What is an Empath?

Tamara Low

- Accredited EFT
- Pranic Healer -Author

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It is estimated that around 3-5% of the population are Empaths (and approximately 15-20% are Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s). Someone who is an Empath, according to Jason Breyer, has the ability “to read and understand other people, by resonating with their emotions. This interpersonal connection can either be activated voluntarily or subconsciously. They are usually hypersensitive, an attribute that enables them to extend beyond themselves into the other soul and capture their inward conditions. As a result, they could see beyond the superficial into the true intents of a person who might seem like an enigma to others” as it is not everyone who can function in this capacity.

Empaths feel everything (clairsentient), and they feel it deeply. They can absorb other people’s energy (both positive and negative) into their bodies. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if what you’re feeling belongs to you or someone else. Judith Orloff feels that Empaths are more prone to take on the emotional or physical pain from others that they haven’t yet worked out in themselves. This trait also has a benefit or positive aspect, in that it allows us to deeply know what is going on with another person and deeply connect with them.

Having empathy means that our hearts go out to another person and what they are experiencing (happy or sad). Cognitive empathy is where one can see that another person is upset and can put their mind there, but they don’t feel it. It is thought that the Narcissist, Sociopath and Psychopath have “empathy deficient disorder” according to Judith Orloff, which may be caused by an underactive mirror neuron system. They use cognitive empathy (empathy in their mind). They do not recognize the needs and feelings of another person, and can’t feel what is going on for them, so they do not feel responsible or genuinely care. It can appear like real empathy, so we have to be very aware. In Empaths, the brain’s mirror neuron system (responsible for compassion) is thought to be hyperactive. Stacy Hoch describes Egocentric Empathy as when we try to give someone what we would want in the same situation. She says this is where Codependents can get stuck.

Empath Traits

Empaths have many unique traits and characteristics, and there are many types of Empaths. In further describing the trait, Judith Orloff says:

“The empath’s body is different from other people’s. We feel everything. Our bodies are porous, so we absorb the positive and negative energies (and emotions) around us into our muscles, tissues, and organs. This can affect our health in many important ways. On the positive side, we’re able to sense other people’s vitality, happiness, and love within ourselves. However, we can also feel other people’s physical discomfort, stress, and negative emotions, such as frustration, anger, and fear (even when they’re unspoken). As empaths, we can get tired and sick when we’re around toxic people, noise, violence, and rushing.”

Empaths are: 

  • Very sensitive to other’s tone of voice and body movements. 
  • Can hear what someone doesn’t say in words but communicate nonverbally and through silence.
  • Feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our society.
  • Very sensitive, creative, compassionate, and idealists.
  • Prone to social anxiety because they’re overwhelmed by the multiple spoken, and unspoken signals people give off in groups (Judith Orloff).
  • Sensitive to rejection.
  • Have to be soft and delicate to absorb the vibes from other people instead of being tough and repelling all signals.
  • Can get hurt easily and need to be cautious about being taken advantage of.
  • Can pick up signals that emanate from others and are sensitive enough to break through the barriers and access their thoughts and feelings.
  • Have high intuition, they often just know things.
  • Absorb the emotions of others.
  • Have a gentle and kind nature.
  • Often give their hearts too easily to narcissists and other unavailable people.
  • Loving and trusting and expect others also to be that way. This can be a very difficult lesson to learn. 
  • Love to give and help.
  • Have BIG hearts.
  • Good listeners.
  • Love, peace and harmony.
  • Find the good in people.
  • Deeply love and resonate with nature and animals.
  • Being in nature is essential for them to balance and heal.
  • Have sensitive senses.
  • Are often Introverted and have minimal tolerance for socializing and small talk.
  • Can become exhausted and burnt out easily.
  • Often have difficulty with drama, people that talk constantly, and are demanding, inauthentic, and toxic.
  • Are bothered by lots of noise, crowds, anger, fighting, tension. 
  • Need A LOT of alone time to process things.

Susan Forward writes that people find it easy to be around Empaths because they pick up on your vibration and meet you where you are at.

How and Why Does Being an Empath Develop?

There is no membrane that separates Empaths from the world. Most other people have ‘defences’ up. Judith Orloff explains her theory on why some people struggle to differentiate between their bodily feelings and other people’s:

“Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which two different senses are paired in the brain. However, with mirror-touch synesthesia, people feel the emotions and sensations of others in their bodies, as if these emotions were their own. This is a wonderful neurological explanation of an empath’s experience.”

Further, she says, “childhood neglect or abuse can also affect sensitivity levels for adults. A portion of empaths I’ve treated have experienced early trauma, such as emotional or physical abuse, or were raised by alcoholic, depressed, or narcissistic parents. This could potentially wear down the usual healthy defences that a child with nurturing parents develops. As a result of their upbringing, these children typically don’t feel “seen” by their families, and they also feel invisible in the greater world that doesn’t value sensitivity. In all cases, however, empaths haven’t learned to defend against stress in the same way others have.”

Stacy Hoch agrees with this idea that “the empath is built on or caused by poor parenting.” She says, “they have more dense energy because they have not had to hone in on staying super clear for the sake of survival. They were a child responsible for empath-ing the parent. The empathic baby or child responds to the needs of the parent and has learned that it is literally what they have to do to survive! Someone who does not have to empathize with their parents will be more like oil in energy because they do not have to develop that skill to survive because the parent is going to meet their needs. The empath struggles to meet their own needs. They can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging. It does not serve us to work out other people’s things for them.” For me, this deeply resonates as the root of Codependency.

When Judith Orloff speaks about the “usual healthy defences” being potentially broken down due to difficult situations around them as a child, I believe that she is speaking about our aura that protects each and every one of us. More info in “What is Leaky Aura Syndrome?”

Diane Kathrine, in her book “How to Heal Leaky Aura Syndrome: A Guide for Empaths” says, “distortions in the aura can appear from an early age and infant or childhood trauma, and illness can result in a weakened aura. A receded aura is caused by experiencing deep hurt and rejection, feeling unloved or unworthy. It can be a knee-jerk reaction to retract the energy field, like retreating into a shell, as a way to prevent themselves from getting hurt again. When the aura shrinks, it becomes destabilized and prone to damage. A strong aura protects against outside negativity, thoughts, energy and even disease. Through a healthy auric field, you radiate inner power and draw in positivity. Your vibrant energy empowers others and helps raise their frequency.” Pranic Healing can greatly assist with healing and strengthening the aura and Leaky Aura Syndrome.

End Summary

To thrive (and heal) as an empath, we must address this on an energetic level and learn how to stop absorbing other people’s emotions and energy and learn to decipher what is yours and what is someone else’s; as well as how to stay balanced and grounded in overstimulating environments and around toxic people and situations. Pranic Healing has helped me in an immense and invaluable way in this regard and to decipher what is my energy; what belongs to me, and what is someone else’s. I believe that learning this “modality” would profoundly benefit all Empaths in navigating this trait!

I look forward to sharing its enormous healing benefits with you!

Tamara

Please see the contact page if you would like to let me know what you thought about this article, or if you are interested in receiving Empathic Heart Healing’s articles/blogs/newsletters or joining the facebook page. Thank you.

Related Articles:

References: 

  • Breyer, Jason. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills. Kindle Edition. 
  • Hoch, Stacy. The Empoweress- YouTube. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 146-147). Harper. Kindle Edition.
  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (Kindle Locations 94-100, 207-284, 155-159,  169-170, 192-101). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.
  • Kathrine, Diane. How to Heal Leaky Aura Syndrome. 2017

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Internal Exploration Questions
General

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click one of the buttons below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Internal Exploration Questions
Codependency

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click the button below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form, download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Price List

 

*All prices are in Canadian dollars

Codependent Free

A brief summary of Codependency (more in “Education")

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma. During the first 3 years of life, we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc., the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, resulting in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until it’s dealt with).

Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, the idea that I do not exist without others’ validation and trying to fill inner voids vicariously by filling others. She says, for others’ sake, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harm other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. See “What is Codependency?”, and “Healing and Understanding Codependency.”

Codependency Programming (but not limited to):

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. In summary, its:  

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else.

How it may show itself- coping mechanisms

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self-abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves- deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this.

Healing

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, online videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers! The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. To heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed and inner child work (I encourage you to seek out those that specialize in these areas for support) and identify deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines! I am extremely passionate about assisting others in addressing the deep energetic layers of Codependency.

If you are interested, please click on the link for “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (Emotional Freedom Techniques can also be referred to as “Tapping”). 

If  you are interested in more about Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse, see “What is Narcissism?, “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse,” and “Healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

**My writing is geared towards Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but it is ultimately for anyone desiring to learn, grow, heal and explore.

References:

  • BREYER, JASON. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019. 

Areas of Interest, Services and Goals

Areas of Interest and Services:

As an Empath, Highly Sensitive Person, you have a unique soul’s purpose and a unique perspective. You are ‘wired’ differently and are not meant to ‘fit in” to the status quo. It can be very challenging to see/view and feel things differently than most people- but we are not meant to; we are meant to see and feel them from OUR perspective.

It is so important to accept our highly sensitive, empathic nature, heal our hearts and wounding, learn to love, accept who we are at our core, and find and live our unique soul’s purpose, joy, and spark, passion!

You have a huge loving heart and a large capacity to love and care for others, animals, and the planet. LOVE is who we are; it’s our natural state of being! The world needs (more than ever) our gifts, passion, and heart!

I desire to work with self-aware Empaths and HSP’s who are passionate about learning and growing and deeply desire to explore, excavate, and heal their inner worlds, heart places that need healing, care, support, and attention. I hold a safe, non-judgemental space for you, deep presence, and deep intuitive listening. I bring love, warmth, and care to everything that I do. I use:

Emotional Freedom Techniques is a gentle cognitive, somatic (body) and energetic approach to healing. It assists us in looking at the deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts that impact our behaviour or create imbalance. EFT works with the meridian system to shift energetic blocks or disruptions, returning the body’s energy system to balance- helping us to regulate our nervous system.

Pranic Psychotherapy is Pranic Healing applied in energetically addressing, balancing, and preventing psychological ailments, where stress is the root. This is where I like to focus. Pranic Healing works with the chakra system and auric layers.

EFT and Pranic Healing work exceptionally well together!

I am passionate about supporting Empaths and Highly Sensitive People in healing and nurturing their hearts, discovering and living their true heart’s desires, and embodying their unique gifts! More specifically, my focus is on assisting you in uncovering and:

  • healing and processing the emotional pain from heartbreak, heartache (grief, loss, sorrow, sadness).
  • processing eco/environmental sorrow – our feelings around ALL that is happening with/to our planet and all of her inhabitants.
  • clear the blocks to healthy self-love, care and regard (e.g., feelings of unworthiness, e.g., don’t feel worthy of healthy love). 
  • dismantling old limiting patterns and belief systems that keep us stuck, hidden, and in pain.
  • healing the grip and pull of toxic relationship patterns, feelings, and beliefs such as codependency. Codependency profoundly impacts, impedes, affects us, and holds us back in many ways, e.g., keeping us small, hidden, and invisible. For more information, see Codependent-Beliefs-To-Tap-On for an example of such belief systems and what we can do about it.
  • recovering and healing from narcissistic abuse, being manipulated and taken advantage of.
  • celebrating and accepting being an Empath, a Highly Sensitive Person in this world.  Also:
  • to uncover, recover, rediscover, and reconnect with your joy spark, play, unique gifts, purpose, passion, and calling.
  • nurturing our playful heart, our innate play and joy, to find play in purpose.
  • regulating our nervous system.

BIG Whole Hearts unite!

Tamara

Under “About,” see “Internal Exploration Questions- General” and “Internal Exploration Questions -Codependency.”

Goals

Heart healing, heart balancing, heart wholeness.

Developing and cultivating kindness, gentleness, love, and compassion towards ourselves.

Coming to an accepting, peaceful place around our difficult feelings and emotions, e.g., sorrow, sadness, suffering, isolation, heaviness, loneliness, fear.

Clear harmful energies and residue from past relationships.

Healing the patterns that keep us attracting painful relationships.

Feeling worthy of the types of relationships that we desire and authentic connection with someone who also lives from the heart, is kind, can express their feelings, and you can express yours safely. Both people take responsibility for their actions, no games, you deeply care about each other’s happiness and wellbeing.

Healing our faulty internalized beliefs about how we view love and discovering what it truly is/looks like, for us, learning what healthy love is and being open to and attracting (kind, gentle) healthy love in our lives.

Making self-loving decisions about who we let into our hearts and lives.

Learning to trust ourselves and make kind, loving, safe choices about who we allow into our lives and hearts.

Relationship(s) in your life that nurture you, that are safe, gentle, loving, nurturing and kind.

 The freedom to live and love wholeheartedly.

Thriving after heartbreak, heartache, rejection, loss, abuse, betrayal, narcissistic abuse.

Reclaiming and rediscovering ourselves/who we TRULY are and our true passion and purpose in the process.

To have fun, be joyful, playful, free and to live our hearts desires.

A regulated nervous system, inner peace.

Transforming pain and suffering.

Welcome to Empathic Heart Healing

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) have unique ways of experiencing, feeling, sensing, observing, perceiving, processing, and absorbing the world. They feel things deeply; including love, beauty and joy, pain, hurt, and sorrow.

Emotional pain or struggle is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system and can stem from countless places, unique to you and your situation. My passion is to assist Empaths and HSP’s in understanding, accessing and releasing the root cause (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) of the energy block(s) or disturbances. Codependency is just one manifestation of emotional pain, an example of how our TRUE selves can get buried, hidden (at the beginning of our lives), and stay this way until it is safe to re-emerge.

Other avenues might be narcissistic abuse, heartache/heartbreak, infertility, low self-esteem, rejection (initially from others- and then towards ourselves), neglect, and you can insert your experience(s) here. When we are in emotional pain, there are corresponding feelings such as shame, sadness, grief, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, isolation, and despair, to name a few. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations about what is happening within us and how we feel around others and in certain environments.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called EFT, or “Tapping” can assist us in identifying, releasing, clearing, and healing the energetic and emotional blocks, beliefs, fears, and barriers that limit us and keep us stuck, small, and hidden, so that we can access and get re-in touch with our deepest, fullest, truest and most authentic expression- as well as deep inner peace, vibrant health, light-heartedness, joy, play, passion, bliss and vitality.

Every one of us has a unique energy/energy vibration, traits, purpose(s), gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to offer, to offer others, and contribute to the world. We all have unique goals, dreams and desires.  Blocks in our energy system can derail or make difficult, any one of these. My deepest and truest desires for EVERYONE is to live and express themselves in the deepest, truest, freest, and most authentic way possible!!

When we are young, we learn by watching, observing, and adapting to our surroundings. We are often told by our parent(s), caregivers, society, etc. who they think we are, who they think we should be, and who they want us to be, do, say, or act like. As we get older, these adaptations and beliefs can become a hindrance. We can be controlled by a belief that was learned and taught, which does not even have its origins in who we are, and how we desire to live.

As an example, I recently explored an old, worn-out belief of mine with an EFT colleague. That is, “I am only worthy, only if I am productive, and that “play” is a waste of time.” Yikes! This is a belief that I learned and took on as “truth” very early on- a learned family pattern. It was impacting me in numerous ways (which were not in line with TRUE me). This is certainly not a belief that I want to pass on to my son! I LOVE the magic and power of EFT! and Pranic Healing!! My goal is to provide a safe, compassionate, secure, and non-judgemental space for you to peel back the layers of what no longer serves you and holds you back from TRUE you….

This quote from Judith Orloff, the author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” sums this up perfectly and resonates with me deeply:

“I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfil it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honouring their sensitivities, they are saying “NO” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.”

Warmly,

Tamara

If you are familiar with EFT or would like to explore more about EFT, and how it can be used for Codependency, please email me, and I will send you a copy of “Codependent Beliefs, Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions to Tap on.”

References:

  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (pp. 207-208). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.