Thursday, December 9, 2010

Empaths or Just Plain Nuts

We are energetic beings. We are surrounded by energy with assorted realms of vibrations. I believe that. I also believe that some of us are empaths; we feel the energy of others very deeply--almost too much. We feel weighed down by all the collective pain that envelopes us.

Not everyone is an empath--in fact, things become easier in this material life when we feel next to nothing. When I was a college student, I could literally program my reactions to various stimuli so that my studies would remain intact. I was hell-bent on becoming the world's greatest academic. Self-discipline meant very little emotional interaction.

But feelings don't go away. They go underground. Refusing to feel is a swipe against acknowledging pain. Those feelings will find you. Suddenly you go from functional to dysfunctional. You don't know what went wrong. You can't read. You don't want to be around people. You can't concentrate. You start crying for no reason. It's as though many layers of skin simply melted away. Now you are feeling everything--from your pain to the pain of strangers. You are overwhelmed.

What am I describing? I call it awakening. You begin to see that life is very complicated. Bad things happen for no apparent reason; life becomes unfair to the good while the bad triumph. You notice that some folks are sad around the holidays. You see the rich get bonuses while the working poor get laid off from their jobs. Just like Bruce Almighty, you begin to hear the prayers of everyone--begging, pleading, asking God to take away this terrible burden. As the Buddha teaches, life is suffering.

When I feel like this, it's hard to leave the house. I don't know where these emotions originate, but they plague me---is it that I am miserable or am I in touch with misery itself? I've seen other people go through these experiences. They wonder if they are losing their mind.

Our society would have us chase those feelings away with Prozac. Some may turn to illegal substances or the corner bar. Why are we so afraid of emotion? Does every emotion cause pain? Isn't joy as real as suffering?

My husband used to tell me that he cried almost every day for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought he was exaggerating. Now I know he was telling the literal truth. He knows what it is like to be a soldier, and he puts himself in their place. He takes a metaphysical bullet for them.

People tell me that I'm too sensitive. But I'm okay with that. I would rather know that I am fully alive. So much of what our society deems as happiness is just the absence of suffering. It is not life itself, but our perceptions that become an illusion. It's the old Jedi "point of view". Look what it did to Anakin. But look again at what it did for his son, Luke.

As bad as it may be, I encourage all of us to "search our feelings". I often wonder how many bi-polar diagnoses serve as a label for those who are starting to understand the truth within life. If we are existence, consciousness and bliss, then we are subject to all sorts of moods. Which of us is more sick, the empath or the society that wants to wipe all unpleasant emotions away?


  1. I don't think it's bad your sensitive to other experiences. I oftentimes think of people through a large lens, and then zoom in. There is a lot going on. There are people helping one another, there are people killing, people contracting diseases, people wandering around aimlessly, people chasing illusions, people chasing substance and truth, people crying, and people laughing. I get the feeling I alone, as the individual, can't save the world, just work on my individual duty and then radiate that energy to others. Hopefully they don't have force-fields around them, and they
    can pick up some of it and kindle a light -- this could be passed off to another like a torch.

    "If enough individuals could develop themselves—even partially—into genuine, natural men, each such individual would then be able to convince and win over as many as a hundred other men, who would, each in his turn, be able to influence another hundred, and so on."

  2. It's weird, because there are things that bother others and they don't faze me at all. Some people see me as laid back as an instructor because I don't make a fuss of certain things; I take them in stride. But I do know what bugs me, and I make sure everyone else knows it too! (class, I mean.) The end of the semester is always a draining time and I'm never quite myself. Maybe because I am meditating that I am watching myself not be myself or feel generalized pain, and the witnessing I is wondering why that is happening?

  3. I don't think I can really answer the why question: the big one. In the Buddhist sense, I never picked up that to be the center of the Thought: "Why is ------ happening?"
    I haven't read incredibly deep into the all of these teachings, but I know that those perspectives helped me understand something that seems more practical; how something happens:

    "Without speaking, without silence, how can you express the truth?"

  4. Interesting that I should follow the yellow brick road that led me to this blog, because I have been told quite recently by my counsellor that I am a burdern-bearer. She described it exactly as you have described an empath. Nice to see you are blogging again.

    x ~Roxanne

  5. you could very well be describing my good friend Barbara..she is bi-polar and has anxiety attacks and feels every thing for every one..I am sympathetic and weep at most everything but I don't think I'm an empath...

  6. unroasted unsalted green nuts

    that still place is still covered
    in unstill reflections of a mind
    wrapped inside and hovered
    round by eyes instilling what they find
    as cozy little pictures
    that are no more than rinds
    of energy's resonations
    intertwining and unblind.

    fire away you mirrored neurons
    be now deposed to being clear
    let loose of correspondence
    that enforced, by way of tears,
    precludes unshimmered dancing
    and heart-felt laughter at those fears
    that lonely I's collect as substitute
    for living all these years.

    and when those curtains fall
    into tented rubble at the feet
    and i have taken burning torches
    to realign those folds and pleats
    that i had woven into costumes
    to play this part, watched from this seat
    in which iam is fully conscious
    and in which one is, now, complete.


  7. YGranny: It actually makes me think of a lot of people I've known--some are artists, some are bodyworkers. My friend, Beth, tells me that a good practice is to visualize white light all around you, sealing you in. I often call on the help of St. Michael, the archangel, as he is the great protector and cuts cords of attachment. My friend, Nefer taught me that.

    Ball of Light: Man, how do you do it? You always know what to say.

    Tinkerbell: I'm glad you found the blog and I found yours as well. I am really sorry that you've been going through so much. I hope we can stay connected.

  8. thanks susan. i just hear a note plucked and i hum, alot...

  9. I empathize with Ben Weasel !!!

  10. I've kind of shut a lot of that off. It's too painful.

  11. SJ: Hah. You know I thought of you when I saw this image. Really!

    Bear: Oh, good! You found me. I hear you. But what if you can't shut it off. It's coming at you; you don't understand it, but it won't let you go. I saw this happen with someone dear to me. He kept having all these feelings and running into situations that made him question his sanity as they seemed synchonized. He was always geared to see life as a lesson, but this overwhelmed him. At the time, I wasn't sure if he was losing it or onto something. Now I think the latter.

  12. Wow. So many things run through my mind as I read this post. Many questions. I will catch you online one evening and pick your brain if you don't mind.

    Nice to be in touch with you again. Thanks for being here.

  13. Spongy, you are like a brother to me. Nothing will or can ever change that I hope we can pick brains soon--a lot of this is stuff I've been feeling recently. It's really weird and I'm trying to go with it--a little scary sometimes.


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