In midst of leading a lecture for a small group of about 25 people, I asked, “How many of you are healers?” and then clarified that “healer” could mean a professional practitioner or caretaker, or even the more casual listener or space holder.
About 2/3rds raised their hands.
I then asked, “Of those people who identify as being a healer, how many of you had one or two parents or caretakers who were emotionally or physically unwell?”
And EVERY hand from the prior question stayed raised.
I then asked, “How many of you are now seeing that you’ve spent your whole life healing others in an unconscious effort to heal your parents?”
Okay everyone, just breathe.
These questions were unplanned. They were coming out of me but didn’t originate within me. [A “Keeping it 100” moment: I never told the attendees that this was unplanned. Silly (little?) ego went right on pretending it was part of the lecture!]
It then occurred to me how much our childhood ideas stay with us through adulthood. If we believed we were responsible for being there, caring for, or even healing our parents—and some are verbally told so—then that becomes our definition of love. And because that becomes the way we give love, we take that out into the world. Some of us even mange to make a career out of it!
Responsibility = Love.
So when I work with professional practitioners or caretakers or the more casual listener or space holder, there is often an identity crisis while we’re healing these emotional wounds (that may or may not have already manifested in physical pain or illness) around feeling responsible for others. The question for them becomes, “Who am I, now that I don’t have this responsibility any longer?”
And the answer I share is, “You don’t have to stop loving. In fact, please keep on loving, but like all things, do so with self-awareness and inquiry. Always ask, ‘Is what I’m doing really coming from true unconditional love, or is it coming from responsibility, or guilt, or shame, or fear?
In other words, ask, “Are my actions being spurred by truth or are they coming from my conditioned belief systems?”
Resentment builds when we act from conditioned belief systems. It is therefore restrictive to your energy flow. You then become weaker, more lethargic, more frustrated and anxious, confused, or even grief-stricken. You can even become more of an energetic or emotional sponge of other people’s energy and “contract” their pain and illness.
So what seems to be coming from love for many of us really isn’t. There is an attachment to an end result, or a particular feeling it produces for you. It is conditional love. But because conditional love is often cloaked in spiritual goodness, it’s hard to see that these very actions are actually detrimental to both you and to others!
We have to remember that each soul has its own path. We can walk alongside them, but not intermingle too much so that there aren’t any boundaries. We cannot expect to thrive if we’re enmeshed with others in an unhealthy way. It’s like trying to run a marathon with people on your back. You’re not going to get very far that way.
So the answer is to consciously examine and ask the self, “Am I coming from my pattern (responsibility, guilt, shame, or fear) or am I coming from my truth (true compassion or the higher self awareness that knows each soul has its own path)?” and then consciously choose a new way of being. Practice living from this place and your energy will expand.
Don’t believe me?
Do a brief visualization of giving love in whatever form that means to you while coming from a place of no attachment to an outcome. Feel into the heart and give for the sake of giving. Picture yourself giving money to the cashier more generously, a hug to someone in need of assurance that they’re not alone, or words of encouragement to someone who tells you that they’re frustrated with life. Do so with no cares about what comes back to you.
How does that feel? If you feel more open and expansive, you did it well. If not, you’re still in fear.
And that’s okay.
Fear is part of life. It’s just a step on your way toward wholeness. And it’s normal to have fear when it comes to the unknown. In fact, you should have fear when it comes to the unknown.
And you can also get through it, like so many have done before you.
Feel into the safety of the truest and deepest layers of the heart. Is there anything to fear when connected to that place? That is the challenge, to connect with each person and situation from a higher knowing. Yes, it takes tremendous effort and practice, and you’re not going to be able to do this consistently at first. But just like learning any new skill—a language or a musical instrument—you have to start somewhere and you have to practice to become fluent.
Many of you will have unconscious blocks to making this happen, even when you know the outcome will be amazing! Just like you already know that meditating every day or eating fresh fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods will be healthier but don’t do so consistently, the ego roars its voice over your truth. And we tend to believe it more than our higher knowing. The ego presents a very convincing argument!
So ask a friend to do this practice with you or contact me for more skills on burning through the resistance. Just like meditating and eating well every day, if you could do it on your own you would have already. It’s okay to ask for support.
“What?” the ego asks, “I don’t need any help. I’m intelligent. I’m spiritual. I’m…”
Actually, the ego is making up excuses. Ask a trusted friend or myself in a private session to hold the space of unconditional love and watch what arises. The best healing is often unplanned, just like the higher truth questions that came out of me at that lecture. In most cases, if done well, you will access a deeper layer of resistance than you ever knew was there. With proper space holding and a higher perspective, resistance melts and excuses fade, and you can finally begin to thrive.