Undoing Some Empath Bullshit

 See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?” ~ Buddha

One of the reasons I began the empath myth-busting task was that as I worked with people struggling how to navigate this way of being, I began to realize that their distinct experiences, fears, and the responses to the fears they’d adopted, were not unique, not occasionally similar but were damn-near identical. The latter were mostly tied to ‘I’m too literal, I can’t possibly be psychic’ and the myths one stumbles upon when googling ‘what is an empath’. Before the Fuckery became my life, I was well into writing a book demystifying all things empath-related. Since that book may not come to fruition, I’m going to bring the drafts here and expand on them as we go.

Another reason I chose to dive into it is because I’ve known since the first time I facilitated the healing work, the first day of my only class, I’ve known that it isn’t ‘just’ a ‘spiritual gift’. It, indeed, may be a gift but it is beyond spirit in that it is observable, measurable, and replicable. Similar effects on physiological and psychological systems can be reproduced by technology. If science could measure the energy that moves from my hands and the physiological response of the client I’m working with…..Actually science can, the tools and technology exist. The previous sentence should probably read ‘If science would…’  Traditional ‘energy’ medicines have been doing this same thing for a long time and have been long studied around the globe.  Does that change it’s often perceived and described spiritual or ‘Divine nature’? Nope. That’s like trying to separate daylight from the sun. It is all of that; divine and holy and inexplicable and measurable and replicable, even by objects associated with what we identify as tangible and far removed from ‘spiritual’ like electrodes or acupuncture needles. I’ll share more on that if there’s interest in it but, for now, let’s come back to the object of my attention–the empath.

For eons, the capacity for feeling the way empaths reportedly do has also been called a ‘psychic’ or ‘spiritual’ gift. It’s not. There’s magnificence to how we’re individually wired and universally interconnected but it’s not magic. Energetic, though? Absolutely!

I feel the need to state here that I’m taking us down the science-trail not to diminish the powerful, often spiritual, nature of energetic work. I’m steeped in it, led by it (or rather, it’s got me by the nose pulling me along like Toucan Sam), believe in it, and am alive because of it. I have visions of the future,  speak in ‘tongues’ in ceremony and have been prophesied. People I work with experience the Christed heart merge with theirs, out of body experiences and, as one man put it, “I just met God.” I work with Ancestors, angels, invisible animals and plants, and other beings every day. I’ve seen them, am touched by them, have great respect for and receive responsibilities from them. They are those with whom I have the most intimate relationships with. However, it is time to put to rest the fears that have led most of us away from these kinds of relationships. I want to demystify the things that frighten people into disconnection from themselves and their communities. It’s time for truths that offer new explanations and stories and room for growth of our greatest potential–our relationship with each other.

Before we explore some research together, I want to create something of a framework that begins with a story. The complaints I receive from empaths I initiate work with remind me of one traditional Buddha story. Sakyamuni was born into a royal and wealthy family who, at the time of his birth, received a prophesy that he was born to be either a great spiritual leader or a great warrior. His parents attempted to prevent the former and cultivate the latter by keeping him ‘protected’ from the larger world. He was reportedly confined within the castle walls while the lame, sick, homeless and dead were banished from within sight of those same walls. All of this to keep young Saky from being aware of and responding to those suffering around him, to be compassionate toward them. Then, like any self-respecting youngster who felt confined, he snuck out.  His initial exposure to the realities of the world from which he’d been protected, and his courage to walk away from the throne, have brought us some of the greatest teachings.

For me, the ‘feeling too much’ and ‘anxiety’ that is nearly universal to those empaths I’ve been connected to is directly connected to their deepest ownfineself, trying to sneak out. To emerge, engage, and respond. And not knowing what the fuck to do about it.

As we meander this together, through story and science, I’ll share what to do about it to make life more fluid, satisfying, sane and hearted.  One blog post at a time. Join me. Ask questions. Do the homework. Bitch about it. But be curious and invite some of the questions I offer into your own life.

If you are new to my empath myth-busting, start here:  Myths of Being an Empath, Some Empaths are just Ath-holes, Traits of an Empath and The Importance of Being an Empath.  The most recent is here: Empath Bullshit

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Oh, My Darling Empath

You have no idea

You have no idea your desire to retreat is merely your fear of meeting yourself in another. You have no idea that your fear of another is merely your fear of intimacy with the one you’ve separated yourself from. Your avoidance of the stimuli that feeds your soul has led you to substitutions that are no substitution at all.

You feel because there is no separation. There is no separation. You want there to be, though. You feel the reality will split you open and the consequence will be great pain. The opposite is true. Your skin may help hold your body-bits together but it is not the thing that keeps you apart from that which you keep seeking. It is not the boundary you want it to be. You have no boundaries and there is no such thing as ‘feeling too much’, you just don’t know that yet.

You are meant to feel and those feelings are more than simple resonance. And you can learn to feel and express them, with ease and grace (mostly). You need to retrain your mind and body. And it is so, so simple. Fear not. You know more than you think you do and for decades your heart has been trying to lead you into that way of being and you’ve fought it.

This does not have to be a struggle unless, of course, you want it to be. The pain your body is experiencing is because it has been inundated with energies you have not taught it how to deal with. Because you’ve not been taught how to navigate this beyond the myths that have perpetuated fear, you have inadvertently deadened your senses and self. That anxiety? It can be managed as it vanishes.  Your ‘auto-immune’ disordered body can be re-ordered and brought back into it’s natural state but you may have to work at it. Part of the process is unlearning most of what you think you know; language, movement, food, relationship, boundaries. Though it is so, so simple, for many it is not easy.

We have forgotten over time that this way of feeling, this physical and emotional experience of connection, is a natural state. More than a ‘psychic gift’, it is hard-wired into our very being and, for some is our very essence.

The differences between how people before us experienced this connected way of feeling and now is that there are more and different energies with which to develop relationship (because that is exactly what this is about–being in relationship to all things).  In the not-so-distant past we weren’t dealing with chemical cocktails as food or in food, electricity corralled, conduits that move electrons in a concentrated and focused fashion (that we refuse to separate ourselves from as if it is the God we’re seeking); noise didn’t come from speakers or endcaps at Walmart. The relationships were deeper, in part, because there was limited distraction and we recognized our interdependence, our relationship with all things. Our Age of Enlightenment and growth from the Industrial Era have wrought consequences that bring us to where we are now.

The time has come now to relearn that way and expand it into our time and environment. If you’ll let me, I’ll walk you through the process step by step. However, I’m no longer in the ass-kicking job. You either want it and are willing to do the work or you’re not. You get to decide.

Reach out.

 

 

The Love Lobotomy

“In a society at war with man and nature, a religion of peace and love might be fantasized into creed, rituals & otherworlds while it’s professed adherent continue to live [in a way that doesn’t support it]. ~ Jim Corbett (Goatwalking)

“Everything is Love” is a mantra that’s begun to grate on my nerves.  It’s achieved a cult-like status with millions of people, variations shared ad nauseum, memeified with pretty pictures via social media.  It’s surpassed ‘group think’ guided by a guru (or two) and segued into a something resembling mass hypnosis & contagious complacency. Except the behaviors we exhibit in oversharing online are not mimicked in the physical, public space.

Second-hand thought (see Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead for a good definition & description), is, essentially “thought based not on direct sensory experience but on assumptions, teachings passed down by others.” It’s a lot like sensory deprivation.  Intentionally, albeit not consciously by the consumer, stunting our vision and growth.  We lose creativity, the knowing of real connection, openness, access to all that surrounds us–like a lobotomy.

To me, the notion that “Everything is Love” is nothing more than a panacea–a proverbial pill–that inhibits real exploration of self and the world, an experience of the interconnectedness of things within and without us.  Especially in this New Age/transmodern melange of metaphysics, self-help and spiritualit-y & -isms framed loosely by interconnectedness, by being One.

I mean, we all want to acknowledge being connected to things that feel and appear loving, loveable, lovely.  However, the notion of being connected to infanticide, fear, rage, paraphilias, betrayals, massacres, starvation, torture, other forms of cruelty (never mind recognizing our responsibility for and in response to those things) or perceived negative behaviors & actions with which the world turns isn’t our cup of tea.

To me, the over-simplistic notion that every thing (think about it: there are somewhere between 3 and 100 millions species–the specific is certainly arguable amongst most scientists–but there are about 4000 species of aphids alone) is any one thing is what contributes to what I call contagious complacency.

All of life and the myriad of systems that create and move it are intricate, inter-related and so complex that most cannot ‘see’ or sense it, much less grasp it intellectually or logically.  I don’t understand the need or desire to simply things in such a manner.  I know that slicing and dicing things into smaller bits makes them more digestible but when ease of digestion is passed as universal truth and eaten up, well…

There is no shortcut.  There may never be a way to describe the wholeness of life but to ignore the dirty, nasty, funky, skunky, for the light and airy (or ambiguously defined ‘love’ that’s not that love) does the every one and thing a great disservice.

Love is a magnificent foundation for every being. I’d say it is the foundation from whence we begin, initially as much of us as star dust.But it requires more action than ‘share’ or ‘like’. Rather than being shelved in a personal museum, love requires conscious engagement, even if it is with or for ourselves. That matters, too.

Don’t send love. Love. Create it, nurture it. Say it!  Say it to yourself! Practice in front of the mirror until you’re comfortable with. Accept it when it comes your way-without judging it’s deliverer or your perceived unworthiness. It doesn’t need to be held tenderly or meticulously folded into a small corner of your world, our world. It is a powerful force beyond your fear of feeling. You’ll never understand the Everything or the One without it.

 

Lonely

The loneliness is immense,

rounded, like a halo.

Maybe it’s holy, too.

 

I wonder if it spills

from me like

the milk from the moon.

Lighting the way, maybe

a companion of itself.

 

It’s lighter than

the Other responsibility

but somehow bigger.

 

Not peace-less yet

not a piece of anything

puzzled or partnered.

 

I wonder if the moon gets lonely.

I Saw You at the Doctor’s Office

I saw you at the oncologist’s office. Even before then, for weeks, I’ve seen your brain, the invader and the T-cells fighting it. I’ve felt your fear. In fact, had it myself when I thought my brain was trying to tell me that I had the cancer.

I heard the words, “It’s grown” and knew what they meant. I felt your rage–at the impotence and unfairness of it–and saw your desire to throw those fucking medical files and binders and shiny tools across the sterile room; for it to rise to meet the chaos inside.

I can help. Reach out. There is no judgement here.

“Empath Bullshit”

“Empath Bullshit”

That’s the Google search that brings the most people to this blog. I’ve addressed some of the bullshit that’s out there about the nature of being an empath, I try to assure folks that having the capacity to feel the emotional energies of others is real. It is real, it is purposeful, and has little to do with one’s beliefs, identification as literal, logical, psychic or spiritual.

 

It is the most visceral expression of our interconnected nature and the presence of love.

It seems important to put this out there again:

There is so much craptastic stuff that’s being cut & pasted into ‘facts’ about what being a psychic empath is & how to be one that I decided to address it rather than keep bitching about it.  The myth-based framework   perpetuates the misplaced ideal of empath as an overly sensitive soul, unable to move through the world without fear, hiding behind barriers to others and other, frankly, cowardly crap.

Once we move past the fluff-n-stuff we can get to the nitty gritty of what being an empath is all about.  And the significant roles we play in leading & guiding others.Although empaths have the capacity to do so, being an empath is about a whole lot more than feeling other people’s emotions & other energies.  It is about our connection to others, about engaging with others openly & honestly.  However, it’s even deeper than that.  Before we can connect and engage with others at something more than a superficial level, we first must be able to do that with ourselves.  Accept that responsibility first, then accept the responsibility for others.

Because that’s what this stuff is about.   Being an empath is about others, about what we emit & how we transmit as much as the manner in which we receive.   We’re not meant to feel others for the sake of the feeling alone.  And, usually, the gift of ’empath’ isn’t a stand alone.  It’s more often than not accompanied by a purpose, passion, job, direction, gift, talent, desire that allows us to turn that ‘feeling’ into life-changing connection to a person or group of people.  That‘s what this is about.

To be an empath, an empowered one–one that comes from a place of strength, compassion, knowing & readiness for action (which sometimes means not acting at all)–takes the willingness & capacity to know ourselves intimately.  To recognize aspects of ourselves that we’re often not comfortable doing–particularly those aspects that are related to emotion.  Almost always, those emotions we’re not comfortable with are grounded in relationship to another person or a group of people.   For many that has been coupled with being taught or teaching themselves not to express those emotions and there has developed a fear of both.  And it’s time to get past that.  This is where the rubber not only hits the road but moves and creates change for individuals and communities.

There’s always been a mystery connected to psychic phenomena.  Ideas of what it means to be an empath have been as twisted as many other things related to the unseen and unknowable.  But, in my experience & knowing, past all the bullshit and blather, the role of an empath is very simple: it is about truly connecting with other people and creating change within ourselves and for others in our own unique way.  When you choose to do so, your world will open up in ways you’ve never had the capacity to even imagine.

The Gidding by T.S. Eliot

God at the Kitchen Sink

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Part V

What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with…

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