I listen to a podcast called “Know Thyself”, which I highly recommend if you’re into the esoteric. One of the pieces of advice that they give is you can’t tell someone how to experience their journey through life, but you can tell them about yours.
Late last year, I came to a hard truth which I had to face: I’m an empath with underdeveloped boundaries.
For starters, what is an empath? It’s a person who can easily put themselves in other people’s shoes.. From a spiritual perspective, it means you take on other’s energy, good and bad, with little effort. If you believe in frequencies, being with some people can raise your frequency and make you feel like you’re on top of the world, and others lower it, leaving you drained after every interaction. Point belabored.
I feel that the majority of us, save some with certain mental disorders, are born as empaths. However, as the world begins to program us, and we lose sight of where we come from and our oneness, many of us lose the ability to feel the feelings of our fellow human beings.
How do I know I’m an empath? I live my life in my body and know how it feels to take on other people’s energy on a daily basis. There was also a time in my life/career where I’ve over-corrected my empath tendencies and put up walls around me to not let that happen. Those were lonely years…
What does it mean to lack boundaries as an empath? Just like with any other personality trait there are good and bad manifestations. The blessing and curse of being an empath is that it’s very easy to pick up how people are feeling. A “good” empath can empathize, but separate, someone else’s feelings from theirs, an empath without boundaries will become the feeling or emotion – making the empath highly susceptible to the influence of others. If you’re familiar with hermetic principles, I would liken this type of empath as having very strong feminine energy.
How does this manifest in the workplace, and in life in general? For me, when I let my guard down around toxic people, I became just as toxic. Conversely, around people who looked at the world around them in a positive light, I took that on, too. You know those meetings where you leave feeling the “ick”? It was probably overrun by toxic people. And those meetings where you felt inspired and ready to rule the world? Probably overrun with positive, well-adjusted people. Remember, many of us our empaths by the very nature of being born into this planet…we all can feel it to a degree.
From my experience, the constant vacillation between toxicity and positivity, led me to be inconsistent – with my emotions, with my relationships…with everything, really. My days, weeks and months were rollercoasters. And what’s the key to ultimate success? If you listen to the billionaires, it’s consistency.
I’ve come to this realization…now what? Knowledge is power, but the application of knowledge is wisdom.
The eye-roll inducing answer for many is that I wear crystals. A human design reader told me to wear and use Selenite as a way to protect my energy. The non-New Age answer is more difficult: for me, it’s practicing a high degree of discernment.
At the root of it, discernment is having good judgment. Who you can tell what information/energy. Who you can take information/energy from. When I had my terrifying, yet exhilarating aha moment about life, I went through a period of wanting to help every single person who reached out to me and “needed” me because “we’re all a collective conscious!” And my fellow human needed me, so of course I’d help. Guess what? That was draining. I’d over-corrected, as I’d done earlier in the career, but in the opposite direction.
I had to hit the reset button and start living my life with more balanced feminine and masculine energy. I’ll share more in my next post.