As I mentioned earlier, the very idea of purposely taking in other people's pain is really, really difficult for us empaths. Imagine -- to do the very thing that we spend every waking moment avoiding!
Still, it is a meditation technique found in Christianity, Buddhism, Kabbalah and other traditions, so there must be something to it. So, I asked my guides and received an interesting vision.
First, you need remember my attitude toward channeling in general (for that particular diatribe, click here.) Channeling and receiving supernatural guidance, I believe, are only as reliable and untainted as the funnel through which the information flows. 'Nuf said.
Bearing that in mind, I received a vision of mussels. Yep, those little sea creatures that sit in their shells all day at the bottom of the ocean. At first I interpreted the vision as meaning that I could open my shell to receive empathic information, or close it so I wouldn't, whatever I chose. Honestly, that only works sometimes. The empathic sensations often creep in even when I'm "closed off," just as sea water surely enters the closed shell of a mussel.
So, perhaps this vision means something else. Perhaps it means that we empaths are meant to serve as a kind of filter -- taking in stuff from others and then letting it go. Mussels and other bi-valves, apparently, do an important service in that they filter the water around them and keep it clean of algae and other water-clogging elements. Are we empaths called to do the same -- to filter out the strong emotions, vibes, thoughts, and body sensations, so that others around us are not affected? It's an interesting idea.
Which brings me to the memory of an old Star Trek episode. Do you remember the original series? Perhaps you've seen it in reruns. There was an episode entitled, "The Empath," in which this mute but physically expressive woman was forced to watch as Dr. McCoy was brutally tortured by some weird-headed aliens who had captured him. This woman was an empath, and her captors were testing whether she could overcome her reluctance to "feel" McCoy's pain, and in feeling it, heal him. In the nick of time, right before he was to suffer the mortal blow, she does put her hands on him, and all the wounds he suffered are registered on her body. She cringes at that, but persists and as she begins to magically heal herself, McCoy is healed, too. Happy ending.
I'm not saying that we are all called to be healers or magic transformers, but perhaps when we have the courage to open up our shells and filter in the stuff that's floating in our ether, we do our little world a service by cleaning things up a little bit. Are you willing to try this with me?