What it Means to Have the Heart of an Empath.

Via Naomi Hon
on Dec 17, 2014
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The word ordinary ceases to exist in your dictionary.

Every experience resides on either end of an extreme.

Every day you see things that evoke so much emotion, your mood changes shades the same amount of times the sky does. It yo-yos between streaks of blue and glimmers of yellow—but never without silver linings of glitter. Life is but a giant paint palette of emotions, its colors too obscure to separate.

You’ll find poetry in every conversation you have, sheltered amongst breaths and pauses, sideways glances and tones in voices. No one else sees, hears or feels it. But you always do.

Your fingertips trace scars on lovers instead of perfect features.

You see stories in the eyes of passersby on the street because you see souls instead of irises. You brush past them wondering who they love, what they’ve lost, where they’re going and who they’re trying to be. Everyone and everything has a story you’re dying to memorize.

Your heart bleeds at the sight of beggars because you know that somewhere under those rags lies a treasured item they’ve muffled roars of hunger to keep. It could be anything—a rusty gold locket, an oversized coat handed down by a deceased parent,or a crumpled picture of a loved one they’ve lost.

Children in elevators fill your heart with so much joy, you always smile just a little wider the second their parents notice your gaze. You see the exhaustion in their polite smile, and picture the love they put into raising their children every day.

Oil spills in gutters look like mini rainbows. Raindrops on windshields look like fallen stars. Fizzy drinks in glasses look like the evening sea. There is no such thing as a mundane day, and boredom is a problem you’ll never be plagued with.

You enter rooms filled with strangers and feel suffocated by the invisible sparks of electricity flickering in the air. You can pinpoint who’s fighting or flirting without knowing either party from 20 feet away. Like a wet sponge, your body has this tendency of soaking up all the energy around you. Negativity gets sucked into your pores, and affects you so much it almost always ruins your day.

Not caring just isn’t an option.

No one has ever done you wrong, no matter how bad the crime, without you understanding why they did so. Friends seek your solace because they know you’ll help them realize what the person they’re angry at could be going through. This makes it virtually impossible for you to detest anyone. So you end up detesting yourself instead for never not understanding why.

But this very trait enables you to love the broken. You refuse to believe everyone isn’t good at heart even though this permanent naivety is usually what ends up stinging you.

To have the heart of an empath is both a blessing and a curse.

You have no control over the intensity of things you feel, or how other people’s feelings affect you. But empaths were born with copious amounts of compassion and endless empathy for a reason. In a world where people numb their feelings and ignore chaos, empaths are there to demand that feelings be felt.

To see the beauty in the details, and in sadness, too.



Why Being Sensitive Could be Your Greatest Gift

Bonus! If you have the heart of an empath, here’s how to deal:



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Author: Naomi Hon

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Natalie the believer on Instagram


About Naomi Hon

A 22-year-old empath born and bred in the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I make up for my 5-foot tiny frame with a laugh you’ll hear 50 feet away. A horror nymph who’s sold her soul to Indie rock ‘n’ roll, I’ll forever be in awe of all the chaos and beauty of the world. Paper is where I get naked.


31 Responses to “What it Means to Have the Heart of an Empath.”

  1. Beela says:

    I could have written this, it felt like it was my soul speaking. How I lost myself in the words of your journal, smiled, teared and treasured the truth of your ink, my soul thanks you.

  2. Renee says:

    I’ve been reading EJ for years. No article has captured my attention or my heart quite like this one. It’s raw beauty and insight hits home! Thank you one hundred times over.

  3. Corinna says:

    this is very very beautiful!

  4. jenfm60 says:

    Oh Naomi, you've nailed me. You've nailed my heart and soul with glitter onto the scars of my lovers and left me bleeding but filled with joy at the knowledge that someone else sees and feels these wonderfully overwhelming moments of chaos and loves them as much as I. <3

  5. Shawn says:

    Beautifully written. I agree with everyone else. I def relate!

  6. Bhagavati says:

    Possibly the best I’ve read on this whole empath thing so far.

  7. Bhagavati says:

    Possibly the best I've read on this whole empath thing so far.

  8. Sensistarburst says:

    Very well said, I felt the emotion through the words you wrote. It captured and moved me, thank you for writing so beautifully and putting into words what most of us can’t. Many blessings.

  9. Sensistarburst says:

    Very well said, I felt the emotion through the words you wrote. It captured and moved me, thank you for writing so beautifully and putting into words what most of us can't. Many blessings

  10. Jennifer says:

    We are familiar 🙂

  11. Linda says:

    That's it! I read most of this post through my fingers. You describe me perfectly

  12. Gerry Ellen says:

    What a beautiful compilation of words! Wow. You have an old soul, sweet one. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  13. Pamela says:

    Simply Beautiful …and my soul related with every word , identifying who I am..This resonates with me so much..I’m glad other empathic souls walk amongst me ..xo

  14. Alexandra says:

    Dear Naomi,
    Thank you for writing this. It is so true to the very last letter. You give me hope.

  15. sarah serrano says:

    I am glad i am not alone.

  16. Kristen says:

    I felt everything you said. I just wish I saw it as a blessing. To me feeling so much is overwhelming. It’s hard for me to cope with all the negative emotion in the world and around me and in my life personally. I wish I could let it go and not spend so much time processing it over and over. The positive emotion is beautiful and energizing but right now I’m not able to say it makes all the sadness go away.

  17. Katherine Daniels says:

    Thank you for this! I’m not alone and I’m not broken. Some people say that this way of being is one of the “errors in thinking” because it’s “black and white.” That it’s negative because it’s feeling and expressing what others are going through and wanting to take away the pain. “Don’t care so much.” “You’re so negative.” etc. For me, I will learn to own it. Yes, I am sensitive, I do react to the negative, and I will uplift the beautiful and positive.

  18. Angie says:

    Love this to the moon and back!

  19. alie marie says:

    Saw a metal band around elephants hearts……

  20. Emamma says:

    I have tear , yes it is a blessing and a curse to feel so much feel <3

  21. Paula says:

    Doesn’t being vegan and being empathic do hand in hand?

  22. Leyla says:

    So beautiful!! Really feel it…. @Paula: That would be my guess, too

  23. leanne berry says:

    The chills will not stop

  24. Malou says:

    This is perfect… simply perfect. 🙂

  25. daniela says:

    Totally agree till you learn how to turn negative into positive how to infiltrate the negative with every loving intention xxx

  26. Joseph says:

    I'm not a big crier but I couldn't stop myself as I read this.. the only thing I can think to describe this is beauty.

  27. Firefly says:

    My skin is tingling after reading your beautiful words. Being an empath is a lonely life.

  28. Anna says:

    Oh Wow! I never even knew what an Empath was until a couple of years ago. But when I first saw it mentioned and looked it up, I knew that it explained me to a T. I just seemed to have the abilty all my adult life to draw people to me, and to listen to them and offer up a completely new perspective, that they always thanked me for profusely when it had helped them with their problem or trouble. However, I can perfectly understand the concept of it being both a blessing and a curse. Since I did become aware of being an empath, things have changed in my own personal life and I am of an age when I'm subject to the ageing process and don't always read things as well as used to, I overthink things, and have been prey to making others' problems my own, when they are not, and this has threatened my own future happiness, which to be honest is much more important to me now, than anything else, to the extent that it has become a curse. So now I am taking a backseat and allowing others to take care of problems that just don't concern me, unless of course I am asked, and I am so much happier.

  29. BobbySingerFan says:

    oh what a wonderful read! I am a newly awere Empath still adjusting to the knowledge that all these emotions and experiences I've had over my lifetime NOW make some kind of sense! Thank you for contributing to the motherload of knowledge and self-awareness I have been soaking up since spring of 2015!

  30. Dieauka says:

    I was 29 out of the 30 traits and an awaking Empath. I have never read something so true to who I am. I have always know there was some gift bestowed upon me. Being the one who beat up bullies. As a kid I even tried to control it. I just recently figured this out after a spiritual event on a hunting trip and souls searching for reasons why my relationship is so toxic. I now know what to call it. I made the mistake of sharing this with my wife who supported me until a fight where she used it as a weapon. Her energy has effected me to the point I can’t take it anymore and need to leave my family to heal. Careful who you tell even your loved ones might think you crazy and talk behind your back and you know it, that hurts! It’s hard to find others who understand but these forums are spot on and help. I have been working on protection methods now.

    Thanks for putting it out there for us to find 🙂

  31. suzie says:

    Outstanding, resonated with every single word…touched every aspect of my existence

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