On being an Empath-Blessing or Curse? I didn’t sign up for this! Oh…Wait.

I’ve started this post and deleted it too many times to even keep track of over the past 48 hours. I can share many intimate details of my life through writing (not so much in person) but whenever I write about spiritual topics I have to push through a shit ton of fear. I want to be careful in how I express myself in this post because I don’t claim to be anyone special or in the know by any means, and I don’t want to sink back into old patterns of searching for validation in what I believe/experience spiritually.

My spirituality is very difficult to define. I was raised Jewish and always believed in God, became a Christian at 18 and went through a process after my divorce of re-defining what I truly believe. Honestly, I can’t even define my beliefs to this day.

I still struggle with being judged by my Christian friends, or labeled a back-slider or hieratic. But quite honestly, I’ve lived by others expectations my entire life and I just can’t do it anymore. If I must walk this life journey completely alone, I am willing, I must remain true to myself.

From the time I was a little girl, after being very ill with pneumonia and having a very vivid, life changing vision, I was given a choice to leave this world or remain and fulfill a purpose. I looked outside my bedroom window at a large oak tree that was being removed from our yard, it had just been cut down and I stood there and watched as the neighborhood children were playing on it. The large roots were partially exposed, I stood there crying for this old oak tree, it’s deep roots and strong branches meant nothing now, it was now lifeless and broken, defeated.
 I returned back to my bed and was shown a black circle in my minds eye. The circle was moving closer and closer to a vertical line. I knew that when it touched the line, I’d be gone from this world. I made my choice. A white circle appeared and merged with the black circle, and I came to.

From that moment on, my life changed. It was as if everything around me came to life. I could see beyond the surface. I looked at everyone and everything in a completely different light. I could look into people’s eyes and it was as if I could see their hearts and souls. As a little girl I couldn’t articulate properly what I saw, so I began labeling others as either dark or light. I could feel other people’s emotions and became confused when they’d say one thing, when what I was picking up seemed to contradict what they were saying. I tried to share these experiences with my parents but was not taken seriously and often times laughed at and mocked.

So, I kept quiet and wrote. I wrote songs, stories and engaged in make believe play to express myself. After losing my adopted mother to cancer at 12 I shut all of my emotions down. The grief was just too much to bare. A few years ago my emotions were ignited again. At first it was as if years of suppressed emotions came flooding to the surface and I felt way off balance. I had a difficult time regulating my emotions.

I have since come to a place of balance through solitude, meditation and energy healing. I’ve learned to distinguish my emotions from others and am able to detach when I know they are coming from outside of myself. When I feel others emotions, they always manifest in my physical body and will come on suddenly when I am not even thinking about a specific person. I used to try to analyze these emotions and/or allow them to take over creating confusion, mood swings and exhaustion. That doesn’t happen any longer.

Thursday morning, I woke up ready to start my day. I was in a great mood, productive and at peace. Around mid afternoon as I was playing with my son in his bedroom, I smelled the scent of someone dear to me. That has never happened to me before. Suddenly my body felt as if it was in overdrive. My heart started beating rapidly, I became short of breath and my body felt anxious. Yet my mind felt completely balanced and at ease. I was then flooded with emotional chaos in my physical body. I felt panic, confusion, terror and grief, yet still my mind was calm, my thoughts not affected. I tried meditating but it felt as if all frequencies were blocked, like static. I knew that something major was about to take place, yet felt helpless. I don’t believe I need to elaborate.

My biggest struggle has been trusting my intuition, especially when there is no physical evidence to back up what I’m sensing, what I know. I also struggle with sharing what I know out of fear that I may cause harm somehow. I can’t live in that fear any longer. I must be true to myself. I must live my purpose, or I may as well have just let go as a child and parted from this chaotic world.

I guess I write this post to reach out to and encourage other empaths. It can be a very lonely journey. And we often feel so misunderstood. I often find myself saying out loud angrily “I didn’t sign up for this, take it away” but the reality is yes, I did. And day by day I am becoming closer to my true self, and somehow strengthened through it all.

Prayers, love and light tonight to all

Saying Goodbye

I’ve spent the past week down in Florida. My step after died after a fast and furious three month battle with colon cancer. He and my mom were together for 47 years! I also came down to say goodbye to my 91 year old adopted father who has been Ill with a heart issue. More than likely I will not see him again.

Both of these men walked me down the aisle on my wedding day, both played important roles in my life.

“New Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

― Lao Tzu

Through this process of death, of endings, I’ve gained a much clearer perspective on what’s truly important. Love, family, connection.

I will write more about this experience when I return home I’m sure. We truly are all connected.

Under the Twisted Oak

For the past two weeks an image has been appearing in my minds eye. A mental snapshot of a very meaningful and moving experience I had as a child.
An image that has reoccured throughout my life, from the time I was a young girl.
I’ve shared this story many times, but never really understood the significance until this morning.

I was about 7 or 8, I decided to tag along with my father to pick up some court transcripts from a co-worker (he was a stenographer) As we arrived at our destination, I felt this sense of belonging for the first time in my short life. There was a certain familiarity here, a connection.

As we pulled up the drive at the end of a narrow oak lined street, I saw her standing there under a massive, twisted oak tree, easel set up, merrily painting away, carefree and focused on the canvas in front of her. The sun was reflecting radiantly off her coppery red hair which was pinned up in a messy bun on top of her head.
She was a large, heavy set woman with fair skin and a warm welcoming demeanor. She carried herself with a gentle elegance that seemed a stark contrast to her physical appearance .
As my father made his way up the stone walkway to the house, I chose instead to stay put, mesmerized by the scene in front of me. Mrs McTwiggan motioned for me to come join her. I was a painfully shy child, yet I felt oddly at ease, drawn to her, through both curiosity and fascination.

I watched as she painted away quietly. Few words were exchanged, but we communicated on a very profound level that day, we spoke without words.

I knew this was a pivotal moment in my young life, that I was standing on ‘sacred ground.’

For the first time in my young life I felt a deep sense of belonging, acceptance, validation and connection.

As I looked into her crystal blue eyes, there was an inner knowing that there were others like me, others who saw ‘beyond the veil’ so to speak, who felt everything as deeply as I did; others who, like myself believed in magic.

For the first time in my life I felt like I was home.

When faced with fear and uncertainty I am reminded of this magical moment. It offers me a deep sense of comfort and safety.

The twisted oak limbs, the smell of paint, the sound of the brush against the rough canvas and the cool breeze that blew gently through the oak leaves, encircling my delicate, young body, hold me close and embrace me to this day.

I am not alone, these memories are alive within me.

Home isn’t a place, no….Home is flesh and blood, living and breathing, home is a moment of magic under an ancient, twisted oak tree.
(Image credit-Peter Lik)

Connection

Yesterday as I was waiting for my prescription at the pharmacy with two of my boys I had two very sweet encounters. For the past two years I’ve pretty much been a recluse. My pregnancy was challenging and I became very sick, it’s taken me a year to recover.
Being a HSP/Empath I just could not handle much outside energy or stimulation. I had to focus on regaining my health and taking care of my home and children.

It has been strange getting out of the house and around people again after nearly two years with little social interaction. What I’m finding is I’m seeing others in a completely different light. I seem to be so much more aware of subtleties than I was before.

There were two people I connected with today. Both older women in their mid to late 60’s.

The first woman was a bit rough around the edges. Messy hair, suntanned skin, jeans and a dirty t-shirt. Our eyes met and I really got to ‘see’ her. I immediately felt connected to her as I saw sadness in her eyes. She stood there cold-faced, watching my son Sterling closely who was paying for my prescription. He handed me my card back and the woman commented on how nice it must be to have a son you can trust.(he typed my PIN number in) we made some small talk and her entire demeanor changed, she was now smiling ear to ear. For a brief moment I could feel her loneliness. She had the most beautiful smile hidden under that sadness 🙂

The other woman worked at the pharmacy. We talked briefly about canning, simplicity and family. She unknowingly reminded me of the value in the small things and had such a calm, peaceful presence.

As I was driving home reflecting, I realized how so often we go about out day and miss these connections. We become so busy, lost in our own little worlds that we miss these opportunities, these connections which are such precious gifts. I gave this day, but I also received. The trick is to remain present. We really are all connected.