I’m going to tell you a story today.  A story about a girl who cried tears and did not know why.  For they were not her tears but the tears of others who did not know how to express their pain, their emotions.  These were the tears of an empath.IMG_3750

We hear so often about how people are empathic, but who really knows what that means? Does that just mean they are more moody than other people or they get really bad PMS symptoms and want to blame it on someone else?  Or do they really feel the emotions of other people around them?  Can they pick up on other people’s sadness and heartaches?

I believe my sister and I have some empathic qualities.  I did not realize this is what they were when we were growing up, but I can see what they are now in hindsight.  We have the ability to feel what others are feeling, but this is not always a great thing.  This can be scary and confusing at times because you don’t always know when you are picking up someone else’s feelings and not your own.

I have found that the emotion I recognize the easiest as not my own is sadness.  I have my Moon in the sign of Aquarius.  For those astrology nerds out there, you will see this as a very logical and analytical moon sign.  Instead of letting emotions take over me I easily think them through and puzzle out situations.  This makes me very good in a crisis – I will figure out the next step instead of freaking out.

But sometimes this Aquarius Moon cannot compete with my empathic abilities.  I have found myself crying at numerous times throughout my life without knowing why.  I mean, I know that other people are really sad and I usually am a little too, but my tears stream down easier and more forceful while my mind remains logical, questioning why it is happening.

IMG_3751The best way to understand this is with some examples.  Take the funeral of my mother-in-laws father.  I did not know the guy very well, only meeting him two or three times.  I was at the funeral to support my husband and his family, but from the moment I walked into the funeral chapel, tears streamed down my face.  These were not my tears.  These were the tears of all the people in the room trying to hold it together, who felt that they shouldn’t cry.  Inside, I did not feel any great sadness.  I generally do not find death a sad occasion as it just is a transition for souls from one state of being into the next.  They are not really gone.  But still, my tears ran strong for a man I did not really know.  I believe these were not my tears.

Another example of this is on the day of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  I was in high school at the time and the teachers set up tvs in the library so we could watch the news coverage during free periods and in between classes.  Other students watched the programing with dry eyes, none of us really knew anyone affected by the attacks, the closest anyone got was a teacher who had some friends at the pentagon, but they were all alright.

But still, tears streamed down from my eyes throughout the day.  Other students and teachers questioned me, did I know anyone in the attack?  Did I want to go home?  No, I did not understand it at the time, but these were the tears of the nation.  I felt sadness, but more as a sense of confusion as to what was happening to our country.  Not the type of sadness which brings tears all day long.

So this is my story.  Maybe my Aquarius Moon makes it harder for me to be an empath or maybe it makes it easier to tell when emotions are not really mine.  In a culture when it is socially unacceptable to cry this can sometimes be an embarrassing trait, but I no longer choose to view it that way.  If people ask why I am crying I now will tell them I am a sympathetic cryer.  I cry for others when they can’t or won’t.  I release the emotions of the nation.

Are you an empath or do you know anyone who is?  Do you get scared or confused when you feel emotions that are not your own?  How do you handle your empathic abilities in our culture today?


  1. I think my niece, Nora, is a true empath. Since before she really even express herself, she has picked up on others emotions and felt what others were feeling. She is very nurturing and sensitive to others, and given that she’s only just now 8 years old, it is sometimes surprising how much she seems to pick up on. After reading your post and thinking how this quality may actually be a burden, it makes me want to shield myself from her if I know I’m feeling a strong emotion. That’s probably not possible, but I don’t want her to suffer my pain.


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