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Saturday, February 13, 2010: Choices of an Empath

          I’ve gotten too used to shutting out emotional impressions when I leave the safety and comfort of home. The natural inclination to protect my inner sense of peace and balance is not helping my spiritual goal of reopening my awareness.

           It’s become too easy to put up inner walls. I focus on my own center of being or open narrow windows of communication with friends while blocking out extraneous background ‘noise’. It’s second nature by now. The mind has been trained to separate emotional input, the way it reduces background noise and conversations at a large gathering so I can better hear a specific discussion.

           But how do I react to crowds in general? Even if I smile and talk to people next to me in line, if I try to be helpful and outgoing at group gatherings, I’m aware of keeping up my inner protective blocks to outside emotions.  Blocking should be a method to fall back on when I’m tired, bored or distracted. Making it the default mode won’t advance my spiritual life, especially since I know I can survive the emotional impact of crowds by projecting my own energy outward. (If you are an empath, empathic or highly sensitive, don’t ever think of opening up non-discriminately.)

           If I want to open my inner awareness and still protect myself from negative influences, I breathe deeper as I move through crowds. I focus on concepts like, “I send love outward into the universe; the universe sends love back,” or “Divine love flows into me; I radiate it outward into the world.” I use whatever image allows me to project good-will, whatever allows energy to consistently flow outward.

                This second option for an empath expends energy and requires remaining focused on surroundings, rather than errands. I’m not opening to a crowd’s ugly moods or anxious concerns, but rather to a broader awareness---the myriad of connections shared amongst people. I find myself taking notice of people as individuals, smiling more frequently and feeling better about being part of the human race. And I must say, I like the way I feel when I’m projecting outward: more optimistic, more content, more loving toward Life itself.

                I’m an empath.  I know that an atmosphere of love and trust, or of fear and desperation, builds whenever people gather. Modern life, amongst crowds of strangers (all busy with errands and inner dialogues), tends to make everyone draw emotionally inside themselves. Yet, one person, spreading love and cheer can influence the emotions of those around them.  

           What effect would it have if more people began opening their hearts and radiating good-will on a daily basis?  I’ve heard people say that they love the good-will feeling of the Christmas season. I’ve listened to stories about the openness and unity of crowds celebrating some special moment of history. The secret is that we notice good-will being projected toward us when we ourselves are open and projecting positive emotions to others.

                I am back to trying to be more mindful of my own attitudes. As an introvert, I may always need time to pull inside myself, but it’s important to start spending more of my day projecting love, not just in a personal relationship with the divine, but back into the crazy, imbalanced world. I can only experiment, trying to pay more attention to my heart, to find a more enduring softness that can be presented to the world around me.

Posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 08:11AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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