As my family slid into our most recent crisis, I’ve been reminded of my youth, feeling different from others. One of my family members has been going through a very difficult illness. I’m being purposefully vague to honor their confidentiality. This person is someone I am very connected with. As they dipped into severe anxiety and then into a deep depression, I felt their feelings deep within me when I was nearby. It reminded me of the horribly difficult feelings I felt when I was young. When I was prepubescent, I didn’t understand that some of my difficult feelings weren’t mine, that some of them belonged to someone else. I didn’t know how to separate from those feelings.
As a younger adult, I happened across an old cassette tape titled: “On Becoming An Empath”. I knew I was an empath. I just didn’t know how much of one I was. I didn’t know why I experienced things differently than others. I felt like an outcast, other than, and anxious. Back then, I felt insecure because I didn’t know why I felt so different. I didn’t know what made me feel apart from, rather than a part of. It took decades to learn. Now, I know, and sometimes, it’s still very painful.
I only bought this tape because I was developing a library of guided meditations. I had no idea that this cassette tape would change my life. I listened to it from beginning to end, learning tools to detach from the feelings of others. But it was the last one that really grabbed my attention. This meditation talked about Clairsentience. I had never heard of Clairsentience before. I’d heard of Clairvoyance and many other kinds of ESP but not this. As the woman talked, I felt like she was talking about me. A light went on in my brain. My eyes were opened. I knew what I was, that Clairsentience went beyond being an Empath. A Clairsentient feels someone else’s feelings in their body.
Being Clairsentient is confusing. For the longest time, I never knew what was going on. There would be times when I would feel a sudden intense anxiety and not know why. After I learned the skills on this tape and later was given some guidance from an Asian Medicine doctor, I learned to choose when I wanted to experience it. Later still, when I became a Reiki Master, I learned better how to cut it off. Through EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) I learned to increase my management techniques.
I learned anxiety from my parents. Or, I felt their anxiety. I will never know how much of the first it was and how much of the second. I do know that I spent most of my life anxious all the time. Sometimes it was mild, sometimes it was severe but it was always there. Anxiety led to depression as a young adult, PTSD from situations I got myself into trying to help others. This all happened before I found a creative, professional way to help people.
With the above-mentioned tools, I let go of my own anxiety and I learned to discern my feelings from others’. When my son died five years ago, I allowed myself to grieve for my loss and through EFT, discovered old hurts I needed to grieve as well. The result was that I rarely felt anxious anymore. I became a psychotherapist and often experienced my clients negative feelings echoing in myself. When I distanced myself from their feelings, I’d be left calm. This way, I knew it wasn’t my emotion I’d been experiencing.
When my loved one became ill, I felt her feelings intensely. I tried cutting off from her feelings using an image I learned years ago. In this exercise, you imagine a beautiful sword. You design the sword to your creative desire. Is it brass, gold, or silver? Is it short or long? Is it simple or elaborate? Once you’ve designed your sword, you imagine tiny, gold threads connecting you to others. These threads are the invisible energetic chords and you cut them free. Generally, I find this quite effective. With my loved one, it wasn’t working very well. I thought to myself, what could be more effective than this sword? How could I completely sever the ties that are binding me to this loved one to give myself a break from their emotions. Suddenly, I had an image of myself as the banana in the peel. I imagined peeling the banana, the peels successfully cutting all ties as they left no space uncut. I found that this exercise gave me some peace. It allowed me to escape the intense feelings that were not my own.
I know I’m not the only Clairsentient out there. So, if you find yourself struggling with a lot of intense emotion that doesn’t make sense to you, you might try one of these exercises to explore whether you’re dealing with your own anxiety or someone else’s. I’m happy to share these skills which allow me to sort “Is this negative feeling mine or someone else’s?”
Thanks for reading! I welcome your questions or comments.