In Michael Stone’s lecture on caring for the caregivers and burnout, he presents some unique perspectives that help deepen our interconnectedness with compassion and loving kindness. His discussions on burnout and compassion fatigue relate directly to animal lovers. I see this happen regularly when animal lovers want to work with animals and help rescue them succumb quite quickly to emotional exhaustion and empathy fatigue.
Dr. Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist asks in one article “Are you an empath?”. Dr. Orloff asks “Have you ever been labeled as overly sensitive? Do you absorb the emotions of others?” She then states: “There is a good chance you’re an emotional empath. Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Their sensitivity is the filter through which they experience life. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you — world-class nurturers”. In her article she offers a quiz on whether or not you are an empath and what you can do to honor your strengths, yet balance your emotions and response. Are you an animal empath?