The Empath

If you Google “what is an empath?” ,”empath definition,” or something similar,  your search will return this:

em·path
ˈempaTH/
noun
  1. (chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.

Don’t you love that; the little dig in the beginning; “chiefly in science fiction.”?

It’s the story of our lives, is it not? It has certainly been the story of mine.

 

Skeptics invalidate them, the metaphysical community marginalizes them, and the rest of humanity it seems only wants to underestimate and/or exploit them.  Yes, every Empath is by definition empathetic, but not every empathetic person is an Empath. Many people have a highly calibrated emotional barometer and can sense the emotions and “energies” of other people. However, if you’re reading this I suspect that you have experienced far more than that.

Yes, we are compassionate, however we are not messianic.

Yes, we are highly emotional and feel deeply, however we are not hysterics.

Yes, we are optimistic, however we are not naive.

Our compassion exists within a sobering realism. We accept that things are simply as they are. Water cannot be stone, stone cannot be mist, and so on and so forth. We also understand the irony that both fire and frost can burn.

Our emotions run very deep and are often times fueled and exaggerated by those around us or those we are closely connected to. We are also keenly aware of when we experience that which does not belong to us. Yet, it is not always the emotion in and of itself that we react to; this is especially true of the negative emotions of others. Our adverse reactions often times comes from the exhausting struggle others have with accepting their own negative emotions and experiences, with accepting themselves. For it is within their struggle that we acknowledge our own. We too grapple with our demons, sort through the bones of the skeletons in our closets and flip past the well-read parts of our story to see the chapters we are often reticent to study.

Our optimism is not quantified by “hope springs eternal,” but rather by “it’s okay for things to not be okay.”

We exist in a state of perpetual twilight, a place where light and dark meet and begin to mix. It sounds like a beautiful existence, and while often times it is, there are just as many times that it is anything but. Yet even at it’s most harrowing, we rejoice in this existence. We rejoice because it is truth, and truth no matter it’s level of beauty or brutality is what we live for. Truth in all things is what we seek. It is our lifeblood, our motivating force, our aphrodisiac.

We are more than healers, we are also destroyers. If it is fallacy and comes into our cross hairs,  we will obliterate it. The most grotesque of truths is exceedingly more pleasing to us than the most alluring lie. The masks you wear, the facade you hide behind, the barriers you erect will be disseminated and destroyed; sometimes gently, sometimes savagely. We are provocateurs; we will poke, pry, push, agitate and annoy. Anything to breach the walls.

All that come to know us are open books to us, whether they want to be or not (or whether we want them to be or not). Mystique is fleeting for us. Good thing for us we revel in truth as we do. Equally as good is that truth is usually stranger than fiction.

And with this, I welcome you;

You who are damned among the sacred

and sacred among the damned.

Let our journey into our shadowed selves begin…

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8 thoughts on “The Empath”

  1. Extremely well put. Thank you for sharing this piece. There is a brutality in being an Empath when submerged in this world where others seem to not understand or sense that you understand them all too well (those that attempt to cloak their not so kind intent). There are days where I have to retreat, heal and decompress from the heat on skin of my soul (if you will), sometimes it can be too intense but I love that you discuss our love for the truth. I’m never afraid of the truth… I need it, know it and accept it in almost a zen way. The truth calms me and with it, I can fully process the occurrence. The truth is where healing starts. It liberates and is hope because the truth humbling and electrifying in its power. This is the very foundation necessary for growth and development.

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    1. Could not agree more mredmond73, and I thank you for your thoughtful response. Truth was always my healer, and I have a gut level intuitive negative reaction to deceit.

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      1. I couldn’t agree more. Most the time I don’t call people out, I try to influence the truth out of them. However, if I do call someone out, it’s not very pretty because usually I end up having to get venomous for the sake that they need to learn to stop that behavior and most people in their life enable them. I think of it as a favor. 🙂 I believe that the truth is what you chose to believe it is. .. we all have the capability to sense it/see it but some lack the courage to stare it in the eye. I’ve been more comfortable around a homeless person than a CEO. 🙂

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      2. I certainly have been there.
        I have to be careful when that behavior makes me angry because I can and have evicerated people in five words or less.
        However, there are times when I had to take up the sword, some situations just warrant that.

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  2. I very much relate. I try to take academic approach when I can to an aquaintences lies or bravado or fear. I feel like I would rather die looking the ugly truth in the eye then pretend. Not everyone feels that way and I almost feel like Im doing case studys listening to how people construct their house of cards. I watch for signs others are aware of the charade and how they fit into things. I try to not get emotionally involved.

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    1. Amy, I could not agree more. In the past, I have made the mistake of overly indulging facades to not upset the apple cart, so to speak. Pretending to “enjoy the show” made me so uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m not one for regret, however I will sometimes wonder if some situations in my life would have been more peaceful if I hadn’t compromised my own authenticity. Se la vie.

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  3. You are right, not every empathetic person is an Empath. The real Empath is a very rare bird. Very.

    I can relate to your description of our “modus operandi” completely.

    I’m glad I found your blog. Hello, sister.

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