The Life Of An Empath

Ever since I was a boy, I have felt the feelings of others deep inside my soul. Their joy, their suffering, the triumphs against tremendous odds, all of this resonated within me as if I was experiencing it. Racial injustice, prejudice based on sexual orientation, gender-based violence, for each experience, as an empath, I literally feel it as if I was the target, the recipient. 

The Experiences Forever Shaped My Life

  • When I was 19, I was on a hair-raising drive from Delhi to Agra in India, sitting in the rear-facing seats of a rickety vehicle, and I had a spiritual experience that altered the course of my life. As I held my breath through many near-death collisions, I could feel the Alok 60 years my senior sitting right next to me, calm as can be, asking me simply what I had spent my life doing, did it matter, did it make a difference in people’s lives? In that moment, I knew that the path I was on to pursue simply getting rich would lead me to regret my life. I returned to university, built my own major, and dedicated myself to a life of service.
  • At age 29, my mother Carol died in my arms after a 16 year battle with cancer in the bathroom of her New York City apartment. I carried her limp body across the hall and held her until the paramedics came. In witnessing death, we truly see how precious life is and I dedicated myself to continuing her legacy of uplifting those around her, especially women.
  • And then at age 34, I was in the tub for the birth of boy, at a birth center in Tucson, Arizona. I held his beautiful tiny body and knew that I had to make the world a better place for him and future generations. I live each day in peace knowing that if I die today, he can be proud of his dad who modeled what compassionate empathetic loving father can be and did his best to uplift humanity.

I have realized I live for goosebumps. I treasure that feeling when my body erupts from inside responding to the resilience of the human spirit. I am obsessed with stories of people transforming their lives and embracing what truly matters. 

What is clear to me more than ever is that our time during this lifetime is precious, that the people we cherish are what matter, and living a life of service is gift to ourselves. 

I no longer fear death. This freedom has been obtained by connecting deeply to my inner spirit, my soul, that has lived lifetimes and will continue to do so. I am alive. And I have seen the face of love. 

-Alok Appadurai


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