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What’s Happening When Empaths Awaken

Now, more than ever, our society is in need of sensitive and empathic people. Now, more than ever, the human race needs to go inwards and connect with the Soul again. As natural born healers, intuitive people, and mentors, it is not only our responsibility but also our destiny to help humanity heal.

I wouldn’t say I have a typical client profile but I do notice trends in my practice. Right now, there is a wave of people finding me who are having confusing experiences and are frustrated with how their lives are progressing–typically they are distressed that they aren’t achieving their goals or life isn’t unfolding the way they planned it.

Age isn’t a factor here. There are young people and older people and people in between who are exhausted from trying to figure out what is wrong with them. They can’t seem to have the life their friends have found. They aren’t excelling at their jobs. They don’t have a significant other. They feel overly emotional and/or just overwhelmed by feelings. Some even wonder if they are going a little crazy.

When Empaths Awaken

Believe it or not, they are experiencing an awakening or an activation of their soul, energy, what have you. There can be a lot of different interpretations of this experience. I want to share my understanding of what is happening when empaths awaken based on my own experiences of awakening and on the cumulative experiences of my clients over the last 10 years. 

Their higher self–the aspect of them that is eternal and is not embodied but living beyond this human experience–is calling them towards their true nature. They are empaths awakening to their gifts, sensitivities, and spiritual path.

They didn’t come here to assimilate into the established culture and they aren’t built for 21st Century Earth but they are here to experience living through this time of uncertainty and chaos that precedes a bigger shift in the consciousness of the whole planet.

As empaths, their bodies are highly sensitive to sensory input, including input that isn’t detected by the five senses. The nervous system of an empath senses and interprets emotions, thoughts, and Spirits. When an empath isn’t fully aware that they are an empath, it is often quite disruptive and confusing to experience all of that. So, what are some of the novel experiences of an awakening empath? And what they can do to cope and adjust.

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My experience as a young person in my teen years and college was frustrating. I was angry that I couldn’t just do the things that other people my age were doing, such as partying, drinking, and other risky but perfectly normal activities. Every time I did one of those things, I had a bad outcome. In hindsight, I realize I didn’t really want to do whatever it was but “everybody’s doing it”, so why not me? 

I would get caught drinking, for example. I dated the guy who was interested in me without even exploring if I was interested in him, and he was a jerk who cheated on me. I went along with the crowd, participating in things that were appropriate for my age without seeing if I really wanted to do them and inevitably I was “punished.” At least, that is how it felt to me. 

It took me many years to realize that I was being rerouted by my own higher self away from things that did not align with my soul. I wasn’t going to be happy doing what the crowd was doing. The typical American journey was never going to feel satisfying to me.

I was sensitive; I was deeply feeling and deeply curious, but when I was in crowds, I lost my sense of self, stopped thinking in an analytical way. The energy of being in groups of people that didn’t really vibe with me often caused me to stop talking or bringing myself into the conversation. 

Overwhelmed by this energy that didn’t align with me, I was making choices that seemed to make sense from the American teenager/young adult perspective, but just weren’t going to lead me to a life that matched my values, ethics, and morals. I was being redirected out of choices that didn’t serve me. 

In the end, it was a good thing, but nothing about it felt good at the time. I felt I was being singled out by God because I was broken or unworthy of the only way of life I understood.

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Overwhelmed by Energy

I just mentioned that when I was in crowds, I stopped thinking analytically or even participating in the conversation. Being overwhelmed by energy is another common experience for empaths awakening, especially if it comes on all of a sudden.

Instead of being present and authentic, someone flooded by energy can experience headaches, body buzzing, or stomachaches. The mind can go blank and the tongue gets tied. Whatever the symptoms, the result is the same, they are unable to be comfortable and/or authentic.

The body is attempting to communicate your truth. Something about this situation isn’t aligned with you. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the activity, or job. 

This can be confusing when the body and consciousness are not in sync. These symptoms may be ignored or attributed to an illness. Usually, after a series of disappointing experiences, an empath becomes angry, depressed, and confused.

Clinging to the Life You Planned

Things only get worse if you keep trying to follow the typical Western lifestyle; college, dating, get the first job, get married, buy a house, get a new job, have kids, etc. And it can be quite challenging to let go of what feels like your birthright. Unfortunately, continuing to go after goals that aren’t right for you will continue to bring heartache.

In my experience, by the time empaths realize what is actually going on, they have really struggled for some years. It will take time to accept that this rejection from the American way of life is actually going to bring them a happier life. 

Letting Go and Finding Your ‘Yeses’

If you are relating to these experiences, I encourage you to let go of your striving for things not meant for you. Explore yourself, discover what lights up your Spirit and see how you can pursue more of those things. It will take time to find your way and feel settled and satisfied in life. 

The secret to life is to follow your yeses. Sometimes following those yeses won’t seem possible and not every yes will be possible, but your path to a good life requires that your mind, body, and spirit are all awake and involved in the decisions you are making. 

And I should note that the culture we live in is actually quite toxic to all human beings, but particularly to empaths. Our yeses will usually be in conflict with the American way. We will feel weak that we can’t live a healthy life under traditional conditions. Try to remember you aren’t the one with a problem, you aren’t weak, you know your limits.

Going against the grain and making your own path may be difficult, but it will be the only way to find satisfaction and build a life that matches your values as an empath.

Additional Resources

If you would like to read more about the possible future empaths can help create read Evolution, Empaths, and Lightworkers. You may also enjoy When Disruption Brings Change.

Are you an awakening empath looking for help in understanding what is happening to you and how to move forward? Check out my upcoming class, Tools for Thriving as an Empath, a six-week workshop for empaths who are struggling to figure out how to be an empath and feel good.

About the Author

Laura Rowe is an Intuitive Strategist & Spiritual Seeker at The Vital Spirit. Living in Portland, Oregon, Laura founded The Vital Spirit in 2013. She has a background in business operations, a master’s degree in organizational management, and she has spent the last 35 years studying spiritual traditions and practices, and the last 12 years training in intuitive energy healing modalities.

Laura helps empaths and sensitives who have struggled their whole life with belonging. Her approach this work through a social justice lens, seeking to help empaths explore their own power while considering the power dynamics of our White Supremacist, Patriarchal, Fourth Stage Capitalist society. Our culture views sensitivity as a weakness and my work focuses on helping empaths heal the wounds left by this world; reframing their sensitivity and focusing on their innate power. 

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