I have always been a person that people talk to. I sometimes joke and say that I am a priest as I seem to have strangers confessing their sins to me or their deepest secrets or shameful feelings. Only I don’t prescribe Hail Marys or Our Fathers!! Haha. If you are gifted in this way but sometimes feel that you get burdened by other people’s problems or you’re just not sure how to help, don’t worry. I was completely the same and I’m here to share with you some of the things I’ve learnt that can help!
I haven’t always been able to detach myself. It has been something that I have had to learn as I feel things very deeply and react to things, if not outwardly, definitely inwardly, like thinking of ways to help the person or analysing to understand why or re-living or remembering my own experiences that were similar. These were natural responses to me (not necessarily bad, in fact, often times very helpful) but something I felt that I had little control over and sometimes I would have trouble knowing what is my energy and what is the energy of the other person. I felt that I really struggled with boundaries and couldn’t choose which things affected me and which ones to block out and felt that I couldn’t protect myself from the painful feelings that would be brought to the surface. If you have experienced any kind of abuse, this may exacerbate this. Over the years, I have tried many helpful and unhelpful ways to manage this. Here are some of the helpful ones:
1.Understand that you are a reflector. A mirror. And other people are reflectors too. Reflectors are everywhere. They can be seen in people, in animals, in nature (photo of a lake somewhere in Miami, Gold Coast, Australia).
What is particularly neat about reflectors is they don’t necessarily have to say anything. In fact, the best reflectors are completely still and quiet. They provide a looking space where people can”see” things in themselves that they are ready to deal with to move forward. Reflections don’t just help you to see some of your traumas, your emotional buttons or deep dark feelings (though often in the counselling room, this is exactly what people would project onto me or bring up), they can also work in positive ways too. Like when you feel “inspired” by someone’s story, they reflect back to you your own sense of courage, creativity or bravery. Or when you see a new born baby, you are reminded of your own baby and those feelings of new life, hope and innocence (or the opposite, depending on your birth and baby experiences).
The realisation of being a reflector has really helped me and created a barrier between me and the person/thing that I had been taking so personally before hand so I created this illustration (available in the shop if you like it).
Just like reflective sunglasses reflect back if you look at them, they also protect the wearer from the sensations coming in too and what is going out. My stories, my personal experiences of pain, loss, suffering, anger, shame, are protected, though I can share these if I perceive it to be right and beneficial to do so. Go back to this post if you are not sure of the things you should say at particular times.
2. Listen to your body
Many times the feelings and sensations that are coming up for me are what the person is experiencing too. Though many times, they may not be aware of this. My body helps me to relate and connect and acts like a guide in where to take the conversation to help them to understand and integrate their experiences. To really get in touch with your body and the many sensations and thoughts that it has, it may help you to learn some mindfulness. I am dedicating my entire next post to mindfulness, but as mentioned previously, check out this website for more information and a bunch of resources. I will also be sharing more about Energy in workshops which you can get info about here.
3. “Not my energy”
When I notice that my energy changes around particular people, I have actually found it helpful to tell myself (inwardly or out loud) “this is not my energy”. And then give myself an affirmation confirming my own energy.
4. Let go
When the other person is being your reflector and you are relating so deeply that some of your issues are coming up too, do not judge this. This is a beautiful thing and means that your body is ready to let go of some of your traumas and experiences too. Acknowledge them and let them go. Like a kick board being held under water, if you don’t let these go, they can burst out in really unhealthy ways so if you need support with this, see the points below or the services here.
5. Energy Exercise
If you have taken on someone else’s energy and you just can’t seem to shake it off, watch this video of an energy releasing exercise. I find this extremely useful and practice it regularly to reset my energy.
6. Channel the colour silver or white
Silver is a reflective colour just by its nature. It is protective so I like to wear it on my body but if you don’t like silver to wear, just find some silver things and bring them into your world. The colour clears and releases any issues you may be holding onto and reflects that clearing to others too for them to clear. Being in between black and white, it represents a balance between light and dark, an intuitive and responsible judgement, taking into account all points of view. Truth. The colour of perception which is totally needed when you are being a reflector. It is also related to the moon, the ebb and flow of the tides and relates to going with the flow, keeping things moving. It is fluid, emotional, sensitive, mysterious, calming and purifying. White is similar but is a great reminder to me to send back light to the person.
7. Find your own reflector and express yourself
This could be a friend or family member that you can chat to, a professional counsellor, or you may like to write in a journal or do some art, play some music. I always carry a journal with me and find expressing my feelings through writing, music and art to be extremely helpful to integrate, understand, let go and move on.
8. Moon gaze
Had to throw this one in given the super moon this week. The moon is a great reflector. There are lots of advantages of moon gazing including increased intuition. Here is a photo I took of the super moon.
9. Be intentional in what you are reflecting
Being someone people open up to, you are seen as trust worthy. Think about what type of values you are showing towards yourself, others and the world as others will be looking to you to learn about themselves and may mimic what you do. I felt this as pressure at times, feeling that I had to have everything perfect, but it doesn’t have to be when you focus on values. For example, if respect is a value of yours, show self respect then show others respect and that will reflect to others who will reflect back respect to you. If trust, authenticity and honesty are values of yours, read my post here. More on values later.
10. Say no
I used to feel bad saying no to someone when they needed a listening ear but I don’t anymore. You can choose polite ways to say this so it’s less offensive such as “I need some quiet thinking time for a bit” or “Now’s not the best time for me, can I call you back at another time?” It may hurt people but if they have some things coming up that they need to sort through, there will be other opportunities, other reflectors around that will present themselves. Being gifted with this gift means you get to choose when to use it.
11. Limit negativity
Be mindful of the energy you surround yourself with and limit that which affects you in a negative way. This can include people but also limiting your exposure to the news and current affairs, music or situations.
12. Know yourself
It may be that within your energy you are running something that says that you help others. Though this is a lovely thing, it may also come from hurt or past where you are then attracting needy people. You can clear this and change this through some Energy Clearing sessions.
Feel free to share some of your reflections in a comment below or via email through the contact page.
Thanks for reading/listening to my reflections.