s energy to make decisions about whether or not I want to spend time with them. I have very strong intuition and I have been learning to trust it, and the more that I do, the stronger my intuitive sense becomes. If someone has a really good energy about them, I don’t need to know a whole lot else about them before I find myself wanting to hang out with them. I pay attention to the energy I receive from potential baby sitters, friends, healers etc. A person’s energy tells me a lot about them. And I take it more seriously than the words that someone tells me, because people can lie, but energy doesn’t.
Last year, I had an experience where I was hanging out with a friend just after one of their parents died. I enjoyed my time with them and felt good while we were hanging out. But when I went home, I felt drained for no apparent reason. Based on what was going on with me, I felt like I should have had more energy. And I was excited about an upcoming concert that night too. Then I realized what was going on. I had taken on some of my friend’s energy during our interactions. I took on some of the heaviness of the situation, and some of the sadness. I actually had to take a nap before the concert. It was a really cool experience for me to be able to recognize that what I was feeling was not a direct reflection of something going on in my own life. I think that sometimes, part of my purpose here in this lifetime is to take on some of the heavier energy around me and transmute it to positive. I think that’s part of what I was doing in this case without even realizing it. I took on some of the heaviness so that my friend would not bear all of that weight alone. But what I am also realizing is that it is not my responsibility to take on energy that does not belong to me. And that in fact, as Abraham Hicks says often, I cannot become poor enough so that others are not poor, I cannot become sad enough to keep others from being sad, and I cannot be negative enough to keep others from being negative. It’s just not the way the Universe works. In becoming happy and prosperous, I am not taking away from anyone else. There is always enough to go around. We live in an abundant Universe, not one that is lacking. It is much more useful and important that I remain in my vibration of positivity and attracting prosperity, so that I can be an example that others can follow to help them find ways to raise their own vibration. We don’t do anyone any good by lowering our vibration thinking that if we bring ourselves down into a state of sadness, lack, negativity, that we will somehow help those around us feel better, or at least not feel so bad. I have spent my life working this way. Feeling bad to be happy when I was surrounded by sadness. Feeling bad to be healthy when I have been surrounded by those with illness. But the important thing that I have been learning and figuring out and working to internalize is that this method never works. Plus, I end up feeling terrible. I listened to a great audio clip on YouTube today of Abraham Hicks, and it ends with this quote that is my take-away on this subject and that is “I’m going to be who I know I can be, so that I can show you who I know YOU can be.” You can listen to it HERE. It is often said that misery loves company. When we are down, we get comfort when others join us in that vibration. But, when was the last time that someone joining you in misery really helped you dig yourself out of the hole that you had found yourself in? I know that I have been uplifted by others who are uplifting.
For those of you in a health care profession, or experiencing illness second-hand via a loved one, I want you to know this: at no point in my healing journey have I needed anyone to lower themselves to my level of despair in thinking that it would make me feel better. I did not want anyone to “fix” my problems for me or take away my illness. I simply wanted support and love from those around me. I had to go through all that I went through to get to the level of high vibrational functioning that I now get to experience. My experiences not only make me a better nurse, but they make me a better human. My experiences give me much more compassion than I could have developed any other way. Like I have written many times here, losing my health completely has made me appreciate my health and body more than I would have otherwise. I live my life in a state of gratitude for all that I have because I almost died, not in spite of it! Therefore, losing my health is one of the best things that has ever happened for me, second only to the birth of my son. Let me repeat that: LOSING MY HEALTH IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED FOR ME! Granted, I did not feel this way as I was going through it. But I can tell you from where I am currently, if I could go back in time and change things, I would NOT do it. I would experience everything I have gone through again knowing that it would lead me to my current level of gratitude for this precious life that I have been given.
Everything is made of energy. We have limited senses to perceive the energy around us, but it runs through everything around us, and through all of us. That cannot be denied. Are you aware of the energy you are putting into the world? Is it positive? Does it uplift those around you? Are you an empath, like me, who has a difficult time differentiating your energy from those around you? Does knowing that you’re an empath make you feel better too that you have some clarity about why you move through the world like you do, and why you feel SO MUCH all the time? I know it helped me a lot to realize my gifts as an empath. Sometimes, those gifts have felt like a curse, because I can feel the hurt around me as if it’s my own. The first step for me was connecting the dots, the next steps have been creating energetic boundaries for myself. If I can do it, so can you.
I have more difficulty differentiating the more at large energy field of the world from my own than I do the energy of other people. It’s much more common that I take global energy on as my own before realizing it. It becomes most apparent once a friend who is also highly sensitive mentions the way they have been feeling and the energy that they have been picking up on. Then we all share a collective sigh of relief to have some understanding that the energy affecting us is outside of us and our lives. My brain likes to connect what I am feeling to something happening in my own life, yet it doesn’t always realize that the energy I am sensing isn’t always originating with me.
As our collective consciousness continues to shift and more people begin to awaken, it is imperative that we do the inner work that each of us needs to do so that we can keep our vibration high, even when we can feel the energy of the collective dip down. Those of us functioning at a higher vibration will be the best help to others if we stay where we are, so that they can rise up to meet us, versus lowering our energetic vibration to meet theirs. This is the work that I am currently doing within myself. I am working to do things that make my energy vibrate higher, so that I can live my best life and in turn, affect others positively.
If you have read my other posts, you know that I got into nursing after I, myself, became gravely ill. Even as I was struggling with my own health issues, I was in nursing school, learning how to help others. I feel like my journey with nursing has come full circle. In nursing school, I was able to witness some of the people who were present during my heart surgery, perform an open heart surgery. A few of them even remembered me. I was able to thank them for saving my life and told them that I was using my experience to go into nursing so that I could help others. In nursing school, I met with a few of the nurses who had been there after my surgery and had come to check on me as I recovered in the hospital, and I thanked them. As a new nurse, I eventually ran into the nurse who had taken care of me on 3 West, the step-down ICU, and I realized that her name wasn’t “Angel” as I had remembered from the scary night that she took care of me prior to my heart surgery, and was able to thank her for being there with me and getting me the help that I needed. I’ve had the honor of taking care of some of the sickest patients in the hospital who were wrought with pain and fear, and I overcame my fear of death, as I helped alleviate their fears. In taking care of new Mothers, I have been able to heal my wounds related to not having the natural birth that I had hoped for, because I see now that the healthy Mom and baby ARE truly all that matter. And I have been a part of the process of c-sections to show me why I did not get to hold my son right away, which has been healing. I have helped Moms struggling with breastfeeding which helped heal the parts of me who placed so much responsibility on my shoulders to feed my baby the best milk I had available, even when it wasn’t going so well. Working as a Nurse has given me such a wide variety of people and energies to work with, which I believe has led to me being so good at recognizing my own energy vs others’ energy, a skill that is highly valuable to me for so many reasons.
Early in my nursing career, I often felt pulled down into the despair that my patients were feeling. Over time, I have learned to separate my energy from those I care for in a way that makes it much more healthy for me and for them. But even still, working in the hospital as a Registered Nurse lends itself to a level of stress that only other Nurses can relate to. Adding to that stress the fact that I am so sensitive to the energies that surround me, the hospital is not a good working environment for me. Luckily, I have been through enough in my life to recognize when something is affecting my health negatively, and so I am moving on. This is not the first time that I have witnessed a direct correlation with the stress that I experience and the health problems that it creates. So, I am choosing to not wait until the health problems become debilitating before I change my course. I am proactively choosing to put my health first, above EVERYTHING else, including my job. I will continue to help people in other ways, and if you want to know a bit more, you can check out my “About Me” page above (I will be writing more about it here shortly). My purpose in this life is to heal myself, body, mind, and spirit, so that I may help others navigate through their own healing journeys.
Life really is always working FOR us. Everything that happens for us in this life is meant to grow us so that we can become the people we came into this life to be. How have you benefited from your challenges, and in turn, how have your challenges benefited the world around you? Have you discovered a way to use your empathy to help yourself and others? Are you able to see the blessings in your extremely empathic nature?
It’s never too late to start the day over. It’s never too late to choose to put yourself, your happiness, and your health FIRST. Life is too short to live it any other way!
Listen to Michael Franti and Spearhead’s song “Never Too Late” HERE
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