Monday, June 16, 2008


Until now, I had resisted writing about my spiritual experiences for fear of losing my beloved readers. Any of you who missed my last post would be well advised to check it out and read through the comments to see how I've come to be writing about it now.

This post will probably be the one that separates the leavers from the stayers. Because this is where you can either decide that I'm crazy, deluded, and even straight-up lying, or you can take my word for it that some really nutty stuff has happened to me and I'm giving you my honest truth.

A long time ago, I wrote a post about my tendency to pick up other peoples' repressed emotions. Here's how it seems to work, based on my admittedly unscientific experiences over the course of my lifetime.

If someone is feeling an emotion, and expressing it outwardly, that's a no-brainer. Everyone can see what they're feeling.

Second scenario: someone is feeling an emotion without expressing it outwardly, but they are aware of the feeling. They allow the feeling and don't judge themselves for it. For example, you missed your bus, you're frustrated, and you know you're frustrated. You accept your reaction without judging yourself. You allow the feeling to exist in your consciousness until it naturally dissipates. In New-Age speak they call this "owning your emotions". If you own your emotions, I won't feel them. You will.

However, if someone is feeling an emotion and is either not really aware of it or is aware but judging themselves for it, that's when things get messy. For example, you miss your bus and you're frustrated. But instead of just stewing for a few minutes, you tell yourself immediately that everything is fine and go back to reading the morning paper. You press your lips together, tap your food, and refuse to admit that missing the bus really bugged you, because you think you should be above that feeling. You have disowned your emotion.

Another reason why people inadvertently disown their feelings is that they're too busy to pay attention to themselves. If your baby is crying and you're also feeling upset, you'll probably attend to the baby and push your own feelings down as much as you're able to.

Picture your emotions as a bowl of pudding. Say you want to repress them. Picture your options for repression as a hand. Each finger represents one dimension in which you are trying to push down your emotions. You aren't expressing the feeling physically; you're not thinking about it; you're pushing it out of your heart; and you're not expressing it in words.

You push your hand down onto the pudding. But the pudding (emotion) is real and it doesn't just disappear. It has to go somewhere. What happens is the pudding will surge out between your fingers. The spaces between your fingers represent the dimension of yourself that you're not in control of. If you're like the vast majority of people, you're not conscious of and/or cannot control your aura. That's where the emotion will find expression.

Once the emotion is in your aura, if you and I are in close enough proximity for our auras to overlap, there's a chance that I'll pick up on it.

Has anyone decided that I'm crazy yet? I'm trying to lay this out as logically as possible...

Personally I believe that many people pick up on energetic traces from others, but they're not aware of it. If you're an introvert, this could be one reason why people exhaust you. I happen to be sensitive enough that I couldn't maintain my ignorance, but it took a lot to convince me that this was what was happening.

If you're with me this far, let's go to the next step. What types of feelings do people usually repress? All the shadow stuff. Anger, Sadness, Fear, and all their myriad variations. Some really uptight people also repress their joy, but mostly what gets squished out into our shared public places is a lot of horrible crap. And I am vulnerable to picking it up and feeling it, like a psychic version of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

All my life I've struggled with the burden of feeling other peoples' crap. It was MUCH worse when I didn't realize what was happening.

Once I gained awareness, I had the advantage of understanding what was occurring, but I couldn't find a way of protecting myself from the effects. Being around people was constantly draining and exhausting. Sometimes the stuff I picked up made me feel physically ill. Even standing next to someone on the subway, if their aura overlapped with mine, was enough for me to feel their anxiety churn in the pit of my stomach, or their frustration could turn me into an angerball for the rest of the day.

I tried to protect myself. I tried crystals and Buddhist meditation. I tried psychotherapy and drumming and yoga. I tried visualizing white light, blue light, gold light, and grounding rods. I tried Reiki, which actually made things worse by increasing my sensitivity without adding any protective measures. I tried mantras. I tried prayer to "the powers that be", even though I wasn't sure who that might be. Nothing worked.

Honestly, it was like having an invisible disability. Everyday life was always hard, unless I was completely alone, and I didn't want to have to be alone so much.

One day, at work, just a few months ago, I had a confrontation with a customer. He was trying to be polite, but I wished that he would straight-up yell at me because I was getting all his desperation and feeling it sink right in through my abdomen. By the time I got back to my office I was feeling too overwhelmed to focus on my work. Again. In desperation, and I can't tell you where the impulse came from, I prayed to Jesus for help.

In an instant, the bad feeling vanished like it was never there, and I felt totally calm and centered. This, to me, given all my years of suffering and helplessness, was nothing less than a miracle.

Since then, I have been praying to Jesus for help throughout each day. My life has changed, and I get the feeling I've only just begun on this path. I have much more energy, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I'm able to cope with people, even crowds, as long as I continually check in with my spiritual connection. I can support my mom without feeling drained. And I'm not limiting my social engagements so rigidly as I did when I had limited coping abilities.

My connection with the light of Jesus Christ's love is not a passing whim. It's not optional. It's essential for my survival. I didn't go looking for Him; He came to me, for which I am ever grateful. Every day I receive multiple proofs that He's got my back and is always there when I call for him. Sometimes I even get a warning that something intense is coming up, but that's another story for another day.

And that's how it all started.

The Beginning.


unsigned said...

I think praying to the powers that be is like leaving a message in the "general mailbox" of an office. The message just sort of gets lost there in limbo forever. You're much better off with J.C. on the direct help line.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

That some people can read Aura's is not that far fetched to me. There are people that are really good at reading people's emotions and they are just tapping into that wireless network that exists in everyone. Some people just have better firewalls than others, LOL. And some people find it difficult to block out that extra noise. If finding faith in Jesus helps you feel better then that is what's right for you. We each must find the path that we are meant to walk and on that path find our peace with the world.

Karen said...

I find this so facinating. I don't find anything you said "crazy" or "far fetched". I think it is ignorant to flat out deny that people can experience psychic abilities.

And for me, someone who was raised Catholic, I find it amazing that you would find Jesus as a source of comfort or relief from what my religion considers a "pagan" sort of spirituality. (I am not even sure that I expressed that well.)

Basically, Catholics are taught that psychic spirituality is bad and exploration in to that world is a form of false worship. You have found a way to mesh Jesus with the psychic portion of yourself - or Jesus has found a way to do that through you. Either way, your experience is inspiring.

I am glad you found comfort and I am glad you are sharing your journey with us.

Leighann said...

I can tell from this initial post that riding along on this journey with you is going to be intense, exciting and thought provoking all at the same time.

I'm not a religious person in any way, shape or form, but I'm always interested in other aspects and views, and to be able to see how situations can be interpreted in various ways.

jameil1922 said...

GIRL!!!! That was amazing! Now THAT is what we like to call a testimony! Wow! Love it. People wait their whole lives to feel that and you have it now. Congratuations! They are most certainly in order. Wow!

savia said...

I, too, am clairsentient and find other people's negative energy to be overwhelming at times. It's hard when I'm feeling sick or depressed because it's harder to protect myself from it. But I remember what a relief it was for me to realize that was what was happening, and that I wasn't a huge emotional basketcase after all. I'm glad you found something that works to help you block it.

Keera Ann Fox said...

How wonderful that you've found something that helps you! I have met those were literally saved by Jesus. Although I may be critical of religion I am never critical of faith.

I've never been as sensitive as you in regards to other people's emotions or pain, but I do understand the phenomenon. Me, I have to actually be emotionally close to the person, not just physically. An example: One time my mother woke up in the middle of the night with a sore, throbbing thumb. I woke up, too, at the same time in my room, baffled at the time as to why I would wake up.

Aurora said...

I loved your image of pushing down on the emotions and them squelching through the fingertips. It really begs the question: where _do_ repressed emotions go? Fascinating.

Dianne said...

I too loved the pudding imagery!

I used to drink a lot, drowning the emotions. I still struggle with eating healthy as opposed to using food to push the feeling down or to comfort myself.

I have found that breathing deep and feeling a thin line of white light connection to ... here's where I'm not sure. I say it's a connection to the earth, to the universe.

Being raised RC has so turned me off to religion but that's not what we're talking about is it.

Do you feel your sensing of auras is part of empathy? I'm always told I'm a very empathatic person and I'm not always sure I know how that comes to be. I do feel people - something bounces off them and strikes me. I also tend to view people as colors - in my mind's eye.

this is so interesting.

Jenski said...

If only your sensitivity to auras had been pleasant like pudding. That is amazing that you have found such a great source of support and help coping with other people's repressed emotions.

I always struggle to define the spirituality that I feel and figure out if my connection to Christianity is merely through upbringing, and thus a way to express spirituality or whether it is something else. I am sure you have thought about your journey a lot, and you describe this part of it so clearly that I can really imagine what a feeling of relief must have washed over you in your office after praying that day at work.

Thank you for sharing!

whatigotsofar said...

Wh'ever makes you happy? If you think Jesus helps you, go with it,

Nilsa S. said...

What a truly wonderful post. So insightful. Thank you for opening up and sharing something that has been, to this point, intensely private.

Prayer is a powerful thing. Personally, I'm not sure if the act itself allows us to release that which burdens us (and therefore makes us feel better) or whether there is an actual god(s) who releases us from being burdened. Either way, I do believe those who seek solace in prayer gain immensely from it.

And no, you're not crazy. Just more highly in touch with yourself. And the world around you.

Sparkling Red said...

Unsigned: It does help to know who your local rep is. ;-)

Ron: I love the image of a human wireless network. That's a helpful metaphor.
And I do feel I'm walking on a path towards ever-increasing peace. It's familiar, like the peace of childhood innocence without the ignorance. :-)

Karen: Your comment has sparked such a multitude of thoughts in me that I intend to write a post on the subject later this week. I have explored a number of different spiritual paths. They have some things in common, and in some ways are wildly different. I have a story or two to tell...

Leighann: I'm happy that you're enjoying the ride! :-) I'm totally jazzed about sharing my experiences, now that I've received so many supportive and thought-provoking responses. It's not just me telling my story: this blog has become part of the experience!

Jameil: Thank you! It means a lot to hear that from you, as I know you are devoted to your church and to God. :-) You are the experienced one!

Savia: It's a heck of a process figuring it out, isn't it! I wonder if someday our culture will be more consciously open to this type of sensitivity, so that people don't have to spend so much of their lives mystified and confused. I bet there are folks out there who never get clear on the forces affecting them. That's a shame.

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: I have a post-it note on my computer at home, reminding me to check out your spiritual blog when I have time. I'm looking forward to reading more about your experiences.
I'm also critical of religion, very much so, which is making me feel a bit schizoid at the moment.

Aurora: My theory is that there's some kind of law of conservation of emotion, like the law of thermodynamics. An emotion that is fully processed can be released, but an unfinished emotion hangs around and gets in the way.

Dianne: I can't always tell how much empathy is coming to me through the usual routes, like someone's body language, vs. how much I'm getting through their aura. It's a fuzzy boundary, like the boundary between taste and smell. Although there have been times when it's clearly all the aura, like when they're on the other side of my office wall, and I'm just doing my own work, but I pick up feelings anyway. In that case I have to stop and figure out what's happening.

Jenski: That would be a difficult distinction to make. In my life until just recently, spiritual experiences have often defied definition. It's weird being so in line with a mainstream religion for a change.
And yes, I do wish auras were as delicious as pudding. ;-)

Whatigotsofar: Thanks for the thumbs up. :-)

Nilsa: Thank you. :-) The process of sharing my story with caring listeners is yet another wonderful, positive facet of the forces transforming my life. So really, everyone who's commenting isn't just an audience, but a participant.

San said...

Although I'm not as sensitive as you, I do sometimes pick up on others' submerged feelings, and it's really tough. I have a prayer ritual that works for me.

So glad that Jesus came calling and has helped you lighten your load.

Beautiful post, Red. Your pudding metaphor is wonderful!

Sparkling Red said...

San: Thank you! It's good that you know what to do to get over other peoples' feelings. Just like houses, we each have our own key. :-)

Tink said...

I don't think you're crazy. In fact, this was a very well written and interesting post. I think there are many paths to the same self-resolution, and that not all paths work for all people. I'm glad you finally feel like you're on a healthier path for yourself! I also think that this is your blog and you should write about your experiences (always) without fear of judgment. If people don't like it, they can go somewhere else.

Aric Blue said...

I think you're only half crazy--I bet if you had prayed to Allah you would have gotten similar results. The power of the mind, not some otherworldly being(Jesus).

But whatever makes ya happy, that's what you should do.

Sparkling Red said...

Tink: Thanks! For sure, there are plenty of other blogs if someone decides they don't like mine.

Aric Blue: I don't have anything against the placebo effect. Like I've said before, I'm a pragmatist. :-)

nicole said...

Nope, not crazy at all.
People like you are called "Empathen" in German. I wrote something about it a few years back, but the text got lost in cyberspace.
I'm glad though, that you found your way and help in that regard!
Have you ever heard of the book "The Magus of Strovolos" though?