Are These Your Feelings? Or Someone Else’s?

by Anna

Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Cyndi Dale, author of Everyday Clairvoyant, Kundalini, The Complete Book of Chakra Healing, Beyond Soul Mates, and the new Spiritual Power of Empathy.

A few years ago, I decided I was tired of being tired—of feelings.

I know. Feelings are good. They express the soul and provide messages from the gods. They alert us to danger but also invite closeness. They are our friends.

The only problem was that I wasn’t sure I was always feeling my feelings. It struck me that I might be absorbing others’ emotions, sort of like the kitchen sponge soaks everything in.

As I listened closely to my clients, students, and personal friends, I realized that I wasn’t the only person pondering this question. I still remember a client stating, only a bit tongue-in-cheek, that she was thinking of only shopping at night, when no one was at the stores.

“I’m tired of entering a shopping center in a good mood,” she moaned, “only to leave with more emotions than I have items in my bags.”

Empathy is defined as the ability to sense what someone else is going through. In moderation, it’s a beautiful endeavor. It brings us closer to others, whispers how to react when threatened, and is the root of bonding. Just as with chocolate though, a little bit is a good thing, but too much? Not so good.

I perceive empathy as a spiritual gift, or the ability to sense what is occurring spiritually. The other terms I exchange for spiritually are psychically, intuitively, and subtly. As such, empathy enables us to sense, feel, know, taste, or perceive what is happening with others.

The term “others” encompasses many types of people and substances, however. Certain types of empaths identify with other individuals, but some pick up on group energy, animals, plants, otherworldly beings, the energy in objects, and even the movements of the stars. In short, empathy is about relating to all sorts of sensations in and through our bodies.

What does this definition help me do? Having expanded my view, I can empower myself. I can decide what—or who—I want to tune into…or not. If I feel uncomfortable with what I’m sensing, I pull back. I take a few deep breaths and ask myself what I’m taking in that is unhealthy or not. If the energy I’m sensing or have absorbed is making me tired, dissociated, anxious, or depressed, I ask my “wise self” to release it. As time has marched on, I’ve discovered that I now have a better filter system. I hardly ever have to review my boundaries; they do the work for me.

This shift has ironically allowed me to be more fully present for others. A good friend needs a listening ear? I’m all there. My son is struggling with an exam or worse—a girl issue? I am compassionate. My dog wants another treat, the third in an hour? Not going to happen; sorry. Being empathic is indeed an awesome gift, as long as we factor ourselves into the quotient.

Our thanks to Cyndi for her guest post! For more from Cyndi Dale, read her article “Empathy as a Spiritual Power: What Type of Empath Are You?.”

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