To me, life is extremely colourful. Every word has a flavour and every colour has a character. When I go out into nature, the oxygen in my lungs is so extremely abundant that I can feel my body growing taller and lighter with each and every breath. Light brimming through treetops airs on the side of ethereal, streaming energy to warm the rocks and the creek as well as to tan the leaves as autumn turns. Nature itself is cyclical and absolutely inter-connected.
As for me, I believe I can feel all these things. As “hippie” as that may sound, it’s actually quite simple. Nature and life are cyclical and I am a part of both, and I can feel energy around me. Though most of the time this ability is beautiful, it can also be tiring. My mother calls me an empath, a title to which I am still unsure. What is an empath?
An empath is a person who is described to be able to feel what other people are feeling and to adopt those emotions as their own. As well, empaths are typically in tune with energies. Often empaths can claim something as true without evidence because they “just know”. Empaths can easily detect when people are lying, yet they themselves are very good liars because they can read people. Empaths often are at peace when they are alone and are constantly daydreaming.
Many of these qualities apply to me. Some days I can go through all kinds and colours of emotions and at the end of the day I’m left with none of my own. I often wish I didn’t care so much about minute things and didn’t feel so much for everything. When one aspect of my life becomes too much to bear, anxiety can spread to many other aspects as well. Yet all the highs of life make up for the dispensable lows and make them more bearable. For example, if I might be feeling down about my own situation, the minute I walk into a room full of high spirited people, I too quickly become high spirited. Being an empath is rewarding in so many ways and sometimes life is so bright a day can seem like a cartoon. A simple joke told by a friend or an hour in my favourite class are all I need to be utterly euphoric. In many aspects of my life, empathy is the defining characteristic that allows me to connect with people energetically and deeply with few words spoken. Simply put, empaths are like mirrors: they reflect the light of everyone around them.
To this I can attest reading as an undoubtable factor to my ability to empathize with other people. Getting lost in a good book scientifically boosts not only your brain power, but also allows you to better understand individuals. Especially with fiction, reading from another person’s point of view allows you to see others more clearly in your own life. Reading is a solace to me; without the influence of good books in my life, I don’t know who I’d be. Characters such as Scarlett O’Hara and Dagny Taggart reinforce my stubbornness to let anyone else’s energies negatively affect my own.
On the other hand, reading and being able to understand people has also fuelled my creative thinking. While feeling everything to an extreme may be a roller coaster ride, intellectualizing my feelings, and writing them out in particular, helps me to expel other people’s inflicted emotions from my body. As a writer and an actress, being an empath in my own life allows me to detach from myself to become someone else. I find it easy to forget about myself and think of others, a quality that makes me amiable in real life and steadfast as an actress. My talent derives from my sensitivities, and my skill from experience. I am fortunate that my interests, talents, and personality all correlate in this way; in other words, being an empath has given me a leg up in compassionate pursuits. It’s in my nervous system to feel energies and it’s in my brain to be creative; my body was made for telling stories.
I think I have enough evidence and enough gumption to be able to call myself an empath. I am still learning to accept good energies and negate bad ones, thereby hopefully sparing myself from any future distresses. Yet I’m also still appreciating everything my life has to offer, all of its beautiful moments and serendipitous minutes. I believe in karma and the good in people; I believe in gratitude and connection. I don’t wonder if these things will last in my life, I know they will simply by the good vibes I do my best to send out. Give what you wish to receive and treat others the way you wish to be treated. It’s as simple as that.