I want to share something very important I definitely had my share of: being an empath. I was always blessed to be guided away from situations involving narcissists before they became too bad.
This might sound like unpopular opinions about what it means to be an empath and more generally the dynamic (or pattern) between empaths and narcissists, (that I refer to as trauma bonding, you'll understand why further in this email) and how unhealed wounds play a role in all that.
Please read with your heart and open yourself to a (maybe new) perspective.
It's very important for me to share this because I see a lot of empaths being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people (who are very wounded and have no intention to question themselves, nor do they see any benefit in doing so).
My goal as an "empath"
As an empath myself (well, at least, that's what I used to call myself), I used to be vulnerable to some people "preying" for energy food (aka what I call "energy vampires").
Some would be taking advantage of my kindness, hypersensitivity and of my wounds that made that I had poor boundaries.
I was overgiving, overcaring to the point of making others' needs come before mine and of course, some narcissists would feast on me like flies attracted by the strawberry jam jar that you left open...
Basically, I was that strawberry jam that had no lid aka boundaries, come to think about it, I love that analogy that just came to me...
Empaths are to narcissists what strawberry jam is to flies - quoting myself here...
My goal is to raise awareness and help people who are hypersensitive and empaths (true empaths!) - like you, since you're reading this article :) ) so that you can take your power back.
So, welcome to my "the narcissist and the empath" article!
What is an empath?
Definition quoted from the Cambridge dictionary: "(especially in science fiction stories) a person who has an unusually strong ability to feel other people's emotional or mental states"
From a shamanic perspective I think this definition is not "deep enough" in the sense that it's not an "unusual ability". We are all born with these abilities, some of us just don't remember. A lot of my clients - if not all of them - experience this.
Empaths have the abilitiy to understand what other people feel, to sympathize, but there's no need to carry it on your shoulders and make it yours :) - I used to do that and I can guarantee that nothing good ever came out of it... It doesn't help others AND it harms you...
Also it goes beyond "just being an empath", a lot of empaths are clairsentient = having the ability to feel things in their body or even claircognizant = just knowing how someone feels even if they don't tell you.
To summarise my point about empathy:
yes empathy is definitely real and not that uncommon
I personally prefer using the word "clairsentient", it feels more empowering and less stained by creepy "New Age Cults"
yes it's beautiful, it is a gift
however, it's still a label and it's always for our highest good to keep digging beyond labels because labels can put us in boxes, which is the opposite of what we want as leaders and empowered beings. Never stop diving deep and exploring your abilities (in other words, alway use labels in an empowering way and grow from it)
YOU, my dear, are a powerful human, a spiritual being, a soul having a human experience
knowing yourself will help you distinguish what's yours from what's not so that you are not overwhelmed anymore and don't absorb things that are going to burden you
cleansing your energy / your aura will also help you remove unnecessary energies you have picked up during the day and shift faster to higher vibrations.
Side note: If you'd like to learn more about how toxic energies affect you, I have a course that you can check out here.
Are you clairsentient?
Do you sometimes feel sick when you're close to someone who is actually sick or depressed?
You feel things in your body as if it was your own but it's not, because it only appears in the presence of a specific being?
Do you also feel "icky" when you receive someone's message/phone call?
I bet you answered yes to most - if not all - of these questions...
Here is my story: When I found out I was clairsentient
Let's go back in time, around 2009... I had NO idea what clairsentience was, I didn't know the word empath neither.
Little backstory, my best friend at the time was living in Utah, she was my Lakota soul sister, the 1st human being that activated the remembrance of who I was. She introduced me to her Guide who became my friend, my teacher, a wise and powerful Lakota Medicine Man who helped me remember my soul gifts.
Long story short, she was very sick and passed away a few years after that.
One night, I was chilling on the couch in front of the TV (at the time I was still watching TV) and I was in a relaxed state, not asleep but not fully awake and I suddenly felt warm and kind of sweaty, as if my armpits were warm and wet but they were not - it was just a sensation, and it was weird!
I intuitively felt that I had to message my friend to ask if she was ok.
I quickly received a reply from her husband, telling me she was having a fever peak and he thanked me for my message and went to double-check on her, to make her temperature'd drop asap.
I was a bit speechless at what had just happened, I was amazed that I could have picked up on what she was going through and contribute to helping her while consciously having no idea what was happening.
That's one of the episodes that contributed to making me aware of who I am.
Another time, I was feeling a cold ice sensation on my forehead / 3rd eye. I texted her and she replied she was using ice to try and cool herself down...
I have many other stories about feeling others' pains - physical or emotional, sometimes mental too - in my own body or energy field..
We are all (more or less) clairsentient
The truth is that we all have these abilities within us, they are more or less dormant for some humans but we can all develop / awaken / remember them when we awaken to ourselves.
They will awaken faster if you have the desire to develop them.
Think about it in terms of singing, for example: some people can naturally sing well, while others have to work harder, but my point is: everyone can learn if one is dedicated and interested in learning.
If you'd like to listen to a guided meditation to develop your abilities and cleanse your extrasensory perception channels, you can listen this this one I created
9 Signs that you are an empath or clairsentient
you feel others' emotions as your own
strangers come to you and tell you about their life because they feel comfortable with you
need to be alone to recharge
love helping others
can't stand any form of violence or cruelty
love animals and they naturally come to you
always researching and trying to understand
you just know when someone is not authentic or is lying
Is this you? If you answered yes, you might be wondering:
"How can make the difference between what's mine and what's not?"
"How can I stop feeling overwhelmed because I feel too much?"
"How not to be affected by others' emotions more deeply than necessary?"
"How to stop carrying others' burdens on my shoulders?"
Let me tell you a secret (that is not a secret at all but a solution)
Healing your wounds, as an empath, is the key to:
setting healthy boundaries
not carrying others' pains on your shoulder, you don't have to sacrifice yourself <3
not attracting humans or situations that will echo your emotional wounds (and not being an empath's "strawberry jam")
--> when you deactivate these wounds from the root, you are able to have the answer to the previous questions, namely:
you can tell what is yours and what is not
you will be less and less overwhelmed, until you overcome overwhelm
you will still feel others' emotions but they won't affect you to the point that they feel like your own pain anymore
you will not feel like you "have" to carry others' burdens
You will still feel, you will still be compassionate but all this will be in a balanced way.
You don't have to carry others' pains
When someone's pain echoes your own, this wounded aspect of you becomes activated aka triggered, that is what is called "the resonance phenomenon".
Healing your wounds will help you deactivate the triggers.
You won't be activated or have any reaction, you will be able to just respond (vs react).
This therefore enables you to be 100% present with others without absorbing their pains, without diving deep into your own pain anymore.
You don't need to absorb others' pains, it doesn't lessen theirs and it only harms you.
Healing your wounds will not make you become insensitive or heartless, it will only help you focus and be more present with others and with yourself, grounded in the now moment with more mental clarity.
Even if healing is a journey and we peel layer after layer, healing my wounds to the point where most of my triggers got deactivated has changed my life for the better :)
I rarely get triggered nowadays and when I do, I know what to do to shift it very fast... And I really hope for you to experience this level of peace :)
That's what I call "becoming Unshakeable" (that's also why I named my 8-week signature program "Unshakeable")
A few words about self-trust and trusting your intuition
Narcissistic people will always make you doubt yourself and your intuition.
They will show they're self-confident and gain your trust by agreeing with you.
They are masters at gaslighting you, making you question your reality, blowing hot and cold, misinterpreting your words, lecturing you in a condescending way, make small "innocent" remarks.
They will provoke cognitive dissonance, use your wounds and words against you in very cold way, without showing emotions.
Some might also "copy" you after criticising you or telling you that doing this or that is useless or whatever they come up with... you might notice that some will mimic you because you triggered something within them (probably your authenticity because they can't be authentic).
And when they see that you stand in your power and that they're losing "control", they'll accuse you of gaslighting them, of being ungrateful, (using sentences like "after I did xyz for you" or "I spent a lot of time doing this or that for you"), guilt-tripping you (or attempting to).
And just like that, you will have become the "most horrible human in the world" because you "dared" confront them.
The cleverest ones (aka the most manipulative ones) will make sure to belittle you one last time before they exit your life and take themselves out of your reality, playing the victims who were hurt by <insert whatever they imagined that you did to them...>.
In reality, they knew very well what they were doing, they just simply realized they have been caught. You can't be their food anymore, so they will simply go and hunt for another prey...
I'm here to tell you not to doubt yourself, even if you feel confused, hurt and frustrated by their words and actions, stick with yourself, have your own back. No one should be allowed to make you feel confused, play with your wounds and your honesty.
They will hurt themselves with your words, get triggered because they also have wounds, who doesn't?
Their words will not match their energy and because it's energy and it's subtle / intangible, you can't prove it so you doubt yourself. But please don't. If words don't match the energy, that's a sign.
Cut them out of your life asap if you can, don't feed them, don't let them suck your energy or abuse you.
The empath, the narcissist & trauma bonding...
Let's talk about an unpopular opinion on a popular topic... empath, narcissist and trauma bonding...
This popular topic had been requested for me to tackle in my Telegram group a few months ago and here is what I had typed for the beautiful souls in the group... Wisdom from my Higher Self and my own source connection.
Read this with your heart, drop any self-judgment, just observe and feel...
To me, it goes a bit beyond, or deeper than being an empath
yes being an empath does play a role
but it's also the need for safety (often caused by trauma or by heavy conditional love from family/caretakers, conditional love = a fear-based kind of love)
the need for approval/validation (and it's ok, it doesn't mean anything is wrong with you, most humans on Earth have that need)
having so much love to give !!! (and this is beautiful in itself!) you feel everything so intensely and you have suffered so much, you wouldn't wish for anyone to suffer so you are naturally caring and giving.
Narcissists want that, they want to be admired and they're ready to give you everything you want (so they say... in appearance, at least) so they can be loved, and it's a kind of "trauma bonding" indirectly.
Sometimes the narcissist doesn't even know he is a narcissist, for example, you have the covert narcissist, who will literally constantly b*llsh*t himself/herself without realizing he/she is even doing that to himself/herself.
That is not an excuse at all, I'm just giving a perspective here, some covert narcissist don't have any intention to harm, they're not aware of the harm they're causing.
I have personally experienced a covert narcissist's way, a human being with a good heart, no intention to harm, just to serve themselves and you can tell there was heavy trauma behind that, but of course, they will never admit that.
Once again, I insist, it is definitely not an excuse for some behaviors and you still need to have boundaries.
Sometimes the narcissist is aware and that makes it worse (or actually easier because then you don't even feel sorry for them if they're aware, it then becomes a choice on their behalf to cause harm).
And sometimes, you have the pervert narcissist, this type knows they manipulate and they definitely enjoy it, they love pressing the button that hurts, playing with empaths that they literally see as their food... or their toy... and you want to run away from this kind asap!
In any cases, they push buttons and guilt-trip 'innocently" and when you lack self-confidence and care about them, it is hard - fact!
But it's not them that that you have to face (because they'll BS you and gaslight you anyway, right?), it doesn't matter, no one can change them but themselves (and it rarely happens for them...)
The one you really have to face is yourself: choosing yourself and coming to a point where you don't give a f about anything anymore, you just choose yourself and make yourself a priority.
And that can be hard when you're not supported and you are scared to validate yourself (because you were not taught how to do that).
So here is a tip to help you choose yourself:
As I always say: can you be there for yourself as much as you have been there for the narcissist (that you genuinely cared about) or or for others?
Let me tell you, my dear, there is nothing selfish, nothing to be guilt-tripped about... Choose yourself, it's always worth it.
Never shame yourself, judge yourself or think bad about yourself for having been in that relationship.
You have so much love to give, your heart is pure and you deserve to give it to a human who will not only appreciate but reciprocate it. It's time for balance! :)
If you're aware you've been "attracting" narcissists (so to speak), chances are you've already started healing this pattern as awareness is always the 1st step...
If you have decided that you were totally done with that pattern, then you will succeed!!! I can guarantee that!
But before I go, let me give you another tip... a lot of empaths are afraid to lose empathy or to become "careless" if they don't feel others' anymore...
Let me drop it here... as an "unpopular opinion" (maybe?)
Life-changing opinion about empathy and healing wounds:
Empathy doesn't equal having to suffer or be overwhelmed all your life. It's not a fatality.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER FROM FEELING OTHERS' SUFFERING.
Say what? Yes, you read that right, my dear... You are an empath/clairsentient, you always will be and it's a gift!
However, when you really do the work on yourself, you won't be as overwhelmed, you won't feel as much pain and when you do, it won't affect you in an "unhealthy" way.
You will still feel, you always will, because it's in your nature, but you'll be able to tell what's going on, you'll know what is yours and what is not therefore you will be able to get back into balance quickly (or even stay balanced), help others and hold the vibration even more.
I feel this is a touchy subject for some but it is something that I have personally experienced, so I can testify of this. I have always felt things from people and places: emotions, thoughts, energies - EVERYTHING!
I used to be a real sponge and absorb everything, I'd get triggered a lot, be overwhelmed and have disproportionate reactions (ex: I'd cry a river because someone's pain I was feeling was echoing my own so it's like I was feeling it at least twice more intensely)... Can you relate? I'm sure you can...
And now? I still feel other people's pains and emotions, I still know what they think.
Do I still get triggered? Less and less, actually I rarely do and when I do, I quickly get back into balance after having addressed the issue in question
Do I still feel overwhelmed? It happens of course, we're humans and it is our nature to feel a wide range emotions, but not as much as I used to.
I worked seriously and consistently on healing myself since 2009, every single day, learning and growing awareness, analyzing past trauma, shifting perspective, forgiving myself and other people.
Was it easy? Nope, it involved a lot of tears, hopelessness, pain... excruciating pain even... but hey! It's possible!
I'm still an empath (Heyoka), I still feel everything but my own wounds and my own story don't come in the way in an invasive way. I know how to turn my ability to feel on or off and I can use it to help other people.
I can be more present for my beautiful clients without interferences.
So yes, I'd recommend to anyone to do the inner work and especially to empaths because it can really change your life for the better...
To conclude this article, I want to say that there is hope, you can change your life and you can heal from your most painful wounds.
You can work on practicing radical self-acceptance.
If you'd like to talk about it, you can book your free clarity call here