Bonjour, ladies and gents! The infamous "story page is closed" has once again lifted, and thus allowed me to post an experience.
This time, I'll be sharing an experience which will also serve as a sort of 'Public Service Announcement' for many posters on this site who seem to be troubled with their empathetic abilities at times. It is not easy to be an empath before you gain the knowledge of how to shield yourself, but know you're not alone. There are many others who have been in the same situation, as well, and there are also many who are willing to share advice on the topic, and provide experiences which shed light on a common difficulty, like what I'm about to share with you all.
As I look through past years, it has come apparent that I've had empathetic tendencies throughout most of my life. Of course, at the time, before I was in contact with those that have helped me, I honestly didn't know what an "empath" was. I equated any odd emotions that came out of the blue as a simple mood swing, even when conditions didn't quite match up.
The most outstanding experience happened at a vacation during the summer break of my junior year of high school. My parents and I decided to do something out of the ordinary- a ghost tour (hilariously cliche, anyone?). There were several stops, each with its own set of experiences, but there are only three that are worth noting as 'outstanding'.
One of the first stops led us to the side of an old building; red bricks, tarnished by the elements and time, with large, square windows placed neatly at each story, in sets of two's. Our attention was directed at the second story. It boasted a sad history of a mother who committed suicide out of sadness for her baby, who was dropped from the window by her abusive husband. We were allotted time to take pictures, look at orbs, and any other thing one would do on a ghost tour. Throughout this visit, I felt a powerful mix of emotions, mainly anger and sorrow. It was like I had been the mother at the time of losing her child. Within a couple of minutes, I was biting back tears and a fury that made me subtly shake. The moment we left, however, the emotion seemed to vanish, and I was cheerful once more.
We were then led to a narrow side road, which went up a hill, and pooled into a parking area. At the edge of the parking area was an old tree, used as a hanging tree at a point in time. The tree had an ominous feel to it; a dark and pasty brown bark, branches that poked and pointed like bony fingers, and not a single leaf to decorate it. There was a building adjacent to the tree, at one point used as the city mortuary; also where the hanged criminals would be sent for proper burial procedures. I took my cell-phone out of my pocket, and watched as an orb with a translucent, trailing tail glided towards my camera lens. At that moment, I had a great feeling of dread, anxiety, and despair. So great, that I began to feel dizzy, and like the mother in the previous stop, I seemed to feel how a criminal would feel; being slowly led to the tree that would spell my doom and thus, seal my fate. It became so intolerable I had to descend the hill and join the rest of the group. Once more, my emotions returned to their original state.
Our guide led us to a concrete foundation, with the remnants of a concrete wall, perhaps part of a basement. The moment I stepped foot on the foundation, I immediately wanted to leave, and I also felt nauseous. After we arrived, we were told that in the 80's, a mother and son lived together, in a house the foundation and wall belonged to. Something happened to the son, causing him to have a mental breakdown. In his altered state, he proceeded to cut into his mother's chest, and rip her heart out. Of course, after some time had passed, no one would even dare to move in to the now abandoned house, so it was torn down. Even though the house was demolished, a deep pool of negative energy remains. We didn't stay long, and I greeted the feel of my own emotions like one would greet an old friend, after years of being apart from one another.
Of course, I also have empathetic experiences with those more lively than others, some on a stronger level than with others.
The majority of the time, it is fairly easy for me to pick up on others' emotions, whether they try to mask them or not. Before I knew how to guard myself against picking up unwanted emotions, it would seem like a mirror- their feelings would reflect on me, therefore our emotions would be mirror images of each other. Add a shadow to this mirror, and my emotions were also jumbled into the mix. This would also happen at the grocery store, and of course, anxiety levels would run high, because of this cacophony of emotion.
A few months ago last year, I joined the sister site of this site, Your Ghost Stories, and became friends with a few of the posters, who were also kind enough to provide me with instructions on how to set up a guard, which has proven to be a wonderful tool.
Many refer to this 'shield' as the 'White Light Technique', or 'White Light Bubble', as I have come to know it as.
First, you will want to picture and focus on a bright bubble, made of white light, surrounding you. After this has been accomplished, try pushing the negative emotion/energy out. It is easy to picture this as a 'minus' sign. Keep positivity in by focusing on anything positive, whether it is a memory or the hope of a better time. Much like the 'minus' signs, it is also easier to accomplish this by picturing the positivity as 'plus' signs. Also, if someone is sending negative energy/ emotions your way, try to push them back in their direction, out of your bubble. It is easy to think of the saying, "I am rubber, you are glue", when focusing on said person.
Now that I have this tool, I do not look at being an empath as an inconvenience, but rather, a wonderful gift. Not only does it allow me to 'step into the shoes' of others, but it is also beneficial when performing the arts. Personally, when acting, creating art pieces, or performing on the piano, it allows me to feel the intended emotion of my own characters and scenes in my art pieces, as well as the emotions that authors and composers place in their works.
For any reading this that struggle with being an empath, I hope my experience sheds light on the situation, and eases the strain it can cause, even if by a mere smidgen. Remember that you are not alone, and a large portion of posters have more than likely been in the same situation you are in now. Support is just a question away, and if asked, it will be given.
"...Remember your name. Do not lose hope; what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you, in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story..."- Neil Gaiman, because "Instructions" seem appropriate for this experience.
Au Revior, ladies and gents.