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Self-responsibility: An Empath’s Super-power

Self-responsibility: An Empath’s Super-power

Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand the concept of responsibility and what it really means. I examined it through the perspective of the tarot, and came up with this:

‘The root of responsibility is the ability to respond to any given situation as it arises. When we are in a state of abundance, acceptance and openness, we feel that innate capacity as the truth. Whatever presents itself to us can be met creatively, with joy.

On the other hand, if we approach situations with an air of heaviness or duty, they become less dynamic and more likely to feel burdensome. In the belief that we can control the outcome of our actions and choices, we move further from that ability to respond creatively.

We have been entrained to believe that responsibility encompasses so many external factors – others’ happiness, others’ welfare, others’ safety, and others’ rules – and the effects our actions have on them. The truth is, we are all only responsible for our own joy and vibrancy. As we align with that, the ripples we create may have beautiful effects on those around us, but we cannot control or guarantee that.

If we stay attuned to our inner abundance, passion and power, we are able to respond creatively to whatever arises. In doing so, we are being integrally responsible, to both the present moment and what is best for all involved. As we all return to this state of alignment, we begin to find ways to create responses that work for the greater good in ways that don’t feel burdensome and heavy.’ (from an archived post – ‘Exploring Responsibility through the Tarot’)

Okay, cool, but how do I get there from here?

I examined responsibility as an aspect of power, while writing portions of my first book. This is what I came up with:

True power lies within – it is not in the external trappings of wealth, status or dominance. It is an integral understanding of the capacity to create and take responsibility for your experience in every moment.

So the power of integrity lies in being responsibly creative and creatively responsible. I’m meaning responsibility here as being able to respond, which makes far more sense when combined with the power of creativity. If you are denying yourself this capacity, which is inherent in all of us, you become a victim of what life presents, instead of an engaged participant and co-creator.

This creativity isn’t linked to any one form of expression, but the ability to use your mind as a tool in conjunction with your higher knowledge. It’s the difference between conscious creation and impulsive responses based on patterns and beliefs in your cellular memory. It’s the difference between making decisions based on mind or ego desires that feel good temporarily, and integral choices that benefit you and the collective. It’s the unconscious choices that often lead to feeling victimized, because in relinquishing the responsibility to be integral, you have allowed yourself to bypass the creative process.’ (From ‘Domestication of the Spirit’ (pending publication)).

Again, how do I get there from here?

The Importance of Self

It wasn’t until recently that a key piece of understanding fell into place. The word self, placed right ahead of responsibility is the root to finding your power as an empath. Especially one who has been in abusive relationships and felt a pull towards codependence or self-sacrifice. When that piece clicks into place, it’s like coming home to the truth.

self-responsibility, empathYour purpose is YOU. There is no one and no thing outside of yourself that deserves your undivided love and attention more than you do. If you’ve spent time throughout your life feeling misunderstood, unheard, taken for granted, betrayed or passed over, it’s pointing you towards something in you.

The key ingredient is self-responsibility.

This is where it gets tricky for empaths in particular. Because we feel so keenly the energy and emotions of everything around us, we tend to prioritise those. Sometimes we mistakenly believe they are ours.

You may even have been taught to manage abusive situations by attempting to maintain others’ states of mind or moods. It’s okay. It’s never too late to take self-responsibility.

To be an empowered, healthy, conscious empath, you must learn to address your needs first. You must prioritise your state of being and emotional balance before becoming involved in situations or relationships, so that you always have that to return to.

I learned the long, hard way by giving myself away repeatedly, that if I’m not looking to my own needs, it’s no one else’s job. There are many people out there who will happily take all you have to give and then quickly leave when your energy runs out. It’s not about them, it’s about YOU.

Self-responsibility: why is it key?

For me, it has meant several years of almost total isolation, several new reminders of how codependence feels, and a whole lot of feeling, remembering, realigning, and discovering who I am. It’s deeper than self-love; it’s a commitment to respect, honour and unconditionally accept the core Self that has been seeking safety from a (potentially) unsafe or painful world. Self-responsibility is a return to inherent, embodied power that comes of understanding your energy is yours and yours alone. Without it, life is missing a thread in its beautiful tapestry.

The reason the word self is so key in this equation is that it can be an empath’s downfall. Often the deep desire to heal and give to others becomes your reason for being. You may have long-held ideas that your Self is defined by this innate capacity to be there in service to others. That is not your Self. The desires, the joy, the inspirations, the passion, the curiosity, the things that light you up from deep within, that’s your Self attempting to express itself through you.

How many projects and dreams have I put aside in favour of other peoples’ needs, wants or desires? SO many. And they didn’t ask me to, I did it willingly, believing that to be how love looked. It’s okay, because it taught me. It brought me to this moment of understanding and expansion.

Without putting your Self in the equation, life continues to reflect experiences that feel like codependence and survival.

Healing Begins Within

There is huge healing here. I’ve been engaged in the dynamic of narcissistic relationships for most of my life, and this one key piece shifted something huge in my energy field. It’s about choosing YOU and your energetic integrity over all else so you can show up in the world as the most empowered, alive and vibrant light you can be.

The challenge is, sometimes your self-responsibility appears to others on the surface to be hugely irresponsible. That may be because you’re not following the collectively-defined ideas of what the word means, and you’re not showing up in ways that make others comfortable. It may be they’re so used to you taking responsibility energetically for their shit that they feel the loss as an affront. Give yourself permission to take 100% self-responsibility, including not worrying how others respond.

Don’t be too tied to external definitions, because empaths are here for a different purpose. We are here to help realign ideas of emotional engagement and heart-centred ways of being. You are walking the path less travelled and your purpose is to find YOU, first and foremost. From there, bring forth whatever comes through you in whatever ways bring you the most joy.

Look around your life to see if there are any tendrils of co-dependence; where you may be putting the needs of others ahead of your own. It doesn’t have to be a person – it can be a pet, a situation, a business, a client, a job… Are you doing what you do because of a desire to affect others or because it’s the natural expression of your heart’s truth and it feels so damn joyful?

Self-responsibility and Self-love

The addiction to caring for others’ energy can run so deep it feels natural even when it’s not healthy. I find myself at a different rock bottom and realize what I didn’t do last time was accept total self-responsibility. And the Universe has gently guided me here. This time I didn’t crash down, I floated ever so slowly like a feather on the wind. All the while, learning, observing and examining. And it has been a magical ride. Now I know and can feel the roots of my power. This time I know how to take hold and not let go.

I can commit to myself that whatever I do from this moment forward will be for my joy, expansion and desire to express my light in the world. I will bring the truth of my heart out in the open, not for the sake of others or because I owe it to the world for my existence, but because I love my Self so completely. And because it feels so unbelievably joyful!

I’ve heard it said that lack of self-love is the root of co-dependence; for me that was only partially helpful. This was the missing piece. Without self-responsibility, I couldn’t access true self-love. The missing piece lay somewhere deep in the disconnection from Self. When that is plugged back in, all the old stories fall away.

The mistakes you’ve made don’t define you. You are not the sum total of the stories you’ve been told about you. They were built on distractions designed to focus your attention and responsibility away from your shiny core; to place the story of your duty to others in your willing heart.

Take Stock of YOU

What beauty have you created in the world? Where does magic flow through you on a daily basis? When have you allowed the truth of your heart to shine its brightest? How many times have you felt successful in different areas of your life? All of these things are yours, aspects of your Self expressing through you. They are your responsibility and your joy. Do not allow contrary story lines to deny you the power in your truth.

Give yourself the gift of freedom by embracing Self-responsibility. The permission to soar is yours alone to give.

Big Love,
~ Jenny

* For more on the empath-narcissist dynamic, please see An Empath’s Guide to Narcissists *

Narcissism and The Patriarchy

Narcissism and The Patriarchy

narcissism, patriarchy, limitations(This post was written on 15 July, 2016.)

Firstly, let me clarify what I mean here when I say The Patriarchy.

I’m talking about the distortions in the divine masculine that have run rampant over the past several millennia to result in the structures that define the way we show up in the world. Visible and invisible structures, asking us to define ourselves according to some collectively accepted norm.

I mean the disowning of authentic emotional engagement that has resulted in a society rife with zombie-like humanoids thrumming with unexpressed rage, grief and joy.

I’m referring to the distortions that have led to the over-sexualisation of bodies and their parts to the point that people of multiple genders feel unsafe expressing their unique and delicious truths. And the entitlement to the harnessing of feminine energy – emotional labour, reproductive cycles, The Earth.

I’m talking about the unspoken and deeply ingrained expectations of what it means to be a ‘good’ citizen, a ‘contributing’ member of society, a ‘nice’ person, or a ___boy, girl, man, woman, etc____. Shame is a common way we hold one another accountable and keep one another in check. Toeing the line is expected and those who don’t play the game the way it was laid out are shunned, denied or ridiculed.

I’m pointing to the storyline of war as the answer to all problems and the total annihilation of ‘the other.’ I’m talking about the desire to soothe our need for security with weapons bigger than buildings, and political debates that resemble school-yard pissing matches.

Bringing it to Light

Narcissism is rife in collective structures, and it is at the root of some deeply-held trauma begging to be addressed. The ‘acting out’ we see, in the form of massacres, political unrest, occupy movements, and collaborative activism are symptoms of the changes that appear to be resulting in chaos.

Eventually, whatever is denied will rise again. Whatever is ignored or disowned will return, to be owned and claimed and heard and felt and experienced. It will roar with unspent rage at having been pushed aside for so long, and it will cause us to listen.

This is true on an individual level and at the collective level. Look to stories of people whose lives have fallen apart only to discover that a deeper truth lies buried in the rubble of what was. Listen to stories of people who have denied their soul’s longings only to discover they got louder and louder until they were forced in some way to listen. Find stories of people who have snapped after years of trying to be something other than what they were.

All these stories point to a different truth than the structures of The Patriarchy would have us believe. We are allowed to feel; we are supposed to feel. That’s why our bodies contain the capacity to express emotion. We are allowed to express our sexual desires and proclivities in whatever way suits us, not designed by or according to anything outside of ourselves. Allow ourselves to express outrage and horror when people commit crimes because they feel unheard or unappreciated! We are allowed to call our leaders out as liars, cheats, thieves and despots, if that is what they are.

Is narcissism inherent to The Patriarchy?

A narcissist engenders fear and instills trauma with their desperate need to sell a story that everyone buys. Their inability for self-reflection and honest self-assessment is ineffectually hiding a deep fear of being discovered for who they (believe they) are: wounded, powerless and desperate for love and acceptance. The carefully constructed external façade would collapse in the face of deep introspection.

We’ve been sold lies about what it means to be successful, authentic, loving, compassionate, beautiful, feminine, masculine, or alive. Lies about what it means to be part of a society of ‘good’ people; lies about what’s shameful and what constitutes heroism. We’ve been sold lies about how we must look, sound, and behave. We’ve been sold lies about the very fabric of humanity – the desire to know and love ourselves and one another.

There’s nothing wrong with looking out for the greater good. There’s nothing wrong with caring for others and offering assistance where we can.

The distortion arises when we buy into the myth that self-sacrifice makes us honourable, loving and good. The distortion becomes more obvious as we take on the martyr mantle and cast blame on others for the discomfort in our lives, unable to admit to ourselves that we’ve caused it through denial of our own basic needs and desires. Adherence to the status quo has created more chaos than peace.

Heal the Trauma

When we heal our deepest wounds, as individuals first, and subsequently as a collective, we begin to unravel the narcissism at play. We notice how choices of generations past have resulted in unhealed shit that is now growing in its intensity to be addressed and transformed. How can we pretend that the British Empire didn’t rape and pillage its way around the world, in a wash of bloodshed, in pursuit of so-called glory? In its wake, a ‘Commonwealth’ of nations destroyed and left with legacies of trauma. How can we pretend that the times of slavery in the US haven’t left gaping, unhealed wounds in the fabric of modern society?

We cannot ignore the trauma that has become an underlying thread in the ‘normal’ of our modern world. We cannot deny that choices made while feeling traumatized are not choices we would make when feeling peace, freedom, compassion and unconditional love.

Fear has kidnapped our senses and made us into the monsters that haunt our nightmares.

Narcissism is the ego gone awry. It is grandiosity, entitlement, lack of empathy, fantasies of limitless power, extreme envy, arrogance, and contempt for other ways of being. It is the bypassing of the heart’s wisdom to overlay the beautiful truth with a storyline that creates unease and uncertainty. Trauma renders us helpless, so we look outside for solutions and responses. It numbs us to our truth as creative, dynamic and magical. It causes us to shut down, become constricted, and shift into survival mode. We behave like victims of a world beyond our control. Narcissism in The Patriarchy has run amok. The distortions are spiralling out of control.

This is what ‘The Shift’ is supposed to be about – rebalancing; remembering who we are, at the core of our beings. We are magic.

Choose Magic

It is time to detach from the structures that weave distortion through the collective consciousness and create anew; to call out the narcissists for what they are and refuse to engage with their stories; demand alternatives to the accepted ways, especially when they feel abusive, discordant or in other ways hurtful; to create alternatives when our demands go unacknowledged; express what we’re feeling and allow others to do the same; to embrace one another in our humanness; to model the new way and to not give up believing that we’re making a difference.

Power lies in choice. We can choose the way of peace and inclusivity over the lies of separation and fear. Choose expansion over unconsciousness. We can choose change over stagnation. We can choose trust over everything. Choose to remain open even when it hurts like hell. Choose to feel and grow, and not to hide. We can choose to be visible, and to use our voices to create the good we desire to see. Choose to see the good in everything and everyone. We can choose to listen to our hearts. Choose to speak out about our trauma and the courage we found to heal.

We can love ourselves and our experiences in ways we never imagined possible. We can access the parts of us that know ALL things are connected and have led to this exact moment in time to our expansion and joy. Accept people as they are, knowing their journey has shaped them the same way ours has shaped us.

Big Love,
~ Jenny

* This post can also be found on Rebelle Society *

If you are, so am I

If you are, so am I

Out on a brief sojourn this morning, I was contemplating the concept of I AM. We’re told it’s the most powerful phrase in the Universe, and as I’m currently exploring the energy of narcissism through the video series, something became clear.

One of the prevalent experiences in the narcissist dynamic is projection, and if you conjugate the verb to be, you’ve got a pretty powerful projection tool. I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, they are, you (pl) are. So anything you add after these words has the same impact as the powerful I AM statements we are encouraged to use as affirmations.

This is also a nod to the concept of Oneness; we could say that they all mean the same thing. When you say to someone else YOU ARE ____________, you’re actually saying I AM ___________. So it’s worth observing carefully what follows those words, because they’re a direct reflection of what’s in your field.

It also speaks again to the idea that healing begins within. We heal ourselves by addressing and acknowledging our own woundedness. We attain Oneness in the same way, by acknowledging the wounds of duality and healing the separation.

Just some morning ruminations.

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Big Love,
~ Jenny