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Are You An Unconscious Empath?

Mind Numbing for an Unconscious Empath

Lately I’ve noticed a heightened awareness to my discomfort around people who are drinking excessively. For years I attributed it to living, first with alcoholic parents, and later with an alcoholic husband. I thought I’d developed a distaste because of the burdens it put on me to be in such a relationship.

As I continue to work through the healing process, which I realize now may or may not have been triggered by my parents’ suicides, I’m learning to look at people under the influence with different eyes. Let me first say I’m not talking about occasional social drinkers. My discomfort there is limited to those who get stupid and shrill. The ones with whom I’m most uncomfortable are the ones who, like my parents are carrying unbearably heavy loads of pain. They use alcohol to temporarily numb their pain, and in so doing, fling emotions like confetti once their personal filters are squelched as well. Anyone in their vicinity who is even remotely sensitive and not equally anesthetized is the unwilling recipient of the full-strength version of that pain.

Protecting Ourselves From Unfiltered Emotions

As one who is sensitive to the emotions and energies of others, I can tell you it isn’t a pleasant experience. Though my reasons are often misconstrued, I place myself as far from the seriously inebriated as possible, and set my shields on stun. Conversations with other Empaths and HSP’s support my own feelings about those who frequent a state of inebriation rather than face the reality of their own existence.

As I watch and listen from a safe distance, I see major correlations between my parents’ behavior and https://www.flickr.com/photos/collinj/28187872/in/photolist-3utgN-6dKm4U-ixFiym-Xq9zxX-5iV9vs-dvsbnZ-JbYbNS-9yYXge-oaNgSy-nTrTpN-5DJ9YU-5iV9S9-o8U3zy-5iQRZt-JtsRHZ-nTrL7c-o8TKcY-GBN8Sc-oaRENq-oaMYV7-nTrEwd-nTrPEK-oaWiFZ-6LQKXF-HEaAbW-rn2ZeD-7RzU6Z-o8TQhY-ocHiva-3i8NQ-pGH9jK-oaRGwW-2KqqNG-o8U285-ocH5JZ-FT9CLK-HoyT7a-HEazSu-9yYXvD-GzoDsW-o8TTDs-nTrEsL-9yYXMX-FALZgB-HEaAub-nTrNpN-9z2ZgE-J1HDTv-nTsq3F-GpK1YTthese outwardly happy drunks. It’s made me start asking questions:

  • Could they be trying to disconnect from pain that isn’t even their own?
  • Are there voices in their heads they can neither identify or locate?
  • Do they feel sad even when their lives are chugging along just fine, yet they’re not exactly depressed?
  • Are they afraid to ask the questions which might shed light on why they hear, see, and feel at inexplicably high levels?

In short, could these people be what I’ve begun to call “Unconscious Empaths”? To take it even further, could the term also apply to people who have been medicated because they experienced feelings they couldn’t control, or heard voices in their heads?

Finding Solutions Outside the Bounds of Western Medicine

Certainly medical science, with a few exceptions isn’t ready to admit that sensing thoughts and https://www.flickr.com/photos/clevercupcakes/4576733748/in/photolist-7YqXuy-22jbZb8-XZte3w-2E38fh-dtp56c-3NUNY-3NUP3-3NSUZ-3NSUK-VUxVut-aMjLSn-dUKkRp-4JpM4a-abD91G-932Hmu-8fJSDf-62xx8V-3c4zza-dUKms6-5AZhfv-dUQT8y-cPLm-3aqeS9-4NhLC1-4zty2J-4ttyNi-6U4fPj-3akHYp-3e21kE-6T47EL-obfTpE-3dWA6R-h2wXwy-7drB1P-ostgj2-6ieis7-a1LDFH-21n5r2B-q2i6g3-XScYar-dXwB6L-gQahXg-8EdGQ2-qFJcdw-YuGC4s-Jy7Cf2-28d1ChD-PHSfjW-x3xs87-MXhQbufeelings in others could be making people think they’re crazy. Few doctors are qualified to help someone distinguish the difference, much less learn how to manage energies, emotions, and thoughts which enter their hearts and minds uninvited.

A lot has changed in the last 30 or 40 years though. “Schizophrenia” has been replaced by other terms. “Bi-polar disorder” is far more common. Autism has been divided into multiple categories and degrees. Though we have a long way to go when it comes to depression, at least it’s being acknowledged as real and worth examining. Many may still self-medicate or simply withdraw. Those who seek help have a variety of pharmaceuticals at their disposal with no more than a subjective diagnosis and a doctor’s prescription. Both solutions mask the pain but do little to address the cause.

Reacting to Other Peoples’ Trauma

Yet how many of us will admit to having our mood changed the instant we entered a room or https://www.flickr.com/photos/whoisthatfreakwiththecamera/2128863889/in/photolist-4f7Z4P-qjFHFf-98uNgj-6rDocS-UiQVsw-9MwMca-Re3oF7-XGTMLU-on6pwo-SB9A6F-54qPeB-7H8Pz8-7SMaC-R6RucA-cdbJBE-XGU7Q5-bGtTU6-8YKrbu-4CRGDp-bfqo4k-PEvGt-6Q9zSA-mJQyHS-4Ew2AY-Sfkwdo-5vKK9X-aDJhs6-FWXiy-76To7V-PFoqM-6r9hiY-5YcHEt-bqFdZH-dzVpN2-df1Kzf-oG6Szg-oE5cau-49Ytgo-7dHNJe-76XiVw-5YcKbP-4S24ZU-5YcKtz-5YcJFF-bpo9oP-76Tjkx-4HL5yc-5YcJoT-8f2fwB-6km6Wdencountered a certain person? How many have experienced the bone-jarring sadness radiating off someone who wanders into our emotional range? Who can cite occasions when they’re having a conversation via private message when they can respond to the feelings of the person they’re talking to despite conversing with keyboard and computer screen from many miles away?

If you don’t understand what’s happening at least on a superficial level, you may question your own sanity. I’ve been there, and with no one to explain to me what was happening, I’d internalize what I was feeling and make it my own without a second thought.

Personal Care Means Sealing Our Own Field

https://www.flickr.com/photos/furyharbinger/13754521084/in/photolist-mXrvVf-i7tecw-ntZHNs-c2gN9S-ohigmk-57iTKB-73JEEv-s5JVaw-igW353-29rTSkk-XozdoG-qLfU2o-hi5jcs-bVGNFP-7Sb2wS-bVGNJP-NMwRpw-6B6c71-rna7La-bcDZX6-niW12j-2UhNhZ-8tsTnk-8J9aQL-78syKH-833Twc-kmyX4p-8m4vkZ-Y7u43B-4Uh1Sk-DKLQqd-a2nNnr-UZ1uqc-cR1ytd-mWjep8-XyM59F-9r3PkF-27UauY9-nw48YE-eNcN9H-WZoYde-VLKVRW-6SKYFi-9wm6oY-24cpFXW-MybNWR-2sEoYy-UcY7W2-CtGmWY-dmhqvAI will forever be grateful I learned a couple of things on my personal journey. One was how to shield. Though my first efforts were both clumsy and guilty of overkill, leaving me in a world devoid of true connection for more than 2 decades. I learned I could shut out what wasn’t mine. I’ve since learned to replace those impervious shields with filters which allow things like joy, love, and compassion to flow both in and out. Sadness, depression, and anger, are seen through a fine mesh screen. This gives me the opportunity to determine who they belong to and whether I can help the owner of the feelings without taking those emotions into myself.

Can We Become Addicted to the Misery?

Yet I’ve also become more aware of those who either can’t or won’t recognize they’ve become an https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisyarzab/40513877112/in/photolist-24J5dbC-xLBnC-qDMybP-8uuvzF-er1tf-8S5Btn-5NYfwV-LihYBt-g4kBQ-S442nL-ceYb9U-g5JpWL-jTQZz6-cfHP9u-fauq5P-ahCCN2-isiMDz-6ViLeY-2EJXG4-HC2MUT-BU26S-5jegSL-VYGMA1-5j9Xzn-eB4adY-nBPSrp-5j9ZhH-dkoQLa-nbdfPZ-4FD4L1-dZ3Vjx-mbSGYM-dsW4Bs-6w75Kx-7sZRqK-8KRTG2-Mysc7N-LM2cLA-eXrUyD-faz3Az-dAR84B-8S8Fa7-7hKbWd-pYwhq-z2MhH-6jxdb7-261SwZS-ee4Pp7-vv8vw-8TKhq3over-saturated sponge for thoughts, feelings, and pain which belong to others. Some have even become almost addicted to bearing the misery of others. Like any addiction or problem, you must first recognize it’s there before you can take the necessary steps to fix or heal it.

I believe the first step in helping the Unconscious Empaths is to raise awareness. Like a variety of other topics I cover here, Empathy (capital E) is still gaining traction. Some psychologists and psychiatrists are aware of it and even allow for it to be part of a patient’s challenges. There are support groups on Facebook and a number of books on the subject.

Like everything else, though, if you’re unconscious, you don’t see how something like Empathy applies to you when you hear it from strangers. Only when someone you know and trust starts to describe some of the, for lack of a better term, symptoms, can you allow yourself to listen and take personal stock.

Testing the Waters

https://www.flickr.com/photos/142726605@N03/26477590124/in/photolist-GkJz5y-Lbjtyy-7U6aRM-fAvVrd-8xkhNA-9y8U87-9y8PZ9-hkmFEV-pFNVmn-qfvzds-4wXFCU-qwU8vr-fvtgHY-rrTvBA-qx26Jh-deDyEe-zLy9J-iyNxU-9y5Sva-zLy9G-nGtJKV-2ahmb-8GaT1p-8xhj1c-qfZurB-8xo6AA-o2vgjD-fhmvPA-i9LLEe-fhfA2Y-eyHAQ7-4wTwBV-fvthgq-4wQn2x-fvdZMM-fvuWFY-6Q1PWA-fP1Z3u-EjZqZV-daB9Am-aAFS2R-9y8RDE-fAvVAo-iSPYmR-6EKY95-4o5gjJ-6PDXe3-Kcbqcp-9aQUMa-75sAZqI’ve become carefully open about talking about being an Empath in the last few years. I’ll describe a situation and how it affected me, or talk about someone who is self-medicating with alcohol and suggest they may be experiencing pain and destructive emotions which belong to someone else. I used to be especially careful around those who were devoutly religious, but I’m learning Empathy doesn’t seem to conflict with those beliefs, at least with the ones I’ve opened up to.

It may even be that those who are deeply spiritual, regardless of their path are more open, not only to the idea of being sensitive to others, but to being that way themselves. Perhaps a willingness to believe in a higher power, or a greater whole, or some other description which gives us a feeling of connection to something bigger than ourselves is Empathy in itself.

Detach and Accept Without Judgement

The best way to learn and connect more, I’m finding, is to let go of judgement when I talk about Empathy; to detach from any beliefs I might have based on religious, political, social, or other deeply personal outlook. Discussions like this depend on openness without fear of humiliation or repudiation, and acceptance that whatever the listener believes is right for them. It’s been a difficult lesson for me, but ultimately, a rewarding one.

I’m learning those deep-rooted beliefs can’t obscure the fact we’re all connected, and more alike than we realize. There are a lot more Empaths and HSP’s out there than I’d originally believed. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s more the rule than the exception, even if some have yet to realize it.

We hear more and more about focusing on similarities rather than differences. It would certainly keep the arguments and dissent down. As I try to throttle back my own emotions on certain topics, I’m learning those similarities are far more relevant anyway. And I’m meeting more people who light up with recognition when I talk about Empathy.

With Heartfelt Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful I’ve become braver about sharing my Empathic journey.
  2. I am grateful for the people who have come into my life to challenge, to teach, and to learn.
  3. I am grateful for an expanding social life that’s making it a bit more challenging to work on building my business, but know it’s actually a part of that process.
  4. I am grateful for my cats who keep my grounded and in touch with what really matters; a warm place to sleep, food in my belly, exercise, stretching, and someone to snuggle with whenever I need it. And kisses. Lots and lots of kisses.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, inspiration, friendship, joy, challenges, lessons, courage, steps out of my comfort zone, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.

Irritation as a Wake-up Call

Minor Irritants, Major Malfunctions

For the last week or so, I’ve found numerous things, both small and large have irritated me. Some have been clear like inconsiderate behavior, but others were a nagging feeling in the back of my brain. As the irritation came to a head in the form of a migraine, I was forced to admit I was reacting instead of responding, and that most of my irritation came from my failure to enforce my own energetic boundaries.

In short, I’ve been absorbing the energy from friends and acquaintances who are struggling with their own reactions to people, things, and circumstances in their lives. The truth is, my own life has been pretty smooth and easy lately. There have been no major upheavals, and in fact, a lot to be grateful for. Still, it took a migraine to make me realize how much I was allowing myself to be bogged down.

Whether it’s a friend with boyfriend problems, or one who has allowed family and friends to push her own boundaries aside; someone who is dealing with unavoidable challenges with kids or aging parents, or someone whose job is getting them down. I may not even know what’s bothering whoever’s energy I’m unconsciously absorbing, but you can bet I know the pressure they’re under is real, and is shoving them into a deep, dark pool at the moment.

Remembering to be the Light Instead of More Darkness

One thing is certain, getting down into that pool with them and wallowing is doing neither of us any Consciousness On the Risegood. What they need right now is a healthy dose of my signature positive energy to help them find light at the end of their tunnel. And to my regret, I’ve been failing to provide the light they need.

Like anything else, the first step towards solving a problem is to recognize there is a problem. Nobody spends time looking for solutions to a nothing, do they? For me, recognition leads to the first step in my process: apologies. I don’t mean walking up to everyone I’ve ever wronged and apologizing for my actions. It’s more of an internal process in which I look at what I’ve mishandled lately, and apologize to the energies I’ve been sullying with my own negativity.

Apologies and Forgiveness: A Powerful Combination

Apologies are useless without forgiveness, so after acknowledging where I’ve behaved poorly, I forgive myself. Why? Because I know in my own often clumsy way, I’m doing the best I can with this human existence, and the mistakes I make are part of my learning process. Those mistakes serve as guideposts to how I can do better next time, and how I can improve on or mitigate what I’ve done this time.

During this review process, I see and accept how and why I let my guard and energy down. In this case, it could be a not-so-gentle reminder to ensure my filters are firmly in place, as I’ll soon be putting myself in a situation which is scary on many levels. I’ll be spending a couple of days with hundreds of people I’ve never met and who I will need to interact with on at the very least, a professional level. I will also be exposing the first chapter of “Forgotten Victims” to a complete stranger and must do everything in my power to take their comments as they are given; as a critique of words I’ve put on a page rather than as criticism of me as a person. As those words are intensely personal, this will be a test of my ability to separate myself from those words, if only for a few minutes.

Irritations Manifesting Physically

In the midst of it all, I broke a tooth and needed to find a dentist to fix it before the writer’s conference. Since the dentist prescribed a root canal before the tooth can be fixed (crowned, capped, or whatever the best option will be), I’ll be attending the conference with a still-damaged tooth. Thankfully, it’s towards the back of my mouth. As there is no pain, I’ll just have to do my best to keep the poor, exposed thing clean.

If that isn’t enough to misdirect my attention and get my energies and filters in a tangle, I’m hanging in limbo over a decision which could affect my life for the next few months, or possibly longer. Low energy caused me to put off making some necessary phone calls, delaying things I shouldn’t have, which leaves me playing catch-up this week. However, I remind myself that everything happens at the right time and in the proper order. And by the way, stop beating myself up over what did or did not get done!

At any rate, the dentist recommended by a former classmate turned out to be utterly delightful with a wicked sense of humor (I know, a weird thing to say about a dentist, but he truly mitigates what is typically an unpleasant experience with his somewhat irreverent wit). I was like a kid in a candy store watching his assistant do digital x-rays and even take pictures of my tooth with a pen-sized camera as images appeared on the screen in front of me. Coming from an age when technology was initially non-existent, unless you count black and white TV’s with rabbit ears, I’m utterly fascinated by what’s possible these days.

Irritation Reminds Us to Check in With Ourselves

But I digress. As an Empath, it is essential to check in with myself regularly to ensure the energies and feelings I’m experiencing are my own and nobody else’s. When I fail to do so, I’m reminded, and not very gently. Those Universal head slaps, while often painful, get me back on track towards recognizing what is and isn’t mine, and re-establishing the filters which allow me to do the work I’m meant to do. That work does not include mirroring people’s misery and unhappiness. It isn’t comprised of sympathy and mutual wallowing either.

So for the last couple of days, I’ve used those feelings of irritation in a more positive manner by improving my own mood and shaking off the miseries that weren’t mine to begin with. I’m actually grateful for the reminder because the last event I attended ripped some impressively large holes in my defenses. It took me a good 3 months and help from Energy Worker and Healer, Michelle Evans to get rid of all the toxicity I absorbed by going into a group of strangers without my usual, basic protections and filters. Though this event shouldn’t be as emotionally taxing, you can bet I won’t be repeating past mistakes.  I’ll check and re-check filters before I ever enter the venue.

Getting to the point of this post (I’m sure you’re heaving a gigantic sigh of relief if you’ve made it this far), I find a lot of value in checking in with myself when little things start to bother me for no apparent reason. In most cases, I find it’s because I’m taking on too much of the stress and struggle of the people around me. I’m pretty good about filtering out those I don’t really know, but those I do know, and especially the ones I really care about can poke holes in my filters if I leave them unattended for too long.

Sage and Disengage

When all else fails, and I’ve taken care of my physical environment with sage, candles, crystals, and essential oils, it’s time to walk barefoot in the grass, let water pour over my body (a shower works, but rain is better), and meditate with a cat or three curled up in my lap.

These are also the times when I’ll hole up in my house for a few days and have little to no interaction with other people via phone, text, or social media. Nothing is truly wrong. I’m simply making myself right again. I’m fortunate to have friends who understand and wait for me to re-emerge (or write a blog post so they know what’s going on!).

Gratitude, the Ultimate Cure-All

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for little reminders which tell me I need to re-balance my energies and emotions.
  2. I am grateful for my empathic abilities even when they seem like more of a double-edged sword.
  3. I am grateful for lessons that hit me between the eyes, and that I no longer react, especially to lessons in trust, by pulling all the way back inside like a frightened tortoise.
  4. I am grateful for friends who both understand and relate to how I have to navigate the world around me.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; health, friendship, joy, compassion, kindness, humor, reminders, lessons, challenges, triumphs, dancing, work which keeps my brain strong, people to share with, the comfort my animals bring, getting out of my comfort zone, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

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