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Being a solitary witch can be difficult, especially if you don’t have other witches to talk to about the important things. I am a solitary. I have been a solitary for nearly 20 years. Being isolated from like-minded people is different from being solitary. For a long time, I was isolated and solitary. Being a solitary means you don’t have a group to practice with and most of your practices are done alone.  Being isolated is something else entirely. It can leave you feeling very much alone.

As a solitary, you likely have other like-minded people to share your experiences with and discuss the secret witchy stuff that you can’t share with the world. It can be difficult to find others who are like-minded especially if you don’t know where to look. I am finding it increasingly difficult to find groups that are there as a community of support. However, supportive groups are out there.

I find that many witches are empathic. To me, Empathy is a very natural part of being a human being. It is just the way we are. Not being Empathic doesn’t seem normal to me at all. Being emotional doesn’t make one empathic but it is human to have feelings. Being aware of others feelings and “being able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” that to me is empathy. Being an Empath is not merely being capable of imagining what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes but rather experiencing the emotion with them but again in an indescribable way. I am personally affected by the feelings and emotional experiences of others as well as my own independent emotions.

When I am going through my own emotional tidal waves,  this experience with others can be completely overwhelming. It isn’t a problem all the time but when someone else is having an intense emotional experience near me, I am definitely affected. Being around others who go through emotional turbulence can be quite exhausting for Empaths when our shield is unpracticed or not exercised frequently.

I have found that for me, emotions such as grief, sorrow, anger and other unpleasant emotions caused by things such as depression, pregnancy, puberty, menopause and significant loss is difficult for me regardless if my own or through empathy for another living being. Happy feelings are always welcomed and refreshing. Let’s face it; it is easier to feel good than it is to feel pain.

Empaths can channel their energy of emotions without even thinking about it. Being an Empath around other Empaths can have a profound effect on each Empath present. I can’t even imagine what it is like not to be able to feel Empathy although I am told many don’t understand what it is like to experience it. I have been teased and ridiculed for not only having my own feelings but for being aware of the feelings of others. Compassion is seen as a sign of weakness in many circles. It is insane that I can tell when someone is “faking” an emotional response to someone who is actually “feeling it”.  The best actors actually “feel” the emotion that they are trying to portray and that is when a movie really gets me. When a convincing actor is pretending or acting, they often invoke that emotion from a memory and even an Empath can be deceived.

Being an Empath is not the same as being a Psychic. Being a Psychic is a power that is found on shows like Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and True or False. I personally don’t believe in being Psychic but I am accepting of intuition or that gut feeling. The power of the subconscious in acquiring information even when we aren’t aware of it. Cold reading can be done naturally. Being a Medium is a step up on the believable scale but empathy is more commonly experienced than the actual Psychic stuff. Being a Clare or having a gift of one of the five Clares is also believable depending on how they are defined.

The question is whether or not Empathy a gift? Or maybe just a part of what makes us human? Or maybe it is what makes us a different type of human. I used to try to hide these hidden facts about me. I have gotten so good at hiding my emotional experiences that I have been compared to the imaginary Vulcan from star Trek. I am assumed to be all logic with complete control of my emotions when in reality; I frequently excuse myself from the situation so that I can release and regroup. When I can’t excuse myself from the situation, I have to use a grounding technique.

I used to find it difficult to be the pillar of strength when I couldn’t step away from the feelings of the person needing that strength. Hugging someone who is crying and being a blubbering friend and falling apart with them is not always what others need. They need someone who is not emotionally attached to the situation. Their situation not yours. It is important to be able to step outside the situation and provide another point of view from the perspective of someone who understands how that person feels and that is where compassion comes in.

Being able to detach not only from other people’s feelings but being able to detach, at least for a moment, from our own emotional situations long enough to be our own support is necessary. For an Empath, this can be a giant step forward and demands a lot of inner strength. If it doesn’t take work to detach, it is not a sign of strength. It is a sign that you are not an Empath.

Empaths see “being Empathic” differently than others. It is something that either makes us feel different or makes us feel weak, or we accept it as a bittersweet gift. It can be a gift much like being a Clairvoyant. I believe that it doesn’t matter what label it fits under. It is what it is. It is part of who we are and it is ok to be one. But as with any gift or talent, it must be exercised, worked with and controlled. It is part of us and the only thing we have any control over is ourselves and that includes how we respond to emotions.

I don’t mean we need to control it by blocking it. I mean we need to control it in a way that it doesn’t overwhelm us and destroy us. It would suck if we were a fire starter who is consumed by our own flames. It is the same for an Empath. It sucks to be an Empath who is consumed by our own emotions.

Just as anything we experience as a human being we have to learn how to deal with what we experience. The best way to do that is to talk to others who have experienced it. Not feeling alone means that you feel like others understand you and feeling like you belong in a group who is at least similar to you.

Human beings are so detached or at least feel isolated in a way that they are searching every label to see which group they fit in with. Sometimes they create a mentality or adapt a mentality to feel like they belong somewhere.

I am learning that I don’t have to fit in or belong. I am learning that it is okay to be me, however, I define me. I don’t need to be defined by something or someone else. I don’t need to fit into someone else’s label or someone else’s group. I am learning to just be me and if people don’t like me, I am fine being alone. I don’t want to be alone but I am okay with being alone. As long as I like who I am, I can always enjoy my own company.

On the same hand, I want to be able to handle others being themselves too. It is extremely important to be able to deal with others with as much understanding and skill as we want others to do for us. It is important to realize that we as Empaths have an obligation to look at people through eyes of love. Emotions are just that, emotions. They are powerful and yes we are affected. It is important to realize that we as Empaths are far more capable of understanding where someone is coming from because we feel what they feel.

Being an Empath is an opportunity to see a situation from someone else’s point of view. Heck being able to see it from our point of view and several other points of view. Practice builds skill and learning comes from absorbing information from where ever we can find it even if we experience the world through our emotions.

If you are an Empath, you have a unique opportunity. It is an opportunity that not everyone has. Couple that with compassion and inner strength and you will find that you have a greater understanding than most and that gives you an advantage.

I dedicate this post to all the Empathic Witches out there trying to find their place with like-minded people.

Summer Song