I had a reading client recently who also happened to be an empath. She asked me about the jealousy that she sometimes experienced acutely when she was around other women who were in a similar line of work to her.
What I said to her that day was this, “You’re empathic, so you are picking up other people’s signals too. It’s like you are a green apple and when you are sitting next to a red apple, you start thinking you are a red apple. The other person is an apple too (for the sake of this analogy!) so they are similar to you. But you are not them– you’re empathic nature is just making you think that you are. And so you are unfairly asking yourself, ‘Why aren’t I getting the same opportunities?’ But you’re not the same apple.”
I loved that she asked about this because it brought up such an important topic that it is helpful for empaths to know and understand.
If you are an empath you should know this:
You feel other people’s stuff in your own skin (you already know this right!?). And when you are around those who are similar enough to you in many or in certain aspects, it can be really confusing. At least before you learn how to manage your empathic nature.
You can have thoughts like, “Why is that opportunity coming to them and not me?” Or “Should I go down the path that she is also on– try something similar to what he/she is doing?” I’m not saying these thoughts only happen to people who are empathic. But I am saying is that it is slightly different and quite a bit more potent when it happens to an empathic person. Because they feel as though they are the other person. If you’re not empathic, that may sound crazy. If you are, you get it.
I get it. I know what that feels like because it’s happened to me too. Particularly when I was younger, and especially before I knew that I was empathic; I remember the confusion that I would frequently feel when I was around other people (mostly women) who were very similar to me. Looking back on it now I understand very simply that because of my empathic abilities, I was having a hard time deciphering what was them and what was me. When we were so similar in certain areas I would start to think, “Should I be doing that [what they are doing]?”
I remember one summer in particular when I met my friend Lisa. We were working in upstate New York at a camp for inner city girls. Because we had similar interests and resonances, ethereal tendencies and innate magical vibes– and because we were both white ladies with long dark hair 🙂 people often confused us. Among our similar interests was photography. Lisa and I both loved to take photographs. I remember sometimes being in her presence and having thoughts like, “I should be doing something with my photography! I have boxes and boxes of photos (because that is what we did in those days) I should do something with them!” Or thoughts like, “Maybe I should be pursuing my photography in some way.?.” At that time, it was just a hobby for me.
Let me tell you that now– some 23 years later– Lisa is a gifted professional photographer. I am not, nor should I be. However, in her presence all those years ago, picking up Lisa’s vibes– as I was just by default– I started thinking that maybe I should be doing something with my photography hobby. We had enough parallels between us that the bleed of “she/me” was very strong for me. There were so many overlaps of interest it became hard for me to tell which was me and which was her. And back then, I didn’t know I was empathic. I hadn’t ever even heard that word before. So, it was just plain confusing.
Jealousy, like the kind my client described, is one aspect of this. You are confused because you are empathic and for a second (or for MANY seconds) you think the opportunities that are happening to them should be happening to you. You feel like you should be (or are) them; and yet you are not.
And let me stress that: you are not her or him. You are you. We each have a different path. Even if you are talking about the road to success, we each of us have a different journey there. The tread of our paths are different, the people that we meet and those who bolster us along the way are also not the same. You are very unlikely to meet your success in the exact way that another has. Even if you have similar gifts, you each have a unique signature on them. You are meant for a journey exclusive to you, and so are they.
So empath, the next time you find yourself thinking that what is happening to him or her should also be happening to you, ask yourself if you are getting confused. You are allowing their energy to mingle with yours– inside your own space– and it is perplexing you? You are not the same as them.
The older I got and the more I understood about how to manage my empathic abilities two things happened that stopped this confusion/bleed from happening to me anymore:
1. I stopped constantly and accidentally picking up everyone else’s vibes.
2. I also began to know what I looked and felt like. Thus eradicating the confusion.
I can only recall this confusing bleed happening to me one time within the last decade. I recognized it within minutes because I noticed that I didn’t feel like me! I felt like her and me together. As soon as I noticed it, I snapped my energy back into place, created my boundary, and then was able to fully concentrate on what my girlfriend was saying without being confused about where I lay in all of it. Because I wasn’t in the equation! This was her story.
Just like you are not (really) in the equation of your friend or colleague’s success and your pathway in life is not the same as theirs, despite all the resonances you have. Your life rolls out on a different street or in a different pattern than another’s, no matter how similar your interests, skills, or goals.
So next time you feel that perhaps familiar confusion—take your energy back into yourself, shore up your boundaries! If you need help doing this sign up for my mailing list and be sure to check the last box “Empath Offerings” and I’ll let you know the next training I have coming up just for you.
And, remember– you’re on the road that is perfect for you– no matter how different it looks from another’s path. There is simply no other way.
Aimée Cartier is a psychic guide and the founder of Intuition University. She teaches private six-month courses and group programs to help empaths learn how to manage their gift. If you need help right now she also offers “empath one-off teaching sessions.” In these you learn the tools you need to be able to clear your own energy and create boundaries for yourself starting NOW. For more on that and other empath resources go here.