As a therapist for the past 27 years, I have noticed a similar theme over and over . Most of my practice is with Empaths, those individuals who are not only sensitive, but feel other people’s emotions and physical pain in their bodies. I attract them, and am one myself. I have made a conscious decision to ask the Universe to send them to me, as I have walked this path, and wish to help others negotiate these sometimes turbulent waters.
I was asked by my guides and the angels to write this article in hopes that others may benefit from this information.
As Empaths , we are natural healers, gifted in the area of understanding and compassion. We not only have a keen sense of empathy, but we are able to see the gifts of others and their potential. For this reason and many others, we often attract those in need of healing. They are attracted to us as they sense our light, and our healing abilities. Most of the time this is not on a conscious level. They often have deep scars caused by emotional or physical trauma. We see them, gravitate toward them, and know we can make a difference in their lives. They become our friends, our family, our partners, our lovers , our colleagues, and our soulmates.
For an Empath, this is gratifying to know that we can offer our gifts to those who truly need it. We can feel their pain in our bodies, and we may even identify with it as it reminds us of our own pain . We can feel their emotions, sometimes confusing them with our own. It’s sometimes difficult to distinguish what belongs to us, and what belongs to others. We are sponges, absorbing it all in ,and knowing that we can heal.
This sounds a lot like codependency, but it is different. The dynamics are different. Empaths can display codependent tendencies, but not always. Codependency, a term often heard in the area of substance abuse, is when an individual seeks to rescue another at their own expense. It can lead to resentment, burnout, and illness. It is not healthy for either person engaged in this dynamic.
The danger for Empaths is that they become so involved, deeply invested, feeling the other person’s pain , seeking to help heal, and processing all of this energy through their own sensory systems. Empaths are sensitive to energies , so they great at reading people and situations. They know if you are not honest, if you’re not authentic, what your true motives are, and if you can be trusted. You want empaths as your friends, colleagues, lovers, partners, and family members.
So what happens to the empath when they are involved, and can recognize that this relationship is dysfunctional? They will most likely stay, way beyond the time when they know they should leave. They will stay as they see the good, as they see the other person’s light, they sense their soul,and recognize their energy. They will become drained, as the energy they are expending is not getting filled back up. They may develop physical issues, as they have not listened to the energetic messages being sent. When it hits us on the physical level, it has gone through all of the energetic levels and we have not listened. The message comes in louder and with more force on the physical level.
So, when is enough? When do you say “I’ve had enough?” When do you allow yourself to say “I am drawing the line, I’m setting boundaries and limits.” When it’s enough. When you realize it, or some wise guide or maybe your therapist who speaks this language shows you. When you give yourself permission to do so because you know it’s the right and healthy decision . When you get a strong intuitive hit that unless you do something like leave the relationship, the consequences are more than you are willing to suffer. When you know you will be sacrificing your health, your well being, and your ability to do the work you signed up for on this planet. When you accept that it is not your mission or work to save or teach them . When you accept free will. When you mourn their unrealized abilities and potential, and know they can choose to not step into it. When you ask your guides and angels to help you . When you turn this work over to the angels, your guides and the other person’s guides, and ask that they assist. When you acknowledge that the other person can always come back into another lifetime and do this work if they choose. When you realize it is not you , and you are not a failure. It is life here in Earth School, and we are all teachers and students at the same time. When you thank that other soul for the lessons and experience and bless their journey. That’s when it’s enough.
I have walked this path many times. My words are from personal experience, as well as those stories shared with me by the beautiful souls I encounter in my practice. I’m honored to share their journey , as they teach me much more than they know.
It is my hope that you find the courage and strength to say “It’s enough.”
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I look forward to hearing from you . In Peace,
Tammy Zumbo, LCSW-R