I can’t believe it
One of the big surprises and confusions for me when I “discovered” (was told, and slowly tested) the idea of being an empath was that I assumed that everyone feels this visceral, kinaesthetic echo of others’ emotions, state of being, soul and bodily states in their being.
For me that was simply part of (visually) seeing people; when I’d see someone, or especially look them in the eye, I would get those sensations. I didn’t realise that for many other people, “seeing” is a purely visual activity, carried out without an accompanying kinaesthetic (bodily) sense of this person’s energy.
To be fair, that means that I had no concept of “purely visual” — of vision in the ordinary (for most people) sense.
And to be honest, I still am not sure I do; while my energy sense doesn’t overwhelm me anymore (most of the time), I am not sure it is fully “switched off”. I still feel like I have to imagine what if I didn’t have this sense; and I still — seriously — don’t believe that most people don’t, even after frying a significant number of friends and family with interviews about the issue.
How odd would the world look to a non-empath?
If looking at a person means using your eyes to see their physical features, transmitted by light — the skin as a “bag” for the flesh; it’s colour, texture, betraying sex, age, and above all expression —
When I try to force myself to “see” in that way, to imagine that this is the only mode, at first, this is odd. It’s like an odd silence. Perhaps I experience a strange emptiness, and a relief. So you can just see the face; if it’s frowning or grimacing, or sad, or joyous — you simply know that it is that. That the other person is that. That may make you sad or happy or you can choose (or be compelled) to react to that information in myriad ways. Which are your own.
Odd. Although it does feel like a lot of space, quiet and freedom (perhaps unless you have a lot of compulsive and volatile reactions).
So you can perhaps choose what to think in between. Or you can reflect on how to respond. You can hear your own thoughts. An unimaginable comfort I can only reach in solitude; or after years of meditation-like practice in actively tuning into my own channel.
Crazy. That there are people like you, who have a choice about entering into others’ emotions by way of deliberate acts of perspective-taking; and otherwise are free to enjoy the blissful silence — or cranky, but still private, noise — of their own minds.
At least you know who you are. Or do you?
Are non-empaths real?
In my heart of hearts I believe that energy sensitivity is universal, not just in humans, but throughout all of nature. It’s more or less pronounced in different people — but everyone is subject to some emotional contagion (and I am not sure this functions purely through mimicking body language); and who doesn’t find themselves sometimes intuitively liking or disliking, trusting or distrusting a new person within seconds? Isn’t this often an instant bodily sense of comfort or discomfort, based on something deeper than someone’s emotional expression in the moment?
On the other hand, imagining that most people really don’t physically sense another’s current, but especially repressed and archaeologically layered emotions (traumas and weird spaces of being of the subconscious); as well as bodily tensions and imbalances in their own being upon merely seeing them, or looking them in the eye, or a handshake — if I force myself to believe it — perhaps explains some things I could never quite understand about the material world.