5 Lessons I've Learned From Being An Empath

Being an empath is both a gift and a curse. We're effected by the energies of others and deal with immense emotional intensity. Imagine being able to feel what other's feel 24/7. It's not a switch that you turn on & off, you're forced to deal with the energy presented to you, good or bad. Yep, that's our life. My whole life I've been an empath & didn't put the pieces of the puzzle together until I was in college. I felt everything, I cried about everything, my energy was often drained and I didn't like being around large groups of people. 

My standoffishness could easily be misinterpreted & I really didn't think there was a digestible way to say "I'm not being a bitch, I can sense the energy you're giving off & I'm protecting my space." I mean, is there a nice way to put that? 

There's so much beauty in being an empath. Yes, our feelings can be a bit complex & commanding, but our love is transcendent. I'm still learning how to navigate this life, but here a few lessons I've learned in the process.

Not only did I come into this dimension as an empath, but I'm also a lunar Scorpio. In astrology, our moon sign represents our emotional expression, inner feelings, and is ruled by feminine energy. The Moon also represents your relationship with your mother and nurturing. Interestingly, my mom's sun is my moon. It might be one of the greatest connections that we have- the ability to almost read each other's mind, instinctively knowing how the other is feeling, because we process our emotions so similarly ( Both of my parents are Scorpios, btw). That connection is what makes our bond so unbreakable. A significant time of my life was spent internalizing my feelings, rather than using my voice & effectively communicating. Burying those emotions and storing them in a guarded safe in the pit of my stomach often lead to feeling empty, sometimes depressed. Constantly replaying things in my head, punishing myself for not being honest or communicative, feeling empty & incompetent after allowing someone to mistreat me. Mom always acknowledged my sensitivity and encouraged me to be honest with myself & emotions. My dad on the other hand, unintentionally tried to desensitize me- often telling me I was "too sensitive". She spent many years being my voice but soon forced me to use my own, ensuring me "Your voice is your greatest instrument". It took a while for me to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, but I've learned to be completely transparent and own every single emotion that flows through me. I owe it to myself to be honest, not just to others, but to myself. My feelings are justified, and if someone is the cause of that pain, then I need to keep it 100%. They can't be stored in that safe, nor can they be brushed off.

It's a no brainer that hypersensitivity is often deemed as a weakness. I think it's weirdos' ways of projecting their insecurities on us to make themselves feel more resilient, which is a damn lie. I often crossed paths with "toughen up", "Why are you so sensitive?", "There's nothing to cry about".  Sometimes, I would let it get to me but eventually I asked myself "Who are they to define my strength?" It's so strange how we often allow the thoughts and impressions of others dictate our mood. I try, but sometimes I can't help it!  But, I blame myself for allowing someone to disturb my peace. When I was younger, I thought expressing my feelings was synonymous with confrontation. Confrontation has always made me uncomfortable. If you know me personally, then you know I absolutely can and sure will handle it, but the action alone is completely draining to me. I despise it, but it is sometimes necessary when living in your truth. 

Sadly, I'm that person who may end up falling asleep in the club because the energy of so many people LITERALLY drains me. ( Don't worry, I get my twerking in, though). It's something that I can not help and would often feel guilty, embarassed and apologetic for it, but not anymore. As I mentioned earlier, it's natural for empaths to feel fatigued when spending time around large groups. Having some time to ourselves to recharge is essential for both our mental and physical health. If we ask for space, be mindful it often has nothing to do with you personally. We simply just need some "me" time, please respect that and please don't judge us for that. 

 "If your interaction with someone is not an exchange of energy, but instead they drain you of all yours, let 'em go" my mom casually told me one morning. To this day that one sentence echoes in my head. The people we choose to share our space & energy with is all a choice. Toxic relationships are damaging, unhealthy, and quite frankly unnecessary. I've recognized that relationships fade, sometimes people that you love no longer serve a purpose in your life. Sometimes you have to love people from a far, and it doesn't mean that you love them less. It simply means you love yourself more. All relationships should be balanced and mutually beneficial. Sometimes we hold on to people for the sake of comfort- keeping someone you've known forever around just for the sake of familiarity, even when they no longer serves a purpose. It's important that every person in my life serves a purpose- whether it's the friend who loves to ki over spilled tea or the friend who I can talk about fashion & style with for hours. There has to be a give and take- never a take and take or give and give. Don't feel bad for putting your needs first. 

Intuition happens to be a gift that everyone possesses, but many often ignore. You know what I'm talking about? THAT feeling. You sense that something is off, but maybe you brush it off because the fear of overreacting. At that moment ignoring those feelings may seem like the best bet; maybe because it makes your uncomfortable, maybe you're in denial. But, it's important to acknowledge those feelings. Trusting your intuition is honoring yourself and a practice of self love; as well as the absolute to key to survival as an empath.