Disadvantages Can Be Advantages

Perception is a funny thing. It is everything really. Our perceptions guide how we live our lives. And yet, perceptions are fluid; they can change. It is always amazing to me how one’s perceptions can be so wildly different from someone else’s….

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. The book is about how perceived disadvantages can actually be advantages. He gives case after case of examples of people (such as David) who are perceived to be at a disadvantage but actually succeed on a grand scale because they turn their perceived disadvantage into advantage. In David’s case, he is small and so is assumed to lose against the mighty Goliath. But in truth, David never planned to fight in hand to hand combat. He was accustomed to protecting his flock against dangerous predators, and he was a practiced “slinger” and defeated Goliath with a small rock hurled to the forehead.

The perceived underdog takes a different and unexpected path. Had the underdog not been an underdog, he or she would not have had to seek out a different way to be in the world.

Empaths take a different path too. I am not saying that all empaths are underdogs (but in some instances they are). I am saying that the perceived “disadvantage” of being “overly sensitive” is wrong. You are who you are. An empath is an empath. It is something to celebrate, not to mourn.

It might take awhile to figure out how to navigate successfully in a world with our hearts so open. We will take different from typical paths. We can accept our ability to feel so deeply and balance it with light, not darkness. (Open hearts, closed veins.) When I have followed my heart intuition, I have had extraordinary experiences.

Our natural ability for compassion may lead us to helping and healing vocations. We use our compassion as a natural strength to greatest advantage for ourselves and others. We share by being fully present and by helping others grow. We also use our compassion to speak out  in situations that lack it. We are truth tellers.

Empaths perceive the world in a different way, but like David, don’t underestimate us. Our hearts guide our actions and feel the actions of others. We contribute a light and and an honesty to the world – something that only a highly sensitive person can do.


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