She looked me right in the eyes and said, “You’re an empath.”
“Cool,” I replied as goose bumps started to form on my skin. “What’s that?”
In a workshop at my yoga teacher training, a Reiki Master was talking about the chakras. Something in the air – or her energy, or mine – made it impossible to hold back. I rarely, if ever, shared about my lifelong struggles with sleep, making and keeping friends, anxiety, and other emotional issues, but these deep dark secrets were pouring out of me. It felt out of body when, as I was talking, my brain was like, “Mary, what are you doing saying all this out loud in front of a group of people?!”
And then, my world changed forever. She told me I am an empath. I’d never heard of that before.
She explained briefly that an empath absorbs other peoples’ energy, often without knowing it, resulting in insomnia, extreme stress, exhaustion, building up walls and shutting down your emotions because there are so many other peoples’ emotions floating around it’s difficult to process. Yes. Yes! YES!
I cried. Literally, tears were overflowing from my eyes. All my “issues” suddenly made sense – and were from a powerful gift, not a curse like I’d been thinking for years! She gave me a quick and easy way to cleanse my energy and physical body each night to help me sleep. And my journey to discovering my true self began.
The first thing I did when I got home was Google “empath” – obviously. It’s been a slow process and I am just now, over two years later, really dedicating myself to learning how to master my abilities. I needed time to come to terms with it, observe it, and see how much it was affecting me (which was A LOT, by the way).
As I share this story with others, some discover their own empath gifts, some share with me their empath skills and energy protection and clearing practices, and some reflect back to me specific times when I’ve shut down my emotions or embraced my gifts. Some people think I’m crazy, especially if they aren’t highly sensitive or empathic themselves; that’s okay too.
As I read more and practice empath related energy work, I become more open in my relationships and to my intuition. In the past month or so, I have fully accepted that I am an empath. It truly is a gift. And, I am ready to embrace it. I am ready to take action toward developing skills that make this gift a useful tool. And it is pretty cool.