Awakening the Empath

What is an empath?
According to the dictionary: Empathy is an ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

But I have to ask. . .
Can we really understand the feelings of another? For we each have our own unique life stories and experiences. That, in itself, filters how we hear and experience others, from our own perspective. What, if any, advantage is there in sharing the feelings of another?

In my recent dreamtime, I experienced sitting at a table in a bar observing the bartender with the people coming and going. Each person left the bar transformed. It was as if he was serving up an elixir, rather than the kind of alcohol that usually helps people drown their troubles. After everyone had gone, I went and spoke with the bartender. I asked what he was serving to transform all his patrons. He said, I see each person’s highest potentials and I treat them as such. I could see that he was able to be fully present and listen without taking anything on because he knew it was all irrelevant to him without any need to advise or fix anything. The radiance of his simple presence was enough. This was the elixir. 

Upon awakening in the morning, I pondered the message of this dream. I realized, as empaths, we feel all the energies around us and have take them on as our own to figure out how to survive and be safe. In pre-neolithic times, this may have been important. But we are no longer living in antiquated survival mode.

Empathy is not unique to certain individuals. Everyone has this empathetic ability. Unless one is consciously aware of it, which most people are not, everything is taken on as one’s own energy. Some people are more sensitive to energies than others to the point that they become empathically overwhelmed and stifle one’s life.

I recall some years ago while living on an island, I could feel my nervous system amp up as soon as the tires of my car hit the frenetic energy of the city streets upon exiting the ferry. I had to do a lot of conscious breathing to settle down before I could comfortably go about my business.

Because the influx of information due to the news, social media, and internet has continued to increase, so has the energy we are taking on from the collective consciousness. Thus, we often unconsciously damp down in order to function. Just as I did when I exited the island ferry.

YIKES!! No wonder the planet is such a mess right now as the vibration of the planet is rising and humans are becoming more sensitive. Without the awareness of how to manage energy, there is a lot of acting out as suppressed emotions are coming to the surface.

Empathy is not something that is spoken of in mainstream. In fact, it is regarded as weird or insanity from those who do not understand it, and considered an emotional dysfunction from within the medical community. It is only the spiritual community that is becoming aware and adept at managing empathy. We are beginning to feel more deeply and to recognize what is ours and what is not. What needs our attention and what does not.

If we have inadvertently taken on energy that is not ours, which all of us have done over the years, it’s important to release it. Otherwise this suppressed energy becomes dysfunctional and manifests as disease. As a means of releasing, I have noticed the difference between “letting it go”, which implies I have taken it on as mine. . . or “it doesn’t matter”, which proclaims my unconscious judgement of something that does in fact matter. If instead, I claim its “irrelevance” to Who I Am, it dissolves in an instant rather than having to process all the stored data of which there seems to be an eternal stream.

When my human self is tempted to jump into engaging with current energies, I have learned to claim its “irrelevance” which means I don’t take it on as mine. Just as the bartender in my dream never took anything on from his patrons. He was able to listen from a neutral place, the same way Source does, without any judgment, therefore never taking it on.

I consider empathy to be a Sacred Gift. Everything is energy. Empathy allows me to intimately feel and communicate with everything around me, people, my environment, animals, plants, stars, even the omniverse. Empathy allows me to consciously feel everything from neutrality without judgment, allowing it to be irrelevant, unless I consciously choose to interact with it.

Empathy is something I’ve been consciously experiencing for many years and learned to use advantageously while doing healing work (from which I have retired). During that time, I had to learn when, or if, to engage while remaining neutral as the observer and not take any of it on as mine.

We in the spiritual community have come to realize that although conscious empathy is a gift, it requires a lot of practice because the old programming is so deeply ingrained. It’s important to remember: We always have choice. And this is true Freedom! As such, we are becoming conscious Wayshowers for a whole new way of living on the planet.
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~Sharon Lyn Shepard~
http://www.sharonlynshepard.com
Artwork by Annelie Solis

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New Roles of Compassion

compassion

We have been witnessing one disaster after another, more so in this past year than ever before. Despite all the chaos, I have continually been guided to hold the high road, to shine the light, to remind others of the joy that is equally present.

I don’t tune into the media’s frenzy, engage in political or religious debates, or fight for causes. Nor do I judge those who choose to do so. I simply turn the other cheek, as Yeshua/Jesus says. I turn my face away from that which I have no control over and do what I can do in the presence of my own life and my immediate surroundings. I continue to do what my Soul is guiding me to do. And for each of us that may look very different, for we each have our own unique soul path.

However, with all the current disasters there are moments I question what feels like my lack of compassion. That’s when I remember the conversation I had with Quan Yin years ago with her reflections on compassion:

“Compassion is often misconstrued as sympathy or pity, which draws us more deeply into the stories of victimhood. But true compassion is quite the opposite. Compassion honors the sovereign right for each person to experience life according to their own soul’s journey. When we choose compassion we are free of judgement and there is no such thing as a victim, for both parties are playing a role in their soul’s growth. True compassion is fostered in our acceptance rather than our scrutiny. When we listen with the intent of truly hearing one another, compassion can find a place in our lives, giving birth to the unconditional Love and acceptance of all human beings, especially ourselves. That, my love, is the ultimate freedom that comes with compassion”
“So how does compassion couple with forgiveness?” I ask.
“Forgiveness is the ultimate act of letting go and freeing ourselves from the endless cycles of judgment, blame, shame and guilt. Judgment stems from our expectations and beliefs. It’s our own expectations, not someone one else’s, that set us up for the fall. Forgiveness is not directed toward another. It is a precious gift to one’s self. For-giving is the giving forth of Love. Once we love ourselves, compassion becomes a natural way of life. When we live in unconditional love and compassion, there’s nothing to forgive. You see, it’s all rooted in Love.”
“Well, that’s certainly a new perception. I always thought forgiveness was about someone else, us absolving them for what they did.” I replied.
Quan Yin smiles, “I think you’re confused, dear one. That’s called Love.”

 

Even with that knowing I will occasionally pause and question my soul’s guidance. How can I possibly post something joyful on fb when the rest of humanity is in despair? Where is my compassion? Should I not be feeling the loss others are feeling?

That’s when my Soul popped in with an answer:

“Humanity is moving through its own chaos and turmoil as it transitions into a new world. If you were to emotionally hook into every disaster present on the planet you would soon become lost in the anguish, despair and misery that is prevalent. If you gave away all your energy and resources, then who would be available to forge a new path and light the way for others?

YOU are compassionate by nature. 
There is nothing you need do to prove this to yourself or to others. There is no such thing as a compassion yardstick to measure how compassionate you or anyone else is. If you are not acting in a way that others consider to be compassionate, it’s because there is an old concept of compassion. You have been taught that compassion requires you to give yourself away in order to be compassionate in the eyes of others. You have since learned otherwise.

You have learned that the heart will always act compassionately free of the interference of the mind which is simply ego’s way of making you feel good about the person it thinks you should be. True compassion is innate. It is who you are and you demonstrate it with a humility in ways you do not even realize.

Your true compassion is the expression of your Soul, reacting as your GodSelf, seeing all in divine order. Source does not lower the vibration to match others. Source holds the highest vibration and says. . . come, come join me here in the joy of life.”

 

Therefore, I see myself in a new light of compassion. The same way the soul is compassionate, simple and pure, without lowering my vibration to match those around me. Each has their own way of expressing compassion. My expression is one of shining the light on the path of divinity that is available for all of us, without which we would all be wallowing in despair.

I share this because I can feel the angst of so many who are being pulled into the mire when their soul is asking them to be free of it. This is especially true of the empath who feels “everything”. That doesn’t mean we don’t reach out a helping hand. It means we do it with joy in our hearts because we see something much better for all of humanity. It means we honor the divinity of each person’s unique soul path. It means we are free of the old teachings of what is required to be a “good” person. It means we can hold out our hand just as Source does and say. . . Come, come join me in the Joy of Life.

~Sharon Lyn Shepard~
“message from my inner wisdom”
www.sharonlynshepard.com

💕 These Offerings are my Sacred Gift to you. 
If you find peace, love, joy or inspiration here, please consider sharing your Gratitude with a Love Offering to support this page in remaining 100% free. I thank you for your Soul Embrace and may your kind generosity return to you multiplied many fold! ~DONATE~

 

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Raising the Consciousness of Empathy

Many of us are natural empathetic beings, feeling and absorbing everything in our environment like a sponge. In many ways empathy is a type of radar that gives us warning and keeps us safe. It’s constantly blipping out there assessing energies, sending messages to our mind to interpret  based on past experience, and setting off alarms in our reptilian brain. Before you know it, the neurological system is doling out fight-or-flight chemicals and you’re in a state of anxiety, often without even knowing why.

Empathy has served us well. In the days of the cave man, this system worked perfectly. But we are no longer living in caves. As we all know, time is speeding up, the energies from the geomagnetic storms are intensifying, as are the emotions of mass consciousness attempting to break free of old constraints. Empathy continues to suck us into the old dramas unable to attract new solutions. Oh we might rise above the symptoms for a brief time, only to be plunged back into the storm. So even if you’re managing your own emotions, if you’re unconsciously tapped into mass consciousness, you’re constantly flipping into your reptilian brain exhausting your adrenal system and your physical body. Can you spell F-A-T-I-G-U-E !!!

Is there another way? I believe there is!!!

In one word: Trust
Can you trust the ever benevolent Universe?
If you do, you trust the Divine and no longer need to engage the empathic system from it’s antiquated template.

We have been taught that empathy equates to “feeling”. It’s important to feel, very important…but where do you want to engage your feelings? Through your heart or your reptilian brain? Realigning your emotional pathways doesn’t mean shutting down your feelings.

During these times of transition, many energies that are no longer appropriate are surfacing within our physical bodies, mass consciousness, and the planet. I’ve seen it written numerous times that it’s important to transmute negative energies. My perception is that we simply need to ALLOW these energies to surface and release organically. If we trust the Universe, we realize that the Universe knows how to do this perfectly if we stay out of the way and stop trying to manipulate energy. Do we really think we are more intelligent and powerful than the Universe?

A simple practice is to focus on the “present moment”. This shift in thought patterning will short circuit the mind’s fixed pattern of reviewing the past and trying to figure everything out, which is what sets off the reptilian brain’s neurological defenses. When you feel a tug on your emotions, just take a deep breath and re-settle into your heart in the present moment where you are safe, protected and provided for. Breath in Love and allow it to do what it knows how to do. Love is what transmutes energies. Love is what soothes your mind and your physical body. Love allows you to rise above the dramas.

When others are in need, don’t confuse empathy with compassion. You are of no assistance to others when you sink into their pain and sorrows by feeling it along with them. That only increases the pain and sorrow! Compassion is what’s called for. Compassion is rooted in unconditional Love and carries a high vibration of healing. Compassion engages the Divine Mind offering miraculous potentials, rather than pulling you into the small mind of worry and drama. For more clarity about compassion you may want to read “New Roles of Compassion” .

The old stories don’t need repeating. A new story needs to be written and compassion opens the heart to hear from a new perception. So cultivate compassion. It will always serve you well.

By raising the consciousness of empathy we open new pathways to the Divine Mind through our hearts where Love reigns supreme and our inner Wisdom blossoms forth, creating lives of ease and grace.

~Sharon Lyn Shepard~
“message from my inner wisdom”
www.sharonlynshepard.com 

💕 These Offerings are my Sacred Gift to you. 
If you find peace, love, joy or inspiration here, please consider sharing your Gratitude with a Love Offering to support this page in remaining 100% free. I thank you for your Soul Embrace and may your kind generosity return to you multiplied many fold! ~DONATE~

 

༻ Sharing is always appreciated ༺
I invite you to freely share my offerings with others.
Please maintain the integrity by including the author and source website link.