So let's BUST Mammoth Myth #3. WE ATTRACT NARCISSISTS.
What the heck is a narcissist? And why are we so good at attracting them?
Here are some definitions of narcissists and narcissism.
Dictionary.com: ”a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.”
UrbanDictionary.com: “A person with no soul. The only thing bigger than their inflated ego is the void that they demand others to fill.”
Merriam-Webster.com: "an individual showing symptoms of or suffering from narcissism:
a : an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance
b : a person who is overly concerned with his or her physical appearance"
Wikipedia: "Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water."
Just from reading these definitions, I get the impression of a really out-of-balance person. Like their cup must feel so empty that they have to fill it with self-centeredness and the pursuit of gratification. Like they are so concerned about how they look they can't function without doing something about it. I like the Green Narcissus - I can just see him falling in love with his own reflection.
I like to think of narcissists like they have a severe toothache - everyday, all day.
When I most recently had a failing molar, it hurt like hell. Since I like to work with my body to give it what it needs, I worked on seeing if I could heal it without prescription drugs and a root canal. This took some time. I went through a week of severe pain, my jawline swollen and sore. I would’ve addressed it sooner, but I was traveling out of town for business.
When I had that toothache, it was really hard for me to think of anything else. Even while I sat in my business meetings, which were informative, useful, and with fantastic colleagues, I felt that thing deeply! It kept me up at night, and my whole focus landed on healing that pain.
Take a narcissist. They are in pain. They are so much in pain that they can only think of themselves. And it’s not healthy or normal for a human to be so focused on themselves and the pursuit of themselves that they can’t empathize with others. Their pain is emotional, and it’s a huge toothache.
And get this, it’s not so easy to fix as my failing molar. That tooth took a morning appointment for a root canal, and some antibiotics, a clearing for adverse effects (that’s another blog!) and shots of kefir to keep my body balanced with taking antibiotics. And many supporting "I" messages.
We Empaths are wonderful, aren’t we? We listen carefully, feel the pain of others - often so deeply we can feel their symptoms in our bodies, and put our needs last. In fact, we have to work at our self care because it’s automatic for us to put ourselves last.
Then we’re walking down the street somewhere and we run into a narcissist. They’re hurting. They need to feel important, to have others listen and tell them how important they are. They thrive on being put first. And here we come along! It’s the perfect match.
So as they go through life doing the best that they can, they may attract Empaths.
As an Empath, I have great compassion for narcissists. Don’t we all? We Empaths naturally have empathy, a characteristic lacking in narcissists.
And to heal, and I believe anyone can heal, narcissists need to come to terms with that deep pain, that hole in their soul. And many of them chose not to do it.
So how do we avoid that person as they walk down the street?
Here are some tips:
By the way, Empaths are so selfless that we fear we may become too self-centered if we put ourselves first. In my experience, healthy, balanced Empaths know how to put themselves first, and care about themselves in loving ways! They don't become narcissistic. Instead, they have a personalized superstructure to make them enjoyable, loving people on the planet.
Mammoth Myth B U S T E D ! Empaths attract narcissists only when they have emotional work to do! So let’s get to it!
(say this 1,000 time while looking in the mirror):
"I completely embrace myself as an Empath.
I put my self-care first.
I easily and effortlessly set firm boundaries.
I know what my sensations and symptoms are, and I easily know when I’m picking up on some else’s.
I learn how to be with people, in many places, and stay rested, strong, and balanced.
I love me."
Stay tuned next week for the blog on Mammoth Myth #4: Empaths ABSORB OTHERS’ MOODS, ENERGY, FEELINGS ...
Energy Vampires Drain our Energy as Empaths. That’s the common belief in the Empath community. I’m noticing this phrase, Energy Vampire, increase in use in the news, in books, and on social media.
Let’s take a look at what the definition of an Energy Vampire is.
Dictionary.com refers to an Energy Vampire as a noun meaning. “the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode; also called standby power, [ phantom load ] A very common energy vampire is a power adapter which has no power-off switch.”
I didn’t expect to find that definition when I looked up an Energy Empath. That doesn’t even refer to a person, but an appliance. So I looked further.
The definition by Urban Dictionary states: “A person who boosts his/her own energy by taking energy from others by means of an argument, belittlement, criticism or other one-sided conversation.”
This definition is what I believe most people using the term Energy Empath refer to.
I can understand where the term Energy Vampire comes from. It’s catchy, strong, and sums up the process of one sensitive person feeling drained by someone else in only 2 succinct words.
I do agree that people with certain attributes can feel draining to others, especially we Empaths who feel more deeply, see more details, and intuit more as we go through each day. This ability to do so much more can be draining in and of itself, even when we’re not with an Energy Vampire.
I don’t like the term Energy Vampire for a few reasons. It’s very negative. It’s blaming of others - that somehow they suck or steal energy from us without our permission - like an attack. And most of the advice is to run in the other direction from them, especially if you’re an Empath. That often doesn’t work because we wouldn’t even be around them if we truly had a choice. Often it’s a family member, relative, co-worker or another person in a position of authority or importance in our lives.
I’d like to refer to another that feels draining to us as an Energy Sponge. I believe they are Sponges because they challenge us to set better boundaries, communicate more clearly, and stand up for our sensitive selves. Without the strong effects of an Energy Sponge, many of us would not develop systems that keep us strong and balanced.
There are several types of Energy Sponges that I have encountered. I’ll share what I’ve noticed, and then we’ll look at learning opportunities for dealing with them.
But here’s the thing. No one can change someone else. We may have to work with this person. We may chose to see her or him over the holidays because she or he is with others we want to spend time with. They may be a neighbor, colleague, or friend of our partner or spouse. We may want so badly to say this or show them that so that they will see what they’ll doing and want to change so that we’ll feel better. Yet most people won’t do that. People may change, but it’s because they want to when they see a need and a benefit.
Here’s the rub. We as Empaths are responsible for changing ourselves. If we are feeling drained by other people, no matter what label we attach to their personality, than we are out of balance. That is what we need to focus on energies on so that we don’t leave work, a party, or any outing feeling totally depleted and depressed. We need to get to a place where we can walk through the world and stay in tact and balanced no matter who we encounter.
I’ve always lived by the rule that if I want someone else to change, I need to change myself. Because when I change, the person I am relating too must somehow change - even if it’s just to leave because being around the new me doesn't feel comfortable anymore.
So how can you become more balanced as an Empath so that you don’t feel drained when you are around unbalanced people?
There are a couple of must-reads that I use for reference.
So let's BUST Mammoth Myth #2. ENERGY VAMPIRES ARE NOT OUT TO GET US. They need our compassion, and we can practice staying balanced and centered while we are with them.
B U S T E D !
(say this 1,000 time while looking in the mirror):
"I completely embrace myself as an Empath.
I easily and effortless set limits so I stay balanced.
I learn how to be with people and places and stay rested, strong and balanced.
I love me."
Stay tuned next week for the blog on Mammoth Myth #3: Empaths Attract Narcissists ...
We Empaths are a rare breed. We feel more, see more, and intuit more than the average bear. We've always known this, and the research by Dr. Elaine Aaron has begun to confirm this sensitivity through science. This ability comes naturally to us, and it is something that we are born with.
We receive information in many ways. Not only do we receive the "push" notifications of life through e-mails, TV ads, texts, billboards, news, etc., we also naturally notice a million little details through our senses - visually, physically, auditory, in dreams, intuition, and more.
With all this information available to us 24/7, and no guidelines on how to handle the barrage we sense each day, we can live life feeling overwhelmed, confused, alone, and full of anxiety. We feel like outcasts, misfits, and overly-sensitive people. Why do we have to notice so much more? It feels like a curse, not a gift.
Thinking this way about ourselves is not a way to live each day. STOP IT!
Every single Empath can and should feel secure in himself or herself, walking through life relaxed, happy, healthy, and powerful as we feel more, see more, and intuit more. We remain balanced. It is the way life is meant to be.
I believe there are 4 mammoth myths that we Empaths hold onto that are keeping us from feeling relaxed, happy, healthy, and powerful as we walk through life.
So let's look at what's getting in our way.
MAMMOTH MYTH #1:
SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME
Yes, we've all heard before that we are "too sensitive," and "need a thicker skin." Perhaps we've been called cry babies by well-meaning people that don't know how to handle our sensitivities. Sometimes we may have been called possessed, or evil, because our insights deeply scared those closest to us. Or our closest friends may think our ideas are insane.
Most of us heard references to negative attributes from childhood, as far back as we can remember. It may have been from a parent, a relative, or a teacher, or a combination of all of them. And as adults, we've most likely continued to hear it from friends, peers, colleagues and partners or spouses. But that's not the worst part.
The majority of we Empaths believe, at our core, that something IS WRONG with us. This is the worst part - that we've adapted this negative and limiting belief about ourselves. We ARE too sensitive. We DO NEED a thicker skin to be in the world. We SHOULDN'T CRY about this situation. We SHOULDN"T FEEL this way. How can we think SO NEGATIVELY that about this situation. The list goes on. We're affirming, on a daily basis, that something is wrong with us because we've heard it all our lives.
So this limiting belief keeps showing up. We come across it at work. At home. Everywhere we go. We believe it. And we don't believe our intuition, our knowingness, easily. Instead, we keep recreating the condescending voices in our heads from our childhoods. We don't feel accepted or loved for who we are - that sensitive, caring, deeply insightful person who knows so well how to take care of others.
When I was 25 years old, I loved to disco dance and I listened to a radio station on the east coast that had my favorite dance music. As part of a bumper sticker contest this station has on July 4th in DC, I heard them call out my license plate number and won a Nikon EM Camera. I was elated! And I also knew that the grand prize was a trip to Hawaii for 2.
I KNEW without a doubt that I was going to win that trip.
So I asked my best girlfriend if she would go with me. She assumed I was insane, yet she said she would.
So when the day came when I called her a few weeks later with the news that I had won the trip, she almost fainted!
I have learned to identify this knowingness as an "intuitive hit." The information came to me easily and effortlessly, and it's something I just knew to be true. I didn't doubt it, it just was. So I was not at all surprised that I won.
When I asked the radio station how they picked my name, the representative told me that he had 116 winners eligible for the grand prize trip to Hawaii. He walked into the radio booth and threw 116 pieces of paper with contestant winners written on them into the air. The DJ grabbed mine.
It's our job as Empaths to really know ourselves inside and out so that, as we gather information from the world and events around us, we can support ourselves and decide appropriately what to do with the information. This enables us to realize that something is NOT wrong with us. We are having an "intuitive hit" that may or may not be understood by those around us. We become mature enough, and solid enough in our own selves, that we don't expect to get approval and permission from those around us. We know what we know to be real for us. And we can decide if, when and with whom we want to share this information.
It's also our job as Empaths to fully embrace ourselves for our Superpowers. Accepting ourselves is an inside out job. If we're looking out to the masses to get approval and permission, we are looking in the wrong place. Intuition comes from inside.
Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't get help in embracing our unique abilities. I believe that having a counselor, therapist, coach, confidante, whatever we need to support us can be a vital part of living our lives. But if we are expecting those around us to accept us and they can't, that doesn't work for anyone - us or them. There are people out there that can accept us. The irony is - we need to accept ourselves FIRST.
So let's BUST Mammoth Myth #1. NOTHING is wrong with us. B U S T E D !
(say this 1,000 time while looking in the mirror):
"I completely embrace myself as an Empath.
I honor and cherish my intuition.
I effortlessly choose how, when and with whom to share my Superpower.
I love me."
Stay tuned next week for the blog on Mammoth Myth #2: Energy Vampires Drain our Energy ...
Do you think you're an Empath or Highly Sensitive? Or Both?
If you are a Highly Sensitive Empath, perhaps you:
It's exciting to see so many people becoming more aware of their sensitivities and beginning to love and embrace these qualities. In a world that is heavy in logic and brainy people, we have discounted our intuitive sides for way too long.
Back in the hunter-gatherer days, there is no way that our ancestors would've wanted to wander into a field to come upon a saber toothed tiger. That would have been a life-ending event. They used intuition and sensing to keep themselves safe and out of harms way. It wasn't judged as weird when they could sense something unseen; why is it weird now?
Yet with the event of industrialization, we have put our intuition and sensing on the back burner. Many of us have disowned it.
Until now. Now that we are enjoying the modern conveniences of electricity, machinery and equipment, medicine and surgeries, and more, and don't have to spend much of our day looking for and harvesting food, or building shelter, perhaps it's time we bring this important skill back into the forefront of our lives. And we will no longer be burned at the stake or stoned to death.
I am concerned about how most Highly Sensitive Empaths judge themselves, and how physically unwell they feel on a daily basis. As they come across the energy of others and daily life, it feels too overwhelming and uncomfortable. It's led to isolation and poor health.
I realize that we Highly Sensitive Empaths need time to recharge ourselves by being by ourselves. I think this is a healthy way to revitalize.
I'm talking about how many of us will feel like we can't go to a party or to a shopping mall without feeling drained and overwhelmed, exhausted from the experience. So we stop going because we don't know what else to do, and our self-esteem may begin to plummet. Or we struggle with intimate relationships, and come to the conclusion that we are too sensitive to live with anyone else. We choose isolation and loneliness instead of finding other strategies.
We are meant to be part of a tribe. To belong. To feel loved and nurtured and supported. To be comfortable and safe with who we are and what we have to offer the world, and our tribe.
So I'm inviting all of you to find your Warrior Empath. This is the Highly Sensitive Empath in you that knows how to stay strong physically, energetically, and emotionally as we venture out into the world, are with our tribes, and with our loved ones.
I can list many strategies that can help with this. After all, I coach Highly Sensitive Empaths in developing a superstructure for themselves so that they are strong and successful Warriors in their worlds.
But for this blog, I invite you to affirm that you CAN be a Warrior Empath. That you CHOOSE to be a Warrior Empath. That IT IS POSSIBLE and you will find out the path for yourself. The change starts within your mind.
I know it's possible to be a Warrior Empath, for I am doing it. I am a Highly Sensitive Physical and Emotional Empath, and I have figured out a superstructure for myself that keeps me grounded, healthy, and out in the world when I want to be. I am in a marriage with someone who has super strong energy, and I am able to live and love that person in my home. We have found strategies to make it work for both of us. I also stay physically strong and well nourished so that I feel good.
It all begins with the thought that it is possible. So the thought I'd like to leave you with today - step into your power and become that Warrior Empath you are meant to be. Start to change your thinking. Here are some affirmations for you to begin that process.
I love myself as a Highly Sensitive Empath.
I understand my special skills, and I love all of them.
I am willing to create new thoughts about myself and
about my life as a Highly Sensitive Empath.
I live in harmony and balance with everyone I know, especially myself.
I create a superstructure for myself and I recognize my body as a good friend.
I listen to what it needs, and I joyfully feed it nourishing foods and beverages.
I exercise it in ways that are fun. I get plenty of sleep.
I recognize my body as a wondrous and magnificent machine, and
I feel privileged to live in it.
I create new and wonderful relationships.
Instead of isolating myself, I choose to open up and let the love in.
I know how to handle any energy that I experience.
I am worthy of a healthy, intimate relationship with a like-minded person.
Other people respect me because I respect myself.
I am proud to be a Warrior Empath.
Developed using the Affirmations of Louise Hay
I had the honor of being the Health Care Director for my mom at the end of her life a few months ago. What an amazing and humbling experience for me.
She had called her eight children to visit as she prepared to transition. We came from all over the United States to spend time with her so that she could tell us stories of our childhood, and her life, and we could say our goodbyes. She lived to the age of 88, and lived actively, as it should be for everyone.
She walked everywhere, climbed stairs to the second story of her family home to get to bed each night, mowed her 1/2 acre lawn and raked the Autumn leaves at her rural home. She loved the beach and the outdoors, and played basketball at a park for her 80th birthday celebration. She rolled the trash and recycling cans up and down a hilly driveway each week, cleaned her own home, and provided all of her self-care up until the last few weeks of her life.
Yet when it was her time to go, she intuitively knew. In fact, the medical profession didn't quite understand it. Her numbers were "good," and she could do a lot more than other patients on the hospital ward. “Ms. Anne” often set the bed alarm off as she tried to stay active.
While Mom was in the hospital, they loaded her up with so many medications for every symptom that came her way. She at one point said the medications were going to kill her. Little did she know how right she was. The doctors were trying to stop her stomach from bleeding. So they administered ample amounts of prednisone, yet the bleeding never stopped.
At the same time, she was having a lot of skin irritations. I had brought coconut oil with me. I find it helpful, especially for older skin, as it nourishes quite well, feels good, and provides antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It also has antimicrobial and antifungal agents, as well as sun-shielding properties, and can help with peeling skin. My mom liked the feel of it and kept putting it on her skin.
When Mom requested that I get her home from the hospital to hospice care, I took her seriously. Although she had declined quite rapidly in a few weeks, hospice did not initially get approved. Having returned to California, I fought through the steps to get her home, and we had another hospice company visit her. It was then that we received hospice approval.
Mom stopped all medications except a couple for comfort. Her skin on her arms began to peel several layers, as if someone had poured buckets of hot water on her. It was raw and painful. When I asked the hospice nurse what could cause that reaction, she said long-term use of prednisone. My mom was on it for 2 weeks. I then realized why my mother seldom took pharmaceuticals. The side-effects far outweighed the benefits for her; she spent her life finding other ways to nourish herself to health.
So I asked the hospice nurse to apply coconut oil to her skin. The nurse informed me that using coconut oil went against the hospice doctor's orders. He prescribed vaseline and gauze on the wounds. I asked for the coconut oil to be applied first, then add the doctor recommended treatment. I was surprised that she continued to discuss this with me. Well meaning and doing her job, the nurse wanted me to know the seriousness of my request before she applied it.
Hospice is wonderful and did a fabulous job with my Mom’s end of life support! But have we gotten so off-track with pharmaceutical solutions that if we use a nutritive supplement - like coconut oil, we are violating doctor's orders? Seriously? How have we gone so wrong in our thinking and treatment of our health? Doesn't a patient have any say anymore into what she/he is called to do?
I am an advocate, a warrior, for listening to the body and doing what you are called to do, no matter what a doctor or anyone else recommends. The typical doctor may spent 10 minutes with you once a year, run tests and prescribe surgery/medication, but YOU are the best one to take the information presented, weigh all the pro's and con's, and listen to your body and your intuition to go with what you feel is best.
Especially as Highly Sensitive Empaths, we need to honor our bodies and create a superstructure of support for what they need, even if others don't agree with us. We are in charge of our health. That’s where being a Warrior Empath comes in. We need to follow our intuition no matter what, and go against doctor’s orders if we need to.
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