Empath or Trauma response?

As children we learn to communicate non verbally first. We learn what pleases our parents or caregivers and what doesn’t. We then learn to adjust our behavior in an attempt to receive adoration and love from these caregivers. The hope would be that we are all in healthy, perfect relationships so that we learn healthy ways of communicating and relating with one another.

Being that we are all humans, we tend to not live in perfect environments. Once we get old enough and move out of our family home, we tend to seek out similar personalities to repeat that same damage from our not perfect childhood. This is why I advise not following the butterflies when considering a new partner. When you follow the butterflies, you repeat the same trauma you lived in childhood. Which is exactly what we are working to heal from. But that’s another topic for another day. Back to the point at hand.

We learn subtle eye movements, or a slight turn of the head to stave away the punishment we are convinced is following. Sometimes it is actually following. Sometimes after repeated trauma we react when thee is no threat. Is this a deep spiritual gift or simply a consequence of trauma? I believe it’s the latter.

This is not to say that having these skills is a bad thing. When I was homeless in LA, this was a very helpful skill. I would even say it saved my life on many occasions. I find picking up on these subtle cues saves many of us if we can choose the best reaction to the unspoken information we can use this trauma response as a super power. I simply feel that recognizing the origins also helps us to hone the skill further.

When we can have honest conversations about our lives and ourselves then we can learn to use these skills successfully. Personally, I find that not accepting that “being an empath” stems from a reaction to trauma, we put ourselves at a disadvantage.

I have lived through quite a lot in my life. I’m grateful for my experiences, regardless of how traumatic because I gained some amazing skills. And now recognizing that these trauma responses helped me survive situations others haven’t. I heal while still using these skills to my advantage. But it is important to recognize and accept the origins in order to completely utilize these skills.

I feel like too often we try to make ourselves feel better by denying the reality of what is. I hear people tell me words or phrases are offensive. I’ve been told that me calling out the truth is offensive. I believe being honest about this is the key to move forward. When we pretend that our trauma response is some uber spiritual gift instead of facing the reality that is is learned behavior based on past trauma, we are lessening our experience and not using it to expand our inner growth.

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