This week marks Chakra Center’s third birthday. And it got me thinking.
When I started this blog, I thought it was to help others. I had no idea it would be one of my greatest tools for helping myself. Through all the classes, articles, and intuitive readings I’ve done, I realize all along I was learning about me. I saw my shadows as well as my light. My poor boundaries (that I thought 8 years of therapy had cured me of) became glaringly obvious. My tendency to want to fix people made its thrilling debut. My inner critic, I discovered, was alive and well. Insecurities crept into nooks and crannies, and old fears reared their ugly heads.
But I also rediscovered parts of my heart I had long since buried. I was reminded of my endurance, realized my commitment to self-love and growth, and discovered how genuine my desire to help others thrive and feel empowered actually was. And I finally understood the saying “If you want to master something, teach.” Knowledge isn’t enough – it’s practice that makes perfect.
In the early days of blogging, I attracted a lot of wounded/broken people. I thought I could somehow fix or serve or help, but often I simply reinforced their desire to be rescued. And while I know some of them were inspired and encouraged – changed even, I ultimately felt unbalanced and wondered how I could possibly teach or talk about empowerment when I myself still felt completely drained by giving. I struggled finding my authentic voice, and felt, once again, like I was doing a great job creating an idea of what people wanted me to be, but still, deep down, remained unknown and unseen.
So I stopped blogging. I stopped teaching classes. I stopped doing readings. And I looked within. I began to consciously and consistently use the tools and techniques I was so good at teaching other people, but felt I didn’t need myself. I wrote only when I felt inspired, and I let myself feel everything that came up – which was mainly disappointment, self-loathing, and fear.
Despite my attempts to connect with others like me, I felt more alone than ever. A dark night of the soul, perhaps? An ego death? Both and neither are true. I think it was a cycle of reevaluation – we all go through it. So much of my life was spent trying to please others, that Chakra Center ended-up becoming just another extension of that same pattern – a pattern, ultimately, of self-denial. But it has been my greatest teacher, it has been the catalyst for immense growth, and I am proud of what it is, and what it is becoming.
I’m still learning about self-love. And I’m doing better. Slowly, but inevitably, I’m regaining my sense of self…finding my voice – learning, for the first time, really, that my needs matter. I no longer have to pretend I don’t have needs, or that they are small or insignificant. Because the truth is, I have a lot of needs – and they DO matter. I’m reminded of Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, watch over the heart, for it is the well-spring of life.”
Self-love allows the nourishment and energy we need from Creator to flow freely into our lives. Without Source energy, we have nothing to give and the only way to survive is to become a vampire, or a blood doll – getting the next fix from those who will drink, and tell us how amazing we taste. Co-dependency at its finest.
I’m not doing that anymore. I don’t need others to tell me I’m a good friend, a good listener, or a wise guide – I need friends who see me and love me right where I’m at – even when I’m empty and scared and have nothing to give. I finally love myself enough to let more friends like that in, and I’m lucky to say I have a few. I cherish them.
Despite my impatient tendencies, I realize I’ve been growing/changing/evolving all along. It’s easy to get down on myself when an old habit or relationship dynamic pops up. And because I am self-critical to a fault, (and on the lighter side, introspective) I’m always looking for areas I can improve, but often miss what beautiful miracles have already taken place (slowly, quietly…unnoticeably).
That’s what I want to talk about. The miracle of simply living and growing and allowing. The amazing strength it often takes just to get out of bed each morning and breathe in-and-out all day long. Being a human is no small task. It takes bravery. Courage. Power. And despite the dark side of empathic abilities, (the trauma, the setbacks, the potency of feeling everything to the extreme), I still chose to get up every day and live – however half-heartedly, and I’m proud of that.
I chose to drop the self-judgment and simply love myself – as best I can. And better still, I’m learning to allow the Universe to love me — to feed me with that nourishing life that sets my heart free. I chose to stop treating myself (and everyone around me) like problems to be fixed. There is nothing “wrong” with any of us. We’re just living and doing our best. God bless us for that.
I don’t want to fight the world any more. I don’t want to save or fix anyone. This reality works exactly as it is meant to: a training ground for growth and expansion – where we get to experience ourselves in every context imaginable. We see what we are and what we’re not. We test our strength and our ability to love. We observe how we respond to every sort of adversity. It’s intense. Sometimes ruthless. But it’s also full of incredible magic, waiting, as Yeats said, for our senses to grow sharper.
I simply want to LIVE and experience – allowing the best of me to come forth, and learning patience and forgiveness when the worst of me shows up. I want to share my journey with others, simply because I know how it feels to be alone (for an empath, there is no scarier place to be).
And we’re NOT alone. Let’s see each other – look each other in the eye, not with the disempowering message of “you need me, let me fix you,” but with the transformative power of “I see you. I feel you. You’re not alone.”
That is, after all, what empathy is all about.
I want to be THAT miracle.