Many people think empaths take upon other people’s energies. It is not so much as taking on, as it is about feeling. Empaths are people who feel others’ energies as their own. They can walk into a room and sense the collective energy or even pick up on individual energies, thoughts, perceptions and beliefs at an emotional, physical, mental or psychic level, without them even consciously trying to. It is often hard for them to distinguish between their own energies and that of others. They are very good at putting themselves in other peoples’ shoes, showing sympathy, helping and understanding them, always trying to solve others’ problems, because they perceive everyone as an extension of themselves. They are extremely sensitive, intuitive and feel everything deeply.
Now that is a great thing, isn’t it? So why does that pose a problem in relationships? Well, to understand this let me first explain a little about chakras. Although there are more, essentially seven chakras or energy centers in our bodies have been identified at large. I say this because currently many empaths and lightworkers around the world are already working with a 12-chakra system. But for the sake of simplifying matters, let’s stick to the 7-chakra system here. If you draw a line in the middle of your body, from the head to the anus, then the chakras lie on that line. The seven chakras are each identified by one of the seven colors of the rainbow: VIBGYOR. Starting from the lower root chakra which lies in our genitals, its color is Red. Above the root chakra is the Sacral chakra near the pelvis, just below the navel with color Orange. Then comes the Solar Plexus chakra with color Yellow, just above the navel. This chakra encompasses the emotional body. As they say, there is a brain in the gut. So, most people most times act out of this space. The gut brain is far more powerful than the brain in our skulls, as our physical experiences on earth and relationships are dominated by the internal world of emotions. Then above that is the heart chakra at the center of the chest, which is Green. Then comes the throat chakra which is Blue. Then where the pituitary gland is, is the brow chakra in between our eyebrows with color Indigo, which some people also call the third eye; this is where all intuition and inner perception comes from. And finally, above that in the center of our head is the crown chakra which is Violet. The opening of the crown chakra is responsible for spiritual enlightenment.
The lower chakras below the heart are closer to the earth, whereas the upper chakras from the heart onwards are closer to the sky. It is essential to balance these chakras in order to live a fulfilled life on earth. A lot of people in the spiritual community feed only the upper chakras and their lower chakras go out of balance. This is not good. While it is important to feed our spiritual sides, it is also important to ground into our bodies and balance our physical selves. This is why many people in the spiritual community have poor health as they are always catering to the upper chakras and ignoring the lower chakras. There is a reason we have incarnated into a physical body. Ignoring the body is not the best way to attain self-realization or any kind of enlightenment. Rather balancing the two forces is the key.
While an empath has many gifts, I am going to focus primarily on the relationship aspect which empaths usually find very hard to navigate. Now empaths are mostly connected with their upper chakras which give them this sense of oneness, a feeling of interconnectedness with the universe, sparks creativity, intuition, claircognizance etc. that feeds the ethereal body. Whereas relationships have the opposite vibration usually, operating from the lower chakras. The lower chakras are more grounding where one connects with the energies of the earth and tends to the physical body. We don’t need relationships in the ethereal planes; we want it in the physical dimension. This is important to understand. We all want to experience a fulfilling loving relationship while our journeys here on earth. Relationships act as a mirror, reflecting back to us our own internal vibrations. While in the spiritual realm everything is just an essence, a vibration, the physical realm is all about contrasts, which create the contextual field for our expansion here on earth. So for example, our separation and individuation provides the contrast for us to experience our oneness and wholeness with one another. That is exactly what relationships do! Through the context of a relationship we come to know ourselves, experientially as one, not just theoretically. Otherwise everything is just knowledge with no experience. We don’t really need relationships, do we? We are already whole and complete and one with eerything. The reason we desire an intimate connection with another is because we want to experience this oneness physically. Now empaths cannot automatically feel a sense of separation from others; their energies are all over the place, fragmented, hence they find it difficult to experience anything in a one-on-one intimate partnership, as they cannot define even to themselves what they really want. They are lofty, often thinking about dreams, magic and synchronicities, whereas relationship dynamics are grounding, giving us an experience of our individuality, catering to our physicality.
While being an empath has innumerable advantages, it is also essential to ground their energies otherwise the chakras will go out of balance and they will have a hard time navigating physical reality. It is necessary to understand we have incarnated into a body to have an experience of physical life. So while it is great to feed our spiritual aspects, it is also important to ground our energies and balance the lower chakras. Else illnesses may occur due this imbalance, having issues with the stomach, the digestive system, or the reproductive system.
When their energies are imbalanced, empaths tend to attract narcissists in relationships. To understand this better, read my article: the narcissist and the empath. As empaths usually feel one with everything and everyone, they tend to give too much in relationships. While an empath is a giver, a narcissist is a taker. Narcissists are too self-absorbed to think of anyone else. They cannot put themselves in anyone’s shoes and even if they think they are helping another, they are essentially feeding their own egos. They don’t even see anyone else in the room, other than themselves. When you are in a relationship with such an individual, you are in a victim consciousness, feeding the unhealthy dynamics of co-dependency. This happens for a reason. You see, we always meet people we need for our evolutionary journeys here on earth. The purpose of life is to self-actualize and more often than not, we experience ourselves through another. An imbalanced empath will attract a narcissist because of the empath’s tendency to overgive, self-abandon, and self-sabotage. This is how they see the mirror: when the narcissist keeps taking without reciprocating, at some point their energies will start depleting and the empath will get resentful. This happens for a reason, so the empath can have an opportunity to balance her energies and say “NO” to such unhealthy dynamics. But often they are too emotional and get caught in these attachment relationships and find it hard to break free. Don’t worry, when your awareness has reached the level where you are ready to break free, you will! Empaths find it difficult to confront or get into conflicts. Hence they often repress their own emotions in order to make peace in the connection. However, by doing so they abandon themselves and that is reflected to them by their partners, who abandon them or take advantage of their vulnerabilities.
Empaths are not looking at their own suffering; instead they are trying to caretake the emotions of their partners all the time, until they just can’t anymore and breakdown. That is when awareness often dawns. Or perhaps this post will help you get there sooner. Also empaths find it hard to attract abundance as they cannot put a price on their work. They are always at the rescue of another due to their overgiving nature and keep attracting more such people who seek help without giving anything back, by dint of the Law of Attraction that states, like attracts like. Thus, in the long run, an empath may feel drained, depleted, defeated and dejected from such efforts.
So what is the solution? There are a few practices an empath can do to ground her/himself. Negotiating boundaries is crucial in any partnership. Now empaths don’t know their boundaries. They find it hard to set boundaries because at an intuitive level they know that there is no separation between us, that everyone is a part of themselves. However, a relationship is to experience ourselves at an individual level and then create oneness with our partners. So the first thing an empath has to learn to do is start taking note of his/her own needs and desires instead of constantly catering to the whims and fancies of her partner. Below are some pointers to help you, if you’re an empath:
- Name your feelings and needs and find a way to communicate them to your partner. Make sure they are equally fulfilled by the partner as you fulfill theirs. If your partner is not willing to meet your needs then you are in a partnership with a narcissist, who will never give importance to your needs. Get this: he will NEVER take your problems as his own. Get out as soon as possible.
- Learn to set boundaries right from the beginning of any connection, be it with friends, or spouse. If your energies are imbalanced, chances are you even overgive in friendships. Start noticing all the moments when you abandon your own needs and desires in lieu for theirs. Catch yourself at those moments and stop this behavior. Instead name your needs and communicate lovingly to your friends. If they are not supportive of your needs as much as you support theirs, then it may be necessary to find some new friends.
- Negotiate your boundaries with your spouse, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend in a loving way, not aggressively. It may take a few relationships to get this right, but that’s okay. Life is patient! And communication is key. With each new connection, you will learn more about yourself and will be at a better place to navigate that partnership.
- Don’t become hostage to other people’s unresolved emotional baggage. This is where it is necessary to ground yourself to be able to distinguish which are your own thoughts and feelings and which belong to others. You cannot save the world or solve all of world’s problems and that is okay. Just do your part and start saying “no” the moment you begin to get overwhelmed. Learning how to say no is very important. This is a very good way to set boundaries. When you are always available and ready to jump at the rescue of another, often people will take you for granted and rarely give you the respect you deserve. So stop this self-abandoning behavior and instead rescue yourself first. And that is enough. If you believe we are all one, then love starts with the self. When you love yourself, it will be mirrored back to you externally by your parther, friends or whoever. To understand this better, read: selflessness does not exist!
- Visualization: Do some grounding practises daily, like walking barefoot on the earth’s surface, connecting with mother earth’s healing energies, doing physical exercises, gardening, salt baths etc. You can do a meditation where you imagine yourself as a tree, and let the roots from your feet penetrate deep into the earth, grounding you in your body. Then call back your scattered energies from other people and give them back theirs. Now imagine integrating your own energies growing into beautiful branches and leaves on this tree, as you feel centred in your being, rooted to the ground. The earth’s free electrons can heal many chronic illnesses, pain and inflammation in the body that were caused due to the imbalance of our chakras or energy centers. To learn more about this, read my article: the healing benefits of grounding.
- Lastly own your self, own your feelings and emotions and give them as much importance as you give to others’ feelings and emotions. Only then you will find balance and harmony within yourself. All healthy relationships are mutual, symbiotic and reciprocative. While an empath has to learn how to connect more with his/her lower chakras, a narcissist needs to learn how to connect more with his/her upper chakras. But no one can force their partners to learn anything. Hence, it is best to learn what you need on your journey, and the universe will meet you half way, bringing to you an external outcome that more in alignment with your internal vibrations.
Hope the above information helps you know more about yourself and attract healthier partnerships. Here’s a toast to that!
P.S. if you are not an empath you won’t probably resonate with this post. And if you are, I can see you nodding your head in agreement! I am an empath and I have had to learn these things the hard way; I still struggle at times. Nonetheless, I hope this post can help you resolve your issues and lead a more balanced life as an empath.