According to The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, M.D, an empath is a very feeling type of person, highly sensitive to the emotions of other people.
While this sounds wonderful on the surface, it has its downside. Yes, we are good listeners but our feelings are easily hurt. We tend to take on other people’s emotions and moods as if our own weren’t enough to deal with!)
We are overwhelmed with crowds but we are able to gauge the world with our intuition. We need time alone to recharge. We prefer to drive our own car so we can escape when we need to. Our nerves are stretched by noise, smells or excessive chatter. Thankfully, nature restores our senses. We have big hearts but we over give, taking on responsibilities that are not ours. We are easy targets for those Dr. Orloff calls energy vampires.
Only as I read through this article, ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-freedom/201602/10-traits-empathic-people-share) did I find that I am an empath. Are you?
We do no favor to others by taking on their life lessons for them. The wonderful Dr. Orloff suggests that we be fierce about managing our time and taking care of ourselves.
He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward. Harry Emerson Fosdick
How does this fit in with God’s plan for us?
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV)
Prayer- Father thank you for pointing out that we can and should look after ourselves as well as our neighbor. Amen.