Everyone goes through stages in their life. These are periods where we can look back and see a clear change from one time to the next. These changes may be external, such as a new job, relationship or child, or they can be internal like learning to guard your heart or being wiser in financial choices.
Empaths also tend to follow a series of stages in their personal development. These stages are what I like to call the Empathic Transformation.
The events that lead each empath through their stages will all be unique and always unfold in just the right way. There is no particular age or speed at which this transformation occurs and no stage is better or worse than another. No matter where you are in your transformation, you are exactly where you need to be right now. It is important to not rush it, but instead relax into knowing that amazing things are coming your way as you continue to grow in your gifts.
Though each journey will look different for everyone, the empathic transformation tends to follow three basic stages.
Stage 1: Existing for others
The first and most familiar stage of an empath’s journey is existing for others. This stage, though it may sound selfless, is actually very difficult.
An empath spends most of their youth aware of things that those around them cannot see, including the emotions and needs of everyone they encounter. From their parents and siblings, to classmates, to strangers on the street, they feel the sadness, struggles, pain and sorrow.
It does not take them long to begin feeling responsible for helping each of these people. Every waking second becomes another moment of existing to help those around them. Adopting neglected animals, donating money whenever they can, living in lack and poverty for the sake of those who cannot have more.
In this first stage, the empath is vulnerable to narcissists, takers, users and abusers as they often have had no time in their life to discover who they truly are. Self-esteem is a battle and their self-worth diminishes every day. They wonder if life will ever get easier or if the world will ever change.
Stage 2: Existing for themselves
Often brought about by a traumatic experience or simply reaching the point that they have nothing left to give, the empath begins to step into the next stage of life. This stage is often seen as a dramatic 180 degree flip from their previous self. Once constantly giving to everyone, never saying no and living as a perpetual doormat, the empath decides that enough is enough.
Usually this stage gives way to a theatrical life change such as loudly and angrily standing up to those of whom they once loved, leaving old relationships, abandoning careers or relocating somewhere unfamiliar. During this period, they try to shut out the world, turning away from bad news and averting their gaze from the suffering.
Riddled with a sense of guilt paired with fear, they decide that it is time to figure out what life has for them.
This time is spent in self-reflection, excessive reading, learning, meditating, discovering and rapidly growing. While they focus heavily on themselves and their own growth, those in their life who once relied on their giving nature call them selfish or even crazy.
This new stage feels like a whirlwind of discoveries and synchronicities unfolding faster than the empath thinks they can handle, but the momentum keeps them moving forward and each new step makes it impossible to look back.
Stage 3: Existing for everyone
As the end of stage 2 begins to come about and the chaos of personal development starts to slow, the empath emerges into the third and final stage of their transformation.
Once an individual unsure of themselves, living in a state of exhaustion and depletion, they have finally taken the time to fill their own cup. With this newfound sense of their inner being, the empath now knows their boundaries, limits, and gifts. They can stand strong in who they are having peeled away the years of absorbing everyone else.
Overflowing with a sense of love, amazement and wonder for the life they see before them, they cannot help but share it with others. They see the abundance reality has to offer and acknowledge each individual’s place on their path. Balanced and filled with love, their cup overflows and they find joy in helping others, raising up those around them and, instead of emptying themselves for others, they give the abundance which shines from within them.
Each stage of the transformation is essential in the growth of an empath. Some pieces may blend together, particularly during the transition periods, but when you reach the final stage and look back, the path will all look so clear. Those moments when you felt full of bitterness, exhaustion or fear will now exist in gratitude as they propelled you on your way.
No matter where you are in your journey, acknowledge that you are right where you need to be. If you are in a painful place, take a few moments to look for the synchronicities and signs that are unfolding before you and express gratitude for the growth they are bringing about within yourself.
If you feel as though you need guidance and understanding, unsure of your current stage, I encourage you to take a look at the Take Back Your Emotions program.
Your path is beautifully unfolding before you. Trust it.
Which stage resonates with you?
Not sure what to do next? In the Take Back Your Emotions program, I cover everything you need to understand your gifts, grow in your journey, and finally find relief from the overload of emotions.
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