I first heard about "Empaths" and what they are while listening to a podcast thinking it sounded like someone else I was close to at the time. I had NO idea that this related so deeply within my being and kept thinking, wow this explains so much, about him... When I started on my journey, I had no clue that there were people like me at all, I was constantly trying to please or receive love and acceptance from others. 30 years of my life had gone by and I had spent my time trying not to be "too sensitive", unlikable, "too loyal" or just feel so much all the time. I was not attracting healthy relationships (friends included) and I didn't know what to do anymore. I have been intuitive, claircognizant and hyper sensitive to others feelings and emotions for as long as I can remember but these psychic gifts I had carried with me seemed more burden than gift until...
My first "aha moment" in my healing journey began after reading the Empaths Survival Guide by Judith Orloff. Dr. Orloff had put into words what I was unable to, it showed me that I am not alone no matter how "different" I may feel. I had been suffering for myself and for others unknowingly until I finally recognized that it was probably a good idea to take care of myself before even thinking about attempting care for another (let alone labeling them as something that should have resonated deeply with my own sense of "self").
Empaths (an abbreviated version) are people who often care more for others than themselves. Without proper training, they lack boundaries and give everything they have much to their own physical and emotional detriment. Discernment is not a strong suit until they learn to clear, ground and protect themselves. They are often entangled in abusive or draining relationships with addicts or narcissists. Empaths can act as "mirrors" to the outside world which is more often than not involuntary and unconscious, it will commonly illicit a very strong reaction one way or the other. This can feel like a very painful experience but it doesn't have to be permanent, and it is certainly never personal.
Empaths feel what others are feeling emotionally & physically, some feel what the planet is feeling, others feel animals emotions in their own body as well. They often feel very overwhelmed in large crowds. They're told fast and heavy TMI from strangers out of the blue and are often the most trusted friends. Empaths "practice love, peace, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness"* when they learn to give and receive from others without expectations or strings. The gift of empathy - the ability to share and understand another persons experiences and feelings - will be a key element in helping bring the world back to balance and helping humanity from destroying itself if we accept it as part of our human experience, and one of the things that shows us the "Oneness" of all.
*Source quoted: https://www.spiritearthawakening.com/spirituality/paradigm-shift/starseeds-empaths-lightworkers-knowing-difference