I had been experiencing a period of great gratitude, appreciation and love. Setting healthy boundaries, eating good food, spending time with friends and using my time to read and listen to inspiring material, I was flying high. Treating myself to regular acupuncture and talk therapy, I was allowing myself to receive support and enjoy my life.
I went to a party and ran in to a friend I haven’t connected with in awhile. I shared with her, upon her asking, that I was great and really enjoying life.
After listening to me, when I inquired about how she was, she proceeded to unload all her upset, misery and disappointment with life. I found myself shocked at the way she was speaking. She blamed Boulder, the town in which we live, blamed the people who live here, calling us all “Yuppies” and she proceeded to complain about much of what she was experiencing.
I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. I offered the only thing I could, in that moment, my truth. I told her that she had just used the power of her words to create that horrible story that didn’t feel good to anyone and perhaps if she wants to feel well, she could tell a different story. I invited her to begin being grateful.
She burst into tears. I held her. Then, we were interrupted.
Noticing her across the room, I felt my impulse to take care of her. When what I really wanted to do was not be around her at all, I sought her out and invited her into my home. After all, I have so much and feel so blessed, certainly I could share.
I went home. The zest for life I had felt for weeks was gone. Tired, lacking in motivation and sad, I noticed myself feeling guilty for having so much. I began to feel disgusted. Repulsed. At myself. Suddenly, the abundance I had been grateful for was now something I felt ashamed about. Shame for my having so much in the face of her apparent lack.
The next morning I felt nausea. I thought I was going to vomit. I also had that tight neck pain and ache behind my left eye that only comes when there is something I am ignoring or repressing.
I went to my therapist that night. I’m confused, I said, I had this interaction and ever since I am in a funk. Seems silly to me that it could affect me so much. She said, it triggered you, deeply.
In her office, I began to be with the aches in my body and get curious about the messages. I realized that in the conversation I had with this woman, I had tightened up, held my breath. Contracted.
That’s when my habitual pattern emerged and I felt compelled to care take her.
My truth: I was angry. I said to my therapist, I think I am angry with her for being so ungrateful. She said, Not to mention judgemental! She insulted you and your lifestyle!
Hearing that from my Naropa trained therapist, who I deeply respect, gave me pause. So often, I default to I did something wrong, or I could make it better, be understanding and compassionate. That’s only translated to me being a fantastic doormat.
I need to pay someone to remind me that I have boundaries, and choice, and if people just dump their feelings and judgements without thinking, perhaps it’s insulting. Perhaps it’s not my problem and doesn’t have anything to do with me. Maybe I don’t like that. Maybe I don’t like them. Do I want to be around people who are complaining, ungrateful, and judging my hometown and everyone in it? NO!
I don’t have to like you. I don’t have to be around you. I don’t have to care take you and I don’t have to feel bad because your life sucks. Sometimes, I mistake compassion for thinking I need to hang around and wallow with you.
What I learned I can do next time is say, Wow, sounds like you are really struggling. I am going over here. Bye.
This is an edge for me and the next step in my evolution. I realize now, it is time for me to begin to take better care of myself and remember that other people’s feelings are not my fault.
This was all reminiscent of when I was young and people were negative in the face of my joy or excitement. That’s why it triggered me so.
In her book, Angel Words, Doreen Virtue looks at the shape of words on graphs. Those words that are said joyously, and are positive words, have large, beautiful shapes. Negative words are small and literally offer very little in the way of frequency.
Additionally, medical and behavioral-science studies show the impact of words. An American medical anthropologist named W. Penn Handwerker correlated negative words heard in childhood with depression and development of serious illnesses and addictions. “Handerwerker says that brain development is altered among children who are exposed to verbal violence. Clearly, negative words can hurt. Another fascinating study show that reading negative words can trigger the brain’s pain centers.” (Taken from Angel Words)
I believe the nausea I felt was due to what I had ingested, via my ears, from that woman. My diet has been so clean, I eat so well, and there was no reason for me to be nauseous except for what I heard her say.
My truth is that I don’t want to have conversations that include complaining.
Gratitude is such a high vibration. We each are responsible for our own creations and the way we experience reality.
The old adage is true, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
I invited her to my home, offered a free, organic, fresh-cooked meal and a free reading and energy healing. WHAT?
This was a great lesson for me in loving myself and having boundaries. If you are having a hard time, I do energy work, psychic readings and aura clearings. I can assist you. During my office hours. For a fee, because the truth is, I am an angel. My vibration is powerful. I am a healer.
Being a healer doesn’t mean that we let people dump all over us, with no boundaries, or that we are then responsible for care-taking said people.
As a healer, we must heal ourselves first. Fill up our own cups, and then, with appropriate boundaries and appropriate timing, we can extend to others in need. Remember, how another feels is not your fault. You are not responsible for anyone’s experience but your own.