How To Deal With The Challenges Of Being An Empath (Or Highly Sensitive)

Written by on December 10, 2015 in Conscious Living, Thrive with 30 Comments


Source: Openhand

Let me begin by saying I am not an empath. I am a catalyst, but I do have emapthic tendencies. The work here at Openhand draws plenty of empaths (and highly sensitive people) naturally, by the Law of Attraction. Perhaps then, there’s something an empath can learn about their gift from a catalyst? (and of course vice versa). Perhaps there’s something a catalyst naturally does, which is inherent to their nature, that an empath can develop inside themselves? And maybe this can make living in this complex and diverse world a whole lot easier? That’s the purpose of this exploration which I invite you to join…

How the catalyst might help the empath

An empath is someone who can – and naturally does – take on the feelings and emotions of others as their own. It means they can literally feel what another is feeling. But this gift can sometimes become a helluva nightmare until it’s properly developed. In taking on the emotions, thoughts and feelings of those around you, and society, you become awash with convoluted energy that can batter you around like a small sailing boat in a storm. It raises enormous levels of anxiety and fear, a near constant fight/flight mechanism, which can drive the empath to despair – even sometimes suicidal tendencies.

But it needn’t be like this. There is a solution.
There is mastery of one’s gift, of one’s art.

I am a catalyst, but when I sit with people, where given to, I can literally feel what’s going on inside their field. I can feel their blockages and know their karma like reading a book; I can see entities and implants. The field is awash with this density – people’s fields are. And I can see that if I couldn’t switch this gift off, then I could potentially take the world upon my shoulders, have it tidal wave through my emotions.

You have to be able to always find your vibe,
no matter what it going on.

The point is, I actually don’t have to switch these feelings off – that just happens. It’s like my consciousness hones in on what it’s supposed to, works with it, but then literally drops it like the proverbial hot coals. Once more, I find myself resting in the purity of my own vibration. So maybe there’s a clue here for an empath? If I could share how this works for me, then maybe it could help the catalysts divine complement – the empath?

Related Article: How To Love An Empath

Feeling into Blockages

Let’s look at the beneficial nature of being an empath, or having empathic qualities, for a moment. Because to truly unleash beingness and shed distortion, is to express the truth in the distortion – you’re activating the distortion because the soul is trying to break through an area of limitation.

In having empathic tendencies as a spiritual catalyst, means that you can feel into and harmonise with the feelings of another – especially their density. In the Facilitator Work we do at Openhand, I get the group to practice expanding their field out to embrace their partner within, then to explore exactly what they’re feeling.

Then, as the catalyst, you bring attention – energy – to the places you feel are blocked. You literally direct your focus to these places. And it helps also to direct the partner to those feelings. You can use intuitive questioning to explore why the blockage is there… “tell me what the word ‘worthlessness’ means to you?” for example. In this alchemical cauldron, merely the use of such a word, delivered intuitively, can be enough to spike an outburst, an unwinding, a release.

It’s like you’re reaching inside your partner, harmonising with them, then resonating a frequency of realignment. The blockage unwinds and falls away, that blocked aspect of soul is reminded of itself; the soul then integrates; miraculous alchemical healing and transformation takes place.

None of this could have been possible without the empathic qualities. Paradoxically, a really good catalyst, also has really good empathic qualities.

The Canary in the Coalmine

But empaths have something much deeper than what a catalyst can truly express. They can take on all the nuances of another’s energy, which could even be the planetary system such as Gaia for example. Such a gift has the capacity to manifest the unseen – that which is repressed and hidden from clear sight. By revealing the density in this way, means that people – such as catalysts – can begin to work with it.

I’ve sat in many spiritual groups where somebody is sitting peacefully and in harmony, feeling very evolved, and yet the empath next to them is in emotional agony, expressing that which the other isn’t yet willing or able to express.

That’s why I often consider the empath like the proverbial canary in the coalmine. That’s what makes their gift so valuable to the world and the evolving group. That’s why we should cherish these people and their gifts and not see them as some kind of affliction.

Yet before they’re developed, they can indeed manifest as the most terrible affliction – fear of the world, reclusiveness, hyper sensitivity, listlessness and directionlessness, lack of motivation, stress and anxiety.

So how to deal with these challenges?

I’d say the key lies in the reflection the catalyst can offer.

Related Articles: 4 Popular Myths About Being An Empath

The vital importance of setting effective boundaries

A catalyst inherently sets boundaries effortlessly. For me, it just happens. You could sit me in the middle of an emotional hurricane, and I will still find my own vibration. So here’s the first key – knowing your own vibration.

You have to keep exploring your own vibration as much as possible and in your own space as much as possible – especially if you’re in partnership – especially if you’re in partnership with a catalyst (which by the Law of Attraction can tend to happen – opposites attract!).

So this will involve developing your own rituals and practices: your own spiritual practice like meditation, yoga or tai chi for example; what you eat, when you eat, what NOT to eat – you can easily override these boundaries with a partner when they’re less effected by the ‘microclimate’.

Sensitivity is the key here. An empath is highly sensitive, and in order to centre in your vibration, you have to focus on the things that truly serve you and those that don’t. Just because your loving partner ‘gets off on something’, and just because you feel a yearning to compromise behaviour, doesn’t mean you should compromise your soul!

You see that’s one of the other big hurdles for an empath to overcome – they have a highly active ray 4 – the diplomat aspect of the soul. They want to harmomise. But often overstretch the boundary so they dissolve into the other person’s/people’s vibration. And here’s where the tragedy so easily begins.

You’ve got to embrace the sense of focus of the catalyst. Not close down on the world no. But just be really clear about your boundaries.

When you know your boundaries, then you can start to have a positive effect on the world through the field. Less and less, you stop being washed around by all the flotsam and jetsam. You become increasingly centred.

Then when an inflow of negative energy begins to invade you, you can work with it. How?

Assert yourself: breathe in, impart your energy, breathe out

The best way I have witnessed, is to breathe it in and relax, hold the breath, radiate it with light, then breathe it back out again, in the direction from whence it came.

You’re accepting the energy, feeling into it, but being really clear it’s not you. Then having a positive impact on it, by bringing your soul vibe to it, before breathing that back out again.

You’re not rejecting your gift in this way. But neither are you getting lost in the external vibration. You’re having a positive influence on it by asserting yourself. And in asserting yourself – your highest vibration of truth, love and light – then you’re breathing that back out into the world and having a positive impact on it.

There will be places where this incoming energy gets stuck first though – it happens where there’s (understandably, subtle judgment of the energy). Maybe slightly veiling your incredible discernment of the energy, is subtle judgment of the impact it has on you? This is where there might be some reaction to the world by an unrealised aspect of your soul. This is what you’ll first have to work with, by softening into the contractions you feel – the reactions. But softening into them doesn’t mean accepting them as you. It means surrendering to the truth of them, but then working to release them – by bringing light into them in the way I’ve described.

So feel your contractions, soften into them, unwind them, become as One in them, and then allow your higher self to infuse them with your own higher vibe. Then release them back out into the world from whence they came.

You might also have to raise the warrior in this experience, especially if the energy is particularly dense and clingy. I know this part is not always easy for a sensitive empath, but you have to be clear about your own vibe, the importance that you stand assertively in your own truth.

Keep developing the Gift

I welcome the involvement of empaths in the Openhand healing work. It’s an amazing gift you have. We’ve been blessed thus far that so many of you have found your way to our shores. Long may it continue.

Remember to look at the reflection your divine counterpart – the spiritual catalyst – might be able to offer. The universe put us together for a reason!

Hopefully, this approach might help ease and integrate the wonderous gift that you empaths embody. I feel for you. My heart goes out to you. I encourage you to master your gift for the good of all people in these challenging times. You are truly special.

Related Article: Are You Carrying More Than You Need To?


Read more great articles at Openhand.


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30 Reader Comments

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  1.' Sharon Daly says:

    Jodie Daly

  2.' Robert Dunn says:

    Murry Michaud

  3.' Lisazionrising Henderson Edwards says:

    Sometimes it is so strong and frequent it makes my life feel like a living hell. And it is getting stronger the older I get. I am starting to isolate to prevent interacting.

  4.' Julia Young says:

    Yes I am a Empath and it can a happy or stressful days just walking in to rooms of ppl OMG!!!!

  5.' Tukuparaehe Mau says:

    empath,hmm i believe,we are eunique, we can make choices we can change peoples lives ,i am responsible for the choices that i make , we are not acountable or responsible for choices that others choose and no on

  6.' Tukuparaehe Mau says:

    hihi in other words we de-termine and control our lives and we choose who! we are,where ! we’re from and this is the best part where! we’re going you know why:

  7.' Judy Olah says:

    everyone, in their own way, is an empath. we just learn to deal with it and react or not react in our own unique and individual way.

  8.' Amy Faria says:

    I wish i knew how to control it

  9.' Tukuparaehe Mau says:

    oh people you are not,!!! accountable for what others say and do ! people guess what! We decide and control our futures but for our deaths we have no right”s or decisions over death that is Dads (gods) choice only!!! thats the 1 fact of lifes choices we dont have .

  10.' Tukuparaehe Mau says:

    uess what! We decide and control ouhave no right”s or decisions over death that is Dads (gods) choice only!!! thats the 1 fact of lifes choices we dont have .

  11.' Sabreena Juanillo says:

    I am that..

  12.' Dennis Tackett says:

    Elizabeth Tackett

  13.' Julie Charland says:

    The blessing and curse…

  14.' Eleanor Sparling says:

    It’s hard to learn how to shut off your feelings. If you can then you have mastered a great gift.

  15.' Deanne Rachelle says:

    Tracy Antonucci

  16.' Audrey Murray says:

    Nicole Nikk Knox

  17.' Linda Connolly says:

    I am as well. I think of it as having a control knob. I can leave it wide open for instance when doing therapy or turn it way down such as when I’m teaching. It is a tool for me to use to be of service.

  18.' Patricia McCarthy says:

    its a nightmare!

  19.' Jose A. Ruiz says:


  20.' Kamu Kay-o Moletsane says:

    Would two empath partners make the perfect match….? *curious*

  21.' Julia Barrow says:

    Claire Juliette Barrow
    Emma Jayd

  22.' Paul Earl says:

    Chris Fairhall Stephen Knight

  23.' Ahmed Hamideh says:

    Vince Nebbia I sensed years ago that your an empath!

  24.' Cathy Riechman VanOstran says:

    Michelle Marsh

  25.' Don Field says:

    I always wondered why it felt crazy to be around a lot of different people when I was a kid

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