From the Oxford dictionary: Empath - plural noun: empaths. 1. (chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
What irks me about the definition is the parenthetical comment that the empaths’ abilities are fiction. The fact of the matter is, we all have the capacity for empathy but not all have honed this innate skill to forgo the ego and try to walk in someone else’s shoes. Of course, the ‘occult sciences’ can help us gain insight into what another person is thinking. But, these methodologies are discouraged or seen pejoratively in today’s culture.
To gain understanding and societal recognition, empaths are the next civil rights movements. To further this endeavor, we must all pay attention to our sensitivities. Then dig deep into them. Develop them. For example, while at Canyon Ranch, the spa retreat in Tucson, Arizona, I had my tarot cards read by the resident reader. She astonished me when she insisted my focus should be on writing my memoir. She said it was an important book. Hmmm. The tarot reading occurred in February 2014. At the time I was working on the draft manuscript for My Random Death and taking classes in creative non-fiction writing. Her message from the cards was one of the motors that helped drive my will to finish, publish, and market my memoir.
My desire to write the book was to detail the coincidental, the intuitive aspects of what occurred and to bring this to the public square. Also, when the Me Too Movement began, my manuscript was in the editing phase and I knew my story was timely. At the time of the incident, I didn’t expect to be believed by police, and figured they would think I was the aggressor, or a lunatic psychic. I feared they would not investigate my story, and the evil man would kill again. So I kept quiet about the premonitions and my intuitions and those in law enforcement took my story seriously. I don’t want to hide, nor want others to have to hide their sensibilities about non-ordinary things, and so I want to make the mystical aspects of my experience very public.
The tarot reader said something else that was memorable. She foretold I would no longer be able to watch the news and see the horrors we inflict upon one another. Even though I am a federal criminal appeals attorney and had encountered tough, rough people, she said my evolved empathic abilities would make the suffering of others too much to witness albeit even from the TV screen. She suggested I only read articles written about current events and even then I might not shield myself from feeling psychic pain.
I’m not the only one who is going through this nowadays. The Times of Trump are trying for empaths. Friends of mine express similar feelings and experience the cognitive dissonance caused by his derogatory words and corrupt actions. These days, it's hard to be happy, while at the same time remembering the kids held in cages at the southern border or the ones the Trump regime kidnapped from their families. Some of the stolen children were ruthlessly turned over to Betsy DeVos’ for-profit adoption agency. Trump’s concentration camps and authorized governmental trafficking in children is done, but not in my name and not in the name of many Americans.
For empaths, the suffering of others becomes personal. We can feel what their words describe. Empaths can experience the grief of others even from just a description of a tragic event. And as we get older we might want to shut off from the world. What looks like retreating, is really an attempt to preserve one’s psyche.
There are ways for the empath to get help. Dr. Judith Orloff’s website describes her as “the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal".