The Difference between Two Kinds of Empaths.
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So here’s two empaths. I want to tell you about them, because if you’re reading this, chances are you’re an empath too. I’m calling them “Carri” and “Billie”.
We empaths get a hard press, don’t we? We’re frequently viewed as fragile, dreamy creatures who have to take particular care not to get damaged by ‘the world’—specifically, our fellow human beings.
Entire books are written about how to take care of ourselves in a world that’s way too harsh and abrasive for us. We’re advised to stay indoors, and not go anywhere there might be other people whose energy might make us unwell. We’re advised to smudge and clear our auras and our homes with crystals, say affirmations and use elaborate rituals so that we’re surrounded by only the purest and ‘safest’ energy at all times.
Carri is really into all this. She reads such advice avidly, and watches lots of YouTube videos telling her how to do it. She’s really scared of how badly being around other people can affect her. Crowded places make her ill: she feels sick, overwhelmed, often ends up in physical pain, feels a migraine threatening, has to leave. Visiting a busy city can leave her so exhausted and wiped out that she has to take to her bed for at least a day after, sleeping it off, her head spinning and her tummy upset.
Not only that, Carri finds herself assaulted by physical symptoms when she watches certain TV programmes or reads certain magazines. She’s particularly to drawn to watching reality TV programmes and the News, and feels completely wrung out from all the emotion she experiences as she watches. And afterwards—because it stays with her. Actually, truth be told, she does tend to feed off all the emotion, especially stories of tragedy or loss, and she goes over and over them in her mind afterwards, replaying all the different scenarios. It all feels very real to her. She never doubts for a moment that the world is a pretty cruel and selfish place, rife with hate and jealousies, where everyone’s competing with everyone else and there’s little or no kindness.
The books she reads confirms that to her. They’re all about energy vampires, narcissists and tricksters who prey on the vulnerable. And she really believes with her heart and soul that she is one of the vulnerable. She lives her life waiting for something awful to happen, and invariably it does.
Carri lives her life full of fear. It never occurs to her that she might be generating that fear herself. She never thinks about the connection between what she’s choosing to read or watch and the way the world feels to her. Nor does she realise that, when she’s reacting to the awful events she watches on the News, or laying in bed going over the drama she’s witnessed in soaps or reality TV, that she’s actually choosing all this herself.
She thinks she’s an Empath. And, consequently, she believes that it’s because she’s empathising that she’s feeling it all. She believes that’s how you define an empath. That this is what empaths do.
Actually, Carri isn’t an empath. Not yet. She hasn’t served her apprenticeship yet; she hasn’t done the work. She doesn’t know herself well enough. She doesn’t know that what she’s actually doing, and why she feels so unsafe in the world, is because she’s projecting her own fears out into the world and experiencing them bouncing right back at her.
Carri isn’t, in actual fact, an Empath at all. Carri is an Identifier.
An empath is able to empathise with others because they know what belongs to them and what belongs to someone else. Until then, we’re busy putting ourselves in everyone else’s shoes, feeling everything as if it’s us that’s going through it.
This is Identifying! That’s what “Freakin’ Out” is doing. No wonder she’s always so exhausted!
And so full of fear!
So now let me tell you about Billie. She’s much more together. She’s been busy reading other stuff. And she watches different videos. And she never watches the News or reality TV. She knows that she doesn’t have to believe media hype and that, for every ‘bad thing’ that happens in the world, there is also so much kindness, so many more ‘good things.’
Billie used to be just like Carri until she got a little clarity and became wise enough to trust her own intuition more accurately. She spends lots of time in nature and she meditates regularly and listens to soothing music. She’s knowledgeable, listens to her own needs, and makes good choices about the environment she wants to be in and what she wants in her head.
Where Carri lives in a hostile world driven by fear, Billie inhabits a reality dominated by an appreciation of love and oneness. Because she does the work—meditating, listening to her Higher Self, reading books that aid her spiritual awareness, spending time with people who give out good vibes—she feels incredibly grounded and secure. She feels purposeful rather than afraid.
Billie also understands energy and this gives her an enormous advantage. She knows that all human beings experience emotion, and that emotion is energy. She knows that everything is made up of energy, that energy vibrates and that therefore all energy influences all other energy.
Therefore, rather than being frightened when she picks up other people’s emotions, Billie empathises and understands that this energy is no more than a communication of what happens to be going on for that person right now. Not who that person is; just what’s going on for them right now. She doesn’t identify (put herself in their place and go through it as if she’s them); instead, she does something pretty incredible:
She breathes the emotion in. That’s right. She doesn’t run away in fear the way Carri would do. She understands that it’s just energy. And so she also understands that if you change the vibration of an incoming emotion, you can transmute it into a different energy, and then give that back.
So she breathes in the emotion she’s picking up, and she holds it in a space inside her. A sacred space where there’s no fear, only love. She holds it there for the other until she understands its quality, truly gets the power of the energetic communication, human being to human being. Soul to Soul. And then she breathes into that space in which it’s held all the love, compassion and calm she can find. And she has a huge well of that. And when she’s felt its quality change, when she’s transmuted it, she breathes it back out into the world.
Billie has served her apprenticeship, knows her stuff well, has no fear—since she knows this is a loving universe where we experience pain and joy and everything in between. And that, since we’re all part of the same energy, all one, when one of us if experiencing pain, another can receive that as an energetic communication and help, in love and with empathy.
She’s become an empath who can exist powerfully in the world, and do what she came here to do! She’s changing the energy of the world, one breath at a time!
How freakin’ awesome is that?
Author: Janny Juddly
Editor: Caroline Beaton
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