The empathic sense is a system to deliver information, to be in communication. It is a system innate to all human beings. Before language, before having control of the physical body, it is the very first way an infant can be in communication with its mother or caregiver. Confusion of this system begins when adults who have survived by avoiding or overriding how and what they feel unconsciously teaching the infant that the innate empathic system is insufficient. Repressed feedback on the sensory realms teaches infants, on a sensory level, that the system doesn't work. The collective repression generates an environment that does not recognize, honor or guide clarity or wellness in a natural empathic connection.
Let’s not vilify humanity on this one, and instead let's just acknowledge that humanity has been through a lot of rough stuff over the years, Slavery and wars and gladiatore and blood-letting and witch hunts and other various domination schemes provide good reason to hide one's ability to feel. My favorite was the “drawn and quartered” approach to persuasion. Very creative.
It's taken a lot to survive to where we are now...and now we are in a totally different time in all of consciousness, a time beyond survival. We are actively creating a paradigm of arising harmony and Presence.
Why Is Empathic Overwhelm So Overwhelming?
Overwhelm shuts down the senses in a lot of heart-centered humans early on. In the absence of appropriate tools and awareness, humanity shuts down to survive and manage in a world that provides no guidance or support. There truly was little to no empowering guidance for how to handle sensory information, what to "do" with it (if anything). Very few were even exploring who “I am” through it all. Survival and protection can undermine the innate awareness that it might be useful to be aware of how and what one “feels”. To a great degree, directly and passively, we have all been taught or otherwise encouraged to "grin and bear it". Sometimes ignorance simply left us to survive it on our own.
This is a huge part of why animals speak to so many of our hearts - they are a constant conduit to clarity through the heart. Animal consciousness has not had the opportunity to entertain the notion of separation.
As we awaken and regenerate our awareness of these senses and abilities, it makes total sense that feeling the sensations of universal communication would trigger very literal survival responses through panic and anxiety. The mind can begin to re-create panic and "shut-down" if it interprets "certain death" survival, even in an environment that is obviously not physically threatening. Gentle awareness can make the journey easier.
The gentlest way through any facet of empathic overwhelm is simple recognition that there is a huge wave of empathic information coming through.
Recognition sounds kind of like, “Yep! There it is! I feel it!”
Call it for what it is, let the awareness, the sensations be in motion without the requirement to understand it. Without a forceful need to know what it "means" or what to "do" about it, the empathic information stays in motion. The moment the information is taken more seriously than that is the same moment it has any disruptive power.
Empathic sensations contain information that is useful somehow, immediately or sometime later. Even when it's allowed to remain in motion, clarity will always present. Understanding, awareness and clarity will always come back around, especially if there is a way that you can be of assistance. In other words, when empathic information is coming through, you are not responsible for the information - it’s not your job to be an empathic librarian. Your part is to breathe, recognize it for what it is, breathe and connect with your higher levels through your heart. Even in the most intense connections with people who have been through some really rough encounters, it is the capacity to keep the intensity in motion that opens the space for regeneration. Bracing against it will increase the intensity.
For millennia humanity has created methods to protect against darkness and negativity, from threats in both the physical and etheric realms. Protection is a tool, a multi-faceted tool for use in a paradigm that operates in separation and empowers darkness as separate from the light. In a light vs dark level of awareness, tools of protection can sometimes be the only thing that create space for forward movement.
In this new paradigm of consciousness, tools of protection may still be useful, but they are not the vehicle that takes humanity into further evolution. The notion that we shouldn't have to feel such intensity or that we should be somehow protected from it is what makes empathic overwhelm so overwhelmingly difficult. As you embody your own divine presence (in other words, as you connect through your heart to All That Is), you are immune. You will still feel all there is to feel, but without the overwhelm. At lower states of consciousness, i.e. the karmic cycle, “dark vs light” and other cycles of perpetual conflict provide apparent evidence that protection is completely necessary. It’s not a bad thing - it’s where humanity has spent most of its time. A new paradigm of consciousness functions differently as humanity transcends its dependence on duality.
It does take courage, and willingness, to walk this journey of feeling what's actually there. It takes courage to entertain that immunity can exist. It takes courage to be open to feel.
Sometimes sensations are "there" because debris (i.e. old patterns of thinking, old levels of protection, old cellular debris) is moving out of our own existence - patterns that were previously operating unconsciously are now at the forefront of awareness.
Sometimes sensations are "there" because we're connecting with another and the body is communicating the presence of stagnant consciousness - often when in the presence of repressed emotions and dimensional states, we feel what is repressed as if it’s been amplified a thousand times.
Being aware of what has been repressed is not an assignment to “fix” it. Rather, it is an opportunity for clarity.
Clarity is the vehicle that allows humanity to surf these and other situations with grace. To recognize what we’re feeling as “information by sensation” means willingness to be aware and accessible to the sensations. Immunity comes when we let the sensations happen organically without trying to wrestle them into something more comfortable. Maybe it sounds like insanity at first, to roll with the sensations and not get in their way, but the true insanity is trying to avoid feeling something that actually IS happening.
How Is Empathic Overwhelm Generated?
One of the first series of untruths we are taught as humans is "pain is bad and comfort is good" followed quickly by "the point of life is to be undisturbed." In other words, you should always be comfortable and un-shakingly peaceful with no evidence of turmoil, otherwise you did it wrong.
These notions are commonly taught and wholly untrue. They are based in a paradigm of separation and judgment.
Any sensations that come without obvious justification tend to be put into the "bad/pain" bucket. Take a look at kids who have a gentle tumble into the grass and scream from the "pain." Mom runs over, “Are you “hurt”?! Are you “hurt”?!” We can feel for ourselves that their body is not harmed (which is not empathic information, it's direct communication), yet to them, they are in "pain." Perhaps they have fallen before and by watching how Mom responds, learn that falling is "bad", falling "shouldn't" happen and so now falling is "pain" and it is "bad." Beyond that, if a child feels mom or dad go into self-judgment, the multiple tones of judgment and conflict become quickly overwhelming, and with no guidance for what these sensations are, for the little ones, some form of tuning-out can be the default response.
...now consider, if "pain is bad" is one of the very first complexes we are taught, how many other systems are built by referencing that one foundational suggestion? Does this notion ever lead to empowerment that you may be immune to the "dark energies"? Not really…
It goes for "comfort is good", too. How many people refuse to make changes in their lives and don't even realize they are holding on to a particular comfort? I went through this myself. There was a time a few years ago when it was clear that to let my own life move forward, it was not going to complement me to be managing a horse's life as well as my own. I knew it, I felt yet, yet my own mind found justification for holding on to having a horse in my life. In reality, I was giving myself away. I was very comfortable managing finances, managing transportation for the opportunity to be at the barn. I was comfortable at the barn. Comfort is "good." The truth was that I was far more comfortable in the predictability of being dominated by the life of another than I was in the unpredictable freedom to move in new directions. We all know the syndrome...
Okay...that's a whole lot of preamble to arrive at addressing the overwhelm of disturbing images, actions words and deeds, when public situations seem unbearable, or when we are caught up in someone else's emotional weather and it feels like an acid wash.
Let's not be in denial - overwhelm happens and it's not comfortable. Numbness happens, and it's not comfortable. Comfort happens, and it's not always comfortable. Sensations happen, especially as we continue to open up into more and more of our innate sensory awareness. The key is to clarity is to be willing to recognize if we are calling it a "good" sensation or a "bad" one.
Hmmm...can a sensation be "good"? Or "bad"? What would you say?
If I'm calling it good or bad, I wonder why? What tells me a sensation is good or bad? Where did that predetermination come from?
As we all continue to wake up, we'll have lots of opportunities to explore sensations and awareness, in both welcome and unexpected scenarios.
Part of the mastery of being awake is remembering first and foremost that YOU, from your higher levels of consciousness, are the one doing the exploration. You, evidenced by your capacity for this awareness, are actually immune to the effects of "negative" or "positive". You are not the one at the mercy of the outside world. The judgments of "right" and "wrong" are. Understanding this opens the door to no longer identify with the patterns of right and wrong that were embedded before any divine empowerment was even suggested. The courageous journey of awakening and mastery is one of freedom from all that is not You.
You will still feel the sensations because you have a body whose job is to provide communication about all of life. How can any sensation be good or bad? It's just a sensation. It's just the body communicating that something is moving, something is happening. It is a bit of information to tune into. Judging the sensation to be good or bad is always an option, but that option will always lead away from clarity.
Walking Through Overwhelm And Intense Sensations
Walking through the overwhelm begins with not being in conflict with overwhelm. Here's how that sounds:
"Jeez! This is overwhelm! Alright then...do whatcha gotta do...I'm going to breathe and let it all move through. I'm open to clarity on the other side. Let's go, as fast as possible in my highest good...gently."
To approach sensory awareness with any more analysis (which generates resistance) than that is actually inviting the sensations at perpetually higher intensity that can eventually feel debilitating.
The Universal key to freedom from resistance, freedom from overwhelm is acknowledgement of how it feels. Your awareness of your senses brings divine clarity forth. Your awareness lets it remain in motion rather than become stagnant.
As a unique aspect of all of creation, invoking this level of consciousness through the simplicity of your awareness activates the purity of your expression. You begin to welcome in new clarity, new assistance from every level of consciousness. This assistance is constant and Universal - the suggestion that each human is alone to figure it out for themselves no longer has merit.
I'm not going to pretend that this is always easy. It is very simple, but not always easy.
As you continue to become aware of your senses, your abilities, your awareness, there is a divine intelligence that is simultaneously supporting you to build a beautiful, buoyant foundation of your Self, healthy, whole and complete. Operating from this foundation, which is perpetually growing and expanding, makes it impossible to ever again forget who you are or how you function as a brilliant bright heart in a body, running around playing with all sorts of sensations.
The more we are willing to engage with sensory information rather than resist it or protect ourselves from it, the easier it is to surf them. Sensory awareness and communication are natural, engaging with them begins simple and becomes easy.
As you continue courageously through your journey, your ease with sensations expands in each encounter, whether the sensations are overwhelmingly “good” or overwhelmingly “bad.” Either way, woo HOOO what a ride! The judgments begin to dissolve as you continue to integrate your own higher levels of awareness and embody all that you are. Your embodiment of divine essence, your natural state of being is immune to the effects of wayward energies, entities and thought forms - immune with total clarity. Along the way, there are tools of protection you can use until you no longer require them.
Ultimately, everything is consciousness. Your birthright as a human being is to dance with consciousness in all ways, to contribute the light that you are, generating no harm, in conflict with nothing.