Today’s article is inspired by an email I received from a reader. This question is a common one, and is one I had myself for many years. For those of you who are unfamiliar with empaths and what it means to be one (or if you are one!) I invite you to read my previous articles on the topic.
Hi Lindsay! I recently read some of your empath articles and you seem to have a lot on insight in the topic. I am a really sensitive empath, which has been a problem for a large portion of my life, but recently I have really been getting the hang of grounding and shielding myself and I can usually tell what’s me and what’s not and I am beginning to wonder: what can I do with this? Other than listening to people’s stories and lending a sympathetic ear, how can I really make a difference with this ability? I really want to help people and I love making a difference, how can this ability help me with that?
If you’ve ever tried to pour your heart out to a friend who was only half-heartedly listening or waiting for her turn to tell her story, you know the value of having a friend who has an open ear, available shoulder and a heart and intuitive wisdom to share. Lending a sympathetic ear does make a big difference as an empath. I always say if I make a difference in one person’s life, then I’ve done my job.
That said, I understand the desire to find meaningful work that uses your empath skills and abilities beyond just being the sympathetic ear and friend who brings a box of tissues with her patience and understanding.
Most empaths have incarnated with a mission to help heal other people, animals, plants, and our planet. We feel compelled to give of ourselves to help heal others, and there are many different ways that you can help others with your empathic abilities, either as a “hobby” or as a career. We are often found doing volunteer work. Many of us serve others through careers that require a great deal of emotional investment.
Some common empath careers include:
Healer: Of course, ‘healer’ is a rather vague term that encompasses many different careers. Doctor, nurse, Hospice worker. Counselor or therapist, especially for children or animals, or for those with special needs who have difficulty communicating. Empaths are naturally good at working with people or children who have been traumatized or abused, in particular.
Energy worker: As an empath, I have an ability to touch someone and know where they are hurting and get a general intuitive idea of what I can do or what needs to be done to help them heal. Sometimes the place where a person feels discomfort in the body is not the source of that pain. Many skilled empaths can pinpoint the root cause of pain when working with energy, and determine whether it originates on the mental, emotional, spiritual or physical level.
Working with nature: Empaths are also great working with anything nature-related. Horticulturalist, marine biologist, veterinarian, etc…. because we pick up the energy of animals and yes, even plants. We often have natural green thumbs. Although that ship sailed for me – I only have one plant that has lived for more than a year! I’ve killed the rest, sadly.
Whatever you feel called to do is your soul’s work. For me, that is doing Hospice work and energy work and writing (this blog in particular). For another empath, it may be being a Big Sister at the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. For another, it may be opening up a crystal and stones store in their small town and sharing the crystals with those who may not ever be exposed to them otherwise. Ideal careers are as varied as we are.
I want to hear from others — apart from the so-called “little” daily interactions and emotional exchanges empaths are a part of, how can we utilize our empathy and the skills that come with it to make a difference?
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