Being an Empath is a buzz topic right now. Seriously, throughout the metaphysical community it seems that every single person has just realized that they are an Empath all at the same time. And, don't get me wrong, I am sure a lot of them are Empaths, but that doesn't mean everyone is.
An Empath or someone who is Empathic has the ability to sense the thoughts and feelings of another person. This is not to be confused with having empathy, where you understand and relate to what another person is feeling. This is an extra sensory perception of another's emotional state. Empaths, in fact, often are unable to turn this ability off and therefore must shield themselves and their auras from the emotions of others or they get drained of energy rather quickly and can get overwhelmed easily.
I consider myself a highly spiritual person. I have been a part of the metaphysical community for over fifteen years and actively read energies, everything from mediumship to past life readings, and do energy healing. But as the Empath movement has gained momentum, I struggled to identify.
Everyone seems to be an Empath that has any sort of inclination towards the metaphysical, so I though I must be an Empath too. Right?
But the more I learned about what it was to be an Empath the less I could relate. I can sense a lot of things about a person but feeling their emotional state just didn't seem to be one of them. And it was hard to fight through some of the ingrained 'not good enough' programming that was popping up when I couldn't seem to pull that skill off. Why wasn't I an Empath when everyone else seemed to be?
Well the answer to this is, being an Empath is not the catch all ability it is being portrayed as. And you don't have to be an Empath to have a sense about others. The same way that just because you sense and perceive things about the world or people or spirits doesn't mean you have to be an Empath. In fact, the term Empath comes from the term Clairempathy, which is the concept of sensing other people's emotions or clear emotional feeling. But Clairempathy is only one of the eight Clairs.
As a human, you may have a natural inclination towards one or more clairs, and each one of them corresponds to different ways to perceive energy.
This is probably the most widely recognized of the Clairs. It refers to clear sight. Essentially being able to see energies whether externally or in the mind. Often when people can see the future, see clearly the energies of the present, or see people's past lives they lead with this Clair. In addition this can be what people use to see things like auras.
Claircognizance refers to the ability to suddenly just know things. Not specifically just emotion like Clairempathy, but information about people or a situation and is often referred to as experiencing a download. This Clair can occur even if you naturally lead with a different Clair.
It should come as no shock that this is the perception of clear hearing. Meaning someone with Clairaudience often hears information in the form of voices coming through either their physical ears or inside their head. Often people who are mediums use this Clair, as well as people who channel animals or spirit guides.
Now, where Clairempathy refers to clear emotional feeling, Clairsentience refers to clear physical feeling. Meaning that if you have this Clair you may feel other people's pain or joy physically in your body. This can also happen for people that sense the pain of locations, such as the site of battles in history.
This Clair is the sense of clear touch. Someone who has Clairtangency can sense things about a person, object, plant or animal through the sense of touch. Often times people who conduct energy healing use this sense to an extent.
Stuff is smelly! This one is a bit foreign even to me but people who have this Clair are able to sense information or feelings through their sense of smell. It can most simply be explained by things like smelling your grandmother's perfume even though she passed away a few years ago and is not physically in your living room watching TV with you when you smell it.
This is the Clair of clear tasting. People who lead with this Clair precieve information through taste. I have a friend who knows when she is going to have a seizure based on a taste that occurs in her mouth. She can sense other people's health issues in a similar way.
That is a quick run down of some of the other extrasensory perceptions that you may have in addition to or instead of Clairempathy. It is my goal to expand the universal knowledge of these gifts as much as possible. And I feel that people should be made aware of the different ways they can feel things that they can't necessarily see.
The Empath movement is in response to people knowing they perceive things differently wanting to connect with others who feel the same. And, man, I am ALL about that. Let's all connect about what makes us feel weird, that is the absolute best way to foster understanding. But, don't make the mistake of thinking you have to clearly sense the emotions of others to fit into the community of magical humans.
If you are curious about what Clair you lead with I recommend journaling. Just like if you are trying to figure out what food is causing your stomach problems, write down every magical thing that happens or information you perceive outside of your physical senses.
Also, I deeply believe every person has a Clair, or more than one Clair, that they lead with. But it does take time and effort to learn how to listen or perceive what you are being told energetically. Don't get discouraged just because you can't see ghosts right now, maybe you are an empath or Clairtangent, you just need to take the time to learn how to be. But you are powerful, don't doubt that!
And, if you want to grow your gifts further, I recommend leaning on that community. The community of perceivers that can relate to what you are going through. Find a coach or get a buddy or check out a healing center. You're not alone and the more we acknowledge each other's magic, the better!