Empathy Dashboard

As I continue to learn more about my abilities, one  thing I keep working on is better control of my empathy. In looking over my feelings and reactions, I am starting to feel that some of the strong emotions that I have experienced have not been my own but the reflection of others emotions. Because of these strong emotions and not understanding what they are, I feel that they have been a partial cause of my depression. In the last few weeks as I’ve worked to disconnect from the strong emotions around me, I have found less cause for depression and a calmer feeling within. Whether this is due to exercises to help me handle my empathy or my own emotions, I don’t know but whatever the cause of the strong emotions, the exercises I do have helped.

I found these exercises in a book that was recommended, “Empowered by Empathy : 25 Ways to Fly in Spirit” by Rose Rosetree. There are two exercises that I use primarily.

The first is for grounding myself, it involves doing a self assessment of how I feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. After doing the assessment, I connect to the earth and ground myself in order to pull energy to stay focused. After doing this exercise I then perform a scan of what external emotions I might be picking up. As part of this exercise I take a moment to see what impressions I get, such as sights, sounds, smells, feelings, etc. After doing an inventory of those feelings I then take a moment to disconnect and affirm to myself that I have the right to not have to be connected to others and just be myself. After practice, these two exercises have helped me a great deal in being grounded and not overwhelmed by fear and depression as I go through the day. I have had periods of rest like this in the past but this respite feels different in that it feels like it is based on a firm foundation.n

In the past I have had feelings of exuberance and happiness but they have the feeling of what I call fragile emotions. These are emotions that can be very positive but are thinly based and can be shattered very easily by one negative comment or negative feedback. These fragile feelings also don’t last and as I get tired the happiness wears out and I find myself withdrawing in an attempt to not lose more energy. With the contentment of the last few weeks there is a feeling of solid ground, of a foundation that is not easily dismissed by negative events or negative energy from those around me. I still have bad moments but they are only moments not hours or days of feeling fearful, distressed and otherwise uncomfortable in my own skin. I have also felt like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders and just the relaxation from that feeling has been powerful.

Anyway, as a part of all of this I have been noticing patterns when I do the inventory of what emotions I might be picking up. At first there was just a sense of a very small TV or monitor that I would see some kind of shapes on it. I had no idea what the shapes were associated with or what the colors meant. As I’ve built up experience I feel that I am starting to make sense of what I sense. I have also noticed consistency in that the same shapes show up and the same colors are repeated. Over the last couple of days I have made gotten a clearer image and felt compelled to draw up what I see. The image I drew is based on what I pick up for people I associate with on a regular basis.

An empathy dashboard with two lines of drawings. The top line consists for circles showing smaller circles that are open or closed. The bottom line is made up of squares with the lines and colors correlating to the upper symbol

Because I am very much a software/computer person, I feel that the images I receive are like computer icons. In this case the icons stand for humans. The same shape is used with a different color and feel for each person. For each of these icons, there are 4 shapes held together that form a square. There are breaks between them and some overlap, which I’ve tried to show. I don’t know why that’s important but it feels important for some reason. Along with that icon, there is a connector associated with the person. The connector is what I use as an image when I disconnect from that persons emotions. I tried pictured cords and cutting them but that was uncomfortable and trying to just stop the energy was very uncomfortable.

In those cases, I was still connected, just blocking the energy which continued to try and come in. With the connectors I feel that I can pull the connection with little violence and support a connection later on. The symbols above represent people I associate with on a regular basis. The colors I see seem to reflect the internal energy of that person, perhaps the color of their aura. The white and black should not be associated with good or evil but more with an expression of order versus chaos or uncertainty within the individual. And for different people, the same color may represent different things, at this point I don’t have enough experience to know what the colors may reflect.

For the connectors, I have drawn them as if they had male and female connect points. The gold colored are male and the black are female connections. The number of each type of connector is not the deciding factor on the feelings, just an indicator of how that person connects with energy of others around them. The connectors represent the reaching out and the taking in of energy that the person has, in the environment that I know them in. In different settings these connections could change, depending on the circumstances, at least that’s what I sense with what I know now. Finally, for each person I came up with a one word description of the connection I feel from each. The description has to do with the connector and how each person uses their connection to the energy around them. Again, the description doesn’t have to do with the female and male connections but more with how they use that connection.

This description could change for each person depending on the circumstances that I interact with them. What happens now when I do an inventory for distressed emotions is that I get a picture of one or more of these icons showing up on my empathy dashboard. I then get a sense of energy flowing from that icon that seems to reflect the emotion that person is feeling. Most of the time I automatically pick up on negative emotions however I can choose to pick up on positive or neutral emotions from people around me as a comparison. As I’ve built up experience I’ve been able to associate these icons with specific people and emotions. This association helps me separate my feelings and disconnect easier. It also gives me a heads up that I may be heading into a situation that could provide strong emotional feedback that I need to be prepared for. With this preparation I can keep a better handle on my own emotions and handle difficult situations a bit better. I suspect that there is more to learn, such as do I get different icons for different types of people and what other colors might I receive. Will be interesting to see what I find out in the future.