The Bean Tighe (pronounced ban tig) is a helpful spirit that is likely one of the inspirations for the "fairy godmother" type donor/patron from faerie and folk tales. She is the one who makes it possible for others to achieve their potential ... whether it be helping with the maintenance of one's home, one's finances, or the ability to make one's dreams come true.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

PBP: Week 9 ... the EM-path

It's likely no surprise to anyone who has read my post on depression to find out that I walk the em-path. As an INFP  (Introversion/iNtuition/Feeling/Perception) ... Idealist/Advocate/Healer ...  personality type, I really had no choice but to do so.

As common as the term empath has become to explain those hypersensitive/hyper-observant individuals who resonate to the vibrations of the people that surround them, back when I was growing up in the early 1970's no word existed to label persons who could "know" how a person felt just by being in proximity to them. Besides, when one had a psychiatrist for a Father, one learned early in life what not to say. To draw unwanted attention was to end up on medication and/or in therapy.

Imagine, if you would dear readers, that you are once again 6 years old and are facing a classroom full of strange faces for the first time in your life. Imagine the rows of little wooden desks with their occupants all turned towards you with a wide mixture of expressions ranging from mild disinterest to curiosity and all points in between. Never before in your life have you been around this many people at one time, except perhaps on a park playground where excited and active euphoria tends to reign supreme in the little bodies that hurtle around and past you in play. You blink as a wave of ... something you have no name for ... surges towards you and slams into your solar plexus before surging around you, invading every sensory perception you possess. You feel everything ... every raw emotion from every one of those still mostly feral little people facing you all at once. 

I know that there will be those among you, reading the above paragraph, who will work their way through the scenario I have laid out visualizing each element I have brought to it ... there will be those who can only read the words and try to understand ... and there will be those who will emotionally enter the scene and experience it as I did on my first day of school ... the day I learned that people can hurt you without ever touching you. And those persons, who can put themselves there and feel that surge as I did in recollection while writing it as clearly as I did the day I experienced it, will be the empaths among you.

Emotions are a form of vibrational energy generated by an individual in response to a stimulus ... this energy is released by the average person as readily as their bodies express heat into the surrounding environment. If the energetic release is powerful enough, such as is the case in a traumatic event or a large group of individuals experiencing the same emotions at the same time, it is quite possible for inanimate objects and portions of landscape to absorb into, or imprint upon, itself an echo of said emotional vibrations.This energetic echo exists irregardless of time or space, allowing a sensitive individual to sense it (often strongly) even if separated in time or distance from the event that caused the creation of the echo.

Let us now consider, for a moment, the concept of deity as a gathered pool of coalesced belief given form, function and even personality as defined by the mythology of their followers. Whether it be the gods of the ancient world, that of the monotheistic faiths, those of the eclectic practitioners, or the more traditionalists ... it is a simple concept of Quantum Physics that one creates one's own reality based on what we choose to believe.

In essence, the power of belief is that fundamental force that shapes the very existence of the Divine. There are few people who would be so foolish as to deny that strong belief generates strong emotions ... even if one were atheistic, that is still a choice made to believe that there is nothing beyond the present existence and, as such personal energy (faith and emotion) is spent to fuel that belief. Some of the most heated discussions I have been in have been with atheists. ^_~

Physics also tells us that energy is never destroyed. Due to the fact that a given individual's choice of belief creates the framework for the "shape" through which Divinity can express itself ... allowing them to tap into the pool of faith energy that has been created over the time that a given god-form has been believed in regardless of how long it has been since that expression of Divinity has last been worshipped, or how far away from the "homeland" of the god/gods in question (remember, time and space are immaterial when dealing with energy).

Since it is virtually impossible for most human beings to envision a dispassionate deity ... something so utterly unlike ourselves in form and function as to truly be alien to us... it also stands to reason that the god-forms created from and connected with the belief pool that has created them will take on the personality traits that have been ascribed to them. This is where the mythos and culture of which they are a part shapes their appearances, their personalities and, yes, their emotions ... which is what I sense when I come into contact with them, or a sacred site such as an old well, a grove, a church, a mosque, etc.

I have learned to rely upon my emotional/energetic sensitivities to aid me in interacting with the spirits of the land, the gods I believe in, the people that surround me ... as well as to guide me when someone or something around me, or with whom I come in contact, needs Healing. Unlike most people I have encountered and discussed this with, I seem to have always been aware that I was meant to be a healer.

Being an empath for me, as a child, was a terrible and wonderful thing all at the some time ... every place I went, every group of people I was exposed to created a turmoil roller-coaster ride of emotional energy for me to try to navigate my way through. The hardest task, growing up, was learning how to determine to whom the emotions belonged ... was this anguish truly my own or did it belong to the girl two desks back? was the anger I felt mine or did it belong to the bully who was pushing me? was the sense of discomfort mine or did it belong to the person I just put on the spot by demonstrating that I knew someone was amiss with them that they may have been trying to hide?

It might not sounds like it would be too difficult to those readers who are not empathic but the very state of being a highly sensitive empath means that everything that is felt is processed from within using the individual's own filters ... as such, to the individual who is experiencing them, they do very much feel (at least at first, before you learn to distinguish between mine and other) like they are coming from within.

As I have grown, my empathy has become both a source of isolation for me and as natural and necessary a part of my senses as my sight or hearing. The isolation comes from a twofold source (threefold if you take my poor social skills due to bullying during my formative years into account) being an introvert, an individual who gains energy from solitude and becomes exhausted when in groups of people, and my empathy which ties into an autonomic nervous condition which began to reveal itself around age 20 ... at least that's when I began to complain about the shaking, it took a further 5 years for my constant trembling to become pronounced enough to be visible to observers and thus diagnose-able.

Along with my hypersensitivity to the emotions of the people, places and things around me, I developed a hypersensitivity to my body's own adrenaline. Essentially, this means that my body creates a reaction to a single drop of epinephrine (adrenaline) the way most everyone else would react to a teaspoonful. The older I get, the more sensitive my body becomes and the easier and harder I shake. It is enough to cause quite the concern in those people who observe it, particularly in a case of conflict ... where I have made the choice to stand my ground and enter into a conflict situation being willing to be ill for 3 days afterwards and shaking so hard during the situation that people have been afraid I would fall down. Being that I only need be in the room with someone who is experiencing powerful negative emotions to trigger the tremor, it is not too difficult to see how keeping myself away from the rest of the population can be as restful as it is lonely.

For all that is has been, and still is, a source for considerable unpleasantness and discomfort, I would not divorce myself from my ability to read people based upon the empathic input. I have also found that, as I get older, my ability to "know" that something is wrong, or how someone is feeling without them having to say much or, indeed, explain has gone from being a source of fear for those around me to a source of comfort. If I could not read the emotional energetics of the people, places and things around me, I suspect it would be as distressing as losing any other sense.

Honestly, I don't believe I would stop doing it if I could for, as prickly a gift as it might be, I am grateful for it. It is as much a way of living ... guiding my actions and interactions both in the mundane and the spiritual realms ... as it is a way of being.


  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences as an empath. I truly understand what you went and go through now. Blessed Be. :)

  2. Thank you for your blog this week.

    1. Thank you for commenting, this topic proved far more difficult to write about than I'd expected when I chose it ... which is why it feels disjointed to me. I hope it was coherent enough.