Identity and Ego

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Lotusfly
@lotusfly
2 years ago
410 posts

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry to say that I'm feeling horrible and lost. I don't like to be negative, because, as an empath, I know others pick it up, but right now I need to speak up because I don't want to keep feeling this way...isolated and alone.

When I discovered I was an empath around the time of my spiritual awakening (3 1/2 months ago), I felt so joyous and so "at home." I spent the next month enjoying life and living carefree, like a happy child :) I was in awe by the beauty of nature and loved parks, playgrounds, music, and did karaoke for the first time in my life and loved it! I felt so alive, so much joy, no mental stress, no need to control anything anymore...I was going with the flow and it felt great!

By the way, I was shy and an introvert for most of my life, and it got to the point where I had a hard time talking to someone without feeling self-conscious and I avoided speaking to a group. But aftermy awakening, I no longer cared what people thought of me because I fully accepted everything and everyone the way it was (including me!).

I had a strong desire to go out and live life, because I felt like I hadn't yet. I wanted to travel and be around music and nature as much as possible. I also wanted to combine my empath gift with my ability to feel my own energy current (chi) by performing reiki to help heal others, as my massage/reiki therapist had done for me :)

So, following my intuition, I left my apartment in the city (and 12-year relationship) to live in a rural town in another state (with a family member).

Over the last few months, since my spiritual awakening and being open about being an empath, I've discovered that life isn't so rosy, due to the people and situations I've encountered. I've felt hurt by the actions of others, and moving to a different state wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

It feels as if people sucked the joy out of me. They were attracted to my liveliness and I was attracted to their attraction to me, and thinking I could bring light into their life, I became passive to them. Turns out a lot of people like to control people or feed off your energy.

So after several bad attempts at connecting with people (making friends and love relationships), I'm alone (not even any local friends) and feeling very distrustful of others. I dislike going out in public and I'm super sensitive to environmental stimuli and people. I've also had spiritual experiences. Feeling like I'm so different from most, and realizing how much people affect me, I just want to hide away in a cave forever.

I was starting to feel better alone, after leaving a short but unhealthy relationship a month ago, and have been working on my own interests (spirituality, singing, reading, writing, meditation, yoga), while also trying to understand my gifts as an empath...so I've been doing a lot of research to try to figure everything out, in regards to my spiritual awakening and the new me.

But I began to get confused with all the different ideas and perspectives, eventually getting to the point where I am now, which is that I don't know what to believe or trust, including myself!

I had decided that I'm my best teacher and source of knowledge and healing (by going within, through meditation and contemplation, and energy healing), but unfortunately that led me to isolation and negative thinking. I came to the conclusion that my being human, just like everyone else, I won't have the truth or answers either.

I thought that the only way to know the truth is to become ego-less. But that made me feel even less grounded in this world, less connected to people, than when I associated myself with an identity.

So I decided that it's healthy to associate yourself with things...to have an ego/identity...as long as you are happy with it and it doesn't hurt others. And even if you're not sure what your true identity is, that is what life is about...trying on a few hats and living...experiencing things, making mistakes, and learning (and growing) from them.

So we don't need to have all the answers...and we may never have them. But that doesn't mean to stop living and hide from people out of fear of getting hurt. Because, like it's been said before, fear is a prison...and me being someone who can overanalyze things, I don't want to be alone with myself in my self-built prison ;)

Hopefully this will help someone else struggling with not knowing what to believe, an identity crisis, or depression/anxiety.

Peace and love to all~


updated by @lotusfly: 01/18/17 04:38:08PM
BuildingBetterPath
@buildingbetterpath
2 years ago
9 posts

Hi Lotusfly-

I like your post, and feel there is great value in what you have said. I agree with all of it almost completely.

I have recently gotten into Buddhist practice, and also into the philosophy of meditation and non-dual thinking in general. There are a lot of complicated concepts that I've come across, but I think it's worth trying to share one that is related.

The common theme that I want to share with you is the difference between the ego and the self/identity. The philosophical traditions understand that the ego is a great deceiver. Many practices, including meditation, seek to free the individual from the ego. This does not mean losing the self, though, only the perceptions and deceptions of the ego. In what I've come across, people who are able to become free from their egos ALWAYS retain a strong sense of identity and individuality. It is just free from the deceptions of the ego, and more "true" and "genuine".

I agree completely that living life is important, and being free from fear. I am working to get there, and making strides, but it can definitely be a challenge.

Lotusfly
@lotusfly
2 years ago
410 posts
Thanks, BBP. I just want to know the absolute truth, which is not possible in the human world because everything is subjective.I also don't want to hurt anyone with my irritability and occasional outbursts (because I feel I have little control over my emotions and what I say), which I was thinking would only be possible for me if I was free of my ego, which I see any attachment to conditioning as being connected to the ego.
Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
2 years ago
728 posts
Hi Lotusfly, I can relate to some of what you are feeling. It can be very confusing and overwhelming discovering all of this and completely starting a new life over. I would like to suggest reading for you. It is call The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It just might help you sort out the ego thing.Shine on....
Lotusfly
@lotusfly
2 years ago
410 posts
Hi Cat,Eckhart is one of my favorite spiritual gurus. I've read that book and A New Earth. Also watched a bunch of him on YouTube. :) So yes, I understand the ego from his point of view (Gina Lake is a great author whose philosophies run parallel to Eckart's if you're interested in additional reading on the topic of the ego and conditioning).But because we are human, we cannot be completely free of an ego.It just drives me nuts sometimes that I will never know the actual truth or reality. I strongly desire to know, but everything is tainted with opinion. Such is life...But I'm feeling better now...more sure of myself and gaining more understanding each day. Experience certainly is the ultimate teacher ;)Blessings~
Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
2 years ago
728 posts
I am glad to hear you are feeling better. We all have our down times, more learning I guess. Becoming free of the ego is an ongoing process. All we can do as humans is to continue to strive for that goal and practice keeping it in check (it is a daily struggle but I feel it getting easier). As far as "truth" is concerned, we each have our own truths which we have to turn within to find. I have found that most of that insight comes when I meditate. It also helped when I was cleared of energy blockages. If you need help with that, Trevor Lewis is great in that area. He is a member here in the EC. Then everything seemed to "flow".Sounds like we have the same tastes in reads. Thank you for suggesting Gina Lake to me. I will have to take a look at some of her books. Thanks ;)Shine on....
Lotusfly
@lotusfly
2 years ago
410 posts
Same here as far as looking within for truths. That is when I started to even question myself, because I have a perspective just like everyone else, lol. But I need to trust something ;)I love energy healing! Saw a massage/reiki therapist regularly before my move. I know it would help but I can't afford it right now, and I'm more interested in healing myself through self-healing :) Unfortunately I don't do it often enough. Funny how my brain doesn't like me to relax and do "nothing" :/Thanks for your suggestions and feedback!Love and light~
Justme
@justme
2 years ago
11 posts

Hi Lotusfly, Buddhist teachings also resonate with me too and as I journey along my spirtitual path I've found a lot of answers there :). Like Cat Whisperer, I too found The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle really helpful. I read it about a year before I actually figured out that this gift I have has a name and that other people have it too! I guess it was good preparation for the "knowing" :) Alan Watts I also find very inspiring, I recommend his book "On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are". Pema Chodron too is just wow! What a woman! Her book "How to Meditate" really helped me and I've just ordered "Practicing Peace", cannot wait to delve into it, she is so so wise. Namaste :)

Lotusfly
@lotusfly
2 years ago
410 posts
Thanks for your thoughtful response and suggestions, Justme :) I'm not very knowledgeable about religions, though I'd be interested to learn. I'm more into finding my own insights through my intuition and meditation. I am very spiritual, though my ideas do not fit the mold of any religion in existence, not even pagan. But that's just me...very independent and original. My spirituality came/comes to me through meditation/grounding moments.I do love reading though, but need to take a break because my brain has been on overdrive with all the research lately into this awakening/ascension/empath I've been experiencing the past 4 months :)Thanks so much <3
Justme
@justme
2 years ago
11 posts

Hi Lotusfly,

I know what you mean about feeling the need to take a break from reading etc! I went through a phase of intensive research too when I began my awakening, too much can definitely be over-whelming! Poco a poco as they say in Spain :) I don't "belong" :) to any particular religion either, I was brought up in the Christian church but when it no longer became expected for me to attend mass every Sunday (Mum pressure and trying to please mum!), I stopped going. I've always found that I feel more connected to the divine when I'm in nature, and when I follow my own intuition along my own personal path, ascribing myself to a particular religion would have made me feel too restricted! But I see a lot of wisdom in buddhist beliefs, and Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron in particular have answered a lot of questions for me. Lots of light bulb moments :) <3

Dice
@dice
2 years ago
284 posts

Hello :)

I started a response to your post and then it just was not right. So I took a minute because clearly there is a connection to what you describe, and what I went through at the beginning of what is called awakening. I would first tell you that you have had many changes and trying things you haven't before. The move you describe is a big deal after such a long period of time. After all of what I have roaring in my head to give you encouragement, I found one quote that I want you to read..

"Be mindful of your self talk... it's a conversation with the Universe" David James Lees

Now I understand what you are going through.. because you are used to being bombarded with all the feelings in a city environment.. and now you are in a place that gives room for you to reconnect with you. It is not always easy but there is a reason for it. I have often heard that a persons greatest enemy is self. You are making changes that require a different game plan. Trust yourself. You do not need to take on practices of another to feel whole again, though using different techniques to get you there is not a crime. You may find that you will use parts and peices from different practices that work for you. That is OK. You are in a place that we all have to face at some point. To deny all of the uncomfortable parts of awakening is to deny the good ones. You will find balance by facing it.

What works for me may not work for you. Mine was Music... I actually had to find completely new music that was not associated with any previous feelings or memories from a painful past. After a while I could listen to this music again, but I found a way to move through a very difficult time.

I also found that my guides could reach me through numbers.. patterns. My guides must want to drink heavily.. I know they are trying to communicate but Ican have a hard time understanding.

Once again.. you are a few months in and do not let this time weigh too heavy. You are going through a great deal of change and need time to adjust.

When you get the negative self talk.. think of it's exact opposite and say it outloud.

Lotusfly
@lotusfly
2 years ago
410 posts
You are correct, Dice, that what I was experiencing was a part of awakening. I was scared and didn't know if I would get through the identity crisis, but thankfully I did, and since then I have dealt with other aspects of healing the old me. Ascending is an emotional rollercoaster and I'm doing the work to get through it correctly, and I feel I'm starting to get the hang of it :)
Thanks for your suggestions and advice too, because I'm sure it will help others as well, if it hasn't already :)
Kind blessings~

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