On letting people suffer (as an empath and energy healer)

sufferingI can’t breathe; something seems to be sitting right on my solar plexus and sucking the juices out of it. It seems almost nauseating. At the same time, my thoughts are obsessed, keep circling around a client that I’m going to work with later this week.

I’ve done an “energy scan” on this person before, and felt a similarly oppressive, depressing, despondent, clouded energy. In fact, when looking for the state of their energy body, initially I didn’t see anything – except a white, thick, milky fog covering up almost everything, the entire torso at least. The fog at the same time seemed to be solid – pretending to be fine and vague, but actually being hard and obstinate, like a shield or shell that is keeping this person’s energy separate from the outside world.

There seemed to be a general disorganisation, but also heaviness, slowness, confusion, diffusion about their system. Apart from the fog, the second major feature that attracted my attention (actually it was the first chronologically) was a thick, tarry, sticky, heavy, gooey black mass at the front and base of the neck. When I “touched” it (with my attention and hands), not only did it “stick” to me; it also started an “upload” of a rapid stream of painful, old, vulnerable emotional content (the general flavour being one of humiliation, self-rejection and soul-squashing).

The third impression (the only thing I really got to feel about their energy body underneath that shell) was a stagnated, unhealthy feeling in the digestive tract.

I felt completely crappy and disconnected myself before the official end of the session. I mentioned my observations to the client and found out they had a history of tumours and surgery in the “black” tarry location. The client didn’t really make sense of the fog. However, I feel that from their voice on the phone I could tell what it was: depression. A serious one. I also learnt later that the client was bulimic.

* * *

When I put all this together, I basically freaked out.

I have myself suffered from an eating disorder for about ten years (knowing the suffering it carries and how much it takes to get out), and I know what depression feels like. I also felt the disorganised character of that clients energy, and it seemed unbearable to me.

When I learnt she is bulimic, I felt like I need to help her now. I need to tell her absolutely everything I have learnt about dealing with eating disorders from a nutritional, psychological and spiritual perspective now. I need to somehow do an instant brain data transfer.

Also, I need to get that white, heavy, suffocating thing (that almost felt like a creature with its own will) off her now. Cause it’s unbearable, it’s like living death. I can’t stand it. How can she even survive that?

I couldn’t find peace. I recommended that she see a psychotherapist specialising in eating disorders, which she refuses to do (and instead is checking out every other method, energy healing included).

Over the following days I realised that my energy is occupied by her. As if it’s an emergency. As if I can’t find rest before this thing is resolved, immediately, soon. I even found myself offering her an earlier appointment because I just wanted to be through with part of the healing as soon as possible to gain at least some peace of mind.

At this point (at the very latest), I realised that something is wrong here. I feel drained, can’t relax, and keep thinking about that person. I can feel that’s wrong. But why is it happening and how can I stop it?

* * *

Battling with this for day or two, trying to dissociate from it, being unable to, still feeling the pressure on my solar plexus, being unable to breathe, feeling sick – trying various esoteric methods like “cord-cutting” and cleansing my energy field and getting the heck out of her energy field, etc. to no effect – my thoughts returned to the source.

I remembered the first Noble Truth of Buddhism, namely that life is suffering (or, due to its nature being change, it inevitably includes some). I’m not a Buddhist scholar and in no place to offer an exegesis, but my understanding of this truth has been that (obviously) not every single thing in life is suffering, but that suffering is an essential, non-accidental part of life. It isn’t a crack in the matrix; it isn’t a “mistake” that needs to be fixed immediately; it isn’t an unacceptable, unforgivable, irredeemable error. Instead, it is somehow organically, intrinsically part of the process that we call life.

This is of course a philosophical point that one can argue about endlessly. For most of my life, I didn’t accept this truth – I treated all suffering that I encountered as a “mistake”, as a grave error, as something that “shouldn’t” be there, as something that I can’t accept. I can’t accept being around it while it’s there. I can’t focus on doing other things while I can see it – because it shouldn’t be there, in some very absolute sense. So I have to either pretend it’s not there, or do whatever I can to make it go away.

As an empath, my intuitive response is taking on the energy of the suffering person, trying to deal with their issues for them.

That is of course the shortest path to burnout and insanity, given the quantity of suffering that is real in this world, and given the sensitivity of an empath to detect even its subtler forms (e.g. hidden traumas in the people walking by).

* * *

Reflecting on my issue with this particular client, I realised that I have been untrue to the first Noble Truth. For some reason, the mere existence of her form of suffering, in her (not even – any longer – in me) is unacceptable to me. The mere thought that it exists and continues existing is unbearable to me.

However, the truth is that I am not God (unless perhaps in a pantheistic sense, in the sense that everything and everyone is). I am not here to decide what should and what shouldn’t exist; what’s allowed to arise and what’s to be wiped out at all costs now. Because I can’t bear to look at it.

I understood that my resistance to the mere existence of a particular form of suffering is the source of my own psychic (and physical, a faint shortness of breath and nausea) suffering here.

But it exists. And if I try to wipe out every form of suffering that I happen to see (including with my psychic senses) and that drives me crazy, I will drive myself crazy much faster and without an ethical basis for it (again, assuming I have judgment as to what should and shouldn’t be).

Again, I don’t mean this in a sense that one shouldn’t help people – of course where possible and wanted that’s desirable. I’m talking about absolutely rejecting the mere existence of something so deeply that it becomes paralysing and requires one to either reject or fight reality.

So my meditation for this week is witnessing this particular type of suffering, without rejection and fear. Accepting the fact that it exists and that it may exist for a certain time. And that I can still live my life while it exists, next to me so to speak – it being only one of the myriad unfathomable and mysterious things that exist.

This is hard – it requires metabolising some amount of my own pain, and dealing – again, yet another time – with the fundamental question that the Buddha (and many other others I am sure) spent his life researching, what is suffering, why is it here, and what are we to do about it?

But this question has to be dealt with from a place of acknowledging reality as it exists and being able to exist with it; being able to shake its hand with dignity at least for the brief moment that it exists.

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4 thoughts on “On letting people suffer (as an empath and energy healer)

  1. What caused the bulimia for one of the clients? Did they talk about it? What are the triggers surrounding it?

    Some clients in my experience will struggle with body healing initially, because it’s something new and unexplored, it is satisfying but has to be taken at they’re pace, but they have to be able to trust the therapist, also what can hinder the process is unresolved issues between two body energies caused by an external factor.

    Some clients if not careful, can absorb too much, it’s very distressing if the therapist begins to take on from both at the same time, it can have several mental, emotional and psychological triggers, we all need some form of healing but have to know how to juggle and Balance and keep the cycle going. Yes there will be mishaps, but it seems this client needs treatment for what’s caused the initial problem on top of factors that were already an issue, and those buried but not addressed. If that isn’t tackled one may continue to absorb negativity, breed and bounce off escalating the issue.

    But that’s not to say it was a bad session, it means we’ve found something that needs to be resolved, something within the roots before we can get to the surface and more gratifying.

    For example I did a sole energy reading without any external material or information, as my hands initiated the process, like your client, there was some pleasure and relief, but it was alien to them, this client needed emotional attention and affection, they were scarred by an intruder energy and need reassurance this intruder won’t take away any type of attachment. This is perhaps the second time the session had to come to a halt.
    *But as a therapist I can’t go and try and resolve it on my own, I have go back to my therapist who is there to offload onto to ensure I have a clear state of mind before the next session. If my therapist isn’t available to me I have to return to resources that can offer some guidance on the chakra points, and understanding either from a sympathetic, or empathic view point, what my own perception of this client may be, even if dislikes, cannot allow my personal dislike and judgement to interfere with what they need to heal.

    Another example I did a physical reading and an external energy attached also, I had to now absorb from both energy fields mentally and emotionally prepare all whilst avoiding being taken over by the emotional and external state of the intruder energy.

    The physical I can handle, and is no trouble at all, cognitive behaviour therapy, same one applied in a similar eating disorders case conditions the mental state. The external energy, it was a wow moment, I had no idea it was also affected in the way it began to manifest. All I sensed from it was wanting a mental block of what it was perceiving and emotionally it felt it should be the one being serviced.

    Love and peace

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    1. Hi Flower, thanks a lot for sharing your experiences.

      Yes, I am still waiting to see how doing energy work on this type of problem will work out. I don’t know what’s the cause of the bulimia – at least I deliberately didn’t ask; this is a client who explicitly refuses to see a psychotherapist because they claim that “talking won’t help” (I quote them because the session was in another country and language, so I don’t think anyone can identify the person).

      I wasn’t sure if this can work at all without doing some serious psychotherapy, but since they insisted, I decided to try. From the “scan” I did on their energy body I felt an extreme build-up of energies related to humiliation, being intruded upon, belittled, being shifted out of one’s authority / personality, and I sensed the depression; from my own experience with an eating disorder (having had one) I just “guessed” that eating is an escape for this person from sensing all this.

      So I decided to just go and try “cleaning” some of it out, i.e. I spent an hour essentially taking out various unpleasant things that seemed to have lodged in the energy body. There was no end to it (I stopped after the hour because that’s the session length we had agreed on).

      The client relaxed deeply and fell asleep, then messaged to say they felt much lighter, a “lightness of being” the next morning. Let’s see where it goes from that – if it’s a momentary relief and the psychological patterns will bring the crap back soon enough, or not.

      are you a therapist in the sense of a psychotherapist?
      concerning supervision, i am hoping to find someone who can actually supervise me with this kind of energy work and also can teach me how to handle my extreme sensitivity (which includes seeing things over distance and other weird stuff). because of how and where i was, i’ve had to help myself for the most part and started sharing somewhat with others when someone explained me that the ways i’d come up with to help myself were forms of energy work.

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  2. HI, yes, people with bulimia, in this case, struggle to deal with emotion and external stressors, because they were unable to handle the stressors and unable to find anyone to confidently share theyre battle with the eating disorder, in order to come to some resolution, its sometimes associated with the theory that if one cannot control external circumstances or are made to feel, control/authority/rights are being taken away it becomes a repetitive cycle of ‘stuffing emotions’ into food and then purging to release, understanding the chemical reaction that takes place, helps better understand this process and why it becomes an addiction. release was both in the sense mental, emotional and physical cleansing, that this became an unhealthy coping mechanism. however this is not the solution to problems. bulimia isn’t something one decides to just incorporate in they’re life, many triggers have to have caused it, depression plays a part, either prior or during the battle, even whilst seeking therapy and learning to adjust to life without being triggerd.

    another client who isn’t bulimic, but a HSP, has recognised the frequency of a sin that is generated when one indulges in this, (if religion is something you believe in); this is sensed when around people in presence or afar, by the one committing, indulging, preaching and making free use of, its like a spiders web that is interlinked. it could be of past/present, it isn’t confined to gender, in this person’s religion sin is the same in weight regardless of gender; though the frequency will vary depending on the natures of this sin as it can vary on the genre of sin spectrum. although they are sensitive to it, and try they’re level best to refrain from indulging in it, they cannot stop others, instead they have to find ways to shield from it. it can trigger a nauseating feeling in the solar plexus, now if we’re around people that indulge in sin, we cannot begin to judge, light work has to take place, making a prayer, if there is any genuine light in terms of sincerity in the prayer, they will gradually go through a process of they’re own light being diminished by the sin, then the light will be intercepted by others emitting the same, minor or greater frequency of the sin, if the healing is to have any benefit from the lightworker and the people, environment, god consciousness, they are surrounded by, they will go into a state of depression, if exposed, attacked and judged for the sin, this is how higher powers deter the individual from the sin, by intervention. they are gradually forced the weaning process to come away, but the individuals own desire has to be there to despise the sin, and continue they’re light work. in helping themselves and others.

    This HSP client had used purging to eliminate the negativity they absorbed, but if one is not careful and want to indulge in a sin, it can become a problem because what happens when you have found a way to balance right and wrong? you continue, at what cost? possibly becoming bulimic, why? because 1) the mind and body will get used to the process and re-condition itself to believe and harbour unhealthy coping mechanisms in a vicious cycle of reward and punishment. (pavlov’s dog).

    sorry for the lengthy post!

    Ps feel free to email me, if need any further understanding

    love

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  3. wow. i am so relieved to be reading this tonight. even reading the title gave me a little lift of my spirits, and reminded me of when i was struggling through acupuncture school, and asking my trusted mentor, but who am i to take people’s pain away? and he didn’t know what to tell me. i don’t think he understood the question. actually, i don’t think _i_ understood the question. the question i needed to ask was more like the question you are contemplating here. i had no idea the scope of the suffering i would witness in the people around me, didn’t yet know (thought i was beginning to sense) how quickly and completely it would burn me out to follow my empathic intuitions and take all the suffering i could away from people. i wish my mentor had said, don’t. stop. it’s not possible. let’s sit together and be with the suffering for a while. eventually the urgency will settle and you’ll see your way, maybe you’ll see what’s yours to do. for now don’t take anything from anyone. this is what it is.

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