Roads Less Traveled
“For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length–and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.”
― Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
Coping with Life as an Empath…
In the late 1980s the Spiritual Path I had meandered down for several years went into overdrive. A number of obviously not random events in my life sent me careening through an Awakening that no amount of previous information or knowledge could have prepared me for. During that period, I met, worked alongside and became best friends with two women who were drawn to and had experienced, as I had, events of an esoteric and metaphysical nature. I realize now that it was our combined energy that began attracting even more of these experiences. Around this same time, I was standing in line at a convenience store one day when a woman I didn’t know walked up to me and told me I needed to go to a place called Angels and Dolphins. The name meant nothing to me, but at that time I was quite open to both serendipity and adventure. It turned out to be a Metaphysical book shop and center, located in a quirky beach-side neighborhood. I don’t think I had actually been to a shop of that sort before. Most of my previous reading material, from philosophy to near death experience to channeling, came from my local library shelves.
I was immediately entranced by Angels and Dolphins—savoring the smell of salt air and incense, the shelves with their array of fascinating books, crystals everywhere, tarot cards and magical tools in glass cases. It was Nirvana for a seeker like myself. I was equally taken by the lovely, tranquil lady who was proprietor of this retail treasure trove. Chris was calm, very kind, intuitive and insightful. All traits I wanted very much for myself. When I found out there were classes, I immediately signed up.
One of the two best friends I mentioned before attended with me. The other woman in our little trio was a young mother with a husband who objected strongly to her spiritual pursuits. Actually, all of us had husbands that disapproved, but we weren’t that easily discouraged. That little shop, and the Healing Classes I subsequently attended, changed my life. Our teacher, a Psychic Healer and Chiropractor freshly relocated to Florida became a mentor and good friend. There was no one I met at those gatherings that didn’t influence my life and direction in one way or another. Through those classes, I became a friend to the man who would ultimately become a spiritual teacher, husband, father of two of my children, and finally Partner on this Path of Service we both chose.
That period of my life was a testament to just how quickly and completely things can change. The year or so that followed was the hardest, saddest and most profound I have ever experienced. It was also the most joyous, amazing, miraculous interlude to that point. The woman I had been, or at least thought I had been, was stripped away completely—leaving me reeling but cleansed and renewed. It was during that time that I first read Carlos Castaneda’s books detailing his years with the Yaqui Nagual Don Juan. The quote I use on my front page, and opened this post with, touched me like few words ever have, and remains the model for the life I choose to lead.
Becoming an Empathic Healer
By the time I began functioning as an Empathic Healer, I already had a number of years of Service under my belt. I was finished with my Shamanic Initiation, had served as a teacher, guide and channel in numerous situations and for quite a number of individuals, and felt myself to be fairly adept in many energetic realms. I was not prepared for the experience of the Empath as Healer though. It is one thing to be an Empath, to learn to deal with the sensitivity and challenges it daily presents. It is quite another to link energetically (and voluntarily) with another person, and share their Emotional (and in some cases intersecting with and including the Physical and Mental) Body. It is gut-wrenchingly intimate—often confusing in the extreme.
Since this particular brand of healing involves actually establishing an energetic bond with the subject of the Healing you become, in effect, a Mirror to that person. You feel what they feel, and very often this contact becomes so Personal that it is impossible to tell where you end and this other individual begins within your own psyche. This kind of healing entails sifting through the emotional deitrus of another soul, finding the key to the blockage that needs released and working through it. Working through it means fully expressing whatever deep emotional wound has caused this person to require healing. I have been taught to literally express and re-qualify whatever energy body blockage I find and return it to its source. Now, this may sound very altruistic and noble, but in reality it is excruciating. People are full of emotional garbage that you do not want to Feel or See. And yet, that is exactly how it works.
There have been so many times when I have been in the midst of these Healings that I have wanted to quit, to make all of the pain and the suffering stop. The truth however, is that it is my Gift, that this kind of healing is something that I can do that very few others can. It is also a fact that when you do this sort of healing—when you know a person’s feelings so intimately— you have to suspend judgement and ultimately accept them and love them for all that they are. This healing is the place where Unconditional Love lives.
Until I reach that point where I can love the individual being healed without any reservation or condition, the healing can’t be completed. It is very easy to fall into the trap of judging these emotional gestalts harshly. And in the case of an Empathic Healer this results in self-hate and self-loathing. That’s when, as a healer, it is required to delve even deeper, to find what lies at the root of the perceived negative. Always, that is Fear or Pain. I am yet to encounter anyone that I could not find that spark of Love in and for, though sometimes it is a wrenching and extraordinarily painful search.
Another weird offshoot to Empathic Healing is that the subject I am healing most often comes to Love me at some juncture, and this has caused any number of misunderstandings and complications over the years. When shown a Mirror of what would appear to be their own souls, many see exactly what they want to see in me. They do not know why they feel this love, and more often than not, when the healing reaches a critical (and unpleasant) point, they want nothing more than to distance themselves from me. It can be quite confusing, and at times very isolating.
Alone is Not Lonely
For me, isolation is sometimes preferable. It is infinitely easier to do this healing with someone you are not in constant contact with. However, there do seem to be certain distance constraints, though I am not consciously aware of what these may be. I only know that the subject of the healing usually lives in my vicinity. I have often participated in longer distance healings during times of mass tragedy or disaster (September 11, 2001 and December 26th, 2004 come to mind as the most difficult) but in these situations I was only part of some larger group consciousness or matrix.
The Healing work is easier in many ways these days. At first, I could only form this sort of healing bond with one or two individuals at a time, and must focus on them singly. Now I am capable of healing groups, and more often than not, I am not in very close proximity to them or even particularly aware of the specific individuals. If that were not the case, I am not certain I would still be up to this task. It is hurtful, unhappy work, and I only seldom get to see much in the way of concrete results. At times, when I do see more tangible evidence of the healing, the subject is very often trying to put as much distance between themselves and me as possible. People don’t as a practice usually wear the type of emotional baggage I deal with on their sleeves. More than once I have seen recipients of this healing eventually, after the initial elation of being freed from these imbalances wears off, resume exactly the same patterns that got them into dire straits to begin with. There is no great sense of fulfillment with this work, but that does not mean that I don’t consider it very important.
I will also note here that I do not choose, at least consciously, who is to be healed in this manner. Spirit chooses, out of whatever esoteric criterion is necessary, I suppose. I only know that there is a plan, and that there are ones who need to be healed in order to do their part of it. I am at times allowed to intercede for people I already know and love at times, but this is a special dispensation, not the norm. At this point, I can live with this ability and the emotions that accompany it. I do not spare it a lot of thought at most times. It helps too, that I have expanded my healing practice and repertoire. I have taken the first level of Reiki training and will soon do the second.
What I have often wondered during these past years though. is if anything I Feel is genuine, or if I even generate my own emotional content. Do Empaths have an Emotional Body that functions like most others, or are we the opposite end of the Spectrum from Autistics and others who lack the ability to empathize at all? If I, as an individual, feels for so many others, is there room left to feel for myself? It is a question that has yet to be answered for me, though I can get ready answers to so many others. And another question—am I better off without my own feelings? Perhaps I am more able to experience the Heart and Higher Consciousness without them.
It seems to me that the world is entering into another Spiritual upswelling like it has experienced on occasion during the past few decades , that yet another Cycle of expanded consciousness is at its beginning. The Earth is in the process of a Quickening that will lift her into yet another dimension ultimately, and the Call that has been going out for the past half century is awakening still another generation. Technology will play a vital role in this next cycle. These new Light-Workers are connected by networks not available just a short while ago, and have readily available to them a wealth of information both accurate and not.
My advice to them is to focus on clearing their Energy Bodies, of not letting emotional baggage, whether their own or that of others, keep them in the dark. True feeling comes from the Heart, not from those lower Centers where jealousy, possessiveness, guilt, grief, anger, resentment and hate originate. Whether you are an Empath or not, feel it and let it go. Holding on causes blockages and ultimately, disease.
Learn to Let Go.
I welcome questions or comments. I will answer any that I am able. Blessings to you all. Till next time…