Photo by: Bente Bjoerdal


I am just about to fall asleep, when a cocktail of emotions rushes through me. Suddenly, I feel a deep loss, a sense of despair and as if there is no tomorrow. I’ve been left alone, and I will be all alone―forever. I get up from the bed, walk out to the living room where my husband looks at me quizzically, and I demand he gives me all his online passwords. I just know that I am going to need them to take care of things. Is he leaving me? I’m confused. Intellectually, I know that he’s not going anywhere, but somehow it feels like I’m going to be without him from now on. His response, “I already gave them to you,” triggers the realization that I have, once again, taken on someone else’s energy. Somebody else’s emotions feel like mine.

On this particular occasion, the thoughts and emotions didn’t make sense and didn’t really fit into my life, so it was easier to clear out what wasn’t mine. This time, I simply had to become aware that, indeed, they were not my emotions, the energy wasn’t mine. I simply focused on my own chakras and energy, and the foreign energy cleared away.

Luckily, my husband is very intuitive and has a number of extraordinary abilities. He has helped me a lot and been a tremendous support in dealing with various energies. He sees my energy field quite clearly, and can immediately tell if a foreign energy is present. This has made all the difference, especially in the beginning when I started to realize I was an empath. Understanding what it means to be an empath, and realizing that it actually pertained to me, was a huge relief. There wasn’t anything seriously wrong with me after all, and I didn’t have to feel guilty or punish myself for not being able to just shake a certain mood or set of feelings. They weren’t mine to begin with!

On the night I felt the rush of emotions just as I was drifting off to sleep, the energy had come from a young woman in our apartment complex, and I might have picked it up because we had done laundry at the same time that day or crossed paths by the mailboxes. Sometimes latent energies come to the surface at night when I’m tired and my defenses are low. This was a millennial experiencing a break-up, and I had adjusted it to fit in as much as possible in my life, which in this instance meant an emphasis on the internet and being connected digitally. For me, this translated as a deep need to know my husband’s passwords, which was an obvious red flag that I was dealing with someone else’s energy. Other times, it can be much more subtle and difficult to discern what is really going on.

Lately, I’ve learned that this is how I have dealt with energies for years and years as a subconscious coping mechanism. I would rationalize the emotions with my thinking mind, make them ”blend” with my everyday life and thoughts, often berating myself as a result because I couldn’t make myself feel better or think in a more positive way. Needless to say, I would get upset with anyone telling me I had to “think positive thoughts” if I wanted to get anywhere. Ugh! They didn’t have a clue! But neither did I.

When I look back and take stock as an empath, I realize that food has been another coping mechanism. Any type of stress would trigger me, and something as simple as a slightly upsetting work email could send me towards the pantry like I was in a trance. Over the years I’ve labeled myself a comfort eater, food addict etc., whatever the current buzzword was, when in reality I was simply trying to deal with all the energy coming at me. Trying to suppress it, get rid of it, and stop feeling overwhelmed and more like myself again. Knowing that my food issues correlate directly with how I process energy is a game-changer. Of course it takes practice, practice, and more practice, but these days I am sometimes able to recognize a craving as an indicator of something happening energetically, instead of thinking I need a snack when I had filling lunch just an hour ago.

Feeling and dealing with energy is still very much a subtle sport. Oftentimes I am well into a defensive state before realizing that I’ve taken on foreign energies. I get defensive, as if I’m trying to pull up a draw-bridge around me, but it’s too late since the enemy is already inside. The instinctive reaction is to tend to what I’m harboring, meaning I want to be left alone and depending on the type of energy it is, I might get curt and react to others with a bit of a ”stay away from me”-attitude. Then I start talking down to myself in line with whatever the energy is about, and berate myself for not being able to change my state of mind to a positive one. Most times, the foreign energies are unwanted, not-so-fun experiences, but occasionally, I’ll pick up a happier type of energy, which can feel great and exciting, but isn’t mine either so it’ll have to go. It’s important for me to try to keep a balance and clean my energetic house on a regular basis.

Awareness is the first line of defense. To become aware of what’s happening when I don’t have my shield up, and all of a sudden, I feel completely different from what I felt just a few minutes or seconds ago. Becoming aware and realize that it is not my energy―it’s not me. The best thing of course, is to prevent it from happening at all, and I do a chakra clearing every day and put an energetic shield around myself. But sometimes I forget, and some type of energy pops in before I know it. When I do remember that I need to do it during the day, it’s a quick process, and I just need a few seconds to myself to focus inward and visualize energy (usually light/white) coming down from my eighth chakra. This was a big help for instance, when I was about to enter an exhibition of pre-Columbian artifacts, and started to feel this really weird, heavy energy creeping up my legs. I was out of there quickly, but thanks to a quick shielding, I could walk back inside and look at all the ancient artifacts on display.

Our world is made up of myriads of energy, which can come from anywhere and whenever in time and space, and navigating through all of this can be quite interesting for an empath. We are all on our own journeys, and as empaths, I think we get to have an experience that is a little bit deeper and richer. Especially if we choose to look at it that way.   

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