The Gifts of Being an Empath


The empath’s journey is the adventure of a lifetime. Sensitive people have much to be grateful for. You are able to experience exquisite passion and joy. You can perceive the big picture on a deep level. You are attuned to the beauty, poetry, and energy of life, and your compassion gives you the capacity to help others. You are not callous, shut off, or cold- hearted. Your sensitivities allow you to be a caring, vulnerable, and aware being.

Empaths have a special relationship to nature. You feel a kinship with animals, flowers, trees, and clouds. You are drawn to the peace of the wilderness, the quiet of the desert, the majesty of the red rock canyons and the forests, and the vastness of the ocean. You can dance under the full moon and feel her loveliness in your body. You know how to be at one with the serenity of nature. You want to protect the earth, our mother, and conserve her precious resources.

In The Empath’s Survival Guide, I emphasize that the world needs your gifts now. As empaths, you also have the power to positively change yourself, your family, and the rest of the world. In my medical practice, I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfill it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honoring their sensitivities, they are saying “no” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.

As an empath, you are part of a global movement to put what is humane back into humanity. I applaud you for being a path-forger, willing to venture off the beaten track. I applaud your courage to face yourself, to express your authentic needs, and not to give up on the world, with its many failings.

We are all part of the empath family, connected by our sensitivities and heart. So let’s draw on each other’s strength and loving-kindness. Let’s feel comfort in the simple knowing that we each exist and that in our hearts we support one another from near and far. Even though many of us have not yet met, I send you all blessings and thanks for being brave enough to be authentically you.

Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff’s “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.

23 thoughts on “The Gifts of Being an Empath

  1. Dr. Judith Orloff

    I need help moving out of a toxic relationship, my husband is a killer narcissist. Where does one go? Because he is so bad, he also has bad cops and IT people around him, all with no Empathy present in their brains. I do not want to be murdered! Please help

  2. I hid my empathic sensitivities my whole life, it almost killed me to do that, I think I am ready to release the love within…

  3. Can you please give deeper into any connection between addiction and being an empath? I have been trying to get out of the methadone clinic for several years now and I suspect that part of the reason I have been drawn to my addiction was a desire to numb my empath traits to make it easier to cope with it.

  4. I’m VERY GRATEFUL to have found you for myself, my brother & my daughter!!!

  5. It is so wonderful to hear you have been able to connect with your daughter through a mother’s love and empathy. It is even better to know that your daughter appreciates and values this connection. It must give you hope that she might be inspired enough to be successful now with the rehab.

    Unfortunately, for reasons that never failed to frustrate and hurt me, my own sons and adult siblings ignored my attempts to explain how I am able to feel others pain. Overall they considered I was big noting myself, imagining things or a liar…. None of these options was ever even a possibility

    So, I only learned I was an empath at 68 following my mother”s death when all my siblings suddenly turned on and ostracised me. After that I began to research online only to discover that my ageing siblings and mother were in fact narcissistic, something that I’d never before contemplated as I’d always unconditionally loved my siblings just as I’d assumed they had always loved me. I was/am devastated beyond belief as I had done nothing to any one of them other than the, fact I’d always been “different”.

    Now with time as the essence, ideally I would hope to explore the newly found gift I’d always thought of as my sensitivity (which was at best considered a flaw by family) .

    So I have an adult son who has returned home to live and who has a scitzotypal personality disorder. This is causing us so much anguish and grief I feel too emotionally exhausted to learn more about how I can use my empathy to help others (including first and foremost my son). He has always drained me emotionally and physically as I’ve spent many years attempting to assist him to cope in day to day pursuits/relationships, but it seems now that he is getting worse despite my ongoing efforts. I am heartbroken for him and need some direction with my pursuit of how to help heal him via my empathy. When he was a baby I would suddenly sense when he was about to have convulsions so was able to help him in a timely manner. Now however, I am at a loss as to how to assist him with his mental health issues due to my exhaustion. I do not seem to have any reserves of energy to pursue my interest in empathic healing.

  6. Thank you Dr. Orloff ,
    I have both of your books and I resource to them often. It is so supportive to know I can count on you for understanding my empathetic abilities. I am glad you exist !

  7. Dearest Judith,
    Over many years, you have taught me so much. I was absorbed by your first book. I am so grateful that you were born in order to teach each Empaths like me (that at a young age) couldn’t understand what was going on. Now I protect myself every day, thanks to you. I could go on and on but I’ll just end with thank you for your loving support!!!

    1. What beautiful words of appreciation. Thank you! I’m so glad I can help you cherish your empath self!

  8. Thank you, with your help I understood that what I thought was a curse was in fact à gift… like in the tales I read when I was young…and starting-blocks more to use it in that way… 🧡💕

  9. I have always appreciated my gift that I called personality. I’ve felt heavily that I was not allowed to come to earth without unusual amounts of protection. At the age of 50 heavily wanted to stop all drinking and did. Have every time asked for finding something something causes me to find it, I asked why and answer was if it’s important to you it’s not beneath us to help you. Still trying to understand how I help on earth but pray a lot.

  10. Were you in the South West recently Dr Orloff?
    I just want to thank you so much. I often turn to your resources for support and help. As I heal myself and perhaps develop further in helping and healing others. I appreciate your wisdom and leadership very much. It has certainly especially served me during times of turbulence over the last 2 years. You see so much with warmth.

  11. Since I bought the book and read it every morning I am able to appreciate myself so much better and realise how gifted I am. I was just thanking the planet a moment ago and three geese flew over me in perfect synchronicity. There is just so much to be thankful for.

  12. Thank you much Judith for this message.. I always was made to feel inadequate and weak for being ‘too’ sensitive always mocked ‘even now ‘ for actions in saving life even a spider that has the right to live .. I come from a family of abusers and I must be here to break the chain .. thank you this makes me being here a reason to help my children escape from the ‘ abusive inheritance’ they don’t need .. this makes me feel good about myself 🙏🙏🙏

  13. Love your emphasis on the power and positive gifts of empathy and empaths! I’m glad to say that I’m learning so much

  14. My daughter was just released from rehab. I could feel her detoxing. When she couldn’t sleep, neither could I. When she felt sick, so did I. I am glad I was blessed with the power to feel what she felt, as unpleasant as it was. We talked on the phone, and she knew I was there for her. It has brought us closer than ever before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *