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This Is For The Empaths

by Claudine Sweeney
June 2nd 2021

There are so many wonderful things about empaths that make us amazing friends, listeners and helpers. But, it can also cause us to be overcome with emotion that it takes a toll on our own well-bein... More

This is episode 79, this is for the empath, You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise Up and Shine podcast, Welcome back everybody to another episode today on the Rise Up and Shine podcast. This one is for the empath out there Now, I'm not talking about empathy but empathy. So, Claudine and I both can identify as being an empath and we felt like this is such a great topic because especially with being home with the quarantine um I think it really weighed heavy on a lot of us and understanding What we feel our emotions even in our body and how overwhelming it can feel at times.

And so we know there's other M pass out there because believe it or not, they do make up 15-20% of the population. So we know we are not the only one that's right for both of us, it has felt overwhelming at times and when we have been able to live with a balanced life and have balance with these feelings um as being an empath, it has really helped our lives and helped our relationships, we've been able to show up better for our relationships and that's what we want to bring to you today, We want to give you some tools some tips on to help you as an empath. Be able to show up the way you want to show up and not feel the burden or the overwhelm of being an empath. But use it for so much power in your love and relationship and support for others. That's right. Great point actually. And that's it. It's an empath is much different than someone who has empathy, right? We're all to call to have empathy. I mean romans 1215 tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and that's it.

That's empathy is the capacity of being aware and sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others. So we're called to do that. But an end path is on such a deeper level. It's more than the average person has the ability to connect emotionally and cognitively. It's like being an emotional sponge and highly sensitive to physical, social and emotional stimuli. So you can be empathetic and not an empath. Let's talk about some of the triggers because these are some of the things that helped me figure it out. Although I was told many years ago I was an impact and I didn't know what that was. But as I did more research for today and over the last few years, I started connecting the dots. You think of when you're told you're an empath, you think, oh yeah, I have empathy, right, That athletic towards your friends when you dig in your oh go and the overwhelming anxiety all that. So, some of the triggers for an empath are being in crowds, definitely one for me, uh fake conversation, feeling rushed, loud noises, overly emotional people in authentic people and arguing and fighting.

Those are some triggers, like when you're around that it just triggers everything. And all of a sudden you can start feeling very overwhelmed, very anxious and depressed in that moment. Okay, so we're not talking about clinical depression or clinical anxiety, but your body starts feeling these things when it really has nothing to do with your particular life or your situation. But what's going on around you? I like when you said inauthentic people, because there's been times where I have felt very uncomfortable around people I felt were fake, I guess shallow people who I could not connect with and I realized connection is very strong for me. I like to feel connected to somebody, but there have been very few people in my life where I struggled to connect and I feel like for myself not to toot my own horn, but it's going to sound like I'm tooting my own horn. Own Horn if I can speak um that I feel like I'm a pretty easy going person, I feel like I get along with everybody because I I can't agree.

I think the good about everybody and you know, I think I'm pretty easy going, but there have been a small handful of people in the course of my life. It was very challenging to be around and very challenging to connect with. And it just, I can feel the in authenticity, right? Like I can feel like there playing the part, you know, I guess for lack of better words, they're playing the part, they're just playing a role and then it kind of makes you feel well for me. I know it kind of made me feel in the wrong. I would question myself a lot in specific situations or specific relationships, not all of them of course, but it did make me like something wrong with me. I would second guess myself because, you know, I think I'm a pretty easy going person, but for whatever reason, I pointed the finger at me because I see the good in them and I'm like, oh no, it could possibly be them. And but it was really interesting and I never really shared it because I thought I was crazy for me to actually, I feel like I'm in tune to that inauthenticity.

Yeah, that's that's that one step out to me. It's a big, it's a big that was very clarifying for me. Yeah. And here's some other questions to see if you're an impact if you're listening and some of this is resonating. Here's some questions that you can answer for yourself. So first one, have you been labeled as too emotional or overly sensitive check definitely even as a child. Are your feelings easily hurt? Yes. They used to be, certainly. Do your nerves get frayed by noise smells or excessive talk. Now, can you clear clarify that? What does that feel like to me? For me personally, I can get really grumpy or restless um if there's especially too much noise for me um definitely the noise thing, well it gets to me where I'm overwhelmed and I have to, I can't concentrate and it's too much. I can start feeling anxious and I have to remove myself.

Yeah from it. So smells not so much. Probably because I don't have the greatest sense of smell as it is. Um an excessive talk. I'm really not in situations where there's just excessive talking going on. I have that one right now. Well yes, you have small my Children. Yes. And sometimes I just want stop talking. You ever have, I've tried to lovingly redirect them, but I feel myself like I'm about to scream. Okay now you're reminding me that's true. Now when my Children were younger there was excessive talk, especially at seven a.m. On the way to school. I remember telling my youngest son that was when he was so chipper. Like at 7 15. We, drop off my daughter and all of a sudden I was like, what was your favorite song when you were my age. What did it, what did it mean? Question after question. I was like, buddy, mom has not finished her coffee yet. Please let's talk about all these wonderful questions three. When I pick you up, I'll be part of that. Part of that was I just wasn't awake.

But yes, there was a lot of talking when they were little. So another question is, do you prefer taking your own car places so you can leave when you please? Yes, that's my escape. Yeah. So now I don't like driving so that doesn't come up for me. I like not having to be tied down to somebody else. And also like I'm okay with having people ride with me, but I like being by myself because it's this time for me to recoup. I realized especially when my kids were younger and I was able to start going to the store by myself and they were in the car when they were in school and that was a huge thing for me. I really picked up on it then that that time driving by myself is peaceful and it's, it just, it's like a break. I guess it's a break from any stimuli. I had to make an extra trip out to my sister in law's house last week. Um I got vaccinated and I left my vaccination card with her.

So I had to drive out to fulsome, which is the neighboring area about 35, 40 minutes away and she was offering to meet halfway or something. No, it's ok. I love a morning dry all quiet by myself. I brought the dog, but it was, you know, I can process this and no one's, no one's needing anything for me. I think that's the big thing. I feel so needed when you know, someone's constantly needing to talk to me all the time, which is, it's one of those things where you kind of feel bad about because gosh, I feel so lucky. Yes, but at the same time it can feel overwhelming what leads right into the next question, which are you emotionally drained by crowds and required time alone to revive to reset to restore. We did a topic on rest and restoration a few weeks ago, which was really good. But impasse will be drained by crowds and all that talking. So there needs to be this time alone to revive and then the last one, which I'm going to say a big yes to do you overeat to cope with emotional stress.

Like Yes. Yes, yes. My husband last night was like, are you hungry? And I'm like, no. He's like, why did you want to eat? Like, because I'm stressed. So we were both entire well aware. Yeah, I did ask him to help me. I've been were obviously under a lot of pressure right now is we've sold our home finally you be, but now we're living um from door to door, couch to couch From bed to bed. We are homeless until our new home is done, hotel to hotel, couch, friends, family, that's it. We're just traveling is what we're doing. That's the best way to look at it. We're just going to travel and see people and spend time with people. But it's actually very stressful and for me it leads to know alone time, right? Because there's nowhere to go alone. Um and a lot of stress. So I like to eat to eat a lot, but at my age I can't do that or um I will have to get a whole new wardrobe and I prefer not to do that. So I will do look great. Well, thank you having self control. So yeah, I'm trying.

Thank you. I'm trying. Thank you. So those are part of the questions to ask yourself. Am I an impact If anything, any of these things have resonated? Um that's probably why maybe you've never known that this was a thing. I know again, the first time someone told me I was an empath, I had no idea what that meant. It took me several years before I understood what it was and then several more to gain the practices and practical to help um compensate because there's a lot of, there's a lot of blessings and balance. There's blessings to be an impact and paths are typically better friends, um more intuitive, better teachers and effective communicators, I mean here we are communicating to the masses on our podcast. So of course the cons as we've talked about it being an impact as you can feel overwhelmed emotionally, physically cognitively can struggle with anxiety, depression um situations can be very overwhelming. So, and I know you and I have talked separately but actually share about the mirror neurons of our brain because that's really fascinating to me.

Yeah, so the mirror neurons are the neurons that fire when an action is done right? But mirror neurons are the firing when you're even just observing an action or behavior. So for example, we all know yawning. So especially with empathy, there's the same firing in our brain as if we're living out that experience as well, which is why it can feel so overwhelming and sometimes confusing too because we don't like we feel like we're getting sucked in and that could be another thing sucked into the drama, right? We've heard Yeah, Do you feel like you could get sucked into drama easily? Um a lot of that is because your mere neurons are firing because your brain is saying, oh well we're experiencing this too and it doesn't know the difference. And so it's so fascinating because with empathy, this is what happens when you are there for a friend and the news with everything going on in the world these days, especially with the pandemic I think was very heavy for a lot of us especially as empathize and we had, you know, we're home especially with our families where we were at home with the news all day because we want to, you know, keep abreast of what's going on as we are trying to inform ourselves.

But then when there's all this negative stuff and all the stimuli out there on even social media, a lot of the things that were being said, you know, a lot of emotion was out there on social media and the news tv um and families wherever and wherever we're taking that in. It is very draining and very heavy on us because our brains are acting as if we're experiencing those things even though we're just reading about it, listening about it, watching it. So it's very important just to be aware of this because if you have, especially in this past year, if you have been really struggling feeling depressed or anxious or even like restless, fidgety, discouraged, angry, frustrated, so many different things, it's good to take a look and see is this a possibility. Could I be an empath? Could I be taking on this heavy stuff that's going on in the world and feeling all this emotion that's being put out there. Could I be doing that? Um and I definitely recognize I was getting back to that place.

You know, I've realized, gosh, it's affecting me. It's affecting me and I would say is my husband were a joke about it. Like I don't read the news. I don't watch the news. Even my daughter probably a few months ago, she's like mom, we should watch the news more because I think she was telling me things that what's going on. You know, I said, and I told her why and I didn't specifically say because I'm an empath babe. But I did say, you know, there is a lot of negative stuff going out going on out there and I don't want to be ignorant. I like to know what's going on. So I'm involved and can have conversation. But I also do know that it really discourages me and I have to have boundaries and be very careful of what I let in. Um and this also was going for social media. You know, I mean with the election and then with the racial stuff I really with my good friends that we're feeling a lot and posting a lot. That was one thing I had to do. I pray for them. I pray for the situation, talked with them how they're doing. But that was all I could do. And then I had to limit what I was reading and how often I was going on social media because of reading their pain.

I was feeling pain and so it's doesn't make me any less of a loving, supportive person. It does not make you any less of a loving, supportive person. But it also helps you to be able to show up better, right? You know, in those relationships with the way you want to. Well, that's why we're talking about this today because being an empath and having empathy are good things. But as an empath, if we take it all on, if our friends crying and we start crying our friends angry and we start getting angry, if those mirror neurons are working and if we mirror the emotional, then we're not in a place to help. We're not in a place we're just in the emotional discussion with and then we're calling for someone to help the third person, not an and bad. Here's a good example. I just thought, okay, so there's let's say you're you're on a ship and a friend had fallen overboard and needs help. I can't swim. So you jump in, I'll save you, but you can't swim. Now. There's two people in the ocean that can't swim.

What are you going to do? You can't help them, right, you need someone else to come and throw the rapped out or the lifesaver out to help you. But when you think of it that way, it makes sense. Like, okay, it's not a heart issue, it's not like, oh, I should be less loving and sensitive, it's I should just be aware, be Yeah, logical what I mentally had to tell myself was okay, I'm not going on that ride with you, but I will be waiting for you here when you get off, you know, and I thought, and I visually would picture a roller coaster, which I do not like anyway, I don't like roller coasters anyway, but I pictured myself just waiting at the end when your emotions are done when you're ready to hear or to be. But I didn't need to go on that ride with them. I just didn't and it's hard to rise up and shine when you're in the throes of a bunch of negative emotions that weren't even mine to begin with. But I was feeling them. So it was a very specific your anger. I don't know what you can have it back, you want it, take it, I will wait for you when you get off your roller coaster ride.

But that helped me so much because for me it was a very physical like visual. I'm very visual. So it was a visual and then it was a thought that I would repeat to myself in the midst of it. I'm like no, I'm not getting on that roller coaster ride, but I will be here when they're done when you know, I can very much relate to that and for any parents out there right now listening, what really helped me a practical for the a specific situation like that was I needed to give my and I do this for both Children one music a bit more than than the other, but um I have them go to their room and just take a break. But I say I let them know what's going on in their brain. You know, I say we can't really fully have a conversation or find a solution to the challenge you're having right now when we're so emotional. So why don't you go read, go draw, go lay down, just go take a break, breathe, breathe. And then, and then let's talk about it.

And that has really helped because for a while I matched the frustration of my Children and 100 out of 100 times. It did not go well. Yeah, 100% of the time. It was always a disaster. So I don't recommend you ate that. But it's hard not to when you're an empath because part of it is we want to fix it. We want to fix the situation. And then when your co dependent on top of that, Oh good Lord, that's rough. But I really learned that okay, I am not able to show up because I am on that roller coaster with them. I'm on that ride and I cannot help guide them. I can teach them. We are only circling around in the problem and we're all emotional and it did nothing. And then we both felt bad. And then we feel, you know, just exhausted. Gosh, I can really take it out of you definitely.

And my husband would sometimes say why does it bother you so much? Why does it bother? Don't let it bother you. Like, I can't just not let it bother me, right? But learning these tools that we're going to share really got me to that place where I do not have to let it bother me so much. Yeah. Yeah. That's been the ticket is learning the practical and practices to help us keep more grounded, keep more, you know, keep ourselves strong. That's the word. I would keep ourselves emotionally and mentally and physically strong so that we can help others. Obviously, both of us have chosen helping professions with coaching and so if we're not strong ourselves, how can we help others? Yes, no wonder we're in this. Yeah, yeah. So true. But let's talk about some of the practical. So the first one is to practice mindfulness and by that, I mean, being really mindful in a way to identify your thoughts and your feelings and then being able to ask yourself, are these mine or they someone else's like, obviously the feelings are mined for feeling them, but really go is this mine to carry?

You know, is this mine to carry? Now I can have empathy for my friend, right? If my friends going through something, I'm going to feel it and I'm going to have empathy for them. But do I need to carry that with me through my day to day life because it's really not my circumstance, it's not my situation. And if I'm carrying this person's in this person's in this part, it's no wonder it's hard to get out of bed because we're feeling and carrying everything. So, identifying my thoughts, my feelings and which one are mine to carry in, which one or someone else's that I'm having empathy for, but I don't necessarily carry with me all day long. So the mindfulness that is so good. Like, that's a great starting place because I've had to really identify my role and I think that's exactly what you're saying, identify your role in this situation, you might be feeling the sadness with them, you might be feeling the frustration with them and that's okay, but recognize what is my role here is my role to fix it or and make them feel better.

I want them to be happy because especially as an empath, when we feel other people's emotions, we want to feel better too, right? So, we want them to feel better. It's supporting its loving it, serving how can I be here for you? How can I show up for you? But being the empath, we can go to I got to fix it. I got to make you feel all better and it's hard to do that. It's really hard to step out of that. But when you recognize that my role is to love you and support you and help in a way that I could, but then maybe I need to kind of step back a bit and not constantly ask what's going on. And I was realizing that especially this last week now that even we're talking about it. Yeah, I'm processing um my grandmother is declining in her health. My mom lives there, she had to take two weeks off, you know, she's in the first week of it to help find extra care for her to um just be there even before my grandmother and I've been having a really hard time being six hours away and not be able to be right there.

And so I'm feeling like I've noticed the mindfulness for for myself in this situation, I'm thinking about things as if I'm in my mom's head, what needs to be done, what I'm doing, what can I be feeling? What? And I found myself asking her question after question and checking on her, how are you doing? How are things the house grandma house, you know? And I realized I went was getting back into that mode of I got to fix it. I want my mom's life to be easy, I want, you know, I want to take the burden off of her. But I came in guns blazing. Like and I told her the other day, can you tell me if I'm being smothering because I think I might need a backup and I realized that she's not available to answer. We text all throughout the day and then I wasn't hearing for her for five, 10 hours and then I was freaking out and then I was losing sleep over because my mind is thinking about but that's going back to that impasse, you know state of mind and realizing what is my role, my role is to love, help support.

I'm going to try to do what I can to visit this next week. Um but really recognizing that and then have to be able to just mentally step back right and I can't be there to control the situation. So everything is positive and happy and easy and then once you recognize that it's powerful, it's changing. It is powerful and it's incredibly difficult to be an impact if you struggle with co dependency to that's the double whammy. So we did an episode on that recently. But yeah, if you're feeling all those feelings and then feel like you can't be happy until the other person is happy. It's a double mess. Right? So there are practical as being mindful whose um feelings and thoughts are they understanding your role, understand your underworld in the situation so powerful. Another one for me is alone time to recharge a lot of alone time. I think I've just shared we've been on the move and I'm never alone. It's hard to be alone because we're typically in someone's house, you know sharing a bedroom or in a hotel Traveling together with my husband night and day and he works from home.

So we're together 24/7. So that alone time is getting harder to come by. Um but it's so important for impacts to have that time and especially to go outside. Most impact are very connected to nature and water. They bring great amounts of stress relief they bring um re strengthening. Gosh, just really let me understand me, you've got a small water feature in your behind your house and we're moving to a place that feels like it's on acreage even though we won't be, we just left to naff acres. But it's funny nature and water are things that m pass are drawn to because it really helps re strengthen things. You know, just having a conversation with my brother in law saying that when I had moved here or when I was planning to move here to sacramento from sunny santa Barbara, you know, on the beach? It was very hard. I thought I'm going to be claustrophobic. I'm going to be claustrophobic because I liked having the ocean right?

Yeah. And whenever we go to my husband's family's cabin up at the lake, I'm always on the paddle board on the wall. Yeah. Water is very hell yes. I'm very healing hikes. I like to be by myself out in nature. Yes. Really nice now. You know why? Like intuitively you were drawn to the things that give you the strength and help you heal and especially being outside barefoot grounding to the earth. It's really powerful, which may explain why I don't like shoes. I'm not sure. I don't like shoes. I like to walk barefoot all the time. It's hard to do in the streets. But whenever I'm barefoot on the beach is the best. It is very therapeutic even on grass. I love the feeling of you know, grass weed in the water. Not weeks. Yes. So now this is really eye opening. Is this for me? It's for you and all our other empath friends. Another one is set boundaries which we've kind of touched on, which if you understand your role, you'll be setting boundaries and we've done a whole podcast on that.

So we won't revisit that here, but knowing how to set boundaries and set boundaries so that you're not completely emotionally drained by others is powerful. And another one I think is watch comedies like there are just times. Do you ever feel that there are times on right now actually watching The Office again? Like I just need something light and I'll tell my husband. Yeah, well there'll be times I'm like I just need to watch something funny and there'll be times there's movies that we both have agreed we want to watch, but I'm an emotionally not in a place and I'll say I can't do that tonight. I can't do. And he always thinks it's odd. But now maybe he'll listen. He'll listen to this podcast and understand me on such a deeper level. But I have to be very protective about my emotional well being and what I can watch, what I can listen to, who I can spend time with because I know if I'm not ground, if I'm not a great place, then it'll take me right down and I will not be rising up and shining for anybody. So and lastly for me, which is the biggest one.

I feel like I share this in almost every podcast episode. But my morning time of prayer and reading I for me, I have no other way of filling up. I don't know how else to fill up in order to give and that's what gives me strength. It's what centers me. It's what um I can put my focus on, it feels all that whole that I have, you know, it gives me all the wisdom that I need to get through the day. So I have to pray and read every single morning um reading God's word, reading books about God's word, you name it. And just that time of prayer to release my concerns to give my day to God to give my emotions to God. God help me find peace today. I have a super busy day. I mean this morning actually had to pray that God, I have a super busy day. I left the house at 8:30 this morning to be here with you. I've got a time with some women, I've got to go drop off fabric for some Future potential drapes and I've got a graduation party.

It's a very long day and get back to the hotel in about 12 hours. I had to pray God, just give me peace. Give me strength, physical strength, emotional strength. Help me be a giver in all my situation because of my nature. You know what I want to give, but sometimes I'm empty and I don't have anything to give. But today I want to be a giver. So, lots of prayer, lots of reading those are my practical for helping me with the empath life. So, to round us up here and close out. I just want to give one last encouragement to our listeners. Those empathize out there that remember you have so much goodness inside of you to give. Being an empath is not a negative thing. It can be hard sometimes and definitely overwhelming, but there is so much that you have to offer that other people might not get to. You know, just being more intuitive and being known as a healer and a helper. Um there's so much that you can bring to the world with who you are and to your relationships as well. So, and also to rise up and shine and feel and be think act love your best.

And so we just want to leave you with this guys. Thank you again for tuning in today and we will catch you next week. Mhm All right, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rice. I've been shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Clotting Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com Are links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Yeah, yeah.

This Is For The Empaths
This Is For The Empaths
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