“In one and the same fire, clay grows hard and wax melts.” ~ Francis Bacon
So, you’re an empath. You’ve figured that out. But now that you know who you are, how do you turn your path of empathy from one of hell to one of ascension?
As mentioned in Part One, in order to avoid the worst case scenario of becoming a hermit wholly hateful of society, we must first study our childhood and locate the traumatic event(s) that happened to us. By retracing our steps not only to that event, but also to the ‘stage’ it occurred in, we might then hope to dig up those raw emotions ‘lodged’ in our bodies and begin to release and heal.
Using triggers from everyday life that we associate with that event and embracing the emotions it digs up rather than running away from them may take a while to get going, but like any habit once it’s ingrained it’ll become second nature. It can actually become quite enjoyable. Like pulling off a plaster; the anticipation we lend the act turns out to be so much more painful than the actual happening.
Locating the stage our trauma occurred can feed our recovery. If during the age of 0-7, (see Part One for an explanation of the 3 Waldorf stages of development) we can embrace the physical to heal that glitch in our development. When feeling panicked or overthinking quickly locate and name five physical things around you; table, carpet etc… Exercise and stay grounded, being very careful that you eat well. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you to bring you back to reality.
If your trauma happened in the stage 7-14 where your feelings were developing, then focus on how the patterns in your relationships are, voice your feelings as they occur, etc. There is a lot of information out there on creative ways to heal, but still, it pays to first identify your triggers associated with that event so they don’t creep up on you at a later date. Of course, life is an on-going healing and realigning shifting of energies, but it makes sense that the deeper you dive now, the less darkness you’ll encounter on your way to the surface.
Triggers can include anything from keeping eye contact, sharing personal information, the ability to say no, shutting out anyone who is even remotely abusive (to know just check whether you feel comfortable in their presence. If you don’t, then you don’t need to know why, just distance yourself from them), certain situations and events.
In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy identifying and relaxing your triggers is called changing your avoidance behaviours, but this process can extend to mindfulness, especially where you are leaking energy or letting others feel superior to you by putting yourself down by either actions or words. This dual for status seems to occur in every human interaction, especially when you meet someone for the first time and is unfortunately an innate part of human nature. Sometimes just being unafraid of not being liked or accepted can be the first step in the direction of being liked and accepted.
If you think this is you, try a ‘person detox’ for a day; go about your usual everyday tasks (this is very important – as mentioned already, you don’t want to isolate yourself), but try an experiment. Imagine ‘sitting back’ in your energy field (this can mean putting your focus ‘behind’ your heart closer to your spine, or calming your energy by letting it pool at the base of your spine.)
At times of anxiety when you’re trying to save everyone, your energy is actually located outside your body, about two feet in front of you, which is what creates the nervous, flitting feeling.
And it’s no surprise; you’re not even in your own body!! Now, each time you encounter someone, don’t even let yourself ‘get up to greet them’ energetically speaking until you’re sure you want to share your energy with them. This way, instead of creating an unconscious and hostile barrier around yourself – you are consciously taking responsibility for your own energy.
In this modern world it is expected that we bounce up to each other and exuberantly bowl each other over with how bubbly we are. For an empath, this is one sure way to lose all your energy and give your power away to others. When it comes from an unstable core, you’ll be using up all your reservoirs in one go, and chances are, that person won’t respect you for it or even give you anything back. For a while you might seem aloof, even snooty and stuck up.
But as you practise you should find that you have an increase of energy, and also that you are able to become more aware of how others try to bait you to give your power away. When we ‘sit back’ we take the position energetically that we do when meditating as ‘the watcher.’
Observing yourself have these interactions will better help you see them, first, as a game. And secondly, as a choice. Once you see yourself rising up to take the habitual bait, you will gradually be able to find alternative reactions (or the wonderful reaction of not reacting at all.) You’ll be able to see yourself trying to learn this lesson, and as time goes on even resuming a better connection with your higher self, observing this embodiment of your soul tackling what you came here to do.
The first step is often what stops an empath from healing and beginning the journey to ascension. Much like the law of attraction, we must first embrace reality as it is now and adopt an honest dialogue with ourselves rather than forcing a sugary dose of positivity down our throats. Often those who have not had the difficult experiences that we have will take the stance of labeling you as a victim who chooses difficulty over ease, and this can often be the hardest hurdle to clear when you’re empathic.
You just can’t believe that the people who should love and cherish you so shamelessly take advantage of you! And, when you try to better yourself and stop giving away your power, they fight you for it! So why do they do this? Because they’re scared. It’s a lower vibration to use other’s weaknesses against them, and for all those people who take advantage of you, they’re operating on a fear-based way of looking at the world. They see your vulnerability because you’re sensitive, and, like a mob hungry for judgement day, they hone in and strip you bare.
Don’t let them! Face your shadow. Make a decision to cut yourself off from them (remember don’t ignore or avoid). You don’t need to feel guilty for cutting yourself off emotionally and energetically from everyone (and I mean EVERYONE!) who makes you feel this way.
The moment you detox from those people, is the moment you make room for new, higher vibrational people to come in to your life. Sounds elitist I know, but the irony is that the only way of helping those who are taking advantage is exactly that – to cut them out.
Being a leaking empath can be the perfect excuse to not expand. Imagine yourself as able to observe others playing the game; squabbling over status and power (another reason many of us opt to be walked over, often it’s better than accepting the darkest reaches of human nature) and stand back from it, even have compassion for them being so caught up in it. Let’s face it, every spiritual leader has had to face this painful test.
An integral part of being an empath – a noble part of it – is being alone in your experience and owning that. Because from healing comes leadership and spiritual radiance, and that’s exactly what, as an empath, you are destined to become.