I know how we are seen by others, or rather how they would like to see us. You hear the word “Empath” and this almost angelic image comes to mind, or perhaps the image of a martyr you once saw on a prayer card; their placid faces the picture of serenity, eyes upturned toward the heavens, crosses clutched to their chests or perhaps a sprig of flowers? Or maybe it evokes the image of a gentle maternal figure, or a Job-like old man?
Allow me to disabuse you of that delusion.
Not all of us, but many are well armed and armored. We have faced many foes before, both within and outside of ourselves, and you don’t frighten us.
Yes, we are endowed with a certain grace; elevated by the integrity, honesty and humility we possess and by the respect we have earned. You cannot, however, make saints of us. We will fall from grace when necessary, especially for the greater objective and the greater objective is always Truth. Falsehood makes us ill at ease, it is disconcerting and uncomfortable. We cannot for a great length of time play along with the game or applaud a good show. We see the wires holding the acrobats. We are very much paying attention to the man behind the curtain. We look about us and see the glossy eyed spectators in their awe, and they never understand our disdain for the irksome farce we are enduring. Yet, we endure it for a time. It is, after all, the price of admission, and we endure because we seek the back stage pass, and we always get the backstage pass.
We understand that the show has its purpose and a great many enjoy it, however, we have to know how it all works. We are more fascinated by the prospect of finding the trap doors (even if we occasionally must fall through one) than watching the actor disappear in a puff of smoke. We want to watch the gears turn, see every mechanism, every lever and pulley. We want to know its purpose, what it controls, what happens if I press “THIS” button?! Some Empaths (myself included) are insatiably curious. So, what happens when we are thwarted from our mission? That depends on the Empath.
Some are gifted with that Job-like patience, they will get to the truth but will extract it with the steady handed precision of a surgeon. Others, however, will go hacking away like a machete through jungle vines (guilty as charged). When the obstructions continue, when the impasse is reached, when the stalemate occurs, you very well may see an Empath lose their patience.
One perspective on this is described in author and blogger HG Tudor’s article The Empathic Supernova. This is a fairly accurate portrayal of this phenomenon from one perspective and for certain highly empathic persons and Empaths alike. However, for the Empath, there is more to it than the simple declaration of “enough is enough.” For Empaths like myself, those of us that are acutely aware that the truth is in there somewhere but keeps eluding us, it is a declaration of war. It is a war against deceit and duplicity, a war against fallacy and farce. It may even at times be the age old war of good against evil. Some of us employ a scortched earth policy, others a war of attrition, sometimes both. We know what we risk, and it is a calculated risk; but nothing risked, nothing gained.
Please don’t misunderstand, what I am talking about here is not petty revenge. Few if any of us are willing to devote the time or effort to that. I am talking about being in a position where it becomes necessary. There are instances where one’s own person or family may be at risk or it is one’s obligation to fight. Do not be surprised by the presence of Empaths in law enforcement, the military or other careers that may place them and/or others in harms way. You may recall, I cited the film Red Dragon in The Gloaming. The character of Will Graham is a true Empath. His gifts allow him to be a highly effective investigator, and they do not stop him from protecting himself, his loved ones or society as a whole from danger. He would be, in my opinion the quintessential Battle Empath; highly gifted, courageous, and flawed.
While I have cited fiction, these people do indeed exist. They may not call themselves “Empaths” or even acknowledge what it is that they possess. However, this does not negate what they are. The Battle Empath is a stern reminder that our gift does not always manifest in the gentlest of ways nor is it draped in the finery of the “White Lighter.” It would be nice if the only purpose we had to serve was to spread love and light, but that is an unrealistic and I daresay dangerous presumption. We must remember that our kindness must be tempered with a noble selfishness, lest our loyalty become foolishness. Our higher self cannot fully disconnect from our animal nature. To do so would risk us perpetuating the role of prey and of victimhood. We are stronger and suited to a better purpose than that.