The Pain of an Empath

What does it mean to be an empath? What's the difference between empathy and sympathy? How to handle feelings that are overwhelming.

If you are an empath, you know that there are times when everything just hurts. There are days that you are hyper tuned in to absolutely everything around you, and there is just so much energy pouring into you that even love hurts. Seeing a person or animal in pain or sadness is almost too much to bear. Indeed, many empaths have fallen victim to addiction and escapism, trying to avoid the pain that comes with their gift. But it’s important, on these days especially, to remember why you hurt so much. 

The difference between empathy and sympathy is seemingly small, but to the empath, the difference is huge. To sympathize is to feel for someone else, while still safely in your own bubble of reality. To empathize is to be sucked into someone else's reality and experience their feelings as though you are them. For those who are unable to empathize, this is not even fathomable. They may even believe that sympathy is, in fact, empathy. 

Knowing this, though, can help you to pull out of those moments when everyone else’s energies are overwhelming you. Reminding yourself that this experience is not your own, can help you to disconnect from those around you and retreat back into your own energy bubble or aura. We are given the gift of empathy so that we may see as others see, and will therefore be better equipped to help others heal and bring more understanding to the world. But when we have no control over that gift, it can end up feeling more like a curse. When we learn how to control our energies and the effect others’ energies have on us, we are better able to embrace our empathy and use it to its highest purpose. 

If you are an experienced empath, what are your go-to methods for protecting your space? If you are just learning about your abilities as an empath, what would you most like to know? Drop your responses in the comments so we can help each other out!

Categories: Words of Wisdom