“An empath is a person with an ability to read and understand people and be in-tune with or resonate with others, voluntarily or involuntarily of one's empath capacity.” - Christel Broederlow (2002).
To expound, an empath is a person with a high sensitivity to sense feelings or emotions of people, or to some extent, even animals, plants, or can even have empathic attachments to inanimate or non-living things. Some can even experience higher forms of extra ability but not necessarily leading to or limited to Extra Sensory Perceptions (ESP).
With a handful of tests and writings about determining if one is an empath explaining what makes one an empath or not, I believe everyone can at one form or another exhibit an empathic experience or ability. It just so happens not all is attuned or adept as to what they have just experienced. An empathic flash or spark perhaps? Most commonly, they dismiss it as just a gut feel. Some individuals even force to “feel” something from someone falsely believing he/she is one when in fact, they are not. Most often than not, this leads to frustration or catastrophic results based on false readings or interpretations of whatever impression real or imagined he/she gets. However, there are natural born empaths. I happen to be one.
A born empath can easily recognize and sense everything around him/her. The folly is, not all natural born empaths knows they have this ability at the onset of the ability manifesting itself. Some even deny having this ability; consider it a curse, and try to shield themselves from the world. Those however, who fully accept and become adepts can experience a whole gamut of experiences which may or may not necessarily be their own. Still, some natural born empaths doesn’t exhibit the ability unless subjected to a very heavy dose of emotional, physical, or mental strain.
Empaths can get impressions differently, and in varying degrees or levels. Some can “feel” colors and get the impression of each color based on each type of emotion. Some see pictures; others can get them from scent, touch or feel, or even taste. However, to clarify, this has nothing to do with clairvoyance, although some empaths are also clairvoyants. Some are attuned to get a combination of the above, and even some can get them all at one blow. Pity to those empaths who can’t handle all impressions at once.
Empathy has no sense of time. Sometimes if a specific event is too strong and focused on constantly by a person most especially if the event is most special, dangerous, or most recent, an empath can easily pick that up too. Some empaths are also healers. Healers of minds and emotional pain. Others can even exhibit alleviating physical pain to a certain degree, but not totally.
Being a person with empathic ability, it is a matter of perspective if one can consider being one a curse or a blessing. I for one consider having this ability as a blessing although admittedly sometimes, I also consider it a curse especially when someone close to me lies. There have been times when I blankly point this out. Sometimes, even when one is not talking, I can sense when someone is hiding something. It now comes down to ones experience in dealing with human nature and social interaction how to address such occurrences when they manifest themselves.
Friends and family members often ask me, can this ability be learned. My truthful answer is both a yes and a no. I don’t even know why I have this nor can explain clearly how, but it’s there, and it’s very difficult for me not to use it. A learned empath can deal with human emotions based on what is given in real life and interactive situations. A true empath however can see beyond what is said, seen, or acknowledged. Simply put, one can see beyond what is. To cite an example, a learned empath can distinguish an apple from behind an opaque plate of glass based on what is perceived by the apple’s shape against the glass. A true empath will see the apple making the opaque glass clear or even dissolving the glass entirely thereby seeing the texture and color of the apple. Some gifted empaths can even go beyond and smell its fragrance depending on his/her adeptness. Further, some will even perceive that the apple is not an apple at all but something entirely different.
Empaths can sense negative emotions most easily. Pain and anger being at the top of the list. At par with positive emotions such as love and happiness. Further, carnal impressions are also quite strong and distinguishable immediately even for non-empaths. The difference however is that to an empath, one can sense the sincerity of such carnal impressions or just a mere trap in seduction.
Not all empaths can control or taper their abilities at will. This is a process that an empath must learn by either self-training, direct instruction from someone adept, or meditation. In my case, since I’ve identified my abilities early, the transition for me was easy but not without pitfalls along the way. We cannot just turn off our ability at will. The truth is, we can’t. Nevertheless, we can develop barriers to filter out the unwanted continued “noises” we receive. As said, the strongest we can perceive are love, happiness, pain, and anger.
For this reason, I hate going to hospitals and funerals, even just staying in the halls. The negative emotions are just too draining. Unless, I prepare myself well, I might get all unwanted impressions especially from one or many in pain or worse, the grieving. Weddings and celebrations are however welcomed since the sheer numbers of revelers outnumber those who are party-poopers. However, I must also add. That if my focus centers on one person in a negative manner, I can be affected strongly as well. The worse of this is I can channel all that negativity to others. So as much as possible, I avoid being in situations like these or else be the party-pooper.
Nothing is more emotionally painful, frustrating, and highly disappointing to an empath than that of a direct lie. This is most evident if the lie comes from people we care and trust. To an empath, our emotions are tied most strongly if that person is a loved one such as, a family member, a romantic partner, a lifetime friend, or even from someone we have developed a strong sense of affinity. Most often, a true empath will shield himself/herself from getting impressions from these people since we trust them implicitly. Empaths usually reserve their emotions and make others feel at ease and tending to their needs first, forgetting or putting their own in the back burner.
But there are situations when the impression is too strong that they cannot disregard it, and with reservation, ”pry” into that person. This of course will depend on the adeptness of the empath. Some even show physical manifestations if a lie is felt or said. Some have their body hairs stand, others feel warmth or heat, and others flush, blush, get a tingling or buzzing in the ears, a throbbing in the head, or a sudden change in disposition. I get one or a combination of these physical manifestations.
For an empath, the easiest people to "read" are those who are “transparent” in their dealings. People who show they are happy when they are truly happy, those who are transparently angry, the obviously sad and emotionally in pain, and of course those who are in physical pain. These people have already lifted a veil or mask for the empath to see clearly. A diversion from which however is easily distinguishable and although can be faked outwardly, the truth of which is very visible to an adept.
There have been many times when I also lost control. By being too naturally focused on the emotional needs of others, and putting my own aside. The repercussions are quite debilitating. This however can easily be remedied by focus and meditation. However, several months back, I was subjected to so much unexpressed anger and anxiety that I lost all control. Meditation and relaxation were useless. Even an attempt at catharsis seemed futile. I can feel everything around me. Even the tiniest ones.
In addition, it all came in at the same time, indistinguishable like a jumbled up collage of positive and negative emotions from all angles. I had no choice but to check myself off from anyone for a while. It took me more than a month to regain control with occasional slip-ups. But eventually I gained it back by first blocking everything out. At this point, I considered myself blind. During this process of blocking, I can’t “feel” or get impressions from anyone with effort in maintaining the block. But the underlying factor is that the ability is there and I will have to let it go again or suffer in another form. So slowly, I let it loose, layer by layer, with extreme caution. Now I am back to “my normal.” The plus factor in the ordeal, I am now more sensitive, but in control.
Just to put non-adepts at ease, empaths are not mind readers. We are very far from that. Actually, we can’t even be considered close or aligned to that of mind readers. We cannot read your thoughts but can feel or read the emotions arising from those thoughts. The closest example I can give based on my own is much like of a bat or a whale using sonar. They can send out the signal and not physically see what’s ahead, but get the echoes or impressions of the terrain depending on how strong or how far they send their sonar signal. The difference however, is we do not send most of the time, but constantly receive. And our range is dependent on how advanced our ability is. We are also not super creatures as what is depicted of us in science fiction and comics. Not all empaths can interpret what they "read" accurately most especially when the empath himself is in a vulnerable state of mind. Accuracy comes with time and practice as with any ability.
Can a non-adept person block out an empath from feeling or getting an impression from him/her? The answer is yes but with extreme difficulty. Any living creature has energy fields with varying degrees of strength, and all these are interconnected and highly perceptible to an adept empath. An adept will naturally be curious why he can’t feel or read a person. And it won’t take long before that person’s defense is breached, but only if the empath really would want to. As much as possible, an empath would like to not get any impression at all, for it means one less person contributing to silence.