Empathic Protection by Jad Alexander
Empathic Protection I Grounding, Shielding, and Empathic Boundaries By Jadoa Tai Alexander
There is a great deal of emphasis and interest in the topic of blocking and or buffering energy from other people. One of the first things I hear from "Empaths" joining one of my groups, coming to a class, or writing me via email is: how do I block this overflow of emotion/energy from other people?
Stage One Empaths are normally very adamant about this question as their experience is often dominated by the perception that they cannot shut out the noise from other people. If you search around the internet you will see commentaries in a variety of forms from Stage One Empaths who claim to be in actual distress over his or her own Empathic nature.
I have seen messages from such individuals who want to completely do away with his or her empathic nature, as the individual claims to be experiencing a great deal of emotional pain and psychological distress from "picking up" other people's energy (emotions/mental state, etc.).
There has been so much talk about this subject as a "key" topic to be addressed with Empaths, that it has gained a momentum of it's own. Many individuals are out there now who offer quick and easy answers to this issue, some valid, some not. I have an entirely different perspective from most on the subject. The issue is much more complex, I am afraid to say, than the straightforward nature of the complaint.
Much of my perspective on the issue of "shielding" comes from my seven years of formal training in psychology, combined with 30 years experience of working directly with empathic individuals in classrooms, seminars, and private counseling.
My research into applying quantum theory, holographic theory, world religions and philosophies, metaphysics, and transpersonal psychology all contributed strong insight for me into this issue of "bombardment" or whatever is going on with individuals who feel overwhelmed by the perception that other people's emotions, feelings, thoughts, and energy states are overtaking them, entering their personal circle (aura, thoughts, feelings, body) without their consent. So I wish to share a summarized version of my view on the issue of shielding and the related topics of grounding and Empath Boundaries in this article.
The issue of protection is a complex one for Empaths, as it is built on a foundation of personal perceptions, personal beliefs, personal experiences, and personal emotions. Obviously, this is a very personal issue. The emphasis on the word personal should be a clue to gaining insight into this area. If you are participating in these courses and this project to achieve a "professional level" status with your Empath work, then I urge you to carefully pay attention to how I use words in my writing. I write on two levels, even when it calls for bending the rules of language to do so. The "second level" of my writing is on the intuitive side and is meant to target alert and evolving Empaths. That little segue was intended to be a little instructional tool placed within the article to assist you in getting more out of what you are reading.
Now, back to this being a very PERSONAL issue. The more personal an issue, the more subjective the issue will be. It is outside of the scope of this article to delve into the nature and impact of primarily subjective issues. I will just sum it up here to say: that SUBJECTIVELY based issues are rooted in the personal needs and mental states of the individual. This means that there is a very high degree of likelihood that there are multiple issues at work that relate to the individuals own experience. This means that when the question is answered as is, at face value, as an isolated and separate topic, ALL of the other issues that are actually contributing to the condition are consequently ignored - causing the answer to become another layer of reinforcement for whatever the underlying issue may be. (and, unfortunately, that any illusions, delusions, or misperceptions are also reinforced)
The problem with taking about such intensely personal issues is that they are tied in to so many NEEDS of the individual, often very strong and important psychological needs. That means, that if the answer is not emotionally satisfying the hidden needs, then the answer will be rejected, regardless of it's veracity. So far I have addressed the challenges of just talking about this issue, of answering questions related to protection, shielding, etc. Let's go now into the core topic: protection. Protection Protection.
A very important word to everyone on the planet for many reasons, on many levels. Protection is an essential part of survival and quality of life. The majority of our efforts are all tied in one way or another to protecting ourselves. We work to earn money, so that we can protect ourselves from homelessness, starvation, and social isolation. When we are being smart we eat healthy in order to protect ourselves from poor health and disease; we exercise to protect ourselves from deterioration and accelerated aging; we practice any number of habits that keep us protected physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I cannot even count the number of times I have been asked by new students questions like, "is there such thing as psychic attacks?", "can people do harm with their intuitive abilities?", "do I need to protect myself?" and so on. Some of these questions are rooted deep in individual personal beliefs regarding questions of "good and evil," and the metaphysical nature of reality. So, the first question is: Is there a need for protection?
More specifically, is there a need for Empaths to be concerned with and practice some forms of Protection? If you have understood what you have read so far, you will realize how this is a complex question in search of a simplistic answer. It is virtually impossible to begin to address this question without getting into the realm of BELIEFS. Once we begin to address beliefs we move far into a "house of mirrors" without end, and can get trapped in an endless cycle of SPECULATION in an attempt to find a solid answer. Libraries around the world and the Internet itself, are both FILLED with this kind of speculation, in vast, contradictory, conflicting, competing, confusing, amounts and forms. This is because the discussion of this issue or any kind of "psychic" or "spiritual" protection is all rooted in individual belief and perception.
I realize all of this isn't going directly to answers but my intent is for you to think this through carefully first.
Do we need protection at the Beta level, in the physical world? Most definitely!
Does the inner world, the psychic world of thoughts, emotions, and more need protection? Ah, here is where the road ends and there is no way to get across without beliefs, anecdotes, and speculation. I am not saying yes or no at this point, only inviting observation and contemplation. Do we need to concern ourselves with special practices to protect ourselves against psychic assault, negative energy, negative emotions, and malevolent intent? Or are we, like we have been all throughout history, superstitious creatures, passive victims of our imagination and anxieties? I am just posing questions. If you know all the answers, I congratulate you, as the rest of us are still learning.
For a very long time now, I have urged new students to read Michael Talbot's book entitled, "The Holographic Universe." It is powerful information on the holographic nature of the universe written in laymen's terms. It literally bridges the gap between science and metaphysics, in my opinion. It is the beginning of a great understanding of the nature of reality. What you can come away with, after reading the book, is the understanding that our total experience of reality is through our minds, our brains. So, this entire thing we call LIFE and our own PERSONAL EXPERIENCE all happens in our heads.
The mind is the filter. So, if you think its true, then it's true (for you). If it's true for you then it impacts your life just as much as if it were true for everybody. If it's true for you then it is just as real as anything else. There is much, much more in the book, but this point is pivotal for the purpose of our discussion here. If you are walking on a path and suddenly someone is coming at you, holding a knife, with an angry look and yelling threats at you, then it is clear in that moment that you do need protection.
If you walk into a room with a mixed crowd present and suddenly you have anxiety and your stomach starts to hurt, does that mean that you are getting negative energy from someone else? Or could it be one of hundreds or even thousands of other possible explanations? Your conclusion will largely depend upon what you believe - despite what is true. Whether something is true or false in this process becomes essentially irrelevant. Information must serve the belief, which serves the need it is based upon.
Thinking makes it so.
So, we face a large paradox, of sorts, when confronting these issues. How are we to answer the question?
How we view all of this has everything to do with our own perception. How you view it depends upon the degree of perception of which you are capable. The previous lessons we have talked about five degrees of perception. I can use that information here as illustration. The first degree of perception is BINARY - (self-centered, rigid) The second degree of perception is FLUIDIC - (self-centered, adaptable) The third degree of perception is FOCUSED - (objective, disciplined) The fourth degree of perception is CRYSTAL - (transpersonal, penetrating) The fifth degree of perception is IMPLICATE - (selfless, holographic)
How you perceive the world shapes how you experience the world. How you experience the world, in turn, feeds what you believe. The issues of protection, grounding, and shielding are all rooted in all of these issues. Now that I have addressed the "shifting sands" we stand upon when talking about these things, we will move into the next stage of this subject, where I will share some practical steps and strategies to address all three areas of protection, grounding, and shielding for Empaths.
We will finish with the discussion of "Empath Boundaries." Copyright 1998 All Rights Reserved Jad Alexander (1957 - 2008) Founder of The School of Empath Psychology
Empathic Protection II Grounding, Shielding, and Empathic Boundaries By Jadoa Tai Alexander
In the last section I discussed the complexities of thought that interfere with addressing the question of protection and related topics like grounding and shielding. The issue of "protection" is ingrained into our being. Protection is the sister of survival - the two go hand in hand. We are genetically programmed to survive at just about all costs, which means protection is a genetic priority. This is all very clear on the outer physical level, protection is built into our society on just about all levels. We have locks and alarm systems for our homes; we have seatbelts in our cars; we have instituted "police" in our towns; we have developed an army to protect our country, and so on. Safety is a serious issue for every individual, as there are a number of things to be concerned about.
On the inner level, in the world of thoughts and feelings, the issue of protection becomes less defined and the options become blurry. Feelings are generally protected by social and interpersonal guidelines and behaviors. Thoughts are rarely protected, as they are considered to be best under constant scrutiny. It seems that it can almost dangerous to protect or preserve a thought when we look at living examples of the idea. Cults seem to form around the preservation of a thought, and I do not need to explain here the damage that has been done by such organizations. In the past, groups organized around a particular thought have done vast amounts of violent damage in the name of preserving the thought which they serve. On the positive side, when we exalt a thought to an "ideal", we seem to have more positive options as far as preserving the thought.
For example, the Declaration of Independence is a set of recorded thoughts that our country has protected and preserved, in an attempt to keep the "ideal" alive and active. Do Empaths Need "Psychic" Protection? Keeping in mind all we have discussed so far, complete the following exercise to get a "feel" for the point I am making here. In this scenario, you are going to be a consultant. Two different people are scheduled to see you today. Both are coming to ask you whether or not they need protection on a psychic or inner level. Before your sessions you read the profile on each one.
Look these profiles over carefully before proceeding:
Exercise: Appt. 1 "Miss Jones" Miss Jones has written on her application that she is in a great deal of distress. She is very anxious and has trouble sleeping. She has suffered from a "social phobia" most of her life and has not experienced much relief. Documentation reveals: She has belonged to over six completely different religious groups over her lifetime. When approached by anyone soliciting an organization with a belief system she accepts what they are saying unconditionally. She suffers from very low self-esteem and has always been in "co-dependent" type relationships.
She has endured physical and mental abuse from her partners without ever seeking help. Her explanation is that she was trying to "help them change." Her moods and interests change frequently. She says that she is unable to focus and finds it easier to just go along with things. She has a very highly active imagination, which contributes to her anxiety when she is alone, especially at night. She has stated that she feels she "has no direction," "has not settled on a career," and doesn't "really know who she is."
She grabs on to about every fad that comes along but always feels dissatisfied within a short amount of time, moving on in search for something else. Miss Jones goes to a local psychic every week like clockwork, spending the little money she has to find out what's coming up for her. She has taken classes on just about every alternative/metaphysical topic available, but will tell you she doesn't remember much from any of them. She feels that her house may be haunted, as she has a "terrible feeling" every time she goes home and especially before going to bed at night.
She lights a variety of candles, has an array of diverse crystals, several statues of a variety of religions and spiritual significance, several talismans, and a series of written prayers spread around her bedroom. She is coming to you to ask about protection. How would you deal with her and what would your bottom line on protection be for her? Can you explain your position?
Appt. 1 "Miss Dohe" Miss Dohe has made this appt with you despite her busy work schedule. She is a professional who typically works 6o hours a week. She has written on her application that she has heard about "psychic protection" and wonders if she needs it. Documentation reveals that Miss Dohe completed four years of college with honors. She belonged to campus clubs and was always somewhat of a leader. She dated during college but never had a serious commitment. Since college she has been seeing one person steady for a year and a half, and she states that she is hopeful about getting even closer in this relationship. She belongs to a gym and goes for long walks in her neighborhood as often as possible. She keeps herself busy with friends and family despite her work schedule.
She has never belonged to any religiously based organizations or groups but says she "tries to keep an open mind." She has not read any metaphysical books but says she thinks astrology is fun and she likes to read her horoscope. She enjoys reading novels and historical pieces. She describes her life has having "ups and downs" but accepts that as normal. She says that "people are always trying to tell me what to do but I like to make up my own mind. I am not a cynic but I am skeptical to a degree." She is not coming with any complaints, only a curiosity. How would you deal with her and what would your bottom line on protection be for Miss Dohe? Can you explain your position?
- Now, obviously, not all information about these two individuals is in the profile - but it is all you have to go on until you meet each one face to face:
- When you meet Miss Jones she appears nervous and distracted. She makes little to no eye contact with you during the entire session. She keeps looking in her purse for something but never talks about it. She asks a lot of questions but doesn't always wait for the answer. You can't be sure if she is listening to you.
- When you meet Miss Dohe she appears casual and relaxed, smiling throughout the interview. She keeps good eye contact throughout the interview and even listens carefully to your responses.
- Once you have thought through your responses to each client then continue on with the article. Feel free to post comments in the group for discussion and comparison.
Now, back to the big question: do Empaths need "psychic protection?" Does anybody? Is the need universally true or does it depend on the person or circumstance? Do certain types of people need more protection than others? Do you believe that Empaths are more susceptible to influence, therefore require protection or more protection than others? One question invites many others. There will be different answers to these questions from each person who answers it. There will be some similarities between some answers, especially where belief systems overlap. Empaths are considered to be individuals who are particular sensitive and "open" to influence from other individuals. Not only the outer things like behavior and language, but "inner things," like thoughts and feelings.
Are Empaths like dust mops, randomly picking up an overload of thoughts and feelings from everyone around them? Or do some Empaths have a condition, which causes them to pick up excessive amounts of emotional and mental energy from other people? Or..... pose other questions for yourself. These, and more, questions must be asked and considered. The best way to understand anything is to look at it from as many sides as possible. It is very easy to spout off opinions but it is another thing to develop a crystal clear perception of a topic and to form an intelligent position. I encourage all Empaths to do the latter, so that we transcend the perception of being "faddish," "new age" or other demeaning contexts, which miss the point of the Empath movement. All the things that I teach and write about are to promote Empaths to a highly polished level of professionalism and logical thought.
Yes, I said "logical thought." Let's face it, if you are truly an Empath, intuition runs high in you. You need to not only learn how to channel and understand that intuitive flow within yourself but you need to balance it out. Knowledge and understanding of logic is the exact prescription that most Empaths in development need. We will be talking about logic in upcoming lessons. So, as we prepare to discuss the most powerful protection available to Empaths, I ask that you first complete the exercise above. Once you have prepared your answers to both scenarios, you will be prepared for the rest of the article. Copyright 1998 All Rights Reserved Jad Alexander (1957 - 2008) Founder of The School of Empath Psychology
Thank you for reading this. There is so much information here! Now prepare yourself as a Counselor. We ask our Registered Students to focus on just these questions for our May Monthly Discussion:
- Miss Jones is coming to you to ask about protection. How would you deal with her and what would your bottom line on protection be for her? Can you explain your position?
- Miss Dohe is not coming with any complaints, only a curiosity. How would you deal with her and what would your bottom line on protection be for Miss Dohe? Can you explain your position?
- Can you see the difference that belief systems can make in how people interpret information? If so, please describe what you see.
- Do you have any belief systems that you feel are holding you back from achieving a balance in understanding intuition through logic?
- Seeing the dilemma of how questions create more questions how do you feel about the way we encourage Students of Empath Psychology to answer their own questions as they go, without relying on outside opinion?
You truly are your own best guide in this journey! We look forward to hearing your responses!