Since learning of the CT school shooting, I've been unable to arrest the insidious pain I'm currently experiencing at the deepest physical, mental, and emotional level. I don't understand. I have nothing to do with it. I live in the Midwest and don't know anyone on the East Coast. Cannot stop the sobbing and occasional wailing like choke that comes when you're out of breath. The worst part is there is nothing anyone I or anyone else can do that can help alleviate the victims' or survivors' pain. That's my pain. I feel like I'm experiencing the parents, families, friends and community's wretched grief from this horror all at once. Empathy or empath, whatever you want to call it is like having a monster, a "Guantanamo Bay", stalking you, never knowing when it's going to attack and torture you with near murderous methods the human soul is incapable of comprehending.
I too live in the Midwest, geographically at a considerable distance from where this tragic event took place. Empaths can struggle with feeling "other people's stuff" and being able to disengage from hurts being felt that don't belong. Empaths will often unconsciously pick up on emotions of others when they are in the same room with them and can also unknowingly pick up emotional residue that lingers in a place from its former occupants. This is why being in public places can be scary for any empath who has difficulty with boundaries. Continually having to process foreign emotions that have attached themselves can be exhausting... no one likes being an empathic magnet. Hiding out is not the answer, but routinely retreating from people and the media is important when emotions need sorted out.
Putting the label of empath aside for a bit, I'd be a little concerned if I met or spoke with anyone who did not feel an emotional jolt yesterday upon hearing the news of the gun slain children and school employees in Connecticut. Violence occurred in a Chinese school yard yesterday as well. Twenty-two children were brutally stabbed by a knifeman. We are all spiritually-connected to one another, being empathic toward others who are hurting is totally natural. These events will knock most of us off balance... I certainly felt horrible yesterday.
If you are extra sensitive and are not at the scene or personally affected when these situations arise... BE GRATEFUL. Take a breath. Take a time out. You'll notice that I waited a day before addressing and blogging about yesterday's tragedy. I felt the need to retreat and recharge my energies. Self-care needs to be a priority for highly sensitive persons.
Feeling helplessness and grief stricken are symptoms that need to be acknowledged, sorted out, and then released. Not only be grateful that the sadness, overwhelm, or whatever you are feeling originated from someone else, but be grateful that you have been given the opportunity to FEEL and empathize with the hurts of others.
If you are having difficulty letting go of an emotion then you are in a way taking ownership of it. If you cannot release it, then treat it with an emotional freeing therapy such as grounding, meditation, or Emotional Freedom Technique.
- Empathic Remedies - Flower Essence Remedies for Easing Empathic Characteristics
- Ways to Calm an Anxious Spirit - Reminders to Breathe, Take a Time Out, Create Boundaries, and More
- Pink Bubble of Light Meditation - Shielding Exercise for Empaths
- Support for Empaths - You are welcome to discuss your issues in our forum.
I have touched on the empath's plight of overwhelm when taking on the emotions of others in recent years when global atrocities and traumas have occurred, specifically concerning the unspeakable hateful actions resulting in the September 11 Attack, and the horrifying Hurricane Katrina travesty. Anandra George, Ask An Intuitive Life Coach, advised my readers on How to Be an Oasis of Peace in the Midst of Crisis after returning home from Tokyo when Japan was dealing with its devastating tsunami and earthquakes.
- America Under Attack - 9/11 - Tragedy Brings Heightened Awareness of Our Intricate Human Connections
- Katrina... enough already! - Empaths Overwhelmed by Constant Media Coverage of Tragic Events
- Response to Disaster Checklist - How to Respond to a Crisis in a Calm and Peaceful Manner.
- Five Crisis Tips - Coping Tools and Techniques During Times of Crisis and Tragedy
Drawing: a good cry, by Grace age 8 (studiobeerhorst}-bbmarie © artistID, Flickr Creative Commons)