An intuitive is someone who is guided by higher powers and knows things that s/he could not possibly know otherwise. Some would use the term psychic instead of intuitive, but I prefer intuitive partially because of some of the negative connotations associated with the term psychic. I am very much guided by my own intuition as well as the input of higher powers, though one could argue those are the same things.
An empath is someone who can feel others’ emotions in his/her/hir own body. Arguably, the most famous empath is actually a fictional character, Deanna Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Troi used her abilities to sense the emotions in foreign species in order to act as the counselor to the ship’s captain, helping him assess the intentions of those the crew encountered. Her abilities are presented as fictional and impossible for most humans (as she is half-Betazoid on her mother’s side), but being an empath is a real experience for some humans.
For me, sensing others’ emotions is no different than noticing what color shirt they have on or listening to their tone of voice. When I walk into a room, it’s part of what I assess unconsciously. Some argue that this ability develops in individuals as a survival skill, especially in abusive or traumatic situations. I think that probably combines with a natural disposition toward the ability. Regardless of how I developed it, it’s something I’ve always done. I didn’t even realize that it was something that most people didn’t experience until just a few years ago. When I read Judith Orloff’s Positive Energy at the recommendation of a therapist, I found the book rather boring on one level. It described how I’ve lived my life all along. On another level, it was completely enlightening to learn that others didn’t function the way I do and that was causing some of my disconnect from others. After reading the book, I went to a session of marriage therapy and apologized to my ex for all the times when I thought he was being clueless about things that were so obvious to my perception.
For me, some people are much easier to read than others. In general, I find men easier to read than women, but even then, there’s quite a bit of variation in how much I sense when I encounter someone. That amount has to do with my abilities, the metaphysical shields that others have, and others’ relationships to me. There’s also another wildcard element to it that I don’t fully understand. It also can sometimes make social interaction with others challenging because I can "see" or feel when a person is lying to me or trying to avoid telling me the truth.
The emotions I feel from others are very visceral and palpable. It can be as strong as if I were actually experiencing those emotions myself. When I went to the 5K Austin Gorilla Run a few years ago, I was standing at the beginning of the race and then moved so I could be at the finish line. The energy was so different at the finish line! I’ve never been a runner, so I’ve never experienced a runner’s high firsthand, but that feeling coming off the people at the finish line? That was good stuff! Likewise, the feelings of being around someone who is crazily in love can be very obvious (and happy) to me.
Unfortunately, it’s not just the positive emotions that I experience. When I am at a zoo or kennel, I can feel the animal’s misery from being held captive. It makes those really intolerable places for me. Likewise, when I’m killing off parasites or forcing negative entities to leave, I feel a horrible sensation of panic, and I feel like I want out of my body. I’ve learned to recognize that it’s not me experiencing that emotion: It’s the critters in me, and if they’re freaked out about leaving, that’s ok. They should be. Their time to go has arrived. I just have to hold on for a few days and that sensation will pass.
When I first started trying to explain this all to my ex-husband under the supervision of our marriage therapist, he actually was able to give one of the best explanations I’ve heard to date. He said, “So what you’re telling me is that if you were blindfolded and walked into a room, you could tell me what someone in the room was feeling without reading their body language or facial expressions or vocal tone.” That’s exactly it. However, in the real world, I don’t go around blindfolded, so those other elements also do play in quite a bit. I am not a mind-reader: Telepathy is not among my gifts, so whatever I am experiencing of other people does not involve what they are actually thinking. It’s what they are feeling.
An intuitive empath, therefore, is someone who combines the qualities of an intuitive and an empath. When I am doing metaphysical work as an intuitive, my ability to sense emotions becomes a skill I can use. In a recent message I received, I could feel the client’s terror about a cooking knife. I have no idea what that was about, but I knew *I* felt terrified by that knife! I can also sense the energy of the messengers, too. Sometimes it’s calm and peaceful; other times it can be incredibly uncomfortable. In one case, I was speaking with a client’s grandmother. In our follow up appointment when I politely tried to explain that she felt horribly on edge to me, he replied that she had OCD in life. That would explain it! It also helped confirm for him whom I had been communicating with.
As I said, I’ve been this way all of my life, and I can’t imagine being any other way. I now understand that not everyone is like me, and that’s made it easier to comprehend parts of the world around me. With that understanding has come more peace about who I am and the way I function.
© 2014 Green Heart Guidance, LLC