What is an Empath?

There’s been a lot of focus on the “traits” of empaths.

These traits are common experiences we can relate to that indicate we’re probably empaths: Picking up on people’s emotions and unconsciously taking them as your own… Absorbing the mood of any environment you enter… Feeling overwhelmed in a crowd.

But an empath is not a laundry list of traits. An empath is not a personality type. For me, learning about your empathic abilities is like learning your astrology: The information is only useful if you get something positive out of it. If you decide it means negative things about yourself, the “label” isn’t serving you. The label is for the sake of understanding your ability and everything that comes with it.

Many of the “traits” of an empath listed in articles online don’t bode well for us. They make us believe we’ll have to deal with burdens and disadvantages for our entire lifetime. That’s not the case at all. Don’t let any of that define you.

What’s an empath? An empath is a very open channel of energy.

Everyone is a channel — a medium — of energy, but an empath is even more so. You’re so receptive that the violence in movies feels real to you.

Others’ emotional experiences are felt strongly inside your own being. Whatever you put your awareness on… you become ultra receptive to. You feel the full depth of things because you fully absorb and embody that energy. Empathy is a level of sensitivity to your higher senses.

Some were born with this “sixth sense,” others adopted it as a way of surviving psychological abuse or other trauma, or some a combination of both; while others became more empathic once they started their spiritual awakening.

Here’s what empaths need to know….

The way your channel works is that you receive energy based on the energy you project. (By project, I mean express… the energy you’re giving off).

When you’re projecting high vibrating energy, you raise the vibration of the person, animal or environment you place your attention on. You channel that energy through you, whether aware of it or not. Reiki healing is an example of channeling high-frequency energy through one’s body. It’s received from the core of  the reiki master’s being and projected through their hands. However, when you’re projecting low frequencies, you channel that energy through you. (Yeah. This can explain a lot, I know.)

For empaths with severely unhealed wounds (a great many of us), we constantly attract emotional triggers from other people (or from one person we’re way too attached to) that cause us to channel low vibrating energy. Around an emotionally abusive person, we receive their negative emotions and are triggered to project them back at them, often in the form of victimhood.

This person receives so much channeled energy that the empath can literally supply them with energetic sustenance. This is called psychic vampirism or energy vampirism and is a “shadow aspect” of having such a strong connection to energy. Note the word “channel.”

A channel is a flow of energy. If you want to survive the “symptoms” of having your ability, you must allow energy to flow through you. Whatever you receive, you must be able to let go. Energy that flows through us can’t hurt us. 

Again, everything is energy. We are energy. It’s just when we resist the thing we put our awareness on, we (paradoxically) form an attachment to it. It stays in our energy field & can’t move through us until we let go of resisting it.

Being empathic means you have an ability. An ability to perceive with a “sixth sense.” Like any ability, you have to study and master it in order to really use it. Especially because they isn’t understood or talked about in our society, an empath grows up believing their very gifts are indicators of something wrong with them — being “too sensitive,” etc.

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