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Empath– Does what you are feeling belong to you? Identifying Emotions from the Collective

In the best of times being an empathic being has its challenges. 🙂 When you are empathic you download and play in your own skin (meaning you feel it inside of your body) the emotions and sensations of others.  I usually liken it to being built like a radio receiver.  You pick up and broadcast out the stations of other people!  Talk about confusing.  Sometimes, frequently, for an empath, it’s hard to know whether what you are feeling is you or someone else.  This article is the second in a (two part) series where I am addressing challenges that I see empaths are facing right now related to this moment in history we are living through: a global pandemic.  In my last article I talked about the challenge of being at home, especially constantly within the company of your family, and ways to manage your ability and further your control of your empathic ability even within those situations.  Today I’m going to talk about the challenge of living through a time period where there are large amounts of intense collective emotions moving through the world. 

PC: Callie Morgan

(Suspect you might be empathic but aren’t sure— or simply want to learn more about your empathic nature—you can download my 44 Signs You’re an Empath here to discover if you are.) 

You see empaths don’t just experience the emotions of those who are near them in physical proximity.  When large amounts of people are having a similar emotional experience— that comes through loud and clear for an empath—even if they are standing in their living room alone.  

I’ve been teaching empaths how to manage their own abilities and control their gift since 2016.  Let me tell you, in case you’ve blocked it out, we’ve been through some doozies in the last 5 years.  Two elections (those are always fraught with tension, these last two were particularly so the first one had the first woman running for president), The Dr. Ford Trial (surfacing of collective sexual assault trauma), huge wildfires in Australia (surfacing fear for the planet and for the flora and fauna of our earth even if you weren’t in proximity to them), the murder of George Floyd and the clear unveiling of systematic racism (collective surfacing of all racial injustice and trauma), a world-wide pandemic (pretty much every fear possible is touched through this from health, fear of death, to livelihood, scarcity, safety, and estrangement from each other—around the world), more fires, a storming of the US capitol, a second and extremely polarized election, pandemic continued, most recently intense ice storms in the Southern states…  I’m just mentioning those that come immediately to mind in this country. I’m not covering all of them.  The point is, as a society (and even a world) we’ve experienced an onslaught of intense collective traumatic (and trauma triggering/surfacing) events almost continuously over the last several years.  What this means for the empath is waft after waft of intense and strong emotions are coming through our sensory systems, nearly all the time right now.  And, if you are an empath with zero training, you think that all those emotions are yours.

After that last sentence I keep hearing in my head a big, “Screeeeeeech!”  Like a cartoon character coming to a screeching halt with a “Wait!? What!? You mean some of what I may be feeling might not even belong to me?!” 

Yes, empath, that’s what I said. 🙂

I want to underscore this, because for an empath understanding this can create a huge shift of dawning understanding!  I SAID, even while at home alone or with very few people, what you may be feeling may not belong to you.  

PC: Tim Mossholder

It’s the reason why on election day for example you might not be able to focus on anything.  The collective restlessness, or worry, may be so strong that it veers you completely off course.  

I think this is particularly confusing for empathic beings right now because many are not going out in the world much— and yet they are awash with giant emotions, as I said, some or many of which may not even belong to them.

For years I’ve been teaching empaths in my Empath Intuition University (EIU) program how to control and manage their own abilities; how to work with their sensitivities instead of against them—how to discover who they are and understand that, how to gain the experience that being empathic is actually useful and a gift.   I’ve been teaching them how to discern between whether what they are feeling is actually theirs or if it belongs to others.  That’s what I want to talk about right now.  Because if you are empathic I can guarantee over the last year(s) you’ve been wading through some emotions (and some of them pretty extreme) that don’t actually originate within your body.  You’ve been playing someone else’s (or many someone else’s) radio station! 

I think you also might like to know right from the start that with a little practice it becomes simple to tell.  It all starts with a few questions.  Questions that you ask yourself in order to ascertain, “Does what I am feeling right now belong to me?”

So even if you are at home without a lot of contact with people, the next time you are feeling an intensity of emotion I suggest you start with these two questions:

  • Did anything JUST happen to me personally that would trigger this emotion or sensation? If you can’t identify exactly where the emotion is coming from it likely originates elsewhere.
  • Am I suddenly confused, whereas before I was clear? A sharp shift in emotion like this can often indicate you are now tuned into more than just your own thoughts and feelings.
  • What is actually bothering me?  Sometimes we are actually bothered about something but it is coming out in weird ways.  Getting to the bottom of that, facing it head on, will allow you to understand A. what it is and B. if there is an action point for you to take.

I also teach my students how to clear their energy and make a natural boundary for themselves.  Actually, I teach that every month at Seattle’s East West Bookshop.  (And it’s all virtual now so you can join from anywhere.)  If you peruse my speaking page you’ll also find some radio programs (Rising Women Leaders podcast interview comes to mind) where I walk you through these tools.  I’ve got a ton of free resources on my Empath Resources Page.  And of course you can join me for one of my Empath Intuition University  programs, which facilitate a more in-depth mastery of your ability with support and companionship along the way.  (We start on March 22, 2021.)

Whether or not you join me or look into these other free resources I have available I think it is important to know empath that just because you are feeling something doesn’t mean it’s actually yours; even if you are standing in your living room alone.

Ask your questions.  Start to pay attention.  Check out my free resources.  You’ve got this.

Big love,


P.S.   Empath, you can download my “4 Antidotes to Common Empathic Challenges”

P.P.S. My Empath Intuition University starts in less than a month.  If you are ready to leave behind the overwhelm of your highly sensitive empathic nature—have tools in your back pocket that will enable you to manage it and give you a key plan that you can use your whole life long then join us!  You can find more information and get your application here.

P.P.S.S. Join me for my next “Understanding Your Empathic Ability” class.  I teach them every 2nd Tuesday of the month.  (The next one is March 9th.)  Find the next class here

P.P.P.S.S. You can sign up here to stay current with my blogs and class offerings.

Aimée Cartier is a psychic and the founder of Intuition University and Empath Intuition University. She teaches empaths who are overwhelmed and sometimes debilitated by their abilities or who have a hard time discovering themselves because of their constant sensitivity to others.  Through a four or seven-month program offered twice per year she teaches empaths how to understand their abilities so they can work with their sensitivities (and not against them), how to get and stay connected to their own power, and ultimately how to use their empathic gift to help themselves and others.  She also does psychic readings and sees clients in person and over the phone from her office on Vashon Island.  She is the author of the book, “Getting Answers: Using Your Intuition to Discover Your Best Life.” More about her readings, books, intuition and empath classes, and events can be found at www.AimeeCartier.com

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