narc_magnet summed it up pretty well.
There is a difference between Empaths and HSP, I believe I fit both categories. Actually, I don't really mind not seeing myself labelled, I am what I am and I don't have a problem with it.
I actually love living my simple Empath life, I feel so intensely about Life from a very young age. I remember there was a large tree outside the building where I grew up, and almost every night, I would stand on my balcony looking up at its branches and leaves as the street lamp lit it up. I stood there spellbound by this tree. I "told" the tree how magnificent it was, I didn't think that was a weird thing to do.
Smells, colours, textures, compositions, rhythm, words, music, a sound, an air, etc....there is so much to take in, and I want to take in all that is good, beautiful, thoughtful, delicious, wonderful around me. I don't need to spend a single cent too. All of these subconsciously got absorbed and I think they become expressed in my interaction with others and in my work. I seem to have a million ideas and a very keen sense for aestehtics, from tiny details to the larger picture. It has helped me so much in my work.
It's ULTIMATE SUPPLY, haha.
I guess this is what is meant by living in the Present? Beauty abounds everywhere. I talk alot to strangers, young and old, I actually find a lot of good in people around me. I can usually see something attractive in all of them, visible or intrinsic. I also feel distress and pity, when something is going very wrong.
Last night, I had a disastrous problem with the plumbing, but later, in the middle of a sleepless night, I heard a man singing in the street, beautifully, without a care in the world. I wanted to throw open my window and shout, "Hey, that's really good singing!", but being an Aware Empath, I decided it was foolish and dangerous.
***WARNING POSSIBLE TRIGGER***
Tbh, until I found out about NPD, I had no idea whatsoever about psychiatry, all these Labels. I didn't think people can be labelled.
It's all the falsehoods, sabotage and own goals that led to me wonder what on earth is this type of personality of my exhusband? Don't get me wrong, I know many wicked people, and for the longest time, I was convinced my stepmother was the garden variety wicked stepmother, but now I suspect that she had malignant NPD, as did her horrible mother. Her father was a wonderful artist, warm, caring, great fun to be around. Her sisters and their children were normal too.
Further insight came from the screaming, raging, controlling but "nice" father of my exhusband and his critical, unhappy, aloof mom, I couldn't understand adults who behave like these, like angry children. From there, I got a better grasp, the pieces of my life started fitting together and I embarked on my path to recovery.
The moment I gave up entirely any hope of saving my marriage was the moment I saved myself. My father went early to his grave because he couldn't break free from my stepmother, and he cried often because he couldn't help me when she abused me. It must have hurt him badly and he just shriveled and died, even though he was such a beautiful person. He was like me, an Empath and HSP, sensitive, artistic, he played the flute for me to go to sleep after my mom left us. He was a much better person than I ever can be, and he deserved a better life.
As long as there is a soft-hearted Empath in their life, a pwNPD like my stepmother can go on unaware till the end of his/her life, destroying and sucking all life out of the Empath spouse. They would think that they are in the right too. They don't see anything wrong with what they do, even if their words and deeds would be considered by normal people to be beyond the pale.
They seem to be able to tell Empaths from the Nons snd gravitate naturally to them, and the Empaths naturally feel the depths of their unhappiness and try to fix what is broken in them, as I understand from HG Tudor's blog. However, the Empaths get annihilated in this union - a better fit for pwNPD would be the stepmother of my exhusband, wiley enough to fake back to her husband, and to protect herself from NI, NR, having few better options in her life except this marriage, etc.
This is why Awareness is precious, and I congratulate you all for embarking on your own journey.