I am an empath...
I can feel what you're feeling. In my body. Sometimes more than you can.
This is a beautiful gift God has given me. It allows others to feel seen and heard by me. It helps people feel safe and known around me.
But, sometimes, it's overwhelming to me. All those negative emotions of yours can really get me down!
I've been learning how to distinguish between YOUR emotions and MY emotions. A strangely difficult thing to do...that's how much I take on your feelings...they become my own.
I'm trying to learn how to use this as the gift it is. To be able to relate, see and hear you, but not TAKE ON your negative experiences. I actually love talking with you about your pain, but it needs to not become my pain.
Here is what I'm trying to do these days:
1. See, hear, feel your pain (that's the easy part for me)
2. Distinguish it as yours, not mine. Ask myself, "Am I stressed right now because of something in my own life, or because I can sense that Kim is stressed?"
3. Let you know I see and hear you. This might be all you need! I can be grateful that I helped you by letting you know I see, hear and feel your pain.
4. Ask clarifying questions. Determine if I what I am sensing is accurate. Reflect back to you what I think you are feeling.
5. Believe that you don't need me to fix you. YOU have the resources within you to help yourself. My listening and reflecting can be enough.
6. IF I have some helpful advice, give it. If not, stay quiet.
5. Then (and this is the KEY), give it to God. I've done all I can do. I was given this information, I did what I could, and now God gets to do the rest. I was used by God to do what I did. That's an honor. And enough.