Guest post by Jennifer Santoro. Read more about Jennifer here.
More and more of us are awakening to realize that we are empaths. An empath is an individual who picks up and senses other peoples’ emotions and feelings. I began to realize this “power” (or was it a burden?) of mine when I was in middle school and would go with friends to places like the mall. I’d be walking along and then POW… I’d be hit with the overwhelming feeling of sadness. It was almost like walking into a cloud of sadness precipitation. I remember one time in particular, I thought to myself, “Is this MY sadness!?” I looked over and saw an elderly man sitting on a bench, and my instincts told me that I was “feeling” what HE was feeling in that moment. I didn’t know what to make of it, so being the pre-teen I was, didn’t say anything to anyone and tried to tell myself that I must be mistaken. (That couldn’t be true…I couldn’t be feeling what other people were feeling, right??)
Flash forward to this present moment. I’m much older now with more life experience under my belt, and as the Universe would have it, have met other people who have this same fascinating power. I call it a power, because “with great power, comes great responsibility.” (Yes, the Tao of Spiderman. Wisdom is everywhere.)
So why bring this up? Well, we live in very interesting times. Times that are bringing about multiple opportunities to face our inner and outer Truths. More and more of the people around me are confiding that they are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I began to realize that experiencing life, as an empath, can get pretty muddy. It can be very difficult and confusing to tell what are my own feelings and what are others’.
So if you find yourself relating to this, I wanted to share something that changed my life for the better. It is the intention, “what mine is mine, and what yours is yours.” It’s a reminder that, yes, we are all connected AND at the same time are having our individual human experiences. To stay grounded, it is very helpful to come back to remembering that we each our own authority in our own lives. This intention helps me remember that I am only responsible for my own life, and it is not my responsibility (nor is it healthy) to feel responsible for someone else’s well being. I first must come into alignment with myself before I can support others, and I must trust others to live their own life path (whatever that looks like.)
When I sense what others are feeling, I believe it is a great honor, and I take it seriously now. (I finally accepted that I’m not crazy. This is very much a real experience.) Being an empath allows me to relate to others on a much deeper level and when I honor this, it significantly increases the connection between us. However, I also learned that I must be careful to not embody THEIR feelings. I finally recognized that their feelings are not mine to carry. Therefore, I practice this intention of “what mine is mine, and what yours is yours” to help bring clarity to what I am feeling in each present moment. SO with that said … I want to remind you, that you can be present with others, love and support them, without “absorbing” their feelings.
Wishing you unconditional love and peace.