Leave me alone

Leave me alone

Please do not even pick up the phone

To send me a text

Because the next chapter of this

Story of ours

Contains only silence

You know how much you have asked

And how hard I tried

I know you didn’t lie

But truly believed

All of these confusions

Of yours

And I am sick to death of sorry

When nothing ever changes

This hook you cast

It tore my flesh

And I am now grateful

To let the wound mend

Taking the lessons learned

For I have discovered

That the love we seek

Must truly be found from within

If we are ever to find

Any lasting peace in this world

And in the end

The price you asked me to pay

Was just too high

And I don’t have the energy

To lie to myself

Anymore

About the cost of this

Empaths may struggle more in childhood.

I have found doctor Christine Northrup’s book on energy vampires to be a helpful resource geared as it is towards empaths who struggle with being rescuers or with what spiritual teacher Matt Kahn calls an often crippling sense of an ‘inferior ego’. This relates to the fact that often due to sensitivity in childhood such people are not valued or validated and so are more likely to feel that they are less worthy. Empaths often tend to struggle more with issues of self doubt and a shaky or ‘porous’ ego. We learn to get attention by meeting the needs of others, rather than being encouraged to understand and meet our own, often due to parental issues with neglect, narcissism, emotional unavailability or addiction. I am also wondering if growing up in an alcoholic home or home with alcoholism in its background is related to the development of empathy. According to Northrup such children

learned early on that we couldn’t be our true selves. Throughout our lives – because we didn’t understand our empathic nature – we became lint rollers for the unfelt pain of others. We took on stuff that wasn’t our responsibility. And we did everything in our power to uplift others and make them feel better too.

She explains how empaths often twist themselves out of shape to cover three essential wounds : abandonment, shame and/or betrayal. Anxiety pain and sensitivity follow until we learn to understand how we react from these wounds as each has an antidote : the cure for abandonment is commitment to ourselves and our true value, the cure for betrayal is loyalty, we learn the value of this in homes where we didn’t get needs met and we make very loyal friends but the important lesson is to learn to be loyal to our true nature too. The antidote for shame is to come out of hiding and explore what we believe to be deficits as well as learning how to act honourably, for example being honourable may mean sharing our vulnerability with safe others, or at least understanding the part of us that feels vulnerable and re parenting it. It also requires us to act in alignment with our true self and value instead of assuming a shape that others will approve of.

In addition empaths have high sense antennas for the trauma and heart blockages or wounds in parents and often we are the ones tasked with bringing attention to ancestral wounds and healing them. When we do a genogram to understand the ancestral wounds we engage in a process of naming them. For example many of us come out of narcissistically wounded families and may attract narcissists to us but all for a necessary healing purpose, to understand how our unresolved wounded child of the past may be playing out old patterns instead of practising and learning essential lessons of self care.

Empaths often struggle with the feeling ‘there is something wrong with me’ due to empathy not be valued or recognised, but the truth is that our empathy is a super power once we learn to use it in a healthier way. Northrup points out that we will never change our sensitive nature but we can learn to use it as a gift. She claims empaths carry light for humanity but our essential lesson is to value this light and see how it, at times gets obscured by darkness or preyed upon by the dark energy of others who are wounded. We learn over time that we are not responsible for others pain,wounds or darkness, we are ultimately only responsible for our energy field. That said we can share our light with others and be a force for good by knowing who we are and staying true to our authentic selves instead of putting ourselves down or allowing our self to be shame dumped by those who do not understand.

Empaths also struggle with the expression of righteous anger and Northrup’s own experience is that until we learn that feelings such as anger contain important messages for us, we do not fare well. Many of us may have been taught to put our true feelings aside, or if we are picking up on others, may be told we are making things up or imagining them, simply because our antenna is often more attuned. This is different to projecting old pain onto new experiences. Part of healing means acknowledging where our inner child was wounded, at what age and giving that part of us help to release the feelings and correct false things we came to believe about ourselves when we were not showed what David Richo calls ‘The Five As” – Attention ( I see you), Appreciation (I value you), Approval (I accept you), Affection (I love you) and Allowing (I trust you).

Christine Nrthrup’s book is called Dodging Energy Vampires : An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships that Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power

It’s okay : thoughts on laughter, sadness and healing

Its okay to be happy or sad, to laugh or cry and there are times we just cannot laugh and we may be told to lighten up when actually people don’t want to validate how we feel or don’t really know what we may be going through. I love a quote which I think is from Kahil Gibran which says how he hopes for his life to always be filled with both tears and laughter. Don’t get me wrong I know a lot of people are deeply defended against sadness, you know the kind of thing, someone dies and they tell you the person would not want you to feel sad or are in a better place, most probably true but losing someone on some levels is deeply sad, a huge tear and loss. The connection goes on inwardly but the reality is the person is no longer there, and yes we need, in time to accept that reality but depending on the conditions of the loss it may take all kinds of different periods of time to work through that loss and we may actually need those around us who let us cry and will sit with us as we cry and not try to ‘jolly’ us out of it.

In my own family I saw so often how unshed tears went into other directions. I do think its a heroic task at times move on after certain heavy and compound losses and it is such a welcome moment when the time comes when we find ourselves able to laugh, feel joy and smile. I like it when I take my sister out and get her smiling because I know that a lot of her sorrow is over things going wrong that cannot be changed and over things that were deeply hurtful and sad. Those things need validation but laughter brings us some sunshine. Sadly her ex husband often used to use disparaging humour to put her down. Bad things happened to her outside of her power to control at the time and that is the true reality, to gloss over it wont help anyone which is why I worry about the kind of approach they take in the facility that she goes to twice a year where they just give her lectures on anxiety and depression assistance techniques but don’t seem to help her bring out what has gone on over many years and how it feels for her. Its almost as if all she has been through does not exist and no one really wants to address it. At times though when I see her critical side I see how it puts a damper on happiness and I often think that if she could be less formal and more open to be vulnerable and reach out to others she may not have to carry so many feelings of such heavy sadness, and yet her journey is hers, it is not mine to undergo.

I wonder at times in my own therapy sometimes how helpful it is to always be going over painful events too, but I also think that as far as trauma and the major symptoms of a fractured ‘narrative’ or sense of psychological continuity is concerned we do need to go over and over old ground both intellectually and feeling wise. We do this in order to process and come to terms with it. To make sense of just what did happen, how it REALLY affected us and in order to understand how much was and was not within our control, because one major symptom of trauma which comes out of emotional neglect or abuse is that we blame ourselves unnecessarily or fail to take responsibility for our own boundaries or self empowerment.

That said if we are just talking and not feeling, opening and releasing and understanding the deeper interconnection between thoughts and feelings I feel there is a degree to which we can get ‘stuck’ in old territory and this is where laughter and a sense of humour and irony comes in, especially with regards to abuse. While it’s not much fun for others to say mean things to you, dismiss, invalidate or put you down, in the end its only up to you the level of offence you take and how much your internalise and personalise it as an adult. Let’s face it, some people are just downright mean and not everyone has good intentions, some people raise themselves up by putting others down. As a good friend of my ex said to me many years after the relationship was over “Phil used you like a bar of soap to wash his dirty hands clean!’ My friend was great with metaphors in that way.

These days I see I didn’t deserve that level of abuse or unkind treatment while understanding why the things I did irritated him, I know what his wounds are and I accept that it would never have worked without him also taking some responsibility, instead of believing what he told me at the end… that the relationship failing was all my fault. I managed to laugh over some things that happened when dealing with it in a body work session a few months ago because I have made sense of things and worked through much of the pain.

Sadly, humour can also be used to put people down and that is a great point a valued follower made today, and it was something I was thinking about after a long conversation with my cousin’s son yesterday. In his family I see them putting each other down with humour in ways that aren’t really that funny, and at times seem downright mean (and somewhat abusive at times). They don’t seem to be able to show love in a vulnerable way. I remember reading in a dream book about the image of being ‘needled’ how it can be a way for certain family members to empower themselves on other members, or scapegoat them and it hurts more when two or more gang up on the ‘innocent’ person. This kind of humour abuse also ties the victim up in knots because they will then be put down for having a reaction, having no sense of humour or for ‘taking things too personally’. The meaning of the world sarcasm is actually to ‘tear flesh’ and its the psychic flesh of the person that is torn off and it may leave them feeling terribly vulnerable, raw and skinless.

I watch a lot of comedy these days but I don’t like all of it. I know there is heaps of dysfunction out there but at times I don’t see the fun in some of it, that is just me. I got in trouble in my last relationship when I didn’t see it as funny when his friends were laughing about how drunk people had hurt themselves, for example. Having hurt myself in the midst of blackouts so often it wasn’t a laughing matter for me and I don’t see getting drunk and allowing yourself to be hurt as all that funny. But then in a society where the recreational use of alcohol is seen as normal I am often on the outer when it comes down to this kind of thing.

These days I welcome my laughter and my tears equally and its why I love the Kahil Gibran quote. However I also don’t visualise a meaningful life that is only full of heavy gloom, self and/or heaps of outwardly directed criticism or filled up with nurturing feelings of toxic separation, guilt or isolation. When it comes down to it certain thoughts and negative attitudes do generate difficult feelings that may be transformed if we were able to view the situation from a more loving or less wounded and wounding perspective. That is why these days I try to nurture gratitude while not using it to promote denial, it’s why I try to concentrate on what is working or what I can do to improve things, than always concentrate on what is flawed or broken or that which my inner critic tries to tell me was a sign of failure when really it was more about evolution. But at one time I needed to take those things seriously and get all bent out of shape about them and struggle with the impact and all of the complex ins and outs of the situations in life.

I love the AA slogan, we strive for progress rather than perfection, that said I know that there are also times when it is valuable to regress, for growth and life and relationships both inner and outer are not linear but cyclic in nature and energy moves both forward and backward, in and out, and also in spirals in my experience. We get to go over and over old ground many times on this journey of recovery developing over time the capacity to see things from a new, different or more all encompassing perspective.

By his leaving

Dreaming on a north bound plane

Fragments of memory

Fall like scattered rain

Or sparks of ash

That light the wintery frozen winter

Of your dreams

Long before the fall

You decided on this destination

Forgetting what the journey

Would require

And so now if your soul succumbs

To an even deeper sleep

Perhaps not all is lost

For maybe in time

You will reawaken

To a glimpse of brighter possibilities

After the broken moon beam

Lanced the empty spaces of your heart

Left hollow

By his leaving

Laughter is the best medicine : stream of consciousness

This medicine That I most need lately Is laughter And lately I realise how it naturally follows After grief and loss Just as surely as the sun Follows a rain shower That washes the landscape clean There was a time when the mask of doom Was so securely stuck to my face Imprisoning the truth of life’s deeper ironies within And it was then I thought that laughter was only a defence Against a sorrow too impossible for a living heart To fully name or contain But lately I will take the blame For this misconception For sometimes laughter is the only thing That allows our soul to once again Find its wings A way to become airborne After the vale of sorrows has finally set our souls Free again

To start again

Grasp the nettle

Even though its prickles

Sometimes make you bleed

Let the memory of

Your unawakened life

Now always remind you

Of what a loss it is

To always live

Half heartedly

Open yourself to this life

Let the closed petals of your heart

Unfold

And with the coming in of breath

Feel the ocean of tears

Washing you clean

And always remember

It is never too late

To learn a lesson

And

To start again

Hostage (hearts are blind)

Will you

Let your pain

Hold you hostage

For the rest of your life

Will you close again

In the place your heart

Most wants to open

Will you make of yourself

A victim cursed

Or angel blessed

With woundings

Meant for you to rise above

Even as you find the courage to descend

As deeply as you can

In surrender to the pain

Whose truest intention

Is the reawakening of

Wisdom clarity

The dispelling of

Illusions

Lies and a million other

Confusions

Of those whose unawakened hearts

Are blind

And in their unkindness

Transferred their wounds to you

To bear?

Perhaps the deepest wound

Perhaps the deepest wound

Is this

Not to be heard, seen or known

As we truly are

To be led to believe that our way of being

Or thinking

Or feeling

Or relating

Is a mistake

Curse

Bad

Or wrong

Being taught to believe

That we should feel shame

Instead of fully expose our truth

And light

Perhaps the deeper wound

Is to let this continue

To kill us down inside

To not recognise a deeper truth

That who we are is valuable

Has meaning

And that we matter

No because of anything else

But because of who we truly are

The Self? Some reflections

The Self may at times be necessary but at other times best let go of in order to enter into a full relationship with the world and with others. Out in nature I am so often able to leave a sense of self preoccupation behind as I gaze upon the beauty of creation. At times sad or difficult memories or thoughts may come but I can gently recognise them while letting go. I can remember that all the things that happened to my ‘Self’ have now gone by and that even if they leave an effect I can pray for their affects not to limit my life too severely from breathing, opening, living and the loving as well as feeling true joy, peace and contentment.

That said at times as an empathic introvert I find the most comfort just staying quiet and cosy inside my home, reading something that uplifts my spirit or writing and reflecting or meditating, listening to the wind or the silence. This is my ideal way of living as I see it but I would like in the future to reach too for ways to give to others or connect in some kind of service which in and of itself is a way of self forgetting.

It may take time for some of us to find the values we want to nurture and to live by, to recognise those things that are full and those things that are empty of life. I think our spirit is something aside just from a sense of ‘Self’ as such or maybe I just sense lately that my spirit is really a life energy that wants to flow easily instead of remain all blocked or locked up. Beginning to tap into this level of alive energy means that depressive thoughts hold less sway. I can cry over the wounds of the past that hurt me and know they did affect the trajectory of my life but maybe led it onto a different pathway from a purely extraverted outward one. I remember all the happened as necessary to my life and awakening. I reject none of it any more and I feel connected even when it is difficult to connect.

Know God is alive in your heart

Always

Pause and reflect.

You can experience that the whole world is full of God

The Self is hidden in the hearts of everyone,

just as butter is hidden in cream.

This is the highest teaching.

Shvetashvatara Upanishad