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For 30 years, I didn’t understand that my abilities as an empath were not the norm. I didn’t know you couldn’t red my emotions and thoughts; I thought everyone could do that. And I really couldn’t understand why I kept getting grief about my desire to relieve the suffering of others.

One of the most challenging aspects of being an empath has been accepting the fact that I have to constantly explain things to other people, such as thoughts and feelings, which seem to be obvious as day to me. Finding out that I was an empath and clairvoyant was one of the biggest AHA moments of my life!

I have spent the greater portion of my life frustrated because I couldn’t understand why people didn’t automatically know what I was thinking and feeling, as I did when it came to them. Yet, even now, years into understanding what I am, I can fall into the familiar pattern of expecting people to see my emotions as clearly as I see theirs, so I must constantly remind myself that I need to explain.

The hard part of being an empath….

The challenging aspect of being such a strong empath is that it’s quite easy to feel others as they suffer or struggle, so I have often fallen into the trap of being a fixer and a carrier for everyone else’s emotional sh*t. This has led to several false diagnoses of being labeled codependent by various therapists and counselors in my lifetime. I even spent a significant amount of time inwardly exploring my motives behind healing and helping others to see if I was, in fact, a dreaded codependent.

What kept coming back was this: How the heck can I be codependent when the last thing I want is to be needed? Feeling like people need me actually freaks me the f*ck out! I’m also not driven by an overwhelming need to be liked and wanted. In fact, if I had it my way, I would choose to be left to my own devices, with the exception of limited amounts of time spent with carefully chosen people. I help others out of compassion and love NOT a need to be needed, wanted, or loved!

I lived under a cloud of frustration when it came to expressing myself because I never understood why people couldn’t read me as I could read them. I thought I was as transparent to them as they were to me! This fueled years of depression, anxiety, and addiction which you can read about in my book Fractured. A Story of Healing Through Energy Work . 

Naturally, I was quite confused by my codependent diagnosis.

I’m not codependent, I’m just an empath who can’t stand to feel the suffering of others.

Holy sh*t! That was a big realization for me when it occurred. I had spent years trying to break free from my “codependent” ways only to find out I never was codependent.

There are many different types of empaths in the world, people who sense and feel various energies at play. For me, my empathic powers show up in the form of viscerally feeling and intellectually knowing what other people are thinking and feeling. It’s like an inert inner knowing that often occurs before they even know what they’re thinking or feeling. At times, I appear to be a mind reader and it still catches me off guard just how accurate I am. It also makes me very good at anticipating the needs of others based on subtle energetic cues to their feelings and thoughts. I naturally take initiative because that makes sense to me because I know what they need.

So you see, it’s been much less about being wanted, liked, or needed as would be the case for a true codependent. It all makes so much sense to me now that I just had to share this with my fellow empaths.

Here are my five empath affirmations that help me keep the boundaries between others’ sh*t and my sh*t:

1) I don’t have to fix everything for everyone. I know I can feel this person’s misery, but there is a lesson in it for them. If I jump in, I’m depriving them of valuable learning.

2) What they are feeling is none of my business. I know I can feel it, but it’s none of my business. Allow them the privacy I would want. Don’t be an emotional peeping Tom! (Repeat until you believe it!) 

3) I have to remember that just because I can read everything they’re thinking and feeling, it doesn’t mean they can read me. I must accept others for who they are. We are all just human.

4) I release what is not mine to feel. I release what is not mine to feel. (This one works as a bit of a chant.)

5) This too shall pass. This too shall pass. I can breathe and I can release. This too shall pass. And besides, it’s not even mine. Give it back with love and a hug.

The most important lesson for us is that we need to let others have their own experiences. When we place ourselves in the role of the emotional buffer we are depriving others of very crucial lessons for their own evolution. This is what helps me mind my own business when it comes to feeling the emotional discomfort of other people.

There is a lesson in everything.

I’m just glad we don’t have to walk our paths alone. I would love to hear from other empaths in the comments about your own empathic nature or tendencies. And if you find yourself frustrated or weighed down by your empathic abilities, we can help. Visit for more information on our coaching programs that will help empower you.

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Author: Linds Carricarte-Jones
Image: LinkedIn Louise Yoga


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Ashley · June 16, 2017 at 8:01 am

Thank you for sharing those affirmations. I recently had a get together at my house and found myself not paying attention to what people were saying because I was too busy feeling their emotions. I took a step back and told myself… “It is not my responsibility to take on others feelings.” At that point I was able to relax and start enjoying my company. I’m not sure, but I have a feeling that many empaths tend to use drugs and alcohol as a way of isolating themselves from feeling the emotions of others, especially in social settings. I know I have. Coming to terms with my own empathic abilities has allowed me to let go of the need to overindulge in substances like drugs and alcohol and engage and enjoy actual verbal conversation. Gratitude and Love to you.

    Linds Carricarte-Jones · November 10, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Thank you so much for sharing Ashley! It’s always hard being real and vulnerable in my writing because it can often trigger others, and I sometimes still struggle with not wanting to di that even though I know the triggers are good for growth! So I appreciate hearing that this resonated and helped you. You will probably enjoy my book if you;re interested in reading more. I too had a massive drug problem fueled by wanting to “shut off” my powers! Much love to you!

Rachel · November 9, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Thanks for this! I can definitely relate!! Yep! Feeling other people’s feelings, and, being confused about my own motivations in helping others and also sometimes doing it just for my own comfort and not theirs! And more. 🙂 And, reading the 5 steps at the end actually made me get a bit choked up for how resonant that all felt for me and needing those affirmations. Have definitely been feeling knocked down lately as as result of feeling other people’s feelings and doing things to help them and then feeling unappreciated or confused about the entire transaction. Have been moving away from the people lately, which has felt better, and getting more centered in myself and my own creativity. Trying to use my sensitivity for art instead of helping others (though of course I do want to help people that I love when needed)

    Linds Carricarte-Jones · November 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Thank you so much Rachel! It’s always wonderful to hear that my writing helps others. That’s why I do it! ANd so often people are quick to criticize, which being so sensitive as I am, sometimes makes me not want to put it out there! So, THANK YOU! It’s powerful to start questioning ourselves. That’s where the growth happens!! Much love to you!

Bridget · December 16, 2017 at 5:59 am

Thank you for this article! I have always known that I am an empath, but up into my mid 20’s I had no idea the damage it was causing me. Walking around with everyone else’s crap sucks! It feels good to find others like me. Your affirmations resonate with me. My favorite is to not be an emotional peeping Tom. It is hard not to be and sometimes it freaks people out when I try to help them.

    Linds Carricarte-Jones · December 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you, Bridget! I’m glad to hear this resonated with you. I didn’t understand that I was an empath for so long, so learning how to let people have their emotional stuff is really freeing. You might like my book too! You can find it here:

Carolina · January 14, 2018 at 4:59 am

First of all my english is not my first lanuage. Wow, what an eye opener. I am 42 years old I was labeled as codependent. I cannot stand peoples suffering, injustice or cruelty. I feel peoples energy and I am very sensitive. I dont do it to be needed, no thank you. I dont do it to be praise. I feel so unconfort when people do this because what I do feels so normal to me.I dont feel the need to be like by everyone or to share my whole life on social media. I love my privacy. I am ok being alone and I am very selective choosing my friends (I learn to be). I feel that I am a easy target to be use by the wrong people, specialy by men. How is you experience in love?

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