The Gifts of Being an Empath
The empath’s journey is the adventure of a lifetime. Sensitive people have much to be grateful for. You are able to experience exquisite passion and joy. You can perceive the big picture on a deep level. You are attuned to the beauty, poetry, and energy of life, and your compassion gives you the capacity to help others. You are not callous, shut off, or cold-hearted. Your sensitivities allow you to be a caring, vulnerable, and aware being.
Empaths have a special relationship with nature. You feel a kinship with animals, flowers, trees, and clouds. You are drawn to the peace of the wilderness, the quiet of the desert, the majesty of the red rock canyons and the forests, and the vastness of the ocean. You can dance under the full moon and feel her loveliness in your body. You know how to be at one with the serenity of nature. You want to protect the earth, our mother, and conserve her precious resources.
In The Empath’s Survival Guide, I emphasize that the world needs your gifts now. As empaths, you also have the power to positively change yourself, your family, and the rest of the world. In my medical practice, I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfill it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honoring their sensitivities, they are saying “no” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.
As an empath, you are part of a global movement to put what is humane back into humanity. I applaud you for being a path-forger, willing to venture off the beaten track. I applaud your courage to face yourself, to express your authentic needs, and not to give up on the world, with its many failings.
We are all part of the empath family, connected by our sensitivities and heart. So let’s draw on each other’s strength and loving-kindness. Let’s feel comfort in the simple knowing that we each exist and that in our hearts we support one another from near and far. Even though many of us have not yet met, I send you all blessings and thanks for being brave enough to be authentically you.
Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff’s The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.