An Open Letter to Empaths

It’s time to embrace our inner warrior.

As we sit poised for the inauguration to the highest office in the United States, I reflect on the pattern I see emerging before me. I belong to multiple Facebook groups for empaths and highly sensitive people and noticed many postings are exploring past and present relationships with toxic people. I can’t even count how many posts say something similar to: ‘Please pray for me, I finally summoned the courage to leave him/her.’ Sending love and light, especially those who are still engaged in that personal struggle.

Last week in my meditation group, narcissism was the selected topic. Every person around the table had one or more intense stories to share, yes stories of pain but also stories of triumph and growth. Yesterday on the recommendation of a close friend, I found myself reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ classic, ‘Women who Run with the Wolves’. I was immediately struck by how the author, who wrote this book over twenty years ago, casts light on the mythological figure of Bluebeard as the sociopathic antagonist to the young, naive gentlewoman.

Why are so many of the same references emerging right now?

We each hold personal beliefs about the economy, healthcare, foreign relations, or how religion and morality should or should not intersect with the political arena. This post is not intended to spark a no-win debate about these issues.

One thing has become clear:

A powerful man is taking office who demonstrates through words and actions a marked lack of compassion, open distain for anyone who disagrees with him and a strong tendency for control. Sound familiar? I am not going to try to assign a diagnosis or throw out a label because I am not qualified or see a benefit in doing so.

However, his presence in such a public arena has struck fear into many sensitive people who remember well the battles we waged to set healthy boundaries against one or more deliberately hurtful people, what it took to value ourselves enough to say, hell no! The courage required to finally leave a toxic relationship. The cost to our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. The time it’s taken to heal, if we’ve even completed that journey yet.

We rightfully worry that the blatant, public flaunting of this self-centered way of being will embolden others with those tendencies. We wonder, might it even cause those toxic relationships we thought we’d left behind to suddenly show up in our lives again? A real possibility.

What we do know is that the energy of fear can either serve to paralyze or motivate — so how will we choose to use it?

What if collectively and in loving support of each other, we don our energetic armor, strengthen our resolve and embrace our inner warriors?

As a self-proclaimed pacifist, it’s been a long and winding road to come to terms with my inner warrior. Battle seems like the type of environment where I could easily be enticed to become someone I’m not proud of. I believe this to be our deepest fear as empaths. That in the midst of the fight, we might begin to exhibit the same spiteful characteristics as the ‘enemy’.

Until we recognize the only real enemy is the one inside ourselves.

One of the most profound insights about this topic were recently posted on an empath Facebook forum (author kept anonymous for privacy):

‘An empath has to learn to love and embrace oneself completely. Then, when they trust themselves, they will not be attracted to the kind of ill treatment expressed by narc. The way a narc treats an empath is usually reflective of how the empath talks to themselves inside. It could be an inner bully-thinking voice that was adopted from an earlier childhood abuse or the like. So empaths on some inner level agree with the bad treatment and already believe they are not “good enough.” How a narc treats them actually resonates with them. Instead, they have to learn to fall in love with themselves. Then the inner dialogue changes and they attract a person who reflects their inner health and treats them well on the outside. Narcs have their hearts completely closed, so the empath is drawn in to heal their wound. But really, empaths need to heal their own wounds with self love.’

The longest distance on our journey to empowerment is exactly what she just described: learning to love, trust and have faith in ourselves. To believe that we deserve a great life filled with loving, healthy and reciprocal relationships. Once we internalize this new awareness, we never go back.

I invite you to join me in embracing the following empath affirmation:

I have faith in every situation I bring the intention to think, feel, speak and act on behalf of the highest good for myself and others. Certainly, I will make mistakes. Sometimes, I may even inadvertently say something hurtful. I will take responsibility when I do, ask for forgiveness and apply that learning forward.
I am not responsible for others’ emotions, problems or challenges: only my own. Each person has to step forward to tackle their own life lessons. I will not take learning and growth away from another by trying to fix or rescue them.
I will trust my inner knowing, when I hear that wise still voice, when I feel in my body that something’s not right. I will use my voice as a powerful weapon, not to hurt or maim but to uplift and strengthen. I will go to battle on behalf of my own inner spirit, my beautiful light. I am meant to glow, to shine, to radiate and I will not be dimmed!

I see our world poised on the edge of a threshold, between what we’ve been for so long (territorial, warring, self-serving) and all that is possible. A world in which we empathize with each other, consider our choices carefully, speak and treat each other with a gentleness and compassion befitting a unified and evolved human race.

Can we flow with the potential that’s emerging right now to create a world that honors a sensitive way of being?


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