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An Empath With A  Broken Heart: Advice on Healing


Reader Question:

A few years ago I meet an amazing woman and the first time we made love, we had a powerful and explosive experience. While in the lotus position, as we breathed in unison we both experienced our heart chakras exploding with the most beautiful, powerful bright light pouring out of us and surrounding us.  These feeling lasted for hours and it continued to happen for the 7 years we were together. 

Bleeding heart

I have since felt that my heart is always wide open and that there's no way to protect it.She recently left me, leaving me with a blown wide open heart chakra that is way oversensitive to everyday interactions. And I still feel her as a deep imprint on me. Especially when I see her, it’s like I am still totally connected.

I am hyper-sensitive to everyone's emotions around me and it’s just too much! I feel like a total empath, and don’t know how to control it. I can't take it anymore. That first encounter changed my life and I don't know what to do. Have you heard anything like this before? Any advice?

Nancy's Answer

First, let me say that I am sorry for your loss. You had a long, amazing experience with another person, and now you’ve lost it. Sort of.  Because while in one way, your loss is profound, there is another way in which nothing is ever lost, no connection with another is ever lost—it’s just changed.

So it seems to me you have several issues before you.

Healing A Broken Heart

The first is your broken, empath heart. How does anyone heal a broken heart? It’s a cliche, but it’s true that time is the main healer in this. That, and just staying open to healing. Asking for healing and staying open to it, in whatever form it comes. 

If you are unable to stop thinking about your lover, use it as an opportunity for meditation. Every time your thoughts drift off to her, just return them to the present, to your breath or to whatever is there in the here and now. Keep doing it over and over, without judgment of yourself or her.

Related to that is removing/reducing/changing your connection to her. Energetically, you are still very connected to her though your heart chakra. Try imagining those connections as cords or roots (or whatever image works for you) that go from your heart chakra to hers. Imagine yourself very, very gently removing your roots/cords from her heart chakra, releasing yourself with a loving blessing, and then imagining yourself gently removing her roots/cords from your heart, releasing her with a loving blessing. If that seems too extreme, start by removing just some of them, or by reducing their diameter, and keep doing it until it feels right. You will always be connected to some degree, in any case.

Ritual can also be helpful. You may want to devise some rituals for yourself that help keep you in your energy field and her in her energy field. Could be as simple as lighting a candle and saying a loving prayer or imagining your (light-filled) fields separating till they become distinct, or releasing material remnants of your life together within the context of ritual. If ritual does appeal to you, I would do something daily until you feel your connection to her shift.

The idea is not to sever your connection completely, but to allow it to change. Energetically, you were in a very tight cocoon together. Now you need to let your fields have more space between them.  Your fields will always touch, and (I believe) you will always have the cocoon or shared field of your relationship. It will just be much, much larger now, giving you each room to operate more independently, to have a wider sphere.

Learning to Manage An Empath's Heightened Sensitivities

The second big issue before you, I think, is learning to manage your heart chakra. Clearly you are an empath, and clearly your experiences with your lover intensified the empathic experience for you. I have a page on my website for empaths, and I suggest you look at that. I think there are two exercises there, “The Zipup” and “The Shield of Light” that may be helpful to you in managing the openness of your field and your heart chakra. (The Shield of Light may also help you separate your field from your lover’s.)

If you do find yourself in a situation where you’re being bombarded by others’ emotions, I would also recommend that you ground yourself and focus on your own breath, in addition to mentally doing either the Zipup or The Shield of Light.

Another thing you might try is to imagine/visualize closing your heart chakra down a bit. Learning how to “adjust” the opening according to your own needs and intentions is very important. You can just use intention to do this. However, empaths often have a very hard time with this, because it feels cold or insensitive to them, like they are being a “bad person.” For many empaths, a wide-open heart feels like an absolute good. But it’s so necessary for empaths to manage their openness, to close it down when they feel overwhelmed or burdened. As you have experienced, it can just be too much for one person to handle. I strongly believe that the Divine does not give us gifts and expect us to use them to the detriment of our own well-being.

The right thing is not to be constantly wide open to others’ feelings, but to be open to others’ feelings as you choose to, as you feel called to. So work with managing the openness of your heart chakra. You might just place your hand over your heart center when you are feeling too open and overwhelmed.

In the meantime, it would seem prudent and practical and kind to yourself to limit  your exposure to your ex until it doesn’t hurt so much. Until you learn to manage your empathic openness, I would also recommend that you limit your exposure to crowds (e.g. shopping malls, fairs etc.), to TV news, to sad movies, to sad situations, and, if possible, to people undergoing intense emotions.

Whatever Is Happening Is the Path to Enlightenment

I have heard of such things happening, but they’re rare. (Sounds very Tantric, of course.) It sounds like you are still, in spite of your pain, able to be grateful for the incredible gift you had with your lover, and that is good. The beautiful light/energy that you describe had to be immensely healing and evolutionary for you. Can you create something that represents that healing? Then (if it feels right) can you let the material representation of that healing go, knowing that the real healing, its energy, will always be a part of you?

There is deep learning available to you in this, if you will take it.  As Pema Chodron says, “Whatever is happening is the path to enlightenment.” So choose to be conscious of that. If and when it feels right, sit with the totality of this, breathe it in, and allow it to expand you. See if you can allow all of this to help you sense the fundamental truth of the connectedness of all things.

I hope there have been some helpful ideas in here. I offer them in the spirit of friendship, as a fellow traveler on this grand spiritual journey of life. So pick and choose what of all this feels right to you.

I wish you the highest good.

Best regards,
Nancy


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