Recently I met someone who embodied what it looks like to allow your gifts as an empath to take over so much, that it becomes difficult function in the world.
This person told me they need at least eight hours of alone time every night in order to be around people during the day.
Then they said… “I can’t be in anyone’s home too long or I will absorb everything in their place”.
Folks… this is code for claiming that you’re “too sensitive to function”.
Dear empaths and highly sensitive people: this is not a badge of merit you want to achieve
It’s actually a badge of dysfunction. But don’t worry, it’s quite common amongst untrained empaths, because no one ever taught you any differently!
Yes, all sensitives and empaths need time alone and time in nature. Of course.
Yes, we pick and choose our company, and where we spend our time. As does everyone else actually, sensitive or not.
But if you choose to encounter life only through the lens of your sensitivity? Or if you allow your sensitivity remain untrained and unmastered?
Then you’re creating limits and borders in order to feel safe. BUT the only problem with that is…
Eventually what feels safe and comfortable begins to shrink
Boundaries made of fear have a habit of closing in on us. Which is no way to live!
If your life is dictated by your sensitivity – determining where you can/can’t go and how you spend your time, then you’re living in fear of the world and other humans.
And that’s just not what we’re here to do.
As sensitives and empaths, our job is to find ways to master our energy and gifts so that we can indeed function in the world.
That used to be my life, too…
I absolutely remember feeling like that when my sensitivity first began to emerge… a bit dysfunctional.
Almost as if I was a victim of my empath-ness. Sometimes I was fearful of meeting the world, because I didn’t have any control over what I’d perceive and feel in my body, or what I’d absorb from everything around me.
It was an absolute uncontrollable assault on my senses.
At other times I’ve also felt that way temporarily, as my empath-ness continued to unfold (such as the next round of massive openings of my psychic gifts circa 2013).
I felt as fragile as a dandelion being blown around by a hurricane.
In order to leave the house, I had multiple rituals to keep myself “safe”
Everything from meditation, asking the angelic realm for help, to visualising bubbles of light around myself, taking flower essence remedies, saying affirmations, grounding practices, to wearing crystals and essential oils and more! Oy vey.
Which meant that leaving my home was its own event, merged with anxiety about how to cope if all of those things weren’t enough on any given day.
I limited my interactions with the world.
I’d avoid certain places, and only spend time with people where I wouldn’t feel assaulted by “negative” energies (as if I ever had any control over that anyway).
This attempt to control our surroundings is not sustainable as a long-term solution to living life well, as an empath.
So I worked on gaining mastery of my sensitivity
Because being an emapth shouldn’t be an excuse for how I interact with other people in the world.
I didn’t want to go through life feeling like a victim of my hyper-sensitivity.
It’s been a trial and error process, and there’s always room to refine how I operate.
But overall, I reckon I’m doing pretty well these days!
The world needs empaths to offer up their gifts, instead of avoiding/withdrawing
We’re necessary, as part of the change this world so desperately needs.
And yet, I’ve heard all sorts of stories from highly sensitive people over the years about why things can’t be any different.
“I’m too sensitive to even be a part of a group for sensitive people.”
“I experience huge amounts of anxiety (and guilt).”
“I just can’t help but feel everything around me – all the sensations and people.”
To which I call BS.
Because it’s just not true that you can’t help yourself, or that this will always be the outcome.
Some of this may come from inherited views of what it means to be an empath
As in, other empaths may have told you “that’s just how it is for the likes of us”.
But, we can always question and challenge any status quo!
And some of these beliefs possibly come from a place of ego
Of thinking our sensitivity makes us more special than others (it doesn’t though).
However… being a highly sensitive empath? Can absolutely be a super power, once you’ve learned a few skills.
The way to master anything new is to practice it over and over again
Which is how I learned to ride a bike, touch type, do yoga, make poached eggs, and trained to be a Kinesiologist amongst other things.
Practice. Attention to detail. Learning what works and what doesn’t.
However, we’re generally not taught anything about being sensitive
We don’t learn about this aspect of ourselves at school, or from our parents (unless you’re really lucky).
It’s almost as if being sensitive is a deep dark secret, something that makes us weak instead of strong.
Something we should try to ignore and suppress, instead of acknowledging that our energy body is real, and that some of us are just a heck-load more sensitive than others.
Of course, I believe being sensitive to energy is a part of everyone’s birthright.
It’s just that most of us lack training and even just awareness that we are sensitive, and skills to manage it all.
So… why are some people are more sensitive than others?
Here’s my take:
- I think sometimes sensitivity is hereditary – some people are born with a more highly attuned nervous system
- Empaths are frequently the product of a traumatic childhood home – it’s a function of learning to reach out with their senses, in order to try and understand a complex and unsafe family life
- It can also be due to accomplishments in past lives (but how can we prove that exactly, eh?)
- Evolution can play a role – not all people evolve at the same rate
- Divine timing – not everyone is on the same “schedule”
- Someone can have a deep desire and intention to wake up their empath nature
- Others simply do lots of practice to “force” it
That said, even if you try to speed up the process of feeling more sensitive and open, it seems that it isn’t going to happen until it’s time.
I know some healers/energy workers who’ve been practicing for 10+ years and still can’t feel energy. Conversely, I have clients who’ve never done much spiritual work but totally feel energy when we’re in session.
The rest? Well it’s a bit of a mystery.
Does being sensitive have anything to do with raising your consciousness levels?
The jury is out for me on this one. Maybe.
Because you can do lots of book learning, attend lots of courses and more. Meditate for hours a day. And STILL, your sensitivity might not open until it’s time.
Conversely, you can feel the world deeply and not have any interest in conscious awareness and spirituality practices.
- Empaths don’t have to become hermits and modify the way they live on a permanent ongoing basis
- As an empath you can learn to modulate how you experience the world, so it doesn’t feel like “doors and windows wide open all the time”
- You don’t have to live as if being an empath is a disability, or something that you’re a victim of…
- You can be an empath AND function like other people!
- Everyone *can* open their sensitivity, but it seems that it’ll happen when it happens
- Finally… don’t let your ego turn being an empath into a status symbol or an excuse to withdraw from the world
Want some assistance in learning empath skills?
After many years of talking about it, I’ve finally created an online program for empaths and highly sensitive people, which will run periodically as a live course. It’s called Being Sensitive 101.
Eventually it will become an entirely self-paced course, too.FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM
How else can we work together?
You can also get in touch! I help many of my clients 1:1 learn these skills.
I also run a Facebook group dedicated to sensitive peeps, just like you. Come on over!
Ambha Amanda Roberts is a Kinesiologist, Intuitive Healer, educator and facilitator based on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She offers Kinesiology sessions both in-person and via Skype/Zoom all over the world.
Ambha Amanda is the co-creator of Adventures of Staria, which includes a series of Staria cards, and an upcoming book for children (including inner children).