JO: No, many don’t. And
empaths can end up being
misdiagnosed by conventional
health-care practitioners as
having agoraphobia, major
depression, panic disorder,
chronic fatigue, and autoimmune
diseases. Although they might
have symptoms of one or more of
those conditions, that’s not their
primary diagnosis. They might
feel depressed and anxious and
don’t want to leave the house,
for example, but that’s because
they’re absorbing the energy of
other people—not because they’re
clinically depressed and anxious.
As a result, many empaths get put
on high doses of antidepressants
or antianxiety medications, which
is the wrong treatment for them.
Traditional medicine doesn’t believe in
energy fields, which is a big problem
when diagnosing empaths because
empaths sense energy. But using the
detailed strategies I outline in the
book, empaths can learn to manage
their sensitivity and emerge stronger.
They’re like soldiers of light because
they have both sensitivity and strength.
KK: Do you think medicine is
changing in this regard, or are we still
in the dark ages?
JO: I think more integrative
practitioners understand about
subtle energy these days, but
the hardcore conventional physicians
like the surgeons and the urologists
and the fix-it kind of doctors are often
the last to join in. Even psychiatry is
very physical research-oriented, and
psychiatrists generally don’t believe
in energy fields. Yes, I think we’re still
in the dark ages, but it’s at least better
than it was when my first book, Second
Sight, was published in 1996.
KK: With all the chronic stress you
mentioned, do you think these times
require us to cultivate more resilience?
JO: Absolutely. Resilience is the ability
to bounce back, to be guided by a
force of love
most difficult of
It’s the heart that
gives us resilience,
not our will, and
it requires a
Source. I believe
there are a lot of dark and very
difficult energies on earth, so
our own light, sensitivity, and
openness must be in fine form to
get through it all.
KK: Given its importance, how do
we keep our resilience strong?
JO: First of all, you can cultivate
resilience with your positive attitude,
with your ability to set limits, and by
developing kind yet firm strategies
for dealing with narcissists and other
energy vampires. They can suck
your physical and emotional energy
right out of you. I have a whole
chapter about them in my book.
These people have what’s called an
empathy deficient disorder. Empaths
who fall in love with a narcissist
often feel they can change the
narcissist because they’re so loving.
But it’s just not so. They can’t. Being
in a relationship with a narcissist
can be dangerous for the empath
because the narcissist chips away at
the empath’s self-esteem until they
have very little left—and then they
get depressed and sometimes even
KK: What are some of the strategies
you mention for protecting yourself?
JO: Saying no, visualizing a shield of
beautiful light around yourself, and
practicing deep prayer and meditation.
You have to set really strong limits
and boundaries—and then be okay
with them. Remember that “No” is a
complete sentence—you don’t have
to keep defending it. Don’t let other
people’s opinions stop you from this
practice. If an energy vampire triggers
self-esteem issues for you, recognize
what’s happening and turn it around.
The more secure you feel, the more
resilient you’ll be.
KK: How do you deal with anger,
frustration, and other negative
emotions in what seems like an
JO: I recommend a simple, three-minute heart meditation that I
describe in the book. First, close
your eyes, take a few deep breaths,
and relax. Then envision something
really beautiful like a sunset, a flower,
or a waterfall. I use the night sky.
Really concentrate on that beauty.
Put your hand over your heart
chakra in the middle of your chest
and focus on how much you love
whatever you’ve chosen to envision,
and then feel your heart open.
Practice this at least once a day for
If you’re in victim mode
you can’t be resilient.…
When you’re a victim,
you lose both your
power and your energy.