the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Empathy is feeling the pain when someone is in pain. It's sharing the joy when someone is joyous. So, what, exactly, is an empath?
An empath is a person who is sensitive to the emotions of another. It's a step forward from just being empathic. Empath sense others' energetic vibrations, so they know when they're being lied to, or if someone is hiding their true thoughts/emotions. It's believed that Jesus Christ was an empath, and that is why he could reach out and read people so well. This leads many to wonder why they themselves, an ordinary Joe, would be capable of such similar abilities.
What can I do with empathy?
This is the most often asked question from empaths. What is my purpose as an empath? Answers vary. Most will tell you it's to help those who are yet unconscious with their own awakening; to reach out and help others open their minds as they go through their own struggles in life.
Still others will say empaths are meant to be therapists or teachers. The traits of an empath are fantastic for these jobs, but there are many empaths who are far too introverted to be able to handle such demanding jobs.
So what else is there?
Empaths can listen and provide comfort to those they love or to anyone they come across in their daily lives. In my own experience, I've reached out to strangers in grocery stores. A woman whose daughter lived in another state with all her grandchildren. She had a difficult day and was missing them. I was in front of her at the register. Before she said anything to me, I had my daughters (1yo and 3yo at the time) turn and say hello. They reached out and were very playful with the woman who, by the time I finished paying for my food, was grinning ear to ear with tears in her eyes. She told me then, "I'm missing my grandchildren so much. It's been a hard day. Thank you so much for letting me laugh with your little ones." My girls waved goodbye and the woman definitely seemed in better spirits.
It's simple moments like these that can change the lives of people around us. People these days can be severely narrowminded and angry, so it's hard for people who are alone and suffering to feel any sort of comfort from the world around them. This is a perfect place for empaths to come in.
How do I control my empathy?
Empaths are often inundated with severely debilitating emotions. We don't always realize the emotions are coming from someone else and we sit and suffer. Occasionally, we'll stop and realize that the emotion doesn't make any sense in relation to what we're doing in that moment. We try to think back on what's causing it, but can't pinpoint the source. That's when an empath can take a deep breath -- when we realize the emotion is not ours. The conscious realization that it's not your own emotion makes the sense of anxiety or anger or pain almost immediately go away.
Sometimes, it's just too strong to disperse on our own. That's where I suggest meditation or walking somewhere away from the city. Mountain paths, woodsy trails, etc. If you don't have any of that, try Dan Gibson's Solitudes. Light some earthy candles or incense. Lie back or sit up straight and imagine the most beautiful scenery you can.
Meditative Techniques for Empaths and Seers
One way to strengthen and control your empathy is by meditative gazing. Candle gazing, water gazing, even scrying--gazing at yourself in a mirror.
Candle Gazing/Fire Gazing: The technique is simple. Dim the lights, turn on some meditative music or ambience, and light a candle at or below eye level. Focus on the flame. Rest your mind. Breath evenly. After a time, your peripheral vision will fade, and all you will see is the flame before you.
Water Gazing: find a bowl with no design or text at the bottom. Fill it with water. Set your mood as you would with candle gazing. Focus on the water. Rest your mind. Breath evenly. After a time, your peripheral vision will fade, and all you will see is the water before you.
Mirror Gazing/Scrying: find a mirror, and place is at eye level. Set the mood. Make sure you can see your eyes clearly. Get as close as you can to the reflection without straining your eyes to focus. Stare into your eyes until your peripheral vision fades and all you can see is your eyes.
How Does It Work? If these techniques are practiced regularly, they hone and develop your concentration. Your mind is brought to a place of stillness, which helps you regain focus. Every day, you mind is inundated with images and perceptions that tire your mind, making it difficult for the average person to understand their own emotions. You can imagine why it would be that much more difficult for empaths!