I awoke this morning feeling the darkness of the trauma imprint that can grab hold of me, on the difficult days hovering there just beneath consciousness. Asking me today which way will you turn?
Today being my birthday morning felt crystal clear and full of sunshine I was in the light but I could feel the seed of darkness, suffering, illness and pain just below the surface of consciousness. On reflection I realised this is also an enmeshment seed in which I can get tangled up in other’s pain being an empath and also having suffered so much pain myself.
Yesterday I watched a brilliant video on the difficulties of being an empath. In it Lisa A. Romano spoke of how our own childhood emotional neglect and lack of validation can lead us as empaths to become co-dependent on things outside of us that mirror our own wounding and reflect our own unacknowledged or unmet needs. We also have sensitive mirror neurons inside which scan environments we are in and are almost like osmotic sponges in which we absorb and are attuned to the pain, emptiness or distress of others.
Our childhood most likely set us up for this though our inherent sensitive sore spots and voids of emotional attunement also contribute to it. The entire thing was so clearly explained by Lisa who is a Pisces herself and thus ruled by the emotionally absorbent planet Neptune that it was no wonder with my strong Neptune and Chiron in Pisces the video spoke to me. It put so much into perspective most especially the way I relate to family and how others with problems gravitate towards me and then open up from that place of deep suffering. But maybe it is also that the pain in me finds a mirror in their pain which at times can feel overwhelming. In the video which I will link to below Lisa gives tips for getting free of this.
Today I was also thinking about how our trauma implants within us a seed of suffering which can easily turn towards negativity and attract us to pain, making us suspicious or prone to a less positive view. Most certainly it is not negative to be in pain as pain is part of life, it is what we make of our pain that can and does lead to negativity, feelings like we don’t belong, that others cannot be trusted, that life is not safe, that we do not deserve good things, that people are intentionally setting out to harm us. At the same time we need to be savvy for there are times when if we are too open we can attract harm from others.
Its a fine line we tread in being careful not to water these negative seeds while and when our trauma imprints or triggers are provoked. Uncoupling negativity from the pain happens when we face the old trauma with a hand to hold or meet a more positive experience like my Mum and I did the other day in the emergency ward while in the midst of trauma. I keep thinking of the distressed child within us with every sensitive fibre of its being on high alert then being dumped with a shit load of negativity when what that child most needs is tenderness, support, empathy, understanding and soothing.
What we say to ourselves in the midst of pain or stress is so important, an attitude of trust and a sense that good things can happen will dictate often that we can and do see the positive side. Learning that other’s trauma is not ours to take on board is also another way to prevent our own trauma imprints buried deep within being linked into and replayed over and over again. Understanding that as empaths we are vulnerable to a high degree of emotional contagion is also important and this is where Lisa’s five tips can help us from getting enmeshed or trangled up inside another person’s pain or negativity.
Today I awoke feeling much more positive than yesterday when I was having old death thoughts most especially watching Lisa’s video really helped me. I had a tough week and I realised later last night I was just probably tired. This week I got drained by being latched onto by a woman at the dog park offloading about an abusive work situation as well as going through the stress of being with my Mum at the emergency ward for hours and then having to do shopping, come home, make a meal and then take care of Jasper. The next day I was drained by my cousin’s problems. I am beginning to see that self care and a negative or positive frame of mind are closely linked. If I want to stay positive I need to make sure my own fuel tank is full, that I am nurturing myself and not getting too caught up in others or my own problems when the seeds of trauma and pain and suffering and negativity weave dramatic stories that would be best not engaged with.
Deep underneath the pain still lives but there are more effective ways to deal with it. As Lisa reminded me we are each on a spiritual journey and each of us must ultimately learn how to care for and love ourselves. This does not mean we cannot also care for and love others but we need boundaries around that caring. And its not really our job to care for other’s pain if they won’t do it.
I will not stop caring but I do need boundaries so as not to be overwhelmed and drained because as an empath I can and do find that this happens to me a lot. When it does it has a negative impact on my emotional, physical or mental health and I get a warning sign or message from my body to step back, take a rest or disengage. Taking care of me means that I must listen and respond to these messages.