Someone recently suggested that I come out of the Spiritual closet. I found it funny at the moment, I suppose because I hadn’t realized I was “in the closet” about anything, especially about anything Spiritual. I’ve always considered myself a very spiritual person. I meditate, I do yoga. I listen to Hay House Radio, for crying out loud. I was on the verge of shouting with joy about how enlightened I have become, then it dawned on me. I really have been living my life, all 56 years of it, hiding from who I really am. Is accepting myself really acceptance if I keep the truth to myself?
So here is the deal: I am an Empath. I am Clairvoyant. In my entire life, I have only shared snippets of that information with maybe 3 people. At the moment I am writing this, I am not even sure my mother knows. Or that she knows that I know.
My mother has a few gifts of her own which she is only mildly aware of, or at least the closet door might be open but she only has one foot sticking out of it. Still, that woman is connected. She prays and she is heard. She knows it and we all know it. If any of us need some serious prayer, we just ask mom to pray about it. Sometimes she gets “a feeling”. Sometimes she “knew that was going to happen”. I can relate. I’ve had a lot of those “feelings” myself. We have had conversations about this feeling and that, like watching the teaser for a movie. We just never got around to buying a ticket and committing to the entire show. That way we could relish the good parts and never have to see the parts that aren’t teaser worthy.
I was pretty little when I realized that I didn’t listen to the same music as the other kids my age. Being a people pleaser since infancy, I soon learned how to ignore my inner voice in favor of trying to fit in and be normal, loved and worthwhile. I still ended up being a circle trying to fit into a world made for squares. Being brought up in a family where we attended a church regularly and attending a faith affiliated school further convinced me that my interest in Angels, Demons, supernatural entities and anything paranormal was undesirable.
As I grew into adolescence, I began to often feel overwhelmed with emotions and uneasy in crowded places. I spent a lot of time praying for protection and struggled emotionally and spiritually all through high school. I was hypersensitive and anxious most of the time. After having a few dreams that foreshadowed tragic events in the lives of people around me, I turned away from my gifts, while still mostly unaware of what they were. It wasn’t until just a few years ago, 36 years later, that I began to open my mind to accepting myself as I am and began exploring the gifts I have. I did so with a lot of fear and apprehension. I struggled because I wanted to remain faithful to my religious upbringing and beliefs. The church still considers much of this to be dark and evil.
The first time I went into a New Age/Spiritual Shop, I admit I looked both ways, up and down the street to see if anyone I knew was driving by. I contemplated this outing for months before I made the decision and actually went into the store. I expected to feel negative JuJu or Voodoo magic or something that would send me right back through the door. What I found instead was comfort. There is a corner of the store that I still to this day stay away from, because I don’t deal with darker aspects of this phenomenon. I choose to stay in the light. And I found light and peace and tranquility among the crystals and books and with the shopkeeper and I learned what smudging is and how to clear negative energy from myself and from my space. This was a lifeline for me. For the first time in my life I don’t have a daily struggle to keep from being overwhelmed with other people’s negative energy and all of the negative energy out in the world. I understand it and know what to do now. I am learning how to know what are my feelings and when I am picking up someone else’s. Imagine spending a lifetime not being able to separate your own feelings from the feelings of those around you.
When I realized I am an Empath, I cried. It explained so much of my behavior and so many of the unexplained feelings and rollercoaster emotions I’ve experienced in my life. Once I realized that, I began reading everything I could on the subject so I could learn to protect myself from taking on the negative feelings and energies that are constantly around us. I think back to my teenage years and I wonder how many other teens are struggling with depression and anxiety for the same reasons and nobody knows what the real issue is or how to help them.
I’ve always been called to be a healer and caregiver in some capacity, from bringing home stray animals in distress when I was a child to becoming a nurse and caring for people to this day. Even though I buried my gifts, that part of me that needed to take care of others managed to leak out. I spent most of my life not even knowing who I am, or not wanting to admit it. It was extremely freeing to finally embrace my gifts and realize that I needed to acknowledge all aspects of myself, and love myself in order to fulfill my life purpose. Meditation, prayer, yoga and positive affirmations have put me on the path I am on now. I have studied Reiki Energy Healing and am a Reiki Practitioner with plans to offer healing sessions in the future. I am now comfortable and confident enough in my gifts to be able to help other people by doing intuitive readings and assisting them with receiving the Divine messages that are available to all of us to help us on our life journey.
I am hoping that in sharing this story with others, it may help others who are struggling.
I wonder how many people who have been diagnosed with social anxiety are actually Empaths like me. It’s something to think about, isn’t it?
Maybe that child everyone has labeled as weird is just on a higher vibrational level than other children his or her age.
Maybe that adolescent that everyone has labeled as anti-social is uncomfortable around other people because they get overwhelmed with other people’s emotions and negative energy. They don’t understand what is happening to them or what the reason is for it.
Even into adulthood, people can struggle with extrasensory gifts they don’t understand, especially if they were raised in surroundings that were not open to differences such as this or they have not had any exposure to information that could provide any clues about what is going on.
People think that you can’t be on this New Agey spiritual path that I am on and still be a Christian or still be religious. I know people think this because I was one of them and that is the main reason it took me so long to embrace ME. I have come to believe and understand that being religious and being spiritual are not the same thing but they aren’t mutually exclusive either. Being religious is about honoring a religion’s customs and rituals as part of a person’s faith. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. I have found that, for me, being spiritual is faith without the confines of a specific religion’s customs or rituals. When I became willing to step outside the box I knew as my religion, I found that spirituality is so much bigger than I ever realized. I still love the church I was raised in, even though I don’t fit into the expectations the church has for its members. What I have learned though, is that I am able to connect with God, my Guardian Angels, and Spirit Guides and accept their guidance and assistance now. I can do this on my own, without a middleman. That in itself is very enlightening.
I am able to appreciate others beliefs and honor them too, because really, it’s all about love.
Being a Beatles fan, I can’t help but add, love is all you need. (Although money to pay the bills makes life a little easier too.)
Love & Light,
I’m Teresa West. I’m the mother of 3 amazing and now grown children, mother-in-law to an amazing guy and mom and grandmom to a host of energetic and exuberant dogs, and cats. My family is the center of my world. We’re close, a little quirky, and best of all, we’re friends.