We are all empathic to a degree. Some more than others. Empaths are highly sensitive people who tend to consciously or unconsciously absorb emotional and physical energy from others and the world around them including the earth, plants, and animals. Empaths are often the people who are viewed as good listeners, the ones others open up to emotionally, empaths are seen as healers or work in the healing arts, focusing their energies outward to their detriment.
I have accepted the fact I am empathic. Experiencing the energy of others, good or bad, is part of who I am. I have learned to deal with it.
Tuning in to the emotional energies in our immediate surroundings is one thing, it can become downright scary and overwhelming when the emotional trauma of a world in crisis hits as I recently discovered.
The current COVID-19 crisis has everyone on edge and rightfully so. We need to be cautious, vigilant, where this is all going is anyone’s guess.
Saturday night we went to dinner with two other couples. The restaurant was basically empty, few were out and about on the streets. Up till this point, I have been at work or home with the occasional trip to the store to pick up a few things. We were talking, laughing, enjoying each other’s company and drinking adult beverages. Out of the blue panic began to rise, I felt overwhelmed, and knew I needed to leave as soon as possible if not sooner. My husband had stepped outside to smoke with one of the guys in our party. I texted several times I needed to leave. Keeping my emotional cool was consuming a lot of my energy reserves. One of the gals went outside to join them. I asked if she would tell my husband to look at his text messages. Finally, my husband returned and we made our way out of the restaurant and to the car. The panic continued to rise and breathing got a bit difficult.
I am not given to anxiety or panic attacks. I am aware of the energy of others, have learned to protect myself, but this overwhelming anxiety and panic I had experienced only a time or two in my life. For lack of a better way to describe it, I was experiencing the collective energy of a world in crisis.
People may act cavalier in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, post humorous memes on social media, and criticize leaders for their actions, but at the heart of the humor and criticism, people are frightened, uncertain. Information, directives, and cautions change hourly. Whole cities are shutting down, the events of the past month are unprecedented territory even for those on the front lines. And empathic people like myself are dialed into the panicked frequencies surrounding us.
I slept fitfully that night, awakened with niggling panic still pinging about my spirit. I felt off-balance. Too, I realized I was exhausted. Exhausted from the constant barrage of news reports, emails at work, and overall concern and fear rising from the earth.
This will end sooner or later. Life will return to normal and the events of today will be recorded in history books and become distant memories for those in the midst of the crisis. For now, please get plenty of rest, eat well, play and relax, limit television and news reports, and follow the precautions we have heard a zillion times.
For those who are empathic, recognize the signs of rising anxiety and panic. Set aside time every day to meditate, pray, regroup and recharge. Absorb the good and peaceful energy in the world. Take a walk, sit by the ocean, spend time with pets. We will all get through this together…..