I am participating in a blog tour for Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You. The book, written by Yvonne Perry, tells you how to clear your energy field and offers empowering, proactive techniques to manage your own energy. See http://whosestuffisthis.com/ for details.
On March 15, Yvonne will visit Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews. Today, she is my guest blogger, contributing an excerpt that includes mini stories from empaths she interviewed when researching for her book.
Stories from an Empath
By Yvonne Perry
Emotions such as fear, anger, and frustration are energies. Like a virus, you can potentially “catch” them from people without realizing it. Empathic people can be psychic sponges that absorb energy everywhere they go. In my twenties and thirties, I was so energy sensitive that if I heard an ambulance siren, I would feel instant panic. If I came upon an accident scene or a homeless person, I cried. If I saw an open wound, I would feel something like an electric shock all over my body. In traffic, I felt the anger and frustration of my fellow drivers so keenly that my throat would close up and I could not swallow. When I was in my prayer closet, I would cry, groan, shake, and travail on behalf of others. These and similar scenarios were so common for me that I thought everyone felt this way. I had no idea that I was an empath. I had never heard of such a thing.
But I quickly learned that I am not alone in my empathic abilities, which can be both a gift and a curse. In chapter 2 of my new book, Whose Stuff Is This?, I share stories from the empaths I interviewed as part of my research. There is a wide variety of situations in which folks have found themselves as a result of this intuitive gift. Some of these people have just realized they are empaths; others are veteran empaths who are using this intuitive gift as part of their healing practice.
One person I interviewed said that it has both saved his life and broken his heart. “I thought I was an agoraphobic for the longest because when I was around a lot of people I felt overwhelmed,” said Jonathan. “I thought it was anxiety, but then I began to be able to tell when someone was lying to me. It can hurt to know someone you love is lying to your face.”
One person I heard from said she if she drove past a serious car accident, she would feel all the emotions of the people involved, including the confusion of the person who had just died at the scene. If there was someone in the car with her, she felt embarrassed about crying and having to explain why she was crying.
Samantha says being an empath is generally draining. “You may feel dread or have to prepare yourself to be around people. It makes it impossible to get down to what you truly feel instead of what others are projecting to you,” says Samantha. “There are a few people who are very good at disguise. Their energy may feel positive at first, but they can’t keep up the wall very long.”
Julie Isaac says she has always known that she picked up people’s emotional energy, but she didn’t know she was picking up their aches and pains, as well.
“For years I thought I was a hypochondriac until one Thursday night when I knew with every fiber of my being that I was going to have a heart attack. Going to have! There was no pain, so there was no reason to go to the hospital to tell them that I would soon be having a heart attack. I decided to watch TV and relax until I felt something that would tell me it’s time to go to the hospital. Then, in an instant, the feeling/knowing lifted. It was so bizarre. The next day, Friday, I went to work and my boss was out sick. On Monday, they told us that she had had a heart attack on Thursday night. That’s when I realized I wasn’t a hypochondriac; I was picking up on other people’s physical energy.”
Fortunately, the gift of empathy can be developed and used to help others without causing harm to yourself. Hillary Raimo is the founder and author of the signature UNtraining™ series. As an empath she feels energy and can tune in to the emotional energy of another person, animal, or event in order to read it. She says the gift can often be dismissed by others or mistaken for psychological issues. Hillary pursued psychology in college so she could better understand herself, but when she began to explore shamanistic and psychic studies, it clicked that she had been empathic all her life. She now uses this gift in her work as an intuitive healer.
Since so many empaths are natural healers, I decided to touch briefly on this topic in Chapter 11 of my book in case some readers want to go a step farther and seek training as a natural healer or psychic practitioner. Learn more about Whose Stuff Is This? at http://WhoseStuffIsThis.com .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Living life to the fullest in Nashville, Tennessee, Yvonne Perry (also known in spiritual circles by the name, LavendarRose) is an author and keynote speaker who enjoys helping people discover a spiritual path of love and joy that comes from the knowledge that we are all one with our Creator.
A graduate of American Institute of Holistic Theology, Yvonne holds a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysics. She has written hundreds of articles on spirituality, death, afterlife, spirit communication, and suicide. She is the host of We Are One in Spirit Podcast, a talk show that offers people a chance to share spiritual insight and join cross-cultural hands. She is a polished, speaker available to share her knowledgeable on a wide variety of spiritual topics such as walk-in/soul exchange, psychic gifts, empathy, ascension rituals, ghosts, afterlife, and near-death or other spiritually-transforming experiences.
See also: More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife by Yvonne Perry
Come along on the tour with Yvonne. March 17’s blog stop will be at Bullying is Abuse Peer Abuse. See the entire tour schedule at http://tinyurl.com/EmpathTour.
March 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm
Thank you for posting early, Pat. I appreciate your support for my books. You even added my book on death and dying! That’s above and beyond the call of duty!
Great to have you participating in my online book tour.
This has been the best and most enjoyable virtual tour I’ve ever done. I hope you are benefiting from the exposure. Great to tweet you!
March 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm
Feeling the emotions of others can indeed be taxing. But when we know what others are dealing with, we can certainly be guided in our prayers for them and we can even know what practical steps might help them.
Fascinating stuff, Yvonne.
March 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm
Yes, our prayers are important and effective, but getting our emotions tangled up with the sorrow of others tends to cloud our ability to hear from Spirit and know HOW to pray or help. There have been times when I’ve been so impacted by the emotional energy of others that you would have thought I was the one who was directly affected. I would grieve as a surrogate on behalf of others. This is not healthy. My book teaches more on this topic. I imagine with the calamity in Japan, there are many intuitive people who are having a difficult time with this type of empathic suffering.
March 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm
Fascinating stuff! I’m glad there are people like you in the world, but I’m also glad I’m not one of them. It must take tremendous strength to deal with this. As much as you feel the pain and sorrow of others, do you also feel their joy? Or does grief/pain/sorrow/fear tend to be the stronger emotion?
March 17, 2011 at 11:24 am
Kat, I can feel both emotions equally. I feel joy–especially around children. I practically become a child and want to play like one. Many adults don’t understand this behavior, but most kids–even those who don’t know me–gravitate toward me.
March 16, 2011 at 9:31 pm
I’ve always been interested in things like this. I’ve had some experiences that I’ve never been able to share with others that sound like empathy to me. I do know I can’t be around a lot of people for very long or I feel drained of my own life energy.
Your book sounds fascinating to me. I’ll be getting a copy for myself. Thanks for stopping by Pat’s blog. Isn’t she just the greatest?
Thanks Pat for bringing such a knowledgeable author to us.
March 17, 2011 at 11:27 am
Wanda, more and more people are realizing that they are empaths. This is a spiritual gift that one has to learn to use. Like fire, if out of control, empathy can bring pain, but if used correctly it can be a tool to help guide us.
Pat, you are so kind and generous to offer your blog as a place for me to share my book and information to help energy-sensitive people understand this gift. Thank you!
March 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Interesting info, Yvonne.
It’s always helped me in working with and healing animals and I had it all my life. It’s also been a help with counseling when I worked as one. You do have to set up guards so you aren’t drained. With animals, once I realize what’s going on, I flip a mental switch and get to work. If I didn’t, emotion would impede what has to be done and wreck me. I’m no good then. I have a switch for people too, but sometimes it’s harder to close down to keep from being swamped by their emotions.
March 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm
I can relate, Sia. Empaths are the most loving and kind people on earth, but we have to remember to care for ourselves if we are to really help others with our gift.