Deeper Perception Made Practical

What an Empath Can Lose


Rose Rosetree, aura reading, reading auras, empath, empath-merge

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that being an empath can be bliss. As a skilled empath, you can gain wisdom and do service in a way that non-empaths simply can’t.

As a very skilled empath, you can learn techniques for what I call “Skilled Empath Merge” and have an extremely vivid experience of being another person. Or a flower!

But skilled empaths are made, not born. Instead some of us — I estimate 1 in 20 Americans — are born as unskilled empaths, “merely” talented.

Unskilled empaths have a lot to lose:

  • Our sense of self, as in “Who am I?”
  • Our confidence, when we’re with others or alone
  • Our power in work relationships
  • Our power in personal relationship
  • In some cases, we may even appear to lose control over our behavior.

Fo an unskilled empath, loss of self is a far more likely danger than having to deal with a narcissist or psychic vampire.  It could even happen that a perfectly normal person appears to be a narcissist or psychic vampire. Maybe you feel as if you’re under psychic attack from a perfectly innocent person.

Why? As an unskilled empath, you may be more vulnerable than you know.


The pull couldn’t be stronger if that other person had magnets in his eyes. In a recent session, “Helen” told me about problems she had during high school. (You know, back in the day before she knew about being an empath at all, let alone a skilled empath.)

Helen was terrified of an administrator, “Stan.” He expected her to do poorly in classes. He expected her to get in trouble.

And guess what? She did.

It was as though, in his presence, Helen would lose control. Not only would she act out. Helen would become what he expected her to be.

She suffered a kind of unintentional and extreme unskilled empath-merge, as if Stan had magnets in his eyes and could pull her whenever he looked in her direction.

Has that ever happened to you, back when you were an unskilled empath? (Remember, Blog-Buddies, your stories are invited for the comments function at this blog. That’s what it’s for, along with your questions. Many of you lurkers have great stories about being an unskilled empath, developing skill as an empath, cutting cords of attachment, dealing with narcissists, psychic vampires, and gaining a stronger sense of self.)

Terms like “self-fulfilling prophecy” are far too mild for the kind of torture and powerlessness Helen went through as an unskilled empath. It’s a terrifying experience when you feel lost to yourself and, instead, act like somebody else’s puppet.

Yet, to be fair to Stan, he wasn’t an energy vampire or narcissist. He wasn’t conducting a psychic attack. The man was just doing his job.

Two factors can be involved here: Need for skill as an empath and the need to cut a cord of attachment. Let’s consider both.

Empath Empowerment®

Everyone, empath and non-empath alike, is affected by expectations. But self-fulfilling prophecies take on a different depth of meaning if you happen to be an unskilled empath.

Here are some of the ways your behavior might change.

  • As an unskilled empath, you might take on Stan’s judgments of you and start acting them out, e.g., “Helen is a loudmouth.”
  • As an unskilled empath, you might feel Stan’s unspoken criticism and speak in a defensive manner, e.g., “Helen is such an angry girl.”
  • As an unskilled empath, you might find it impossible to “feel normal” in Stan’s presence, e.g., “Helen has got to be hiding something.”
  • As an unskilled empath, you might walk differently, talk differently, laugh differently. In college, I knew one unskilled empath –linguistically talented — who would unintentionally mimic the speech patterns of all her friends. With a New Yorker, she’d sound like she came from Brooklyn. With a gal from Boston, she’d say “Pahk your cah.” Jennifer had no idea she was shifting into different speech patterns, no more than she knew that she was an unskilled empath.
  • During an argument, as an unskilled empath, you might be unable to speak up on your own behalf. You might forget your point of view altogether and start defending Stan, even if you really disliked him. So his assessment of the hapless, unskilled empath might be, “It’s no use talking to Helen. She doesn’t know what she wants.”

In short, as an unskilled empath, you might feel lost, weak, confused, hopeless, helpless and generally doomed to a lifetime of being taken advantage of by others.

You might feel that your world is over-populated by psychic vampires, narcissists, and loads of people who cause psychic attack. But how much power would that give you, other than the power to be even more frightened.

Instead, you really do have the power to change things… as a skilled empath. You aren’t making up all those problems.

You really can solve them. It’s a matter of consciousness. It’s actually one or more magnificent gifts as an empath, run amok, and further distorted by having one or more toxic cords of attachment.


That’s a common strategy, isn’t it? But if you think that “centering yourself” equals becoming a skilled empath, I have sad news for you.

Centering yourself brings perhaps 3% of the benefits of being a skilled empath.

Why? You don’t have just one center. As an unskilled empath, you will probably attempt to center yourself by focusing on the part of yourself that is most out of balance — your body if you have a physical gift as an empath, your emotions if your biggest gift as an empath is emotional, etc.

By contrast, a skilled empath uses the Coming Home technique from “Empowered by Empathy” (or its equivalent) to learn a whole lot of different ways to center yourself:

  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your social self at the level of the environment.
  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your physical body.
  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your mind.
  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your intellect.
  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your emotions.
  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your soul.
  • As a skilled empath, you can center into your spirit.

Until you can experience yourself clearly at ALL the different layers of yourself, it is very unlikely that “centering” will help you much at all. More likely, you will create an artificial facade related to your habitual way of centering yourself.

When an empath tries hard to center or create boundaries, that doesn’t keep out other people’s STUFF. It lands right into your aura. To comfort yourself, you might blame psychic vampires, narcissists, or perpetrators of psychic attack. Then you might try harder than ever to center yourself, like being your own defensive football player.

For an unskilled empath, centering yourself brings only two advantages:

  1. Although still unskilled as an empath, you feel that now you are doing something.
  2. You don’t seem as insecure as before. Unfortunately, you appear artificial/fake/detached/as if you’re manipulating your behavior. And it’s only fair that a hard-working unskilled empath might give that impression, because it’s exactly what you are doing.


If centering yourself doesn’t work, what can you do as an unskilled empath? Get skills!

Simultaneously, you can help yourself by cutting cords of attachment to people in your present and past like Stan.

Is it an accident that I have developed both the system of Empath Empowerment® and 12 Steps to Cut Cords of Attachment®? Maybe not. 😉

Some cords of attachment can make it very difficult to become a skilled empath. Helen and I saw this in her session. Her cord to Stan kept Helen stuck in the past, lost and terrified. The lack of control over her own personality kept recycling in her subconscious mind 24/7. Without cutting the cord, this would have continued until the last minutes of her life, even if Stan had been dead for decades.

Each cord of attachment has its own characteristic patterns. You may know, I call them “cord items” and describe them as part of the healing process when you have a session where I facilitate cutting a cord of attachment. If you choose to learn to cut cords of attachment on your own, that the method you’re using must include access quality information.

Unless you can validate specifically which energies the cords of attachment are causing to be recycled within your subconscious mind 24/7, a quality job is not being done. The healing will be incomplete. You may even become involved the absolutely preposterous routine of “I cut my cords every day.”

Why preposterous? When cords of attachment are cut properly, the healing is permanent. Having to cut any cords of attachment more than once is, to be blunt, a confession that the healer is completely lacking in skill at this particular type of work.

Fortunately, skill at cutting cords of attachment isn’t some rare and difficult thing. I can teach you to develop professional-level skill at cutting cords of attachment.

And what if there really has been a person in your life, present or past, who qualifies as a narcissist, psychic vampire or perpetrator of psychic attack. All the more reason to cut your cord of attachment to anyone you suspect of hurting you energetically!


With cords of attachment, self-fulfilling prophecies are repeated and broadcast into the subconscious mind 24-7.

By cutting cords to someone like Stan, you will stop re-living the dysfunction of your past.

Empaths and non-empaths, alike, benefit from this energetic freedom.

And the combination of releasing cords with developing skill as an empath will leave you with what? Yourself! Little old me! Me, myself, and I.

That isn’t asking too much but asking exactly enough.

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  1. 1
    Karin says:

    Does that mean that cords of attachment are worse for empaths than for others?

  2. 2
    Lisa says:

    Karin, I have suspected that. If an unskilled empath is so sensitive that she feels everything 10 times as much as others, I wonder just how dangerous it is for an empath to have several cords compared to other “normal” people. What is your take, Rose?

  3. 3

    LISA and KARIN, everyone suffers from cords of attachment. What makes the difference between suffering more or less?

    One factor is how horrible the cord of attachment is. I have facilitated removing cords to rape, incest, physical abuse, and other traumas. These personal sessions have been life-changing for my clients.

    Another factor is how self-aware a person is. Self-awareness is a choice, one made up of smaller choices. Today, for instance, will you pay attention to your physical body or just ignore it as much as possible? Will you honor your point of view or assume that sensitivity must only be used to understand other people’s points of view?

    The more self-aware you are, the more important it is to cut cords of attachment. Also, the better you’ll be at it! Because if you’re going to use the 12 Steps to Cut Cords of Attachment(R) to cut a cord permanently (and not just make a sweet, hopeful prayer that works for an hour) an important part of the process is reading what is in the freshly cut cord, for proper validation and emotional healing.

    Two other parts of your comment, LISA, really deserve separate comments of their own. So keep reading. And keep sending those great comments, both of you!

  4. 4

    Are cords of attachment dangerous? LISA, this was implied in your question.

    Let me reassure you, and other Blog-Buddies.

    A masked mugger who has you at knife-point, now that’s dangerous. A cord of attachment you have had for 10 minutes or 30 years… that isn’t dangerous. It isn’t life threatening. It won’t keep you from functioning.

    Of course, I’m in favor of cutting cords of attachment. But this isn’t a realm of great life-or-death drama. This is about self-actualization, aiming toward more self-confidence, greater ability to be of service to others, and other aspects of using your full potential in life.

    If you want to improve your quality of life, cutting cords of attachment (and doing it permanently, with skill) is one of the most important things you can do. Personally, I think my how-to book, CUT CORDS OF ATTACHMENT, should be on your shelf with the rest of your first-aid kit. But not as something to grab for the first time to read when you’re in crisis. Read it and master the set of skills when your life is NOT in crisis. Then you’ll have it ready for those really intense situations that come up for everyone from time to time.

    Even then, cutting cords can make a night-and-day difference, but not a life-or-death difference.

    Another life-changing choice, as you wisely implied Lisa, is to become a skilled empath. Which brings up my next, and last, comment about your comment….

  5. 5

    LISA, here’s the part of your comment that stopped me in my tracks. “If an unskilled empath is so sensitive that she feels everything 10 times as much as others,”

    I’m really curious where you got that idea.

    In my experience, this isn’t true. I haven’t seen this with students … and yes, we do have some spaces open for the fabulous Empath Empowerment Workshop this weekend, with details here:

    I haven’t seen this with clients for my phone sessions, including my first one with a client from Greece, which happened just this last weekend. (She did great.) 🙂

    Every empath is a Highly Sensitive Person, for sure. And not all Highly Sensitive Persons are empaths. You know that, right, Lisa?

    Dr. Elaine Aron has found that 1 in 5 people are HSPs. I have found that 1 in 20 people are empaths. And it isn’t that the most sensitive ones are necessarily the empaths.

    Reminder: Being an empath simply means that you are wired to directly experience otherness. You’re an HSP, but not necessarily more sensitive than other Highly Sensitive Persons.

    Similarly, do remember, Lisa and other Blog-Buddies, that being an empath isn’t necessarily about having unusual sensitivity emotionally. All empaths aren’t finely tuned in that way at all. And if you’re not set up with Emotional Oneness or Emotional Intuition, then you may not notice much by way of emotions at all.

    What matters, of course, is that you honor the way that you are and make yourself the best you can be. For you, Lisa, I’m guessing that perhaps you DO take on such intense emotional experiences that you’re 10 times as sensitive that way as other people you meet.

    For you, as for any empath, it’s really important to become a skilled empath, rather than merely talented. For you, as for any human being who cares about having the best quality life possible, living your dreams, etc., it is really important to cut cords of attachment — all the major ones and, if possible, all the minor cords of attachment as well.

  6. 6
    Dana says:

    Rose, you said, “The more self-aware you are, the more important it is to cut cords of attachment.” And I have actually been thinking about this lately, if I understand what you mean. Because I was thinking that the more one grows in consciousness, the more one will be aware of the stuff that keeps an aura cluttered, including cords of attachment. So whereas before I might not have been completely unaware that a cord was blocking my growth, as my consciousness/self-awareness grows, then I begin to sense that “it is time” for that cord to go. Or if the cord stays, then I remain aware that that energy play is locking me in patterns.

    Is that what you meant?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Dana says:

    That makes so much sense to me about self-awareness and cords of attachment! When I first learned about cords of attachment, they were more of an abstract concept to me because I hadn’t had as much experience reading auras (especially mine). But now they’re becoming as real as my arms or legs (Rose might have used that analogy before, I’m not sure). Each one is kind of like carrying a heavy backpack. Maybe I’ve carried the heavy backpack all my life and I can hike just fine with it, but wouldn’t hiking be so much easier without it.

    I was thinking about my unskilled empath stories, and there is one scenario that has repeated often in my life. When I have been with people (usually female) who are very concerned with their physical appearance, I would suddenly be worried about how I looked, dressed, wore my hair, jewelry, shoes, everything. I would suddenly have the urge to wear makeup when normally I wouldn’t. Ironically, I enjoyed being around guys more because I didn’t care what I looked like.

    Sometimes, with certain females, I would feel very unattractive and critical of myself. I attributed this to psychological reasons like “teenage low self-esteem of a young female,” but I couldn’t figure out why my self-esteem fluctuated so drastically and “randomly.”

    The “Stan” story above explains what happened: I could have been feeling their self-criticism or I could have been merging with their criticism of me. So I would have been feeling disapproval of myself that was not my own. This has to be one of the most painful things: feeling someone else’s negative feelings towards you, even hatred. And worst of all is if you don’t know its theirs.

  9. 9
    Lisa says:

    “The more self-aware you are, the more important it is to cut cords of attachment.”
    I agree. I consider myself to be very self-aware. Although dangerous may have not been the best choice of word, I feel that a person who is very self aware and has cords can have an extra keen sense of something being out of balance…sometimes more than others I think.

    “I’m really curious where you got that idea.”

    Well, I should have been clearer. That has been my personal experience as being an empath. I do know that not empaths are the same and not one coat suits all.

    “For you, as for any empath, it’s really important to become a skilled empath, rather than merely talented. For you, as for any human being who cares about having the best quality life possible, living your dreams, etc.,”

    I absolutely agree 🙂

  10. 10

    DANA and LISA, thanks to both of you for your two superb comments.

    Aw, LISA, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad about degree of clarity or choice of words. Still I’m glad you refined your comment for all those who lurk here, because I know a whole lot of people who do lurk, some regularly and some occasionally.

    With your latest choice of words, I couldn’t agree with you more. That very refinement of consciousness that causes someone to be an empath can also magnify inner awareness of problems.

    Let the blog host be clear to any casual lurkers that I am not suggesting that cords of attachment are downright dangerous. Self-actualizing people don’t require danger or drama to be motivated to improve quality of life!

    Imagine, Lisa, a response to you in one, not three, comments….

  11. 11
    Jordan says:

    Have I ever experience anything like this? Hmmm… 😉

    Reading about your friend who mimicked people’s speech patterns made me laugh out loud. I’ve definitely caught myself doing that. Once, a British friend of my mom’s called the house, and as I was taking a message, I realized I had been speaking to her with a British accent. It was funny, but I really hoped she didn’t notice and think I was making fun of her!!

    I have to mention, after having three cords cut, I have noticed how much easier it is to “Come Home”. I was reading Empowered by Empathy before I had any of my sessions, and when I tried to do the Coming Home strategy… it was a lot more difficult than I expected. I am used to going totally outside of myself while meditating. This meditation asked me to get even deeper in to myself, to just look at me, and it was pretty uncomfortable. I never directly thought about how cord cutting and other energy healing could help this until the other day, when I was sitting, listening for an “inner answer”…and I just felt so much more comfortable inside myself! It was spontaneous, and amazing natural byproduct of my cord removal. I didn’t have to struggle for the results!! So I would say, the more self-aware you wish to become, the more cords you better cut!

    I am so happy about this next step that I have been guided to take spiritually by stumbling on your site, Rose. Like I mentioned, I think most meditation techniques ask you to get outside of yourself, and largely neglect really getting to know yourself better. Of course, that is stating it really simply – through any meditating you do get to know yourself better, to a degree. But it’s a lot slower than your kind of healing. (But way faster than nothing!).

    All my meditating made me happy and calm .. but not myself. It numbed me to the crappy stuff I was carrying around. I hovered above it, instead of living comfortably in myself.

    So.. my point is.. this healing is exciting!

  12. 12
    Jordan says:

    Rose, about cords being worse for emotional empaths – would that be true, in that they are activated more often? In a session of mine we talked about that if someone around me was angry, as an empath I would pick up on the emotion, and it would resonate with the cord energy and make me feel a certain way, scared or paranoid or..

  13. 13

    JORDAN, my experience with meditation was very much like yours. That is why I “only” taught meditation from 1970-1986 and the focus of my work has shifted since then.

    I think you put this perspective exceptionally well.

  14. 14
    Anabela says:

    In my recent experiences, better self-awareness definitely helps me identify possible cords. If I feel intense anxiety and have a nagging feeling in my gut towards a person and especially when this feeling is seemingly uncontrollable, I know a cord has been formed.

    But I haven’t practiced on cutting the cords myself – I ask Rose to help me. I don’t think I’m there yet energetically.

    When we think of the people who hurt us, it’s like a nuclear mushroom cloud surrounding in our otherwise clearer energy fields. At least that’s how it’s been to me. When I feel that, I know something’s up and I better do something about it. If I don’t do something, the result can be debilitating and psychically draining, leading to cynicism and negativity.

  15. 15

    ANABELA, you have come such a long way in moving out STUFF. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  16. 16
    Neon Artemis says:


    This sounds like my life story. I’m always fine and strong in myself when I’m alone, but if I’m dating someone, at first things are great, then I feel a lot of undercurrents from them, then I turn into some vulnerable insecure wreck acting out what they expect or don’t expect, and they end up dumping me.

    It’s disconcerting that I give up my personal power like this, because I know this is not who I am naturally. I’m normally very strong and confident.

    It’s been the cause of me going celibate and not dating anyone off and on throughout the years, and the cause of me not wanting to live with other people. I feel like I have absolutely no defense with people I’m close to in my life. I’m glad to know the reason WHY after so many years of dealing with this.

    After I move residence and figure out my finances, I’d like to get an Aura Transformation session with you, and personal lessons to develop my skills. I have a feeling I have several cords of attachment with exes that are really holding me back in a lot of ways and running programs in my subconscious. It feels really torturous when this is going on, and is really lowering the quality of my emotional life.

  17. 17
    Sophia says:


    I’ve started working with “Become the most important person in the room.” (Needless to say, I had the book on my waiting list for months, thinking the title was just preposterous. Me, becoming the most important person in the room? No way! Uh.)
    It is really difficult to work on this.

    What got me into looking into issues of being an unskilled empath is my almost complete inability to learn anything in the presence of and from others.
    Ie. how much I lose by not being able to learn when with others, or from them.
    It is so much to lose, in entirely practical, tangible terms.

    I’ve first noticed this back in school, but it all got exacerbated as I finally started to take driving lessons, and was excrutiantingly slow. School stuff I could learn at home if not at school; but learning to drive is something one has to do in the presence of another.

    As I tried to understand what was going on, I noticed that I didn’t quite understand *what exactly* I was supposed to learn when learning to drive. Instead I tried to mimic/copy my driving instructor in every way. Thus basically thinking, that in order to be able to drive, I need to have *all* the same values, beliefs, emotions, facial expressions, tone of voice, diet, etc. as he.

    So I think that my unskilled empathy is making it really difficult to learn anything from others, or when with others, because that lack of empathic skill makes it impossible for me to recognize what is relevant in learning something in particular, and what is not.
    Not being able to discern the two, I attempt to learn *everything* I notice there may be to learn – which leaves me exhausted and not interested in learning anything, and thus actually not learning anything, or learning things that are actually irrelevant for the task at hand.

  18. 18

    SOPHIA, welcome to this blog and to this community.

    And thanks for sharing an experience that is more common than you might think.

    You are totally capable of becoming a skilled empath. That book is one resource. You might also consider a few phone sessions of aura healing with me, just to help you move along more quickly.

    But that book you have for starters IS just the place to start. Only don’t struggle through the exercises, not ever. Do an easy, sloppy job.

    Each time you cycle through the book, you will wake up a new level of skill at having your empath gifts turned off.

    Oh yes, you might skip the last few days of “Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment” as that part teaches how to do Skilled Empath Merge.

    Because of the extreme examples of unskilled empath merge you have been having as everyday experience, you might want to just keep your empath gifts turned OFF for a year or more before adding that (very optional) skill for becoming a skilled empath.

    Sophia, know that you can definitely move into a better, easier quality of life. Along the way, you will discover how very, very delightful you are as a person, Dear Heart.

  19. 19
    Sophia says:

    Dear Ms. Rosetree,

    Thank you for the welcome and for the reply!

    [Snip: What follows in SOPHIA’s comment is so important, and well put, it deserves its own blog post. So here it comes…. ]

  20. 20

    Yes, freshly posted just for you, SOPHIA. Check here throughout today and the days that follow:

    Meanwhile, no worries. Energy Spirituality is not some new kind of Protestant theology where a person must be “chosen” — or be any kind of true believer.

    Thank you again for your honest reaction to the idea of connecting with God in “Become The Most Important Person in the Room.”

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