"I am an Empath"
15 February 2011
Defintion: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
".....or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of another."
Public declaration and perhaps warning: I am an empath. As the definition above says, I vicariously experience the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of another.
Now I dare say that most people have never heard the word empath or vicarious, much less be willing to accept that there is such a thing, person, but I know I am an empath as much as I know 2 and 2, summed, equal 4.
Accepting, acknowledging, I am an empath has been a big help to me because before recognition, acceptance, I took no measure to prevent the feelings and thoughts of others flooding and often overwhelming me. Now, although not the best defense, I simply separate or get space between myself and those that overwhelm me.
Chicken or the egg? Born empathic or became one? Thinking about it now, don't think "chicken or the egg" is the right model to use. Think perhaps some genetic disposition towards empath and then through personal development and life experiences, fleshed out genetic disposition. Do wonder if genetic disposition directed choices I made on life experiences or some of them at least?
Genetic disposition? Brain wiring. No illusion here that I understand the human brain much less the human mind but understand enough about brain neural processing to know that mankind knows very little to next to nothing how the human brain mixes the inputs of sound, light, temperature, touch, smell with memories, concept of self and other abstracts of human thought.
NO, actually I do know, I was not born empathic but rather became one.
My evolution to becoming an empath or at least it seems to me:
Grew up in family atmosphere of strong emotions. Parents always warring.
Have a strong ego or sense of self worth but no need to project it.
Am extremely good at visualization.
Have always been a good listener. My mind is not working in background on a response that involves me and thus ,
Have always visualized.
I don't think I was born an empath. Never got screened, tested, in school for it. Never got a empath vaccination shot. Never even heard the world until the year 2007 or so.
Don't think there is any magic in my being empathic, something accidental developed over the years. A combination of acquired skills that has given my mind the ability to vicarious experience the feels and thoughts of other.
Year and years of all sorts of problem solving with lots and lots of digging for clues, reading the signs, and using my intuition in picking the next direction or perhaps to simply wait
Years and years of problem solving has also lead to my possessing very strong visualization powers. Lessing build builds the sight and sounds of what talker is describing and someone I am transported there, and am with them in this strangest of places.
Together, we walk the alleys and broad thoroughfares and I ask my questions and feel the response and from the response felt, another question and then another and slowly I slide out of the environment and into the speaker. I can feel what she felt or is feeling at this moment. A very strange sort of junction between two.
Sometimes, when there is so much pain and dispair, I get dragged down terribly and must pull out of being inside and close down the visual all together. Just not strong enough to hand with sharing all those feelings, intense feels of another.
At first, the whole empathy things seemed pretty cool but I quickly learned that if I was not careful and keep tight reins on my skill sets, I could be completely overloaded to the point of becoming catatonic.