The Dark Side of Being an Empath: Blessing or Curse?
Some of us are born empaths.
When we grow up understanding and appreciating our true natures, we don’t get so caught up in all the emotional baggage and overwhelm of others. It is when we don’t understand what is happening and we fight and resist all the emotional overwhelm that begins our lifelong struggle with being an empath, and it can become our curse to bear. Can that change?
Growing up the first few weeks of every school year, I would be hysterical crying that I was getting older and so afraid of dying. How many kids do you know that are afraid of death, let alone think about it?
Growing up, the emotions were overwhelming. I was always being told I was too sensitive and to Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about.
So I learned to bottle it up.
Years passed, and I always felt hollow, not understanding why my happiness or joy was so short-lived. Feelings of sadness would come and stay. I felt more and more blah, with no real attachment to anything and never finding fulfillment.
I was an avid reader growing up, and many books I read would make me cry for no discernible reason, even if it was a funny book. It never made sense to me until I got way older. I was actually feeling the author’s emotions through her words.
Once we went to Disney World on a family vacation when I was 13, and I spent most of the vacation not feeling well, moody and crying. Talk about being in a crowd and having an antenna on my head receiving all the radio waves.
All those years I took on the emotions and never expressed them or allowed them to flow freely. I took them all on as mine. All the unhappiness and being scared of not knowing what was going on with me for all those years.
Until one day it erupted like the volcano in Pompeii. It spewed forth, and everything in its path became rubble. I had no idea what was happening except I had tears like Niagara Falls. They didn’t stop. I was having such a wide spectrum of emotions from one moment to the next.
I am an extroverted empath who loves being outside and doing things, but all that stopped. I was hiding in my house. My new friends were sorrow, depression and anxiety, with a dollop of who pissed on my cereal.
Every time my hubby asked me what was wrong, all I could say was I don’t know.
It was not a fun time. It was actually so bad that at times when I went to sleep, I wished to not wake up in the morning. Yes, I wanted to die. Not my most empowered moment, but the truth anyway. I could no longer handle the intensity of my emotions and who I was becoming. I was a mess.
It was a curse at this point of my life. It was a daily struggle to get out of bed and go to work. I lost weight, I was barely eating, and I ended up on antidepressants that didn’t do a damn thing but make it worse.
I became paranoid as all these feelings would wash over me, and since I didn’t understand that these feelings weren’t mine, I would then create stories to explain the emotions I was feeling. It had become a vicious circle… until the day I asked for help and started climbing out of the hell I was in.
As empaths, we can walk around saying it’s a curse, and saying I can’t handle all these feelings, or we can take responsibility and make sure we take care of ourselves first. Create boundaries, make ourselves happy, ground daily, have rituals that support our well-being, so when we feel the world’s emotions, we can let it flow through.
This is what I have learned without a doubt.
The happier I am within, the easier all these emotions flow through me, and it took me a while to get here. Consistency is key.
I had to look at all my beliefs about being an empath, especially its being a curse.
I needed to find the gift within, and realized how I ended up helping so many people just by listening to their stories of struggle. That happens to me quite often at stores: random people come up to me, tell me their stories, then say, “I don’t know why I told you that, but I feel so much better.”
First thing I did was learn what emotions were mine and what belonged to others.
I worked on my mindset and releasing all the old emotions I took on that I believed to be mine.
I kept myself upbeat and positive, and learnt to respond and not react to situations. Yes, I know we are human and we have some craptastic days, but what do you do daily to focus on the positives in your life? And if you aren’t having a good day, what do you do to start looking for the good? Working on my mindset, and being grateful even for the little things, have let me become happier every day.
These are the things I do daily, and if I miss them for several days, I notice a change and make sure I make time for them.
1. Journal in the morning and ask the Universe for help in my life. Create a daily emotion that I want to experience.
2. Meditate using several different methods. Meditations with music or words or just my breath.
3. Clear my chakras while taking a shower.
4. Grounding, whether visualizations or actually putting my feet in the grass.
5. Gratitude journal at night, where I write down at least three things I am grateful for and why.
6. Constantly ask myself what I want to create in my life, and what I am willing to tolerate.
Tricia Dycka is an intuitive empath coach, Reiki Master, bestselling author, teacher, speaker and enthusiast. Tricia’s mission is to help empaths cut down the emotional noise by learning what emotions are really theirs and what belongs to others. Sign up for her free guide Empath 101: Tools to release emotional overwhelm, or join the Empowered Empath Playground Facebook group here.