“I am not responsible about how you feel,” she said. “I cannot make you feel anything.”
Both of those statements are true so… why do they hurt?
This is a question I have been pondering for about a decade and really intently as of late because it is UP in my world. Every close and current relationship has this element of me hurting because of something the other person has said or done and them being unwilling to be accountable for their words or actions that led to my hurt. Because this pattern is so prevalent for me right now, I have been doing a lot of self-questioning, a lot of processing with my Spirit Guides and Human Guides, and I’ve been dreaming. A lot.
As a Visionary, I often dream intensely, vividly, exhaustingly. When I am in process, those dreams become larger than life and are usually filled with terrifying images and disturbing scenes so that I am deeply affected and unable to shake it, ignore it, or let it go. Throughout the day, after a night of deep-processing visions, I am often altered, feeling as though I didn’t come all the way back from DreamLand and the scenes and images will surface at inconvenient times to remind me there is something I am trying to work through.
For three weeks I have been in this space. Three weeks of dreams filled with death, murder, kill, home invasions, and beasts. Recently, I had a visit from Bald Eagle and Mountain Lion, for which I was infinitely grateful because they both – in the same dream, at the same time – were gentle, loving, and embracing. They were kind and gracious mentors with teachings that I needed to remind me to draw in my own power so I could see and hear clearly.
Two nights after they visited me, I awoke on the edge of a dream where I had the awareness that I am an Empath who leads with her feelings. Now, I have known this for a very long time. But there was several new awarenesses in relation to that. Because I have chosen to get really clear about what is mine and what is everyone else’s, so that I can do what I’m here to do, I have chosen to be 100% accountable for only my experience, instead of being in everyone else’s experience and running everyone else’s emotions.
I realized in the waking fog that, when I run emotions for someone else, that process is lightning fast and lasts for only a few seconds, leaving no lingering residue. I don’t drag it on or make it bigger than it is. I just be with it and allow it to move through me. When it is my own experience, the process is slower. I am slower with my process because, I see now, when I am in an experience of pain, sadness, anger, sorrow, grief, rage, or the like and it is my own experience, I use that emotional power to clear all within me – across time and space – that is a matching residual energy.
Often, when I am in this state, I am unable to think or decide because the FEELING of it is so profound and is what is most important in that moment for me. If I am allowed to simply feel then, I will keep at it until I move through it and understand what it is about for me. Sometimes, this means I need to talk it out because I am a verbal processor. Sometimes, this means I must only feel the feelings to move through it. However, in the first waves of it, I don’t know which of these processes is going to support me through because I cannot think or make a decision then; all of my energy is focused on feeling.
When I move through the emotions and I am in a clear space – even if I can still feel the residue of the pain, which is usually what lingers for me – I will be able to see what it was about for me and I will immediately go about clearing the old beliefs or thought patterns that are attached to the hurt. I will transform myself so that I can move forward because I inherently understand that ALL emotional states are a choice – happy, sad, angry, scared. So, if I am feeling something that stops me in my tracks like emotions sometimes do, it is a sign to me that there is some very deep-seated issues I need to resolve for myself and, often, those issues are buried somewhere in my DNA, so they may not even be mine, but I’ve carried them for others.
When I say to someone I love, “I am hurting because you…” it is important that I be given the space to get to the bottom of it. That statement is not a deflection of my accountability onto their shoulders. I am not requiring them to be accountable for my feelings. That statement is recognition that I am hurting as a result of something I experienced in their presence and I need to get to the bottom of it for me.
If I am interrupted in this process, if the other needs me to stop to pay attention to them or “make it right” for them, or if I am shamed because I cannot make a choice or think straight in that moment, then things get really gnarly for me really quickly and the ugliest of my Protector Personas will surface and a destructive battle will ensue. I will either grow super big, super mean, and super unconscious OR I will shrink to super small, super stupid, and super unconscious. Either way, I’m sure you can identify the similarity – super unconscious. I’ve come to understand that that state of “super unconscious” is my ultimate protector because, in that moment, I cannot take on one more bit of stimulus, I cannot take on the responsibility of being a facilitator for someone else, and I cannot make sense of anything because I am consumed with the work of feeling.
I also was shown how important it is to me for me to know that I am heard. I am not expecting anyone to change – mostly because I know how to accept people as they are, flaws and all, AND because I know how to change ME. However, if a person is willing to hear me, validate the experience I’m going through with a something like, “I hear you are feeling hurt. How can I best support you right now?” then I will move through to accountability for myself, my experience, and what *I* need to do to move through to awareness. When I am in hurt – even if I am unable to think or decide – I am 100% accountable to begin with, but I need the space to feel through the hurt or anger or fear to get to the root of it. My statement of, “I am hurting because…” IS me being accountable. It IS me recognizing that something is going on that needs to have attention paid to it. It IS me calling out for help, but it is not to have the other fix me. It is to have them hear me, see me, and then allow me the time I need to feel whatever it is that is asking to be felt so that it can be cleared.
One point that I discovered is that, with my beloveds with whom I am in close, connected relationships, I really appreciate knowing their processes. Being witness to their process is powerful because, not only do I get to see their process of transformation, but because I can also lend my energy to the supporting of that transformation. But, mostly, knowing that they are doing their processes and how they do it is intriguing, enlightening, and powerful for me. In the past, I was in too many one-sided relationships with people who were unwilling to share with me their process, but they were more than willing – and often demanded – to be present for mine. I could never quite place why that felt “off” to me, but I see it now. That creates an inherently dangerous situation for me because the balance of power is non-existent. The other is witnessing me in my vulnerability, but they are never showing me theirs. What I have experienced in these kinds of relationships every time, sadly, is that the other uses my vulnerability against me in the end, totally eviscerating me, and I am destroyed. That relationship will never be resurrected when someone does that to me. Never. I will not allow it.
Some awarenesses I woke up to about humans:
- For many people, the words, “I’m sorry,” are impossible to say unless they feel wrong, unless they know they really did do something wrong. If they are someone who fears being wrong, they will set up their systems to protect them from being wrong. They will develop ways to justify every action, word, and belief as them being right so that they don’t have to be wrong, no matter what feedback they are receiving.
- Many humans refuse to be wrong because of things they experienced as children and these same people usually experienced the words, “I’m sorry” as something they were forced to say, even when they had done nothing wrong, so they are rarely going to use those words as adults.
- A lot of people wholeheartedly believe they are good people who never intend to hurt another. Because they do not intend to be hurtful, when they receive the feedback that their words, actions, or behavior hurt someone else, they have difficulty understanding how that could even be.
If you combine two or three of these together, you have someone who comes across as a narcissist. Pair a narcissist with an Empath and you have the perfect storm. A narcissist cannot see that they could be “wrong” and an Empath can see the hole in their logic and the Empath will want to love that hole into wholeness.
When I say to a beloved, “I am hurting because you…” and they say something like, “I am not responsible for your feelings…” (which is always TRUE, by the way) or something like, “I didn’t intend to hurt you…” (which is most often true) AND they are unable or unwilling to be accountable that it was their actions, words, or behaviors that caused the hurt – with or without their intention to do so – then *I* get lost in the perfect storm. When I come to a loved one and say, “I am hurting because you…” and they shut me down, after so many times of experiencing this, I choose to disengage and stay shut down to them. Forever. The thing is, I am always willing to be the flawed one and I see now that that is where my power is.
For a long time, I used that ability to always be the “wrong” one to hurt myself, punish myself, and break myself into a million shards of not-quite-me. Now, I recognize that ability to BE the always-flawed one as my super secret superpower. If I am willing to be wrong in every situation AND I am willing to be accountable in every situation AND I am willing to transform myself to clear every error, then I am utterly capable of changing every situation for me. I will keep looking at a situation until I find the piece that I can flip for me. And I do that without any expectation of the other changing anything. Ever. They don’t need to change for me. *I* need to change for me.
And if I am uncomfortable in a situation, then it is up to me to change myself or change my location in relation to the situation. If a relationship is continually hurting me, I get to ask myself, “Am I here to be hurt? Am I here to stay in a situation that is an ongoing experience of hurt? Am I here to fix them or fix me?” Because, if my answer is, “I want them to change,” we have a HUGE problem. I can never change another. They can only do that for themselves. Sure, I can be present for and witness to their change, I can ask them fabulous questions that lead them to uncover their answers that leads to their change, and I can offer feedback about what I am experiencing and they can choose to listen to that and choose for themselves if they want to change for them. But any time either of us are wanting the other to change or are wanting to change ourselves for the other, then we have a huge problem, Houston.
When I am paired with someone who is willing to continually look at their SHIT (Stuff Held In Tightly) – and mine (because what I am showing them is a reflection of what is within them) – to find what is in it for them to change and they are transparent about that, then we become an unstoppable force. We literally become the Ultimate Storm.