Summary: Empathy is a beautiful gift. Not unlike the skills of playing an instrument, honing one’s intuition, or obtaining mastery in any area…becoming an evolved empath requires practice. Believing that we can choose our emotional state, takes us halfway there.
What is empathy?
Have you ever entered a room and immediately had your emotional state shift? Have you ever met someone and had an emotional reaction to their energy, and felt a symbiotic connection to them that you couldn’t explain? Have you been able to feel others joining you in a happy emotion? These are examples of empathetic resonance. Empathy is the ability to understand, feel and to share the feelings of another sentient being. We’ve also heard stories of people playing music to plants to inspire their growth, or having the ability to “sense” how an animal may be feeling. Science has shown that animals and plants also share empathetic response.
There are different forms of empathy that may be experienced: intellectual, emotional or sympathetic.
The ability to cognitively understand the feeling that someone is experiencing, without taking on emotional distress yourself. Someone who is primarily an intellectual empath, may cognitively understand a person’s distress, but not choose to emotionalize or sympathize with it.
This is a physical response of taking on another person’s emotions, to the extent of merging with their energy. A person might quite literally believe they feel the other person’s feelings.
Both types of empathy, intellectual and emotional, can serve us. However, to achieve a balanced approach to empathy, we need to understand a person’s distress, and we need to take some kind of sympathetic action to help. This help could come in various forms of thoughts, words or deeds.
In current times, there are some people who self-identify with the title “Empath”. This term is often misunderstood.
What is an empath?
According to Google Search: “Empaths are highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling. Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense.”
We’ve come to believe that like other basic human experiences of love, attraction, intuition, etc., being an empath is a gift we all share. It’s our choice how we use it…intellectually, emotionally or sympathetically.
As an empath, we feel the emotions of others based on our own perspective, not theirs… how we would feel if we were in their circumstance. We will never feel empathy through the lens of another person’s life experience, but we can feel the connection to their emotions through our own heart-brain coherence as an empath.
In a theater, we are all experiencing a performance through our own unique perspective, but are taken empathetically on an emotional journey by the author, actors, director and music. At a group event, like a wedding or a funeral, we all share the emotion of the experience as empaths, but some intellectualize or emotionalize their reaction based on their personal connection to those involved.
Is everyone an “empath”?
Yes, we believe so. However, noted exceptions to that may be those diagnosed with psychopathic or sociopathic disorders.
Primal v. Evolved Empaths
Some people embrace their identity as an empath as an uncontrollable absorption of the energies around them, and they tend to be more “primal” in their embodiment of this gift. Others may never consider themselves to be an empath as an identity, and just regard emotional changes to be a normal, primal part of life.
Primal empaths often feel victimized by emotions they don’t know how to control, “making it about themselves” and needing to be consoled. Understanding the primal nature of their feelings can be the first step in learning how to be more evolved, and taking responsibility for, and shifting one’s own energy.
The only way one person’s energy can enter your own is by invitation.
Some accept their gift as an empath and realize they can choose the energy they feel as an observer. As evolved empaths, we understand that the energy of another is funneled through our personal interpretation and our own emotions can be managed with intention. Once we practice choosing how we feel and what we reflect to others, our left brain/right brain/heart energy coherence becomes evolved.
An example of an evolved empath can be found in a person successfully navigating an occupation in the medical field. This requires both displaying emotional empathy and intellectual understanding. To balance this requires the addition of sympathetic empathy which provides action to help.
Empathy is a beautiful gift. Not unlike the skills of playing an instrument, honing one’s intuition, or obtaining mastery in any area…becoming an evolved empath requires practice. Believing that we can choose our emotional state, takes us halfway there.
About the Authors: Matrix Productions is a multi-media company represented by partners Beth Donnelly and Dagny Grant. Co-authors of the internationally Best-Selling Children's book series "Journey of Joy", they share mind, body and spirit connections, teaching mindfulness and I AM principles. Their publication of books, and “Echoes of the Soul” multi-media projects, produce tools that shape the thoughts and hearts of like-minded people. Find them at http://bit.do/MatrixMedia and http://bit.do/FaceBookMatrix!