You may or may not be familiar with the term empath.
An empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energies around them. In other words, empaths pick up on other people's expressed or unexpressed emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Often times, these energies are so clearly felt, it is challenging for an empath to discern what is their energy and what is another’s—where they end and another begins.
For this reason, empaths may feel overwhelmed with emotion or uncomfortable energies without knowing exactly why. They may go through periods of crying, anxiety, depression, frustration and even rage and not have a clear understanding of the origin of these experiences. This is because much of what they are actually feeling is the weight of the world—the microcosm (their immediate world) and macrocosm (the world outside their personal circle). Compounded with their own personal emotions and experiences, this can be an overwhelming and anxiety-invoking experience.
As such, many empaths personalize every feeling and energy, assuming and claiming it as their own and often find themselves in full-blown panic attacks trying to make sense of or analyze the origin. It’s no wonder that those who don’t yet know they are empathic or don't have tips and tools to assist them turn to isolation, substances, and processes to gain a sense of control over the energies. Consequently, many empaths find themselves in active addiction.
However, even if and when empaths who are active in addiction decide to enter into recovery, they still may not recognize themselves as empaths or ever be introduced to the term or tools to assist them. As such, they will simply be sober empaths with healthier coping skills but no clearer understanding of their experiences. Additionally, they are far more likely to relapse, as they will feel the emotions and energies (expressed and otherwise) of even their recovery community, sponsors and helping professionals. The latter can lead to further isolation and potentially a return to the familiar method of coping.
That said, if you see yourself in the aforementioned definition and descriptions, you’re an empath like me. And, for empaths in recovery, learning how to protect our energy is key.
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Setting boundaries is the first (and likely most important) step in protecting your energy. Honoring yourself by stating what is and is not okay with you and letting others know your personal policies and procedures sets the stage for clear energy. Of course, you cannot control whether or not others respect those boundaries. But, you can make decisions accordingly regarding the ways in which you interact or frequency of interaction you have with those who do not.
Cord Cuttings & Soul Tie Removals
With regard to boundaries, there are energetic ways to employ them to prevent the continued experience of other people’s energies (even in their absence). Cord cuttings and soul tie removal techniques allow you to energetically and spiritually remove the spiritual ties and energetic cords that keep you tied to another person’s energy. Examples of these can easily be found here.
Clear the Energetic Clutter
Creating a Sacred Space within your home and making the entire space a sanctuary is also key to keeping your energy clear. Empaths need an energetically clean space to retreat to, spiritually cleanse themselves in and recharge. Removing old energy (items that have old or negative energy from past relationships, periods of active addiction, ex-lovers, etc.) is the first step to clearing energetic clutter. Burning incense, smudging with sage or lighting candles and setting intentions for a clean and clear space is needed as well. This process will clear and purify the air, leaving the space open to new, clean energy. You can find smudging tips here.
As an empath, it is always key to stay grounded. Grounding keeps you clear of the energy of others and brings you back down to earth. That said, grounding into the earth is always best, which you can do with walks in nature or (yes) hugging a tree. Deep breaths into the belly are also key. You can use diet to get grounded by including root vegetables (potatoes, beets, carrots, etc.), chocolate, hot tea and anything earthy (portabella mushrooms or dark leafy greens). Additionally, a good soak in the bathtub with Epsom salt or Himalayan salt and an added scoop of bentonite clay can also assist.
Raise the Vibration
Keep the vibration (the energy within and around you) high. Unplug from social media and TV as much as possible. As with diet, you are what you eat, and we tend to gobble up hours of streaming TV shows along with social media memes, debates and live Instagram or Facebook streams. Don’t consume too much and be mindful of what and when you do consume. Feeding your soul (rather than feeding your ego, fear or negativity) is necessary.
You can do this by bringing fresh flowers or live plants inside your home. Acquiring clear quartz crystals, amethyst, rose quartz and selenite to instantly lift the frequency. Additionally, switch up your music to tunes that speak of love and positivity. Meditate and practice deep breathing, and add yoga or long walks to move the energy.
Being an empath is a gift, not a burden. You just have to honor yourself and protect your energy. Once you begin to get the hang of doing that regularly, you’ll begin to see how valuable your empathic nature is to the planet and others in recovery.
You’re a deep feeler, which means you’re a natural healer.