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Ben & Kim Sowter

Have you been labelled an Empath or Highly Sensitive? Your sensitive nature can be the link to personal fulfillment and the reconnection back to the authentic self.  

Empaths maybe referred to as highly sensitive individuals, easily affected by their environment and personal interactions. Their basis for living relies on feeling and sensing opposed to the mental process of logic and fact-finding. They rely on intuition for guidance, demonstrate compassion in personal interactions and use emotive language to get their point across. People are drawn to their warm persona and sympathetic ear, making them excellent counsellors and humanitarians. As wonderful as this sounds, many empaths and sensitives find themselves being easily drained or suffering from anxiety, unfounded fears and general confusion about who they are.  

If you are reading this article, it may be that you are wondering what the difference between empaths and sensitive people. Are they one in the same? Everyone has varying degrees of sensitivity, from one who may be as sensitive as a brick wall (lacks sensitivity) to someone who can feel the effects of a feather floating down to the floor (highly sensitive). When it comes to empaths and highly sensitive people or HSP, there are subtle differences. The main one is empaths can experience the physical, emotional and mental pain of another. A sensitive can feel compassion without taking it on physically.  

What empaths and HSPs both have in common is their ability to connect with the world via sensory communication. They are sponges when it comes to receiving the energetic debris emitted by others or left behind in locations. It is not uncommon to walk into an empty room and feel uncomfortable or even physically ill. In fact, it is common for those who are highly sensitive to take on so much energetic debris that it leads to anxiety, thoughts that are out of character or feelings of being weighed down.  

In the extreme, an empath may suddenly have a desire or craving that is uncharacteristic. Alcohol, sex, smoking, eating foods they wouldn’t normally consider. Thankfully, the experience may be quick, disconnecting when the person leaves behind the trigger.  

Empaths and HSPs attract those who instinctively know they will benefit by interacting with someone who is open to giving. It may be in the form of an individual unloading their emotional baggage, draining the empath of vitality while the other walks away positively transformed.  

In more serious cases an individual may pray on their giving nature. Draining the vitality and instilling dominance that leaves the empath and HSP questioning their own motives, desires, and goals. Making them targets for unbalanced personal relationships.  

The giving nature of the empath or HSP often lacks the conviction to leave the relationship, instead believing that they are there to help or heal the other person. Placing others before themselves is a familiar and often repetitive aspect in their life.    

 

Empaths and HSPs attract those who instinctively know they will benefit by interacting with someone who is open to giving. It may be in the form of an individual unloading their emotional baggage, draining the empath of vitality while the other walks away positively transformed.  

In more serious cases an individual may pray on their giving nature. Draining the vitality and instilling dominance that leaves the empath and HSP questioning their own motives, desires, and goals. Making them targets for unbalanced personal relationships.  

The giving nature of the empath or HSP often lacks the conviction to leave the relationship, instead believing that they are there to help or heal the other person. Placing others before themselves is a familiar and often repetitive aspect in their life.

In relationships, they adapt their behavior and mood to avoid confrontation

Empaths and HSPs innately choose to avoid living from a controlled ego state and therefore may struggle with the conventional methods of academic learning. When in the company of someone who lives by logic and reason they will inadvertently adapt to the mood and behavior of the individual instead of coming ‘head to head’ in a battle of will. The aim is to avoid confrontation and having to focus on an intellectualized view on life which would only bore and belittle what they hold dear, live life, experience love and connect with all that is.  

Empaths and HSP may enter a personal relationship with someone who is of a logical nature, making it a very good basis for the individuals to find balance in their individual personas. However, if the empath or HSP has failed to understand their sensitivity they will end up adapting themselves to be in alignment with the needs of the other person, favoring their likes and dislikes while suppressing their own needs.  

It may be out of fear of loss with the relationship, “If I don’t assimilate they will not like me?” or instinctually basing their persona on another provides a sense of confidence that is often lacking with empaths. “if I behave as they do, I will be okay.” Whatever the reason, the result is the empath loses the connection to themselves. Their authentic self is overshadowed by the need to please others and in doing so they are basing their own identity on an external source.  

Adapting to people in a forced setting such as work can be an empath’s nightmare. The need to earn a living outweighing the need to self-care and manage their sensory ability. Many will find themselves going from job to job in the hope of a different environment. Those who choose to stay in a position may appear quiet, smiling and pleasant when pushed but lacking any real interaction. They will get the job done but at what cost to personal wellbeing?  

Are you an Empath?

It may sound crazy, but many people are highly sensitive, empaths and they don’t even know it. Traditionally, we called sensitives, clairsentient, a French word meaning; clear (Clair) sensing (Sentient). Such people know they are sensitive in nature but to what extent is where the problem exists.  

Common Traits are:

 

  • Overwhelmed by people or places
  • Easily adapt to the mood and tone of others
  • Experience the physical, emotional, mental pain of others
  • Feel confused by too many thoughts and feelings
  • Attract people who like to openly share their problems
  • Feel the need to retreat from people and society 

If you identified with two or more of the above traits, then consider yourself on the higher scale of sensitivity. Over the last 15 years, I have seen a rise in sensitivity among those who often thought they were just too emotional, questioning whether they even belonged in a world that favours the intellect over the heart. Leaving many to ask, what is my place in this world and who am I?  All of this is because no one has told them that they possess a finely attuned sensory system that can receive subtle frequencies that the body translates through the physical senses. 

The Benefits of Being an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person

Inventors, entrepreneurs, explorers, humanitarians are all in the higher scale of sensitivity. With positive self- awareness they go on to utilize their creativity, connection to others to benefit the world.  

The choice to understand and develop sensitivity provides many benefits:

  • A profound connection with your authentic self 
  • Clear intuitive insight 
  • The ability to cut through the B.S and see what really needs to be done 
  • Fulfilling relationships because you know what the needs of the other person are 
  • Open to creating anything you want 
  • Elevate restrictions that cause self- doubt 
  • Sets in place personal boundaries, avoiding unhealthy relationships  

 

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