Over the past few weeks, and increasingly in the last few days, I have been receiving clear messages about the challenges empaths are currently facing...Many people are struggling to find a balance between their warrior natures and their deeply loving selves...WE WERE BORN for this reason. To recognize that which we do not agree with...
Stepping into our Strength by Acknowledging our Challenges.
My introduction into the realm of “all that is” was the exploration of my empathic ability. Upon reflection, it was evident that I had always displayed the traits most commonly associated with an empath, and it was important for me to learn to understand and cope with the gifts and abilities that this implied. It was a bittersweet relief to know that so many of my mental and emotional challenges were attributes of my energetic sensitivity to the world… knowing this gave me the strength to face the issue and empower myself. For years my sense of overwhelm had brought me to a place of doubting my own sanity and struggling to maintain my balance. The understanding of my empathic nature offered me something once elusive- answers! An explanation and a set of tools to navigate the complexities of my experiences.
Something that many empaths may be less aware of are the sensory and overstimulation aspects of our sensitivities. Chemicals, foods, light, sound, textures, sensations, etc. SENG (see links) has excellent resources for Giftedness and Sensitivity, which I suggest for anyone who falls into this category. With the combination of these qualities, the life of the sensitive individual can certainly be overwhelming… especially at times of collective unrest for the planet, or transitional times of cosmic proportion.
Over the past few weeks, and increasingly in the last few days, I have been receiving clear messages about the challenges empaths are currently facing as a result of the tension surrounding the Occupy movement, and the general state of metamorphosis transforming the world. Regardless of which side of which fence you are sitting on, this is a challenging time for all of us. I am reminded of how the acorn must feel as it begins its transformation into the mighty oak.
Many people are struggling to find a balance between their warrior natures and their deeply loving selves. I know that many of us also resonate with the personality traits associated with “Indigos” or “Starseeds”, and while I do not subscribe to any particular label or genre of being, I also identify with many of these traits myself. I believe that many of us ARE here to stand up for what we believe- to be of Love and Light, and by this standard we are warriors for that cause. We are here to change the status quo, to break down old paradigms by refusing to conform, and by setting an example of our inescapable authenticity and innate goodness. Anger is a part of this dynamic, and it is understandable that there should be frustration associated with perceived injustice in the world to which we were born. Many of us have experienced harsh in-acceptance from, and confusion in response to this world, feeling very much like aliens from another planet in a society that “just doesn’t get” the very basic qualities of our soul. The source of this tension is completely understandable, but it must be addressed and healed so that we can collectively move forward.
WE WERE BORN for this reason. To recognize that which we do not agree with, to see that which we consider unfathomable, and to hold the sacred space of that which is of a higher vibration. We have come here to process the lower energies for much more than our individual karmic learning process, and depending on the individual, we are processing for tens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of people – every time we address the emotion and energetic tension (fear) that arises in ourselves.
I believe that every spark of divinity is sentient and sacred, and that every conscious spark selects their own circumstances. The rock, the tree, the bird, the ape, the human… the star. I know that I chose to bring the gift of empathy into this life with me, and I know that it is one of my greatest strengths, and at times has been my biggest challenge. I spent most of my childhood overwhelmed by the energy and emotions of others; parents, peers, community, society, plants, animals… myself. I had no idea that I was picking up on and processing other “stuff” until sometime in my early 20′s- and this revelation changed the entire perspective through which I approached emotion.
I began by asking myself in moments of overwhelm, what was it I was feeling? Was it cosmic – the moon, a solar flare, planets in alignment? Was it something global – was the collective experiencing something significant? Was it local – a parent, friend, partner, co-worker… someone within the physical vicinity of myself… someone in another location? I began to learn blocking and processing techniques – how to create energetic barriers around myself whenever I would go into a place of emotional vulnerability, like a crowded store or event. I would do visualization techniques to imagine the energy grounding into the earth, to recharge my own field and cleanse whatever I had internalized. And I learned to manage my sensory issues by listening to what my physical body was telling me, and giving it the nurturing it needed when it asked for it. Silence. Darkness. Stillness. Proper nutrition, rest. More rest.
As I got older, and my process began to develop, I found that there were times when it was simply a matter of opening myself- or not, to certain people and situations. I also learned to detach and to block out certain stimuli all together, which has made the single biggest difference in my life, and I emphatically suggest it for any empath struggling to find balance. I stopped watching or reading the news, I refuse to participate in negative conversation, I look away from disturbing images, and I refuse to read negative language. And yes, this can mean plugging my ears and humming loudly as I walk away if someone insists upon perpetuating their negativity. I do not say things that I do not believe, and I do not tolerate this sort of conversation from others – I call them on their negative banter, by simply asking them if they really mean what they just said. Without exception, they always reply that they did not. I never use the H-word. I make a conscious effort to set an example by meaning what I say and choosing my words as responsibly as possible. I avoid exposing other people to my energy when I am “in it”… choosing rather to work through it before I reach out and spread it around.
A friend asked me how someone could remain informed and speak intelligently on certain subjects, if they avoided exposing themselves to negative energies. My response would be to say this: use your intuition. Trust yourself. Only YOU can discern where your calling lies. There are so many variables involved that it is impossible to categorize any of us into one group or another. We are here as individuated consciousness for a reason. This is how we process our own stuff, and this is how the needs and roles of the collective are handled… because there is someone who is the perfectly imperfect fit for every space. Personally, I do not find that certain subjects resonate with me, therefor I do not feel it is healthy or productive to expose myself to them at length. This does not mean that I am ignorant, quite the contrary, but what it does mean is that I selectively choose my sources of information, and I do not force myself to endure something that will cause me suffering.
Martyrdom is not a productive use of ones energy. If you are repeatedly exposing yourself to stimuli that you know is detrimental to your mental and emotional well being, you are perpetuating your own wallowing. There are many shadow workers who take on a portion of this path, but if the choices you are making to expose yourself to disturbing stimuli are affecting your physical health – then it is time to re-evaluate your approach. We are all a composite of light and darkness… just as the many beings of our earth can be found in the deepest, darkest depths, as well as in the brightest, constant light. So then do we exist in every nook and cranny of possibility. But we have also agreed to be responsible for ourselves, and in many cases, for the collective, and we cannot positively effect change while wallowing in despair. (I suppose it is possible, but its not a path that I would choose.) Don’t subject yourself to mental and emotional torture, or spend your precious energy “fighting” something which has already happened- something which you cannot change. Focus instead on participating in a proactive way.
This doesn’t mean that I can look at an injustice and validate it, but it does mean that I choose to focus my energy on something that I can do, something that I can change. What injustice can you prevent? What positivity can you nurture?
I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that everything is perfectly imperfect just as it IS. But I also believe that every person has a different role, and has come here for a different reason. I am part of a generation who has come to earth for the specific purpose of facilitating this major shift. I have been participating in this work here on planet earth since at least Ancient Egypt -approximately 10,500 years ago. (See the Edgar Cayce Connection).
Some of us are here to hold the sacred space of divine acceptance, operating from a space of complete non-judgement. Others are here to be system incompatible. We are here to ruffle feathers, to disagree with that which causes suffering, and to journey towards a more holistic dualism than we came in experiencing. The vast array of purpose within our human family is beyond definition… each of us holds a different space, walks a different path, and has a different role to play. And we all need to fulfill that role, as we agreed to do – to keep the Universe in balance and to help the earth and the collective conscious to reach the positive future they are headed towards. There are definitely some observable generational differences in where these tendencies lie, though this is far from absolute.
Life on earth is challenging and immensely rewarding. It is the spectrum of experience here that offers us our greatest opportunity for growth and Universal exploration. The greatest highs and positive experience are directly connected to our lowest and most challenging experiences. We know great joy because we have known great loss. Any person who studies ufo or extraterrestrial research knows that many beings are not reputed to display the depth of emotional capacity that we humans display – though they may be more highly developed psychically or mentally. From what I’ve gathered, this is why it is such a great honor to come here. This is a great place to learn, because it is such a challenging and unique place to be.
A empaths we have agreed to a phenomenal responsibility, and been given a very great honor. We have been given the gift of healing. Simply by being who we are, and by processing everything that comes through our awareness to the best of our ability, we are transmuting the energy of consciousness for the entire planet… for the Universe! We are giant antennae picking up transmissions from many dimensions and directions, translating and disseminating truth and understanding from the higher levels, and cleansing and healing fear from the lower levels. We are literally the anchors between worlds.
There are many great techniques for processing energy and emotion, regardless of where you find yourself in the spectrum of being that we inhabit. I find that music can be very helpful when I am “in it”, as can having raw conversations with the Universe. As long as you are respecting your own well being, and the well being of others, you are free and should express your emotion honestly. There is no reason to pretend to be something that you are not. It is ok to not be ok sometimes.
I recently had a very fulfilling meditation where I proceeded to yell at the Universe in my head. Then I tossed around in bed a bit, cried, and I felt better. Sometimes I write letters to the Universe. Sometimes I watch uplifting television programs, or comedies. Other times I start reading a new book, paint, write poetry (this was my mainstay of emotional processing for years), meditate, stretch or do yoga, cook something, go for a walk outside… the possibilities are endless. Though DEEP BREATHING is an important element of any and all approaches – guaranteed to bring you back down to terra firma. I also suggest dreamwork; dream analysis and keeping a daily dream journal.
I spent many years of my life being diagnosed with everything you can imagine, and convinced that that there were innumerable things wrong with me. Realizing that I was experiencing the physical, mental and emotional manifestations of a cosmic sensitivity changed my life. I was able to claim pride in my experience, to take responsibility for my reactions, to courageously embrace my ‘symptoms’, and to begin the process of nurturing and healing all of the little parts of myself and my personality that needed attention.
When I am having a rough time, I say it. I let those around me know that I am struggling, or feeling challenged, and I tell them that I love them and apologize when I am reactive. It usually has to do with my picking up on the intensity of energy and stimuli around me, but I do not make excuses for my reactions or my behaviors… I embrace the physical processes I may be experiencing. I breathe, and if necessary I give myself a time out, or something to focus on – to engage in a proactive method of healing in that moment, without self deprecating, blaming or giving myself a hard time because I am where I am.
As SARK so eloquently puts in Succulent Wild Woman, sometimes I get really crabby. It’s empowering to say “I’m crabby!”
Don’t run away from your present, embrace it, take responsibility for it – FACE IT. Process it, and LET IT GO.
The fact is, this is where we ARE, individually and collectively, so that means it is time to step up to the plate and get to work. There are many great resources online for people looking for someplace to start or more information; articles on star seeds, indigos, light workers, rainbow warriors, ascension symptoms, empaths, emotional processing, sensory processing, anger management, etc.
(I have been helped recently by Eugene Gendlin’s Focussing techniques.)
You are not defined by your challenges, you are defined by your ability to rise above them. Be kind and patient with yourself and others, and give yourself room to breathe. Empower yourself and renew your faith in our collective potential. Your strength and perseverance are more appreciated than you know.