Minor Irritants, Major Malfunctions
For the last week or so, I’ve found numerous things, both small and large have irritated me. Some have been clear like inconsiderate behavior, but others were a nagging feeling in the back of my brain. As the irritation came to a head in the form of a migraine, I was forced to admit I was reacting instead of responding, and that most of my irritation came from my failure to enforce my own energetic boundaries.
In short, I’ve been absorbing the energy from friends and acquaintances who are struggling with their own reactions to people, things, and circumstances in their lives. The truth is, my own life has been pretty smooth and easy lately. There have been no major upheavals, and in fact, a lot to be grateful for. Still, it took a migraine to make me realize how much I was allowing myself to be bogged down.
Whether it’s a friend with boyfriend problems, or one who has allowed family and friends to push her own boundaries aside; someone who is dealing with unavoidable challenges with kids or aging parents, or someone whose job is getting them down. I may not even know what’s bothering whoever’s energy I’m unconsciously absorbing, but you can bet I know the pressure they’re under is real, and is shoving them into a deep, dark pool at the moment.
Remembering to be the Light Instead of More Darkness
One thing is certain, getting down into that pool with them and wallowing is doing neither of us any good. What they need right now is a healthy dose of my signature positive energy to help them find light at the end of their tunnel. And to my regret, I’ve been failing to provide the light they need.
Like anything else, the first step towards solving a problem is to recognize there is a problem. Nobody spends time looking for solutions to a nothing, do they? For me, recognition leads to the first step in my process: apologies. I don’t mean walking up to everyone I’ve ever wronged and apologizing for my actions. It’s more of an internal process in which I look at what I’ve mishandled lately, and apologize to the energies I’ve been sullying with my own negativity.
Apologies and Forgiveness: A Powerful Combination
Apologies are useless without forgiveness, so after acknowledging where I’ve behaved poorly, I forgive myself. Why? Because I know in my own often clumsy way, I’m doing the best I can with this human existence, and the mistakes I make are part of my learning process. Those mistakes serve as guideposts to how I can do better next time, and how I can improve on or mitigate what I’ve done this time.
During this review process, I see and accept how and why I let my guard and energy down. In this case, it could be a not-so-gentle reminder to ensure my filters are firmly in place, as I’ll soon be putting myself in a situation which is scary on many levels. I’ll be spending a couple of days with hundreds of people I’ve never met and who I will need to interact with on at the very least, a professional level. I will also be exposing the first chapter of “Forgotten Victims” to a complete stranger and must do everything in my power to take their comments as they are given; as a critique of words I’ve put on a page rather than as criticism of me as a person. As those words are intensely personal, this will be a test of my ability to separate myself from those words, if only for a few minutes.
Irritations Manifesting Physically
In the midst of it all, I broke a tooth and needed to find a dentist to fix it before the writer’s conference. Since the dentist prescribed a root canal before the tooth can be fixed (crowned, capped, or whatever the best option will be), I’ll be attending the conference with a still-damaged tooth. Thankfully, it’s towards the back of my mouth. As there is no pain, I’ll just have to do my best to keep the poor, exposed thing clean.
If that isn’t enough to misdirect my attention and get my energies and filters in a tangle, I’m hanging in limbo over a decision which could affect my life for the next few months, or possibly longer. Low energy caused me to put off making some necessary phone calls, delaying things I shouldn’t have, which leaves me playing catch-up this week. However, I remind myself that everything happens at the right time and in the proper order. And by the way, stop beating myself up over what did or did not get done!
At any rate, the dentist recommended by a former classmate turned out to be utterly delightful with a wicked sense of humor (I know, a weird thing to say about a dentist, but he truly mitigates what is typically an unpleasant experience with his somewhat irreverent wit). I was like a kid in a candy store watching his assistant do digital x-rays and even take pictures of my tooth with a pen-sized camera as images appeared on the screen in front of me. Coming from an age when technology was initially non-existent, unless you count black and white TV’s with rabbit ears, I’m utterly fascinated by what’s possible these days.
Irritation Reminds Us to Check in With Ourselves
But I digress. As an Empath, it is essential to check in with myself regularly to ensure the energies and feelings I’m experiencing are my own and nobody else’s. When I fail to do so, I’m reminded, and not very gently. Those Universal head slaps, while often painful, get me back on track towards recognizing what is and isn’t mine, and re-establishing the filters which allow me to do the work I’m meant to do. That work does not include mirroring people’s misery and unhappiness. It isn’t comprised of sympathy and mutual wallowing either.
So for the last couple of days, I’ve used those feelings of irritation in a more positive manner by improving my own mood and shaking off the miseries that weren’t mine to begin with. I’m actually grateful for the reminder because the last event I attended ripped some impressively large holes in my defenses. It took me a good 3 months and help from Energy Worker and Healer, Michelle Evans to get rid of all the toxicity I absorbed by going into a group of strangers without my usual, basic protections and filters. Though this event shouldn’t be as emotionally taxing, you can bet I won’t be repeating past mistakes. I’ll check and re-check filters before I ever enter the venue.
Getting to the point of this post (I’m sure you’re heaving a gigantic sigh of relief if you’ve made it this far), I find a lot of value in checking in with myself when little things start to bother me for no apparent reason. In most cases, I find it’s because I’m taking on too much of the stress and struggle of the people around me. I’m pretty good about filtering out those I don’t really know, but those I do know, and especially the ones I really care about can poke holes in my filters if I leave them unattended for too long.
Sage and Disengage
When all else fails, and I’ve taken care of my physical environment with sage, candles, crystals, and essential oils, it’s time to walk barefoot in the grass, let water pour over my body (a shower works, but rain is better), and meditate with a cat or three curled up in my lap.
These are also the times when I’ll hole up in my house for a few days and have little to no interaction with other people via phone, text, or social media. Nothing is truly wrong. I’m simply making myself right again. I’m fortunate to have friends who understand and wait for me to re-emerge (or write a blog post so they know what’s going on!).
Gratitude, the Ultimate Cure-All
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for little reminders which tell me I need to re-balance my energies and emotions.
- I am grateful for my empathic abilities even when they seem like more of a double-edged sword.
- I am grateful for lessons that hit me between the eyes, and that I no longer react, especially to lessons in trust, by pulling all the way back inside like a frightened tortoise.
- I am grateful for friends who both understand and relate to how I have to navigate the world around me.
- I am grateful for abundance; health, friendship, joy, compassion, kindness, humor, reminders, lessons, challenges, triumphs, dancing, work which keeps my brain strong, people to share with, the comfort my animals bring, getting out of my comfort zone, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author