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A Discussion on Empathy
By Roslyn Bohanan
In a discussion on Empathy, let us first clarify what it is. The following are the textbook definitions. Empathy: understanding, sympathy, to have compassion.
Em·pa·thy [émpəthee] n 1. Understanding of another's feelings: the ability to identify with and understand somebody else's feelings or difficulties [Early 20th century. < Greek empatheia "affection, passion"] -em·pa·thet·ic [èmpə théttik], , adj. -em·pa·thet·i·cal·ly, , adv-em·path·ic [em páthik], , adj. -em·path·i·cal·ly, , adv. Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Empathy implies sharing the feelings and energy of others. In other words, you are “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes,” in order to appropriately understand that person’s perspective. A wise man said that you have to have empathy to learn compassion, and compassion teaches wisdom.
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another human being. Now let us see what it means to those of us who are in some manner empathic. The definitions of empathy are correct as far as they go. But it is also so much more. When an empathic feels emotions, they feel everything, the good and the bad. Some emotions are so intense it could make you cry. Many take years to learn how to block the emotions and energy of others. Some never learn and shut down so as to no longer feel. As we become a more evolved species, more and more people are opening to the concept of empathy.
The problem is that as we become more open, we are surrounded by all these intense feelings, from every person we meet. Not just one person, but all of them. We are bombarded with so much feeling that we are overload, overwhelmed. We don’t have the peers who can teach us how to deal with being overwhelmed, how to block the feelings and energy out. We have to learn by trial and error. What may work for one person may not work for another.
As a crystal healer it is disconcerting to me when I hear that someone has said that crystals are useless in dealing with empathy; that you cannot enhance, you cannot shield and protect yourself with crystals. I disagree! While there are many things we can do to protect ourselves as an empath (such as learning meditation), crystals can provide us with a physical shield. There are many crystals that can absorb, reflect or transmute negative emotions and energy from other people. As we learn to raise our vibration above the effect of negative energy, we can better understand and learn how to protect ourselves and teach others what we have learned.
Apache Tears is a type of Obsidian and possesses all the properties of Obsidian. It is grounding and protective. Ask anyone who has handled a piece of Apache Tears and they will tell you it is so much more. It “feels good”. It’s as simple as that. Apache Tears allows us to process all the emotions we receive and helps us to release what we don’t need, so we can do what we do - be it helping another person or experience the healing as these negative feelings and energy is released. For those of us who work closely with the public, Apache Tears acts as a shield to block excessive energy. Jet has been used as a protection from negative energy. It can purify our aura, and the ancient Britons believed that Jet reflected bad energy back to its sender, which can force the person to recognize and learn from its return. When combined with other crystals, Jet acts as a cleaner, neutralizing negative energy. Combined with Black Tourmaline, the two can protect a person from psychic attacks. Jet is a stone that works well combined with other stones and crystals such as Citrine, Smokey Quartz, and Amber.
The following stones can open and enhance empathy and psychic gifts: Red Aventurine, Apatite, Azurite, Shattuckite, Emerald, Purple Fluorite, Golden Labradorite, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Quartz, Smithsonite, Golden Tiger’s Eye, Hawk’s Eye (Blue Tiger’s Eye), Blue Tourmaline, Wulfenite.
While opening empathic gifts to a greater extent, this is a two-edged sword. If you have not learned to protect yourself, you may find yourself overwhelmed and unable to block the negative energy of others. My advice is, first learn the different techniques to protect yourself and then work on opening and enhancing your gifts one slow step at a time. This will allow you to stop and assimilate the impressions and feeling you connect with slowly and learn to control and handle the energy, both good and bad.
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