What is empathy? Empathy is a sense of understanding the feelings and experiences of another person. Many of us are empathetic towards our friends, coworkers, or family members’ experiences. And we have some form of empathy this sense of every day in conversations or communication with others. We may even experience empathy watching a movie, TV show, or listening to a song.
These loving individuals in the health care or service profession experience more empathic situations than others do because of their work environment.
There are many unique individuals that choose to live a life of empathy and service to others. Those special individuals live a life of service in one form or another to better the lives of the world around them. They often choose their profession because of their high sense of empathy and compassion towards others. These loving individuals in the health care or service profession experience more empathic situations than others do because of their work environment. For example, my professional healthcare (nurses, doctors, EMT, Medical Assistants, Firefighters, etc.) experience much more empathy because their career choice is founded on helping others. Every day they care for patients facing health challenges and they serve them in their role. Each of their patients is facing unique experiences that involve some form of physical or emotional pain. The healthcare workers’ role is empathic in and of itself, simply by their conscious decision to help others. Many health care workers may experience added stress or health issues because of their career choice and the way they process these experiences.
And yet there are still people that experience an extreme sense of empathy. This highly exclusive gift is almost impossible for others to understand. They experience empathy at a cellular level throughout their entire body. You can’t imagine feeling this form of empathy unless you experience it first-hand. Those enlightened individuals are empath’s and they feel exponentially more than everyone around them. Empaths are individuals with a gift of hypersensitivity. Some may call it a curse but I call it a gift. Of course, to reach this point of awareness and acceptance was quite a journey for me and those around me. Empaths are hypersensitive to the feelings, thoughts, pains, and emotions of others. That little fact was even hard for me to understand even though I had an intuitive feeling lingering in my mind for a long time. The interesting fact is that many empaths (hypersensitive people) don’t even realize the extent of their empathy or the toll it can take on their own health.
These are all careers based on supporting the community by nurturing, caring, and loving others. All of these career choices were based on love and the hope to make a difference. They were each an opportunity to improve the lives of those around me.
For instance, my career paths have always lead me to a trajectory of caring for others in various roles and environments. My careers gradually transitioned and transformed from one career into the next in the service realm. Every career choice was a compassionate one: Special Education Teacher, Nursing Assistant, Registered Nurse, Health Coach, Hypnotist, and now Transformational Author. These are all careers based on supporting the community by nurturing, caring, and loving others. All of these career choices were based on love and the hope to make a difference. They were each an opportunity to improve the lives of those around me. I acknowledged my empath gift a few years ago but didn’t understand its true impact. I had NO idea the significant role it played in my own emotional and physical wellbeing. I had seen a rollercoaster decline in my health and happiness but had no idea my empathic gift was the culprit. And truly it wasn’t the culprit at ALL now that I understand my gift. The cause of my health decline was my lack of understanding and preparation to live with my special gift. After all, we may be born empathic but the cultivation of a deep connection with Your Inner Strength takes time. It was my lack of knowledge that caused me to fail at meeting my own basic human needs. It was a lack of self-loving, self-care practices that was my downfall. It was my lack of knowledge about self-protection that truly opened my eyes.
Imagine a person that is so open and willing to help others every second of every day. They are so willing that they do this subconsciously all day long, 365 days a year, over and over again. And I mean in the moment and every moment. It could be a text message, phone call, face to face conversation, or caregiver relationship. You name the situation and my body was ready to tackle it. And I had no idea it was happening for almost 38 years. I was effortlessly absorbing feelings, thoughts, emotions, pain, and experiences of those around me. I absolutely mean absorb because that is what empaths do. And that is exactly what I used to do every day. I was completely oblivious and unaware it was happening. I did it with patients, complete strangers, friends, family members, co-workers, etc. It didn’t matter who it was if they were in pain I was ready to fix them or give them a little relief. The true awakening began when I noticed TV shows and movies triggered intense feelings.
Hypersensitive people are extremely sensitive to the energetic vibrations, emotions, thoughts, and feelings of others.
This weird phenomenon can actually allow them to absorb the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of others into their bodies. I know it sounds crazy because until I experienced it for myself I thought it was crazy too. Then I started to feel intense emotions during movies and TV shows.
I could feel the good, the bad, and the ugly. I could feel everything as if it was happening to me.
The most significant experiences I had were watching Game of Thrones or other violent shows. And the most traumatic scenes in the first few episodes of Game of Thrones were the hardest for me to handle. I could feel the good, the bad, and the ugly. I could feel everything as if it was happening to me. I could see the pain in Kalesi’s eyes as her new husband raped her. I could feel her pain when her brother treated her like garbage. It wasn’t always negative or bad. I felt the good ones too. I could feel her love transform into something new for her husband. And when I say feel, I mean my heart would race, my blood would boil, the emotions would pop into my head and fill my entire body. I could feel her fear; her shame and it took a lot of work to be able to watch the few episodes that I did. We tried to watch it years ago but it was too violent and at that point, I hadn’t established a self-love routine. This past year we tried to watch it again and every time those rough and tough emotions came up I practiced my own routine on the couch amidst the chaotic show. Yep, I changed my breathing pattern, I chanted affirmations in my mind, I practiced my stretching and relaxation techniques to release those emotions that had entered me. It was an exhausting process and eventually, we stopped watching the show. I truly thought it was an amazing show but it was a lot of work to stay relaxed and calm because I hadn’t learned how to protect myself yet.