Do You Feel Too Much?
An empath is a highly sensitive person, aware not only of their emotions but often absorbed in other people’s emotions and exhausted by sensory overload.
It can be draining.
[See if you’re an empath here with Dr. Orloff’s list: Top 10 Traits of an Empath]
Thriving as an Empath
In 2017 Dr. Judith Orloff published The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.
But in October of this year she is publishing a daily self-care guide for empaths, Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People. (I’m reading an advanced reader copy.)
The book is divided into four parts:
- Winter: Going Inward, Sensing Truth
- Spring: Rebirth, Growth, and Rejuvenation
- Summer: Passion, Play, and Abundance
- Autumn: Harvest, Change, and Letting Go
It’s not dated so you can start anytime, but obviously it is sequential. I started last month, lining up the days so I’d read the summer solstice devo on the right day (the longest day of the year is one of my favorites AND I got to spend it at the beach this year!).
The theme for summer solstice was “Pinnacle of Light” and included this:
“Focus on emanating your inner light too. Be yourself to the fullest. Speak your needs. Say no to energy vampires. Express your creativity. Tell your partner how crazy you are about them. Laugh. Meditate. Open your heart.”
(Note: Although this not a Christian book per se, it is a spiritual book. You can adapt it to enhance your own faith practice.)
The daily tips work with the seasons, with solstices and equinoxes (“The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, is a perfect point to be quiet and ignite your inner flame. The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is your opportunity to take in this abundance of light”), with new and full moons (“The new moon represents fresh starts. The full moon signifies the peak of a pattern in your life”), as well as with the primary elements of fire, air, water, and earth.
Each day provides short thematic commentary, then a couple of sentences to help you “Set Your Intention” for the day.
For example, July 4’s theme was “Celebrate Freedom,” typically a day of social interactions. Orloff’s advice was to delight in enjoying family, friends, and good food, but also give yourself permission to limit the time you socialize. Make wise decisions about your energy.
Sensitivity As a Strength
Instead of viewing sensitivity as a weakness, Orloff reminds us of its strength.
“Sensitive people are meant to bring light into the world. Empathy is a strength, not a weakness. I applaud everyone who looks different, feels different, or thinks different. The world needs the difference you will make.”
Sometimes I am too sensitive. But by learning to stay balanced by “breaking the momentum of sensory overload, setting boundaries, and protecting your energy,” maybe I won’t be too sensitive too often.
Our sensitivity could just be our gift to the world.
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Have you ever been told you’re too sensitive? Or felt like you were? Please share in the comments.
My thanks to Net Galley
for the review copy of this book
- 5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – July 2019
- Are You Available?