This article is written for Evolving Beings by guest author Lisa Campion.

Hi. My name is Lisa and I am an empath. I can say that now and be proud of it and even have some hope that whomever I am talking to might know what that means. But it sure wasn’t always that way.

I don’t know about you, but the greatest suffering I have had in my life comes from trying to be something I am not. I was conditioned from the time I was young to try and be “normal” – whatever that is. I am fairly sure that kind of normal doesn’t actually exist, since we are all gifted, a unique expression of Spirit here on Earth.

Each of our gifts is exactly perfect, given to us to help us complete our life’s mission here. I happen to have the gifts of the healer, which for me are empathy and strong psychic senses.

When I was young, I wanted so badly to fit in. I hid my gifts and when I didn’t, it didn’t go very well for me. I think I was about seven or eight when I told my friends that I could see auras. They all thought I was nuts. Well, maybe I was, but I really could see auras! No one in school talked to me again until sometime in junior high.

It was worse then just auras. I also saw spirits, good and bad. And I could tell what other people were feeling, and sometimes what they were thinking. I would feel their feelings like they were my own. I was sensitive to the energy of my physical environment and I as a kid, I never really knew what I was meant to do with all this information.

Back then in the 60’s and 70’s there was no John Edwards on TV. No Ghost Whisperer. No New Age bookstores, nor even any New Age. There was just me, feeling like a freakazoid, and the three Edgar Cayce books in the library. (Thanks Edgar, you saved my life buddy…)

Luckily for me, being psychic and empathic is pretty hot right now. Times have changed! In my crowd, you get automatic street points for it. I have been really able to come out of the broom closet and reclaim myself as a psychic, empath and a healer.

And yet, as a mother for four teens, I feel really sad for the highly empathic kids that I see, who by the way; are way more empathic then I ever was. They are called “emo” and other less flattering names and they suffer like I did, until they understand that being an empath is a gift. Until you know that, it really does feels like a curse.

How To Tell If You Are An Empath

So what is being an empath all about? Do you think you might be empathic? Here is a quick checklist to see if you might be.

  • Do you feel what other people are feeling, as if it is happening to you?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed in crowded places like the movies, the mall, airports or hospitals?
  • Are you prone to anxiety and/or depression?
  • Do you prefer to be alone, out in nature, or around animals than around people?
  • Do you feel “sucked dry” by the people in your life?
  • Do you have trouble with boundaries and saying no to people?
  • Were you very sensitive to other people’s emotions when you were a child?
  • Can you feel the presence of spirits around you?
  • Do you feel like most of the “stuff” you are carrying around isn’t yours?
  • Are you drawn to helping, healing and care giving?

If you could say yes to most or all of those, then you are an empath. Congratulations!

Here is an example of what I am talking about: Imagine arriving at a party. You were feeling great when you arrived, but after a few minutes you start to feel horrible. You may feel suddenly very sad or depressed. Or you may feel something in your body that you didn’t before, like a headache or a pain somewhere.

After a while the depression and sadness becomes overwhelming. Your friends might think you are crazy as you decide to leave the party early. Then someone in the room says something like, “I’m so depressed, I lost my job today and I can’t get rid of this killer headache.” And you realize, if you are lucky, that the pain and sadness you were feeling was not yours at all, but someone else’s that you were picking up all along. That is the classic empathic experience. But don’t worry; it’s not all bad. While it can feel burdensome to be too sensitive, there is a wonderful side about being an empath.

Support and Benefits For Empaths

With some knowledge and training, you can learn to see your sensitivity as the amazing gift that it really is. And as one empath speaking to another, this is what I wish someone had been able to tell me to help me reclaim my power.

  • There is nothing WRONG with you, it really is a gift.
  • All empaths are psychic.
  • You have those gifts because you are meant to be a healer.
  • It’s not too hard to learn to manage your sensitivity, but until you do, you might suffer from depression or anxiety.
  • It’s really important that you find a way to help other people, since that is what your gifts are for.

There are some real downers about being an empath until you learn how to manage your sensitivity. It’s not the easiest life path for sure. Being hypersensitive can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. It’s pretty tough when everywhere you go you feel knocked off balance by “empathic noise.” That is, the background feelings and thoughts of all the people around you and it’s what makes being in crowded places tough for empaths. This generally leads to “empathic overload.” If you think about the empath as a psychic sponge, then overload is what happens when the sponge is full. Empathic overload is no fun at all. I get cranky, spacey, feel a little sick and have to go have a lie down before I can do anything. A trip to Walmart kicks my booty, empathically speaking. Or it did until I learned a thing or two about managing my sensitivity.

Here is the good news about being an empath. Learning to handle that level of sensitivity isn’t really that hard. I teach people how to do it all the time and have great results with it. There are really two things you need to do. The first one is the easiest and has huge instant payoff. You must learn to manage your energy field. It’s simple things, like learning to ground yourself, to stay in your body, to stop the leaks in your field and to strengthen the porous aspects of it. That is the easy part.

The other aspect is that you must learn to set boundaries and say no, and to deal with some psychological and relationship issues that most empaths have problems with. And even that is not too hard, once you know what to do.

The really good news is that you are empathic for a reason. All empaths are healers. We come here to this crazy planet to help out. We love service work, we have tons of compassion and big huge hearts. All your gifts are perfect for what you came here to do. I have seen miracles as empaths reclaim their power and stop feeling their gifts as a curse.

Trying to be something you aren’t, never works. In order to really live in your power and your life’s purpose, you must accept who you are. This is hard for empaths, who hide and try and fit in. Most empaths are told by others that they are too sensitive, too emotional, too psychic. Many end up believing that, or worse that they are crazy misfits. The only thing I think is crazy it trying to be something you aren’t. We all lose power by trying to hide our lights under a bushel. Our souls are wise and strong, and only put us here with exactly the right tools and talents that we need to complete our missions here.

So if you are an empath, fly your flag high and do the work that you need to do to reclaim your power, whatever that maybe.

About the Author

Lisa Campion is a psychic and energy healer with 20 years experience. Lisa is also the Dean of Students and a lead teacher at the Rhys Thomas Institute of Energy Medicine. She teaches Reiki and psychic development classes, specializing in teaching empaths and psychics to help them develop their gifts. Her offices are in Medway, MA and she is also available for private readings and energy healings by phone or Skype sessions. To learn more visit LisaCampion.com