While all human beings have a physical body, that doesn’t mean that they experience life in the same way. If one was to think about why this is, they might focus on how we are born into different environments and how these environments can be the defining factor.
However, without even going into the factors that might explain why everyone sees life differently, there are also differences when it comes to what is taking place within someone. Just because one has a physical body, it doesn’t mean that they have the same level of empathy as someone else.
There are going to be people who have what could be classed as a balanced sense of empathy, and then there are going to be others who are out of balance. One could be in a position where they have no empathy or they could have too much empathy.
When one has no empathy, they are not only going to be a danger to themselves, they are also going to be a danger to the people around them. And they could even end up being labelled as a psychopath. There is the chance that someone like this could be in prison and yet, they could also be found in the business world.
One’s lack of empathy could then be what has caused them to end up behind bars and at the same time, it could also be what has allowed them to rise to the top of their profession. Having no empathy is not going to assist one when it comes to having relationships, but it will aid them when it comes to certain areas of life.
More than Enough
If one has too much empathy, they are unlikely to be a danger to others, but they could be a danger to themselves. And while they are unlikely to be called cold, they could be classed as being overly sensitive.
They might do their best to avoid environments where there is too much going on and they could chose to spend a lot of time by themselves. One is then not in a room by themselves through force, they are there through choice.
On one hand, this can mean that one is able to form deeper connections to others and for people to warm to them, but it could also cause one to avoid others. Being around others could be overwhelming and this could mean that one is unable use their heightened sense of feeling to enhance their life.
Out of Control
When one has empathy, it is going to be another part of who they are and not something that will necessarily define their life. However, when one has a heightened sense of empathy, it is not going to be another part of their life, it could end up defining their whole life.
One is not going to feel as though their ability to empathise is another part of them; one is going to feel as though their empathy is in control of them. It is then not possible for one to decide who they empathise with or to protect their heart, as they are going to have no choice in the matter.
A Walking Sponge
It then won’t matter if one is talking to something or whether they are in a social environment and just walking past others, as they are going to be effected in the same way. Just being around other people will be enough for one to know what they are feeling. Being around others is going to cause one to be bombarded and they will feel defenceless.
It won’t matter if they are concerned about someone or not (or whether they are even facing them), as they will still absorb what they are going through. One is then like a sponge that has been put in water – in the beginning there will be water on one side and as time passes, the whole sponge will be end up being submerged.
Sense of Self
When one is around others, it is going to be challenge for them to maintain their sense of self. And this is because they are going to embody what is going on around them and what is going on for them is likely to be a mystery.
In fact, one might find it difficult to differentiate between their feelings and the feelings of others. Who they are could depend on who they are with and this is because one doesn’t have any boundaries.
While there is the chance that one started to experienced life this way as an adult, it is likely to be something that one has experienced for the majority of their life. And when one experiences life this way, they are often described as being an empath.
It has been said that people are born this way and that it comes down to their genetics. There are others who believe that people are like this due to what happened during their childhood.
A Closer Look
If one was to look at how an empath experiences life, they might come to the conclusion that is not so much a special ability as it is a consequence of childhood trauma. When one feels that their life is under threat, their point of focus is no longer divided between what is taking place within them and what is taking place without, it is going to be on what is taking place around them.
And when a child feels under threat, they are likely to have less control than they would if they were an adult. It might not be safe for them to have boundaries and to therefore protect themselves. What could be safe is for them to remain boundary-less and to let the people around them do whatever they want.
During one’s early years, it wouldn’t have been safe for them to just be; they would have had to have been in survival mode. Tuning into how the people around them were feeling was not something that they did to simply gain ‘approval’, it was something they had to do to either avoid being harmed or to know when they were about to be harmed in some way.
Through living in this kind of environment where one had to focus on others and the people around them were only focused on their own needs, one wouldn’t have been able to realise they were separate from them and their developed would have been stunted. So their needs and feelings would have been overlooked and they wouldn’t have been able to develop boundaries.
The years will have passed, but their sense of self hasn’t been able to develop and one has remained in a symbiotic state. It will be important for them to process what happened to them all those years ago and as this is done, they will begin to develop a sense of self and their boundaries will also start to develop.
This doesn’t mean that one will no longer have this ability, what it is likely to mean is that one will begin to settle down and gain a great understanding of themselves. One can then use this ability to enhance their life as opposed to it being something that makes their life a misery.
The assistance of a therapist or a healer will be required, and they can hold the space so that one can let of the emotional pain that is within them. They will also be able to provide the positive regard that one didn’t receive all those years ago.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.