Empath Empowerment In The Age Of Narcissism
How will highly sensitive people survive the new Age of Narcissism? How will empaths hold on to their sanity, well-being and inner peace, while they brave a growing toxic storm of psychic pollution in today's society. An epidemic of sociopathic attitudes, values and morals is slowly spreading like a virus through our global village. Narcissism, self-entitlement and a lack of empathy are fast becoming the toxic hallmarks of the digital age. And caught in the midst of this global whirlpool of poisonous psychic energy, is the empath, the intuitive, the highly sensitive person, who is finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat.
Despite the vast collection of empath resources available to us these days, including online coaches, therapies, books, websites, courses, workshops and podcasts , all aimed at educating and empowering the highly sensitive person and emotionally intuitive empath, our plight remains an ongoing struggle. Many of the customary strategies and guidelines are not really working for us. Empaths everywhere are increasingly finding it difficult to cope. Our predicament is real, and it’s serious. And I believe we mostly have only ourselves to blame.
To explain my unconventional view on this subject, I need to start off with the following disclaimer: if you are reading this article in the hopes of finding further confirmation bias for all those lame empath stereotypes, you will be very disappointed.
In this essay you will not find the customary self-indulgent ideas and self-righteous beliefs about what it means to be an empath, which is so fervently advocated by some members of our community. So, please be forewarned. This blog post is definitely not intended to lament our empath wounds, celebrate our shared ‘victimhood,' or throw another highly sensitive ‘pity-party.’ Ain’t nobody got time for that! This blog post instead aims to truly empower and give sanction to awakened, conscious empaths to fulfill their true destiny.
Why is rising narcissism the foremost threat to the empath community? It’s simple really: narcissists are the polar opposite of empaths. One of the primary defining traits of pathological narcissism is a complete lack of empathy. Narcissists are devoid of compassion, and generally incapable of truly caring about anyone or anything except themselves... and those things that serve their own agenda. In stark contrast, empaths tend to be the exact opposite, sometimes to their own tragic detriment. Ask any empath who has survived an abusive relationship with a gaslighting narcissist…they will know what I am talking about. While narcissists cultivate chaos and destruction, empaths tend to care more about the well-being of others than their own. The question is: why are empaths wired this way?
Our society is becoming increasingly geared towards toxic individualism, deluded self-importance, extreme entitlement and neo-narcissism. We even have cool slogans and hashtags for it these days, such as “haters gonna hate” and "sorry not sorry."
A growing collection of research studies show that our society is becoming increasingly geared towards toxic individualism, deluded self-importance, extreme entitlement and neo-narcissism, while we are also becoming less empathetic and civically-oriented compared to previous generations. We even have cool slogans and hashtags for it these days, such as “haters gonna hate” and "sorry not sorry."
People today are also less likely to be concerned about serious social problems and the state of the natural environment. Empathy, compassion, and contributions to charity are also on the decline. These days folks are more interested in the trappings of success, image, money and fame, and much less inclined to be of service, or to give back to their community. Instead, blatant narcissism is increasingly being celebrated and worshipped... ranging from bratty toddlers and teenage divas, to self-obsessed social media influencers, entertainment racketeers and political supervillains. If you don’t believe me, take another critical look at your social media feed, or today's mainstream news.
So, what is the solution for empaths? How do we survive this mayhem? Do we avoid engaging with mainstream society as much as possible? Should we just steer clear of all the narcissists, bullies and mean people? Many of us have tried that already, with limited success. Unfortunately, the situation is no longer that simple. The state of affairs in our world has become much more ominous and deeply pervasive. Empaths are not only facing the threat of rising levels of individualistic narcissism and psychopathic self-entitlement, but we are also confronted by a global shift towards collective narcissism and a mean-spirited bully culture. There is a disturbing new upward trend in political polarization, religious extremism, prejudice, bigotry and real hatred everywhere.
Toxic tribalism is also rearing its ugly head, and increasingly we are witnessing the signs of collective entitlement and an arrogant attitude of narcissistic superiority among a growing number of countries, nations, social and cultural groups, religious organizations and political parties. Worst of all, our collective narcissism and sense of entitlement as a species is gradually destroying the planet we inhabit, since we believe as a collective that we are the 'crowning glory' of all creation. Narcissism, the lack of empathy, and relentless entitlement, is present in the very air we breathe these days.
I predicted this ominous shift back in the day of all the 2012 predictions and the Mayan Calendar hype. In those days many empaths, metaphysicians, spiritual gurus, channelers and members of the New Age community were gearing up for a major global spiritual awakening, a massive shift in collective consciousness. Many believers were convinced that we were rapidly ascending to a new level of higher consciousness and a blissful, utopian existence. A new world was fast dawning, and soon we would be leaving behind the heavy, dense atmosphere of this three-dimensional world in some sort of rapture… and ascend to a fifth dimensional, heavenly new reality, where things will be so much better.
Lightworkers and empaths have not been arriving on this planet in droves over the past century to lead a cheerful carnival parade into a perfect new earth reality. There is still massive amounts of work to be done before we enter that promised land.
Well, that shift indeed is taking place, but much slower than anticipated. And as I expected, the birth pains of this transition process is becoming arduous, agonizing and even brutal, especially for the highly sensitive empath. Our planetary evolution was never going to be a walk in the park.
The truth is, lightworkers and empaths have not been arriving on this planet in droves over the past century, because we were coming here to lead a cheerful carnival parade into a perfect new earth reality. Quite the contrary! There is still massive amounts of work to be done before we can even begin to imagine entering that promised land. And know this: things are going to get much worse, before they get any better. The pendulum of universal law must first complete its swing in the extreme opposite direction.
Empaths merely avoiding the stark realities of our modern world is not the solution. In fact, hiding from the world is the worst thing we can do at this time in human history. It is a betrayal of our true value and purpose, and our sacred mandate. There is no running away from who empaths were designed to be… and what we came here to do. One of the central features of being an empath is our inherent desire and our gifted ability to nurture, comfort, heal, guide, and harmonize, to help make the world a better place. The empath is wired for peace, love, healing and harmony. To feel, to nurture, and to care, is our calling in this lifetime. It is why we were born this way. Avoiding what is wrong in our world is not what we came here to do.
Empaths did not come into this world to be victims and dropouts. We came to be healers, rescuers, teachers, guides, warriors, and saviors, at a pivotal time in human evolution. Empaths are lightworkers, and more and more of us are arriving on the planet every day, because we are meant to courageously guide the human race into the dawning of the new Age of Aquarius, the era of the Water Bearer, the forthcoming astrological age of love, brotherhood, unity, integrity teamwork, group culture, social justice and technology.
Jesus of Nazareth, one of the central figures of the Piscean age, predicted this transition in Luke 22:10, when his disciples asked him how they should prepare for the Passover, which commemorates the exodus from slavery… and also was to be the Last Supper before the Crucifixion. "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters,” Jesus said.
The birth of the Age of Aquarius is not an easy one and is currently wreaking havoc, and causing much pain, as the world begins to make room for the new era that is to replace the old dogmatic regime of the Piscean Age. The outdated morals, beliefs and values of the Age of Pisces is now being exposed, taken to pieces, re-evaluated and dismantled on all levels, including in politics and government, religion, corporate culture and the economy, as well as in our personal lives and relationships.
So, while the world may appear to be falling apart these days, we are actually in the process of a great transition or shift to a better future world. And empaths, sensitives and intuitives are meant to be of service to the world in this challenging time, as wayshowers, pioneers, healers, motivators, activists, role-models and pathmakers. We are supposed to be the guiding lights of a global shift in consciousness, and the brave leaders of a global transformation. Why then are so many of us still cowering in some forsaken, sad corner, feeling overwhelmed, confused and sorry for ourselves?
The time has come for us to rise up! There is so much to be done, and we certainly have our work cut out for us. For despite all the cool self-importance and greedy self-entitlement of our modern society, statistics show that we are not becoming any happier, or feeling any more joyful or fulfilled. In fact, research shows that depression, anxiety, loneliness, addiction and suicide is on the increase, especially among the younger generation. This is in part due to the unrealistic expectations created by digital technology and popular culture, which often does not match everyday reality, as well as a world increasingly becoming devoid of empathy and compassion.
Empaths are meant to be of service to the world in this challenging time... as wayshowers, pioneers, healers, activists and pathmakers. We are supposed to be the guiding lights of a global shift in consciousness, and the brave leaders of a global transformation.
And how is it even possible that, after all the progress we have made as a species, there are still starving children, abused animals, human rights violations and large scale genocide to be found in our world today? If Jesus was present in human form on the planet today, I doubt he would be hiding out in La-La-Land… and neither would he be taking any silly selfies!
Empaths can no longer stand idly by, while the world is suffering… no matter how difficult it is for us to breathe the current ‘toxic air of narcissism.’ Empaths are the shamans, healers and soothsayers of the tribe. We are often misunderstood, shamed and even demonized by a society that has normalized a destructive bully culture, in which we are scoffed at for being ‘too sensitive’ or ‘emotionally intense.’ In truth, we are destined to save those who mock and marginalize us. We will see who has the last laugh. The popular notion that empaths are nothing more than highly sensitive ‘sissies’ who must constantly protect themselves from sensing or feeling too much, is not just ignorant and condescending… it is downright disrespectful of the gifts and blessings we bring to this world.
We are much more resilient and hardwired for struggle than we have been made to believe… or choose to believe. I first became aware of this problem myself back in 2010, when I submitted an article entitled Psychic Vampires and Energy Thieves, to a prominent online social forum for empaths. Despite my best intentions, the moderators rejected my article, stating that they cannot publish it due to its ‘disturbing’ title and subject matter. They felt it might be too distressing and deeply upsetting for their highly sensitive members. Seriously? I was gobsmacked… not sure whether I should laugh, or cry.
It really is high time that we empaths and sensitives get over our victim mentality, self-imposed isolation and learned helplessness, and embrace our true calling as powerful energy diviners and alchemists. We were originally designed to transmute the negative, narcissistic energy we encounter in this world, and transform it into peace, love, harmony, and compassion. Our job here is to ‘spin straw into gold’... but without the help of the evil Rumpelstiltskin's of the world.
Like King Midas, we have a mythical ‘golden touch’… or better yet, a magical heart of gold capable of great empathic magic and miracles. Our gift of empathy and our highly sensitive nature are not shortcomings, weaknesses or disabilities - they are our skills, strengths and superpowers! We are not losers, we are superheroes. We are David against a ghoulish Goliath. And we are much stronger and more powerful than we realize.
Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a 'hot mess' or having 'too many issues' are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.
How To Thrive As An Empath
So, how do empaths brave this new zeitgeist… and armor up to enter the arena? Well, the first thing we may want to do is stop using self-defeating terms like ’empath survival.’ Empath empowerment is a much better concept. We did not come here merely to survive...we are here to thrive! Furthermore, we certainly do not need more of the mutual coddling, communal pity parties, sensitivity stereotyping, and rehashed ‘survival tips and tricks.’ Enough already.
The time has come for us empaths to ‘get over’ ourselves. We need to go hardcore, and we need all hands on deck. There is much work to be done and time is of the essence. We need to get on track with our own mission by cultivating the necessary knowledge, skills and lifestyle habits needed to claim back our true power and pursue our sacred spiritual purpose. In the words of Horace Mann, "we should all be ashamed to die until we have won some victory for humanity."
To really thrive as a highly sensitive empath in the era of neo-narcissism you may want to consider the following practical guidelines and strategies to empower yourself.
Saving others begins with rescuing yourself. Healing the world begins with facing yourself in the bathroom mirror.
Conquer Your Demons
We cannot bypass or avoid the need for healing on the road to empath empowerment. This is the first vital step, without which the rest of the journey is doomed to fail. Healer, heal thyself. Too many empaths are braving this new age damaged and unhealed. They have forgotten who they really are, they have been told they are useless and weak. They do not know their own strength and power, and many are giving up.
Some empaths have already aborted the mission in recent years, through self-destructive choices and suicide, while others remain trapped in tragic, aimless lives of self-imposed suffering, learned helplessness, victimhood, and self-pity. Those who are struggling to cope are often also self-medicating with alcohol, food, sex, drugs or over-the-counter medication, with disastrous consequences.
So, let’s get real here. If we are going to make any useful difference to ourselves and our new world, we are going to have to be brave and clean up our act. Period. True empowerment starts with dealing with any addictive behaviors, substance abuse, childhood traumas, relationship abuse and all other psychological wounds, issues and hang-ups that may be holding us back. Empowered, healed empaths are highly self-aware and know their own triggers and manage their weaknesses. They have also broken the cycle of narcissistic abuse in their lives.
If you have been avoiding truly dealing with the damage you may have sustained as a highly sensitive being born into a ruthless world, then it is time for you to step up and do the necessary work to find your personal healing. Conquer your inner demons. For until you completed your own journey of healing, you are relatively useless to the rest of us. Saving others begins with rescuing yourself. Healing the world begins with facing yourself in the bathroom mirror… getting down on your knees in meditation… or laying back on a therapist's couch. There are no shortcuts here, and the healing process can be painful and arduous. But it must be done. Knuckle down and do the work.
Evacuate Your Comfort Zone
To become a truly empowered empath it is vital that we cultivate psychological hardiness and emotional resilience, by gradually building a greater tolerance for stress, adversity and change. It starts by accepting that human life is a never-ending journey of losses, challenges, beginnings and endings. It also starts with accepting personal responsibility for our well-being, and taking control of our lives. How we choose to look at life’s challenges, how we reframe them, and how we adapt to them, determines how well we will cope in the end.
Empowered empaths take a genuine interest in other people and have a healthy curiosity about the world, instead of feeling alienated, distancing themselves from other people, and cutting themselves off from the world. The empowered, resilient empath also understands that control is something that comes from within, and not from the world around us.
Our sense of control is often based on our own flawed perception, rather than actual reality and objective facts. Empowered empaths focus on what they can actually control in their lives, instead of obsessing and worrying about the things they have no control over. They do not settle for powerlessness, or believing that their life is controlled by fateful external forces.
Empaths are emotion warriors equipped with a secret weapon which I call empathic edge. We have the superior capacity to process and transform emotional energy in all its weird and wonderful manifestations.
Empowered empaths also embrace the fact that change is the norm in our daily lives, as opposed to predictable certainty, security and stability. They understand that change is not a personal threat or curse, but instead a blessed opportunity for personal growth and expansion. They also realize that negative, toxic energy is not the enemy, but instead the very ‘straw’ from which we are meant to spin the ‘gold’ of love, peace and harmony.
The best way to build psychological resilience and hardiness, is to leave your empath comfort zone, and actually enter the arena of life. You have to start taking some calculated risks, put yourself out there, and actually experience life, for better and worse. And when you get knocked down (which you will) you get up and dust yourself off, work through it, and try again. You reflect on what happened and learn how to better deal with it next time.
As empaths and highly sensitive people we tend to get knocked down more often, and also more easily… but only at first. Our recovery may also be more arduous and slow to begin with. But once we find our feet and become fighting fit, we become unstoppable… and can ultimately bounce back without even breaking a sweat! Why? Because empaths are emotion warriors equipped with a secret weapon which I call empathic edge.
Empathic edge is our superior capacity or talent for analyzing, comprehending, processing and dealing with feelings and emotions. So, once we find our stride (down there in the ruthless, brutal arena) we begin to truly harness our elite ability to run circles around even the worst emotional setbacks life may throw at us and the people we care about. We were born with the innate tools to process and transform emotional energy in all its weird and wonderful manifestations… much more efficiently and effectively than most people. So, why would we be afraid? Bring it on!
Streamline Your Lifestyle
One of the defining features of an empowered empath’s way of life is that they have streamlined and decluttered their lifestyle in such a way that they have access to more of the people and things that they need to feel calm, happy and at peace. They have also released all the sabotaging crap and toxic relationships that does not serve them, or holds them back. To become more empowered as an empath we must release what no longer serves us.
So, you may need to move to that cheaper home, change your dead-end job, file for that long-overdue divorce, or simply turn off your television set. Do whatever you know you need to do to find your bliss. True warriors cannot go to battle stressed out, and dragging tons of excess baggage and useless dead weight. Get rid of it!
Get rid of all those wretched empath labels and self-sabotaging stereotypes. Let go of the fears, doubts, narrow-mindedness, and limiting beliefs. Time to accept that you are enough.
Depending on how toxic your environment and your relationships are, this is a process that may take some time. No matter how impossible it may seem at first to let go and liberate yourself, know that all things are possible with the right attitude and enough determination. Where there is a will, there is always a way. Find it.
And while you are at it, clean up your self-esteem. Get rid of all those wretched empath labels and self-sabotaging stereotypes. Let go of the fears, doubts, narrow-mindedness, and limiting beliefs. Time to accept that you are enough. In the words of Marianne Williamson, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world."
Pursue Your Life Purpose
In my experience the only empaths who really live happy, fulfilled lives are the ones who have gained an understanding of who they really are and why they are here, and who have found their unique way to be of service to the greater good. The most important key to empath empowerment is recognizing your life purpose and true calling, and then striving to accomplish it. You arrived on this planet with your highly sensitive nature and your empathic talents and abilities for a reason. You are a sensitive superhero on a sacred mission. Your life as an empath is a gift to this world. So, what have you done with yours today?
By the way, none of us hit the ground running when we arrive here. Typically we only take up our calling and fulfill our true purpose later in life, once we have completed the necessary preparation. We must first gather all the data we need, do the necessary reconnaissance, condition ourselves for battle, face some hard knocks, setbacks and obstacles, and gain some valuable combat experience, before we are ready to embark on our hero’s journey.
Your life as an empath is a gift to this world. So, what have you done with yours today?
If you already know what you are meant to do.. then get on with it! If you have a defined, clear purpose, then stop procrastinating. The world needs all the help it can get. What are you waiting for?
And if you have no clue yet what you are meant to contribute, then begin to make an effort to find out. You need to do some serious soul-searching and figure out what your gift is to this world. What is your mission, what is your message? What are you meant to contribute to make this world a better, safer, happier, more loving and compassionate place? What is the legacy you hope to leave behind someday? What did you come here to do?
Your divine self is fully aware and informed of your reasons for being here. Your higher self is after all the architect and designer of your current life journey. The answer will come from within when the time is right. Meanwhile, follow your heart and listen to your inner guidance. We are guided every moment of every day towards our true destiny. Seek and ye shall find. Follow the breadcrumbs through the forest.
Express Yourself Creatively
Empaths do not have to be an artists, but at least stop hiding from the world and find your way to express yourself. The options and possibilities are plethora: dance, fitness, sports, science and research, motivational speaking, comedy, music, singing, songwriting, theatre and acting, writing, journaling, blogging, spiritual practice, energy healing, drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, craft-making, film making, graphic design, cooking, gardening, landscaping, fashion and beauty, carpentry, building, repairing, charity work, fundraising, activism and protesting, and so on.
Why? Because some empaths are emotional hoarders. They become dysfunctional and suffer neurosis because they do not have effective means to transmute and release all of the emotional energy they absorb. Like scrooges they hold onto it, internalize it, cling to it... only to become frustrated, overwhelmed and psychologically poisoned. Empaths are not only designed to attract and absorb emotional energy from others, we are also meant to transform and project it for the greater good.
We have a powerful ability to emotionally affect those around us. We have the power to shift people, Your deep emotionality and sensitive acuity does not belong to you, it belongs to the world! Empaths are meant to express their feelings and transform emotional energy into gilded miracles and magic that makes this world a better place. Find your way of doing this in a positive way. It will empower you and even re-calibrate your own energy.
Unleash Your Inner Warrior
Empaths are not meant to be victims, we are hardwired to be emotional warriors. To own your empath power and accomplish your life mission successfully, you must adopt the habits of a highly-conditioned ‘soldier’ and cultivate the traits and lifestyle of true warrior. We have no chance of healing or saving the world with an army of lazy, unhealthy, demotivated, uninspired, unreliable and untrustworthy 'deadbeats.'
To unleash your inner warrior you will need energetic endurance, mastery and control. Warriors need to be fighting fit - mind, body and soul. This means that you may need to make some significant changes in your lifestyle and daily habits. You may also need to adjust some of your dysfunctional behavior patterns and become more disciplined in how you manage your life.
Elite warriors require elite ‘training.’ Their very survival depends on it! We have no chance of healing or saving the world with an army of lazy, unhealthy, demotivated, uninspired, unreliable and untrustworthy 'deadbeats.'
Elite warriors require elite ‘training.’ Their very survival depends on it! Take care of your mind through continued study, research, reading and further education. Sort out your body and your health by making the necessary changes to your diet, nutrition, exercise and fitness, as well as any self-sabotaging lifestyle habits. And amp up your spirituality. Start taking better care of yourself... mind, body and soul.
Also, true warriors live with honor, integrity and moral certitude. Are you trustworthy and reliable in your daily life? Do you change your mind a lot? Always making excuses? Do you avoid your commitments? Are you inconsistent or insincere? Do you manipulate, lie, cheat, steal, gossip? This is not the true nature of the empath. If you want to become truly empowered, then become true to your word, and your inherent empathic nature. Be kind. Be honest. Keep your promises. Lead by example. Do the right thing. Become the change that you wish to see in the world. Live an authentic, honorable life. And keep it real.
Amp Up Your Spiritual Practice
There is no way empaths can become fully empowered without a consistent, disciplined daily spiritual practice, for without faith, hope and inner guidance, warriors soon lose their way…and possibly their life. To become a truly empowered empath, you need to adopt a hardcore approach to your spiritual practice. As highly sensitive beings we need our spiritual life to be on steroids, if we are to have any real chance of thriving in this world!
Empaths must be able to trust their intuition and follow their inner guidance system at all times. They must be spiritually aware enough to be able to interpret their dreams, identify signs and synchronicities, and clearly hear their inner voice. This is tricky if you are still on an old-fashioned ‘dial-up connection’ to the Big Computer In The Sky. That kind of ‘wishy washy’ spiritual connection is slow, unreliable and limiting.
Empaths need a broadband or satellite connection to get the job done! And the only way to achieve that is through consistent daily spiritual practice involving, for example, meditation, breathing exercises, energy hygiene, self-healing and psychic protection work, especially psychic grounding and shielding. We also need some solitude and recreational time out…some ‘me time.’
To become an empowered empath you need to adopt a consistent daily spiritual practice and self-care routine that works for you, and make it a natural part of your daily lifestyle, like brushing your teeth. It is absolutely necessary and will make a massive difference in your life. Not only does spiritual practice energize, restore, heal and protect the empath, it also increases our awareness and inner guidance. It sets our target for the real work we came to accomplish in the Age of Narcissism.
© 2019 Anthon St. Maarten
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthon St. Maarten is an international psychic medium and destiny coach with clients in more than thirty countries spanning five continents. He is also a metaphysics teacher and podcaster, spiritual blogger and author with a special interest in new thought spirituality, metaphysics, sacred sites, parapsychology, mediumship and psychic phenomena. Anthon is a hereditary psychic medium in practice since 2004 and his services are available globally. For more information visit AnthonStMaarten.com