The Art of being an Empath

Sharon Schurder

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I'm Sharon. Welcome to my world, where bold, luxurious statement art is filled with philosophy, psychology and mindset, wrapped up in a beautiful piece to make you stop and think.

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I only learnt of the term Empath in my 30s

I think too much, I feel too much. I had been told this since a child. My friends couldn’t understand why I took everything so seriously and didn’t just let go and get over things quickly. I thought there was something wrong with me. Even when I paint, I connect to the canvas and palette knife in an all consuming manner and sometimes think I fall into the painting process a little too deeply.

As part of my exploration of who I am whilst defining my Artistic style of Bold Luxurious Statement Art, I came across the concept of a Empath. And suddenly things fell into place. I understood why my mind is always racing and I can feel other people’s pain.

But why had nobody ever discussed this concept with me before? Because being emotionally overloaded every moment of the day is exhausting. So in my true style, I wanted to explore yet another topic that does not get discussed enough.

The Art of Being an Empath

Here is a little guide to see if you could also benefit from my findings.

The Original Book on Empathy

If my video resonates then I highly suggest the work by Dr Judith Orloff who is the key writer on the concept of an Empath.

Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, offers this short quiz to evaluate whether or not you are an empath:
Ask yourself:

  • Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?
  • If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
  • Are my feelings easily hurt?
  • Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
  • Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
  • Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
  • Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?

According to Dr. Orloff, “If you answer ‘yes’ to 1-3 of these questions, you’re at least part empath. Responding ‘yes’ to more than 3 indicates that you’ve found your emotional type.”
“Recognizing that you’re an empath is the first step in taking charge of your emotions instead of constantly drowning in them,” Dr. Orloff says. Once you begin to understand your empathic nature, you can learn to take better care of yourself emotionally.

I have included her quick self assessment to discover if you too may possess this gift.

Are you born an empath?

There is a thinking the one becomes an Empath if their childhood required the child to be emotionally intune with their surroundings in order to survive. I am still exploring this concept and have not concluded yet. But there is an idea that if one’s boundaries were jeopardised as a child, one can become a loose wire and start taking on the emotions and worries of the world and soak them up like a sponge.

Jewish perspective on the Empath

I also found the Rabbi Doniel Katz video on Empathy incredibly useful – note that this is filled with Jewish terminology so may or may not resonate with you!

I include his video below entitled BREAKTHROUGH FOR EMPATHS: Powerful Healing Kabbalistic Meditation Technique – Rabbi Doniel Katz

The Fork in The Road for the Empaths

As a final note, I share a poem entitled The Fork in The Road For the Empaths which I believe was written by Imi Lo, a consultant for emotionally intense and highly sensitive people. She is the author of Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity, and The Gift of Intensity. Imi focuses on working with emotional intensity, high sensitivity, and giftedness.

Dear Empathic Soul
It is terribly challenging
to live with little or no filter;
To hear every drop of tears from near and far away;
To see human and non-human expressions of sorrow;
To every day have the world’s pain piercing through you;
To sensing the lies and hypocrisies when others don’t;
To feel trapped in your heightened sensitivity and perception.
At some point, you reached a fork in the road
where you had to decide:
Either to stay here with us, in this imperfect world, or you float up, dissociate, and leave.
I bet you have tried them all:
The spiritual bypassing, the closing down, the tuning out, the numbing using addictions, or dulling through drugs.
The desert offered transient tranquillity, but eventually led you down a path of emptiness, deep aloneness, meaninglessness and eventually,
Boredom is a result of fear—
It was all too edgy to sit with, so you left.
As you withdraw from the heartache, you also leave behind your hope and love.
At some point, you will reach another fork in the road
where you have to decide:
To stay, or to leave.
A yes or a no to the marriage with life.
The key to moving forward is ‘commitment’;
You either commit to being a part of humanity, or you divorce yourself from it all.
You might have thought that you were too weak, too porous, too soft
for such a commitment.
Yet something magical happens when you say ‘I do.’
The words clear your path, the intention gives you strengths.
How does this work?
By committing to staying with the world, you must also live with other people’s limitations and dysfunctions.
Then, you come face to face with your shadows and your own dysfunctional parts.
Your heart softens, and you learn the art of unconditional love and acceptance of yourself and others.
By committing to cohabiting a space with others, you deal with the daily irritants, inconvenience, and transgressions.
In doing so, you come to embrace life for what it is, rather than constantly trying to change it to the way you want it.
Eventually, you become strong.
With all the terrors comes glory.
As your commitment to the world ripens, it rewards you with richness, joy and strength.
So you were born an empath.
Where do you go from here?
Do you rise to the occasion, yield to the path that you were given,
let it shape you, and allow Life to use you as a vessel,
Or do you hide, shrink, and leave?
Ultimately, you root to rise
not because it is moral, or even particularly honourable,
But because it is the only way to go.

With all my love xxx


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