(This is another in my series of excerpted and updated Posts from my old, no longer active, blog A Glitch In Time. The original version of this appeared in May of 2014. When I started this current website and blog in tandem with the Etsy Shop and business, O Deer Mercantile, I decided to keep my Spiritual and Philosophical meanderings separate from the Business at Hand. However, it occurred to me at some point that I had classified this as a Lifestyle Blog, but in making the aforementioned decision, I was disregarding a huge chunk of what my life is truly about.
Early on the blog focused largely on the garden, crafting and homemaking pursuits. While all of these things are important to me, and a big part of my life— Life itself and the time constraints of trying to build up a business have left these pursuits secondary to the Shop which has become my major focus. Who I Am outside of and over all else though, is a Being on a Path of Seeking and sometimes discovery. While the mundane aspects of daily life are necessary and often overshadow most other pursuits, and though I have a passion for art, thrifting, vintage goods and the garden, my true Passion is somewhat larger.
I made a commitment many years ago to Follow the Path of Heart, to serve All-That-Is and this beautiful Planet we call home. I was called, and only one answer was possible. So, I have decided to share, when I have a bit of Time, my true Lifestyle, and some of the trials, tribulations and Joys that entails. )
Coping with Life as an Empath…
I really have not been myself lately. I would apologize, or make excuses— I could certainly come up with some, considering the pace and content of life’s experiences recently — but since I really have not been, in large part, much myself just lately, or at most times for the past fifteen years or more, I wont bother. I am an Empath. I am not talking about being a person with an empathic nature or making some New Age effort at bonding with our (my?) fellow man. It is a genetic trait as I understand it at this point, very rare, of varying degree from one individual to another and quite difficult to analyze or quantify. It is not something that I have often spoken of with others. And when I have, most folks have either misunderstood what I was talking about, or just thought that I was crazy. That’s okay! For a great deal of my life, that was exactly what I thought about myself. From a certain viewpoint, that cannot help but be the case. It’s very hard to be in your right mind when as often as not you are feeling or experiencing what is going on inside of someone else. I was more than 35 years old when I found out I was and Empath. It was a revelation in many ways, but very frightening also.
Recently, I have either noticed, or been made aware, that there are quite a few articles about Empathy showing up on the internet. I have read a few of them. Some are good, and some are full of Bullsh… or Bologni, or something. Like so many aspects of subjects that get lumped under the umbrella of spirituality or metaphysics, there is some massive sugar-coating going on out there, and huge amounts of misinformation in general. Being an Empath is not a spiritual trait. I have also seen a number of articles concerning the psychology of the Empathic individual. Repeat above sentiments! As I said, it is inherited, a genetic predisposition which seems on the increase along with a number of other changes in the function of the human mind, all of which are outside the subject of this post. There is a great deal of genetic research along these lines being done and available to those who look also.
I would also note here, that there is more than a fine line between being Empathically Sensitive or predisposed, and being an actual Empath. According to articles I have found, somewhere around 20 percent of the population share this predisposition. A much smaller percentage are actually functioning (or dysfunctioning, according to the individual’s ability to handle this trait) Empaths. I know a very small handful of other Empaths. They are all related to me. I most certainly have encountered some others in my life, but I have only been tangentially aware of it. Even among those I am familiar with in my own family, the degree of empathic sensitivity varies greatly from one individual to the next.
It is true, from what I know, that a good percentage of Empaths end up following various spiritual paths, that they are attracted to pursuits which help to balance and secure a bit of peace for the practitioner. I am nearly certain that a big part of that is the attraction to a belief system or discipline that can help to explain or at least to somewhat ameliorate the oftentimes overwhelming weight of the Empath’s experience. Conversely, a good many of these people also end up in the mental health system as patients or in extreme cases, institutionalized. Drug and alcohol abuse are also common among these gifted beings. Years ago, I encountered a quote of Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing (from the book The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise) that summed up so much of my own experience, and that I resonated with so strongly that I have never forgot it.
Mystics and schizophrenics find themselves in the same ocean, but the mystics swim whereas the schizophrenics drown.
I cannot begin to tell how very often I have feared that I was indeed drowning in a sea of disturbing emotions. Before being called (I will use this word, because it better describes what happened to me than anything else.) to follow a spiritual path, I felt completely lost, as though I were irretrievably broken and beyond help. Since the Empathic experience is completely subjective, I can only relate my own observations on this trait. However, I have often wondered how many people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and other emotional disorders are actually Empaths.
From my earliest memories, I was bombarded with emotional content that I was not, especially as a child, equipped to understand or process. I never felt myself to be a child, and strongly resented that I was treated so. While I was fairly outgoing and social, though given to extremes of behavior (tantrums, sulking, etc.), at home, I became extremely introverted in more public venues. An Empathic child, I believe, either learns very early to start building defenses and barricades around themselves emotionally, or soon become lost in the chaos of conflicting feelings and emotions they encounter every day.
As I said, I can only relay my own experiences. Perhaps some people have a native talent for controlling what and how much of other people’s emotions they are exposed to, and can separate what is their own from that of others. For myself, I gradually learned to limit the assault to my senses that life was—to constantly guard myself— but groups or crowds of people still made me cower, and inevitably the defenses slipped from time to time. When that happened, I would lose most emotional control, and the immensity of what I would “feel” would leave me utterly unable to function for hours afterward. Sleeping and dreaming were also times when my control would slip. I experienced horrific nightmares so profoundly disturbing and outside of my own realm of experiences that I was certain that it could only be an indication of madness.
I was in my thirties before my spiritual explorations led to a place where I was comfortable enough with myself to allow the Voices in my head free expression. I do not particularly like the word Channel, but neither have I ever considered myself a Medium or anything of that sort. However, I suppose that I am those things. I have had a number of etheric Spirit Guides or Teachers, and I am quite certain that they saved my life. As far as I know, those with the Empath trait also very often have other “psychic” talents. At any rate, for me it was contact with these beings, who have been called Ascended Masters among other things, that finally helped clarify a great deal of my experience for me. I was told, among many other things, that I was an Empath, and taught to exercise a much more precise control over the trait. Along the way, I was also taught to use my particular talents for Healing.
(As this original post was a long one, and with edits and additions, becoming even longer, I am going to continue it in a second part next week. I feel that this nation, and this planet, are reaching a critical point. Healing is progressing, but in the meanwhile, Chaos and Upheaval, on a planetary scale are proliferating. There is a great need for Awakening among the Earth’s population, and a need for those destined to be Healers among the already Awakening, to step forward. )
Some Closing Thoughts
I wanted to mention that the photos with the Fine Line quote at the beginning and end of this post were taken by me during the recent Eclipse. We live in Florida, so not close to totality, but with all the buzz it generated and the Energetic Patterns that accompanied it, I took a camera out, and since I had no glasses or protection, pointed it in the direction I knew the sun should be. Well yeah, I deleted a few photos of branches and clouds, but I had several that were very interesting. Upon studying them closely, I realized that the sun appeared not just as a star, but in a configuration called Merkabah by esoterists. That particular configuration has great significance to me, so I was intrigued. I will discuss this more in future posts also.
I close with heartfelt wishes for swift healing for those who were in Hurricane Harvey’s path, and prayers for those who are currently threatened by Hurricane Irma. It has not even been a year since Coastal Florida and much of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States suffered the destruction of Hurricane Matthew. Now we find ourselves once again confronted with the prospect of a monster storm bearing down upon us. So, we hope for the best, and trust that all will be as needed.
Blessings to All! Till next time…