Feelings, Emotions & Empaths

Feelings. Sometimes the word scares people. Oh no, that person expresses emotions, they have feelings! Then the judgment sets in. The dreaded they’re too “emotional.” I’ve had others tell me that emotions scare them, that they can’t handle emotions. I’ve heard others described as being too “emotional” or even had myself described that way. But what does that all mean?

What does that mean to not be able to handle emotions? To me it speaks of not being able to handle the emotions within ourselves, first and foremost. If we can’t process our own emotions, how can we handle the emotions of others? It is harder for us to process emotions of others because we can’t process our own.

And more than that, the emotions or feelings of others are not expressed to us always in a state of unconditional love – they can come with strings, with rules, with requirements and expectations and an effort to control us and mold us into what someone else wants. It is not accepting of who and what we are. It seeks to change us. So we can become trained to expect emotions and feelings to come with all that other “stuff” – and that feels bad. True emotion and feelings, when shared without all the added “stuff” or stories and manipulations is such a beautiful gift to share with someone.

But if you’ve never had that, how else are you going to react? What else are you going to expect? Experiencing unconditional love is quite a powerful experience, especially when you receive it romantically for the first time, and learning what it’s like, what it feels like. Pretty incredible stuff.

Many times in our lives the emotions of others may be expressed in an effort to manipulate us, to change us, to get us to be or do what someone else wants. Once you have experienced that over and over, it becomes harder to trust in the idea of unconditional love, and cleanly expressed emotions. Maybe you’ve never even had that experience. Or maybe you’re experiencing it for the first time.

Yet much of the fear and inability to handle emotions is really from the feelings inside yourself that you fear to face. What will you see if you do look within, if you let the emotions out? What have you not yet processed and healed inside of yourself? What betrayal, hurt or loss are you masking and holding on to? What are you using to stop yourself from feeling again as a buffer to keep the pain from happening again? What story are you creating about that betrayal and pain? What are you making it mean in your life?

It makes me think of cognitive behavior therapy and experiments with rats – if you keep getting shocked over and over, you expect the same thing to happen again. It becomes automatic as an initial response. You no longer respond, you react.

Sometimes it’s subconscious, and you don’t even know you’re doing it.

As an empath, I have the privilege, and yes, sometimes the burden, of being able to “read between the lines” and see, hear, know and feel what the other person is feeling on a subconscious level. It makes me a great friend and beloved (and really helps with my coaching and other work). It also comes with its own challenges. The challenge is in being able to see it and feel it all and yet still respond to the person on the surface of what they are saying, to meet them with where they are at, with what they acknowledge to themselves – not with all the feelings and things they can’t see yet themselves.

What are you afraid you will see when you look through the mirror of someone else expressing their emotions or feelings? What makes you uncomfortable in that mirror?

What are you making it mean that someone else is expressing their emotions, sharing them with you, sharing their feelings with you? How are you receiving those feelings? Is it with a clear vessel, or is there other gunk in there clogging up the works and tinging the water, dirtying up the clean flow of emotion and feeling?

When others have feelings for us or share their feelings in general with us, or express their emotions to us, it can be scary. Yet emotions in and of themselves are healthy, beautiful and powerful. They can be intense, and that’s o.k. too. Things can be felt deeply. We can be moved. We can move mountains.

When you’re an empath like I am, it’s even more so. Then when you put two empaths together, the energy spirals. It is an amazing thing. You feel your emotions, you feel the emotions of the other person, and you feel the other person feeling your emotions and get that back. Likewise, the other person feels what you’re feeling, and they feel their own feelings back that you’re feeling of their feelings, and so on. It’s like a circuit where the energy increases as it goes around and spirals up.

That connection is palpable. It is somewhat akin to the idea Dion Fortune talked about in psychic and channeling work. She said that when working with someone else who has the same skills, it’s like having a battery added to the mix. She routinely worked with a partner in doing the work. You will also find magickal workers through time who work with a partner, particularly a spouse or beloved due to that increased connection. It increases and amps up the frequency and power of the work.

It also reminds me of the infinite reflection of mirrors within mirrors. It is the most incredible spiraling dance. It is intense, beautiful and powerful. Being aware of it, having awareness of it, is important. And when you do it with a clear vessel, the sky is the limit to the heights you can reach together, in stable flight. It reminds me of Eagle. Eagle is an ally and also is the highest expression of my sun and ascendant sign, Scorpio.

Emotions are positive, even the ones where we’re sad or mad. Those emotions or feeling states are healthy too – it’s o.k. The idea is not to stop ever having them again or to stop them up and end the flow. Let them flow cleanly. Not attaching to them, but honoring them, letting them flow and then continuing on.

Some have trouble doing that. There were times in my life where the intensity of being an empath was something I didn’t understand. Where I did not have discernment of what were my feelings and what were other than me. I was attached to the emotions, the feelings or to someone else. Having that discernment years ago made a huge life shift for me, with the most amazing gifts, and I’ve been able to pass that on to others. I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to explore it yet in a romantic relationship, but what I have been able to experience has been powerful.

Emotions can become unhealthy when we use our emotions and the power of our words to hurt someone else. To make them change. To manipulate them to do what we want. To use our love with conditions – I won’t love you or I won’t be your friend unless you do what I want, unless you change this, unless you bend to my will.

Emotions are unhealthy when we make our life dependent, or our feelings dependent, on what someone does or says. Wanting companionship and support, it is beautiful. When we take that to a standpoint of need of the level of neediness, it becomes unhealthy – “I will only be o.k. if she does this. Or, “I will only be o.k. if he does that.”

You can still be happy. You can still want it. But you are o.k. with yourself and with the other person the way they are. You don’t need them to change, and you don’t need yourself to change, to be o.k. and to be happy in your life. That level of need is not love. It doesn’t leave room for free choice, for following ones true will and for having respect and unconditional love for that other person. It also does not have respect for nor love for yourself. As within so without.

Unconditional love allows for the expression of feelings, sharing and showing healthy emotions and feelings, and that allows for intimacy between two people – be they friends or lovers. When I say “love”, this can be any type of love. Friendship, sisterhood, brotherhood, romantic love, parental love.

Unconditional love is a powerful thing. Yet it also just as importantly allows for non-judgment and detachment. And this is an incredible thing of beauty! If you’re in a relationship with a friend or lover, the idea of “detachment” doesn’t mean that you don’t care. Quite the contrary. It is not detachment from the standpoint of not having feelings. Instead, detachment is having love without conditions. It is having complete respect and value for the other person.

Detachment is…I love you for who you are without seeking to change you. I love you. I want you. I don’t need you to complete me. I don’t need you to fulfill some fantasy or expectation of who and what I want in my life. I am not attached to you. I won’t only love you if you do or are X Y or Z. I just want to share my love with you. I want to share my love for myself, for everything around me, and for you…just the way you are. I want to share my happiness and joy with you. And I love you more in return for loving me for just the way I am, for all of who I am.

To receive that love in return is something so amazing. You can have it with friends, family, lovers, spiritual connections – you can find it in many places. To experience total acceptance for who you are, to be appreciated and loved for who you are, with no conditions is the most incredible gift to receive.

In my life I’ve had this from family, from dear sisters, brothers and friends. I’ve also experienced it once recently from a man who has become dear to me, as a friend and whatever the thing is. He accepts me for who and what I am. He is curious about me, interested in me, for who I am, not who he might want me to be. He respects my yes and my no. Just as I respect his yes and his no.

Feeling cared about without conditions? That’s pretty amazing. It’s beautiful. And yeah, so it’s hot too. Because being able to do that for someone else, means that you’re in a place inside to do it for yourself first, at least to some regard. And that’s attractive. As within, so without.

Does this mean that everything in life or in a friendship or any type of relationship is automatically easy? Of course not. Does it mean that there is never sadness? No, I mean, what would life be if it was all painted with one color on the palette? Does it mean that there can never be pain? No. But it does means the pain is “clean” pain and not dirty pain with all our stories added into it, creating more suffering for ourselves and our loved ones or beloved.

We seek understanding, and we have respect for all of creation. We do not make assumptions, we do not take things personally, we use our word impeccably, and we always do our best in each situation and in each moment. (Yes, The Four Agreements, with much love and gratitude to don Miguel Ruiz and his family.)

Does this mean that we accept everything and everyone into our lives? No. It doesn’t. Sometimes my no may not work with your yes, and vice versa, and that’s o.k. It’s not personal. We can honor our boundaries and what is healthy for us while still holding that space of unconditional love.

It doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but it’s always worth it. And it’s always beautiful. After all, it’s magick.

Unconditional Love in Lobbying

On the top of the Pyramid on the Sun at Teotihuacan, Dec. 31, 2014
On the top of the Pyramid on the Sun at Teotihuacan, Dec. 31, 2014

And…it has begun. The roll call for the first bell of the state legislative session has been completed. Five months of wild and wooliness. People always wonder how I do this. How can you be a lobbyist?

Lobbyists communicate, and communication is important. As in any industry, it’s about how you approach it and how you do your job. How you live your life. How you treat others, and how you treat yourself. So for me, though I don’t shout my spiritual path from the rooftops when I’m in the Capitol Building, I bring it with me, and I respect everyone and their path.

It is just simply…me. I don’t need words or statements to others to be who I am. I am me.

I think this path really helps with that. If you follow a path of unconditional love, you can’t get caught up in the dramas of the building, the fights, the arguments. Why? Because it just doesn’t matter! Everyone is doing the best they can in their own dreams, their dream of the world as don Miguel Ruiz writes in The Four Agreements. Technically I’m not a lobbyist anymore, as I can’t ask folks for a “yes” or a “no,” but the idea is still the same.

The Four Agreements
The Four Agreements

You can really love the people in this work even if you’re not really into the game of it all. Going for true win-wins. I always loved the win-wins, but I used to also love the game. The thrill of the chase. The rush. The bell rings and off you go, chasing down this thing or that. Not so much anymore. I just watch it, almost feeling as if I could be sitting above the Capitol Building, watching all the pieces and people running about, to and fro.

Detachment. It’s not to minimize the work there, or the passion of people for their beliefs of course, I honor their dreams just as I do mine. I also believe that being detached makes me a better lobbyist. I can see it all better, calmly, without reacting. I make better decisions that way.

Long ago I learned to detach from these efforts, and sometimes I work with people that I don’t personally agree with, and that’s o.k. I respect their position and their reasons for it. I learn when to share and when not to share about myself, and through it I maintain who I am regardless. I also never work on something that I can’t believe in at least on some level.

Through it, I have made the most amazing connections with people over the years. I even have had amazing spiritual conversations with legislators and lobbyists because I find common ground, and I don’t throw words to describe or label my spiritual beliefs in their face, nor do I react to theirs. They are just symbols, labels. What would be the point? It’s all about the love, right? I respect their path, and I respect mine. I respect myself.

So many in the world, in business and in the legislative world too, can take things personally, thus the “wild and woolly” thing. When you combine it with a practiced will, it can be even more wild and woolly. Some people have a strong will, but they don’t know it. That includes many in the legislative field, at least I think so. A little “woo woo,” but magical folks of course know about their will and how to use it – they are practiced with it. They also know the whys and why nots, or at least you hope that we understand the why nots as well.

Here is a great example of taking the legislative process personally, and what can result…

I knew a lobbyist who was also a magical practitioner, which really just ties in with using your focused Intent or Will and leveraging its power and your ability. Business folks call it the “vision thing,” and this is like the vision thing on steroids. Like with anything, there’s a balance. Two years or so ago, this person I knew tipped that balance, as they set out to do this big work to make the legislature pass the bill they wanted. As an aside, the mere idea of “making” the legislature do something you want to do is humorous in and of itself, and I know any lobbyists reading this will get that.

But this person told me all about it and what they were going to do. They explained about the injustice, as they saw it, and how they were going to call for justice, and they were going to get this bill passed. Anger combined with determination. It was palpable. It was personal for them.

They were attached to and caught up in their own dream. And it backfired.

I listened, and then I offered up my recommendation that they may want to have a cool down period and revisit that decision, which in the end they substantially did, though not completely. It is a great example of taking something personally and attempting to put your will before the will of others – to try to override their dream with your own. In the end, they almost lost their entire effort and almost had the opposite happen of what they wanted. It was very touch and go for quite a while after that.

Be impeccable with your word. - don MIguel Ruiz
Be impeccable with your word. – don Miguel Ruiz

I think that goes back to the idea of be careful how you use your words and what you send out into the world. Be impeccable with your words, one of The Four Agreements. I would add – be impeccable with your thoughts. Or remember the saying that it will all come back and bite you in in the you-know-what.

Also the idea of boundaries comes into play. What are healthy boundaries? I like to think of this simple illustration – where my dance space begins, yours ends, and vice versa. Respecting others’ decisions and respecting our own. Using our will on ourselves and our life, but not projecting our will onto someone else or subjugating the will of others. Disagree with respect, honorable disagreement.

Yeah, people get really emotional and worked up on this stuff!

This morning I talked with a lobbyist about my spiritual retreat last week to Teotihuacan with the Ruiz family. (If you want to see more on my experience there, you can watch my video HERE.) Even though this lobbyist would be considered as likely coming from a different point of view on things of that nature, I had told them I was going. They are one of those people who lives it to give it. I jokingly said that it was quite a shock to come back from sitting on a pyramid feeling the love and then to walking back into this, lol.

But the funny thing was that, as we talked about strategy and how this session was going to play out and just the idea that it has begun, this person was using the same words I was using…words like “it doesn’t matter.” We talked about how people get locked into their positions and caught up in it and can get angry and worked up.

This was all in general of course, not about anyone or anything, but just looking at essentially the domestication of the state legislative process and almost how it is this live organism – it has its own dream. And how people get caught up in it and are domesticated by that dream. We are working on an issue together that has a lot of different sides and positions surrounding it, and we agreed that we were going to stay focused on the big picture, stepping away from the language minutiae and microscope as needed to go back to “what is the purpose?” in all of this.

That’s how we roll. Hard to explain in words, but it was good, and it was fascinating. How do you roll? What is your purpose? Does it really matter? Who cares? What is your will – your true will and purpose? What is your ego saying? What does the real “you” say? Are you listening?

O.k., so back to listening to the introductory speeches… “Wisdom does not begin or end in this House…We should do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do…What better time to think of your last day than on this first day.” This was a quote by the new Speaker of the House, which I heard just as I finished typing this. Pretty cool. You can find those gems, if you listen.

me today - extra
Selfie of me loving the surprise morning snow today!

What do you want to be on your last day? Will you meet it with love? Will you meet it with respect? Any day could be that last day. The last day of your life. How do you choose to meet your death? Are you listening? Which voice are you listening to?