pool of empathy

i hear a song
& feel
the pull of sadness
at the broken
heart
of the singer
i hear music
& feel
elated & enamored
just like the
musician
in love
…do i need
to turn off
the radio?
do i need to
stop the music
to discover
my own
feelings?
lost in the music
of others
how am i
supposed to know
if these are my tears
if this is my heart
breaking
my heart
singing
when my song
is mixed
together
with
the world
around
me.

ever since i was little i would tell people that i am empathetic to a fault. i only learned in the past few years that i am what is called an “empath.” i feel everything.
everything.
it is overwhelming sometimes. plus, i have to close my eyes when watching violent movies. i just have to think about the scene in diehard II where the bad guy gets an icicle in the eye, and my eye begins to ache a cold ache.
reading stories to the minions, one mention of bedtime, and i start yawning.

i don’t know if this makes me special (i have noticed that some guys have started using “i’m an empath” as a pick-up line???) or if it even matters, but recently i realized–as i listen to music almost non-stop in my waking hours–that i am feeling more than just the music. i am feeling the feelings of the person writing the music. singing the music. i will get crazy sad or breathless with love and not know why.
so now i am wondering…how do i know what i am actually feeling? if i pick up & tune into the emotions behind music so much that i mistake those feelings for my own…how do i sift through? how do i uncover my own feelings?
there is a whole feeling world around me, and i just need to figure out which of the feelings i am feeling are mine.

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