An empath has at least one significant (and trainable) gift for directly experiencing what it is like to be other people. Unskilled empaths suffer, sometimes a lot. Skilled empaths don’t.
One of my goals with this blog is to help readers to become skilled empaths. The following FAQs are a start.
Q. Are empaths real, or does the term really apply to science fiction characters?
A. Oh, we empaths are real. So is our discomfort if we are merely talented, not yet skilled. An empath was born with at least one significant, trainable gift for directly experiencing what it is like to be someone else. This direct experience of otherness is very real, but subtle.
Q. Doesn’t everybody have direct experience of otherness, like when you’re watching a movie and you identify with the hero?
A. All of us identify with people, like those movie heroes. But we experience as the knowers we are. If you were a very physically oriented person, watching a Harry Potter movie, you might identify with Daniel Radcliffe’s skill at wielding a wand. If you were emotionally oriented, you might feel a frisson of fascination, watching him duel with You-Know-Who.
As a knower, this kind of identification is inevitable. But empaths do something of a different order. An empath’s consciousness (i.e., deep knowing) will shift in and out of the experience of being another person. If very physically oriented, watching that Potter flick, you will glimpse how Radcliffe feels inside his own skin. If emotionally oriented, you will notice the characteristic nuances of how he feels his emotions. All of this may be very different from your own way of being. So I call this an experience of otherness.
Q. Could you call this paranormal, being able to experience otherness?
A. Sure. Except “paranormal” usually seems flashy, and a born empath leaps in and out of another person’s skin countless times every day. It happens at the speed of thought, faster than the flicker of a candle flame. Usually, the whole quick journey doesn’t even happen consciously.
Also, in the reading I have done, paranormal experiences aren’t about pain. But for an unskilled empath, gifts do bring pain. This is one reason why the readers of Empowered by Empathy send me so many thank you emails. What a relief, when you stop doing the unskilled journeys, bringing back pain into your mind-body-spirit system!
Q. So what is a skilled empath?
A. A skilled empath knows which gifts she or he has, is able to turn that off most of the time, and then uses specific techniques to safely turn empathy on, at will, as part of a balanced life.
Q. What is an empathic merge?
A. With an empathic merge, you purposely move into the direct experience of being someone else. Afterwards you return to being fully yourself. Techniques like those in Empowered by Empathy help your experience to be vivid. Yet you stay inwardly protected. It is, frankly, the biggest fun you can have with your clothes on.
Q. Teach me how in 25 words or less, okay?
A. No can do. Learning to become a skilled empath will take a couple of hours of your undivided attention.
Q. That’s just your sales come-on, right?
A. No, it is my commitment as a teacher of personal development. I have given my life for this, developing and teaching skills like those for empaths. And I’m not going to give a quick feel-good version that only skims the surface.
Let’s be realistic. Being an empath isn’t science fiction fantasy. It is real. Empathic skills are real. Even a decent manicure takes more than two minutes. When you are ready to make a small, but real, commitment of time, here are some resources that can transform you into a skilled empath:
* Empowered by Empathy, the Audiobook.
* Empowered by Empathy, the book.
* An in-person weekend Intensive.
* Telephone mentoring, the most convenient and personal way to be coached.
* The Roar of the Huntids, a wildly satirical novel about becoming skilled and empowered as an empath.