Friday, January 29, 2010

Friendship, love & boundaries

I love you. I trust you. I will be here for you when you are hurting, and when I am hurting I will not leave. ~ Taken from a vow renewal ceremony

I have been faced recently with some dear friends and family members that have been going through very difficult challenges in their lives. As a counselor, it is my nature to help and as a friend it is my nature to care. As an empath, it has sometimes been difficult to tolerate the negative emotional and physical energetic that surrounds these folks.

I have pondered this and realized there seem to be two types of individuals in this regard. There are those that ARE in pain but doing their best to be awake and to walk through it as effectively as possible. They give a shout out when they need it and are pull in when they need to be quiet. In other words, they are doing their best to take care of their needs and be responsible about their own situation. They talk to me about their "stuff" but do not look to me to fix or solve it for them. They usually do the best and move through their challenges the quickest and with the most grace I have found.

The second type of folks talk about their situation incessantly but if I offer any type of suggestion to them about how to correct it they get evasive or angry at me. They are "stuck" but they do not seem to take any steps to move forward. Every misfortune that comes their way pushes them further into victimhood and a "why me?" mentality. Their problems become an addiction or crutch, similar to alcohol or a drug. It clouds their reality on many levels, obscuring the good that is present in their lives. At times I have found that while people are in such a negative spiral I have had to keep a physical distance from them, while still including them in my daily prayer and dedication work.

I found that when I would speak up to these folks about their negativity, I would feel slightly guilty, like perhaps I was adding "insult to injury" as they say. A wise friend recently told me that I was acting as a true friend by speaking my truth to them and alerting them to their behaviors. I was surprised that the person in question was able to hear me and really take in what I said. When we speak now she goes into much LESS negativity which is wonderful. It was a wonderful learning lesson that as I practiced self-love and kept healthy boundaries for myself, it opened the space for others to do the same. Like the quote at the beginning of this piece, I still held a place of love for them and did not abandon them and viola! More miracles.

Bright Blessings to you today fine readers.


  1. Communication is a skill to constantly hone. If you are able to guide and instruct in a loving and reaffirming way, for instance, reminding a person who is acting out negatively, that you hear them, you understand them, and you know that they have their own inner wisdom and that they might want to consider that they might want to try to be kinder to themselves, then you can often get a more receptive audience right off the bat.
    If your purpose is to get the person back to their own inner guidance then this reminds them that this is within, and reminding them to be gentler with themselves will trigger their self-preservation response.
    But if this initial approach does not work, then you are probably dealing with someone who just isn't there yet to listen, much less to allow themselves to get in touch with their own inner wisdom; they are stuck in lower ego energy and aren't ready yet, if they are ever ready, to get unstuck. In which case, you might be better served to walk away so as not to get sucked into their negative ego vortex.
    These are some observations and techniques I have found successful over the years, just in case you might find something in them useful, I thought I would share.
    Good post and important topic/discussion for the helpers and healers in the world.


  2. Hello Aine,
    Thank you for your comment. I liked your term "negative ego vortex" and felt that was a very apt description. I find that those in that space want to hear their story repeated over and over and are not ready (at that point)to take action. It really does seem like a vortex as it just spins round and round.

  3. I can relate to exactly what you have experienced here. It seems I am one of those people to whom people seem to come to for advice, to listen, etc. There is such a different response depending on whether they are "stuck" or not.

    I have enjoyed and think I can learn much from you. Thank you

  4. Greetings Quiet Waters Rise!
    Thank you for visiting and for your comment. I hope to hear from you again. Blessings to you.

  5. I.K., great article! It is definitely a challenge to deal w/ those who become so immersed in their negativity, pain, etc., that they cannot see how toxic they then become to those around them. I think there is strong merit in acknowledging negative experiences, feeling the pain, processing through it and then, ultimately, releasing it. That last part is where many get lost. They choose to cling to repeating the negative part of the experience and lose sight of the fact that there can be an ending of the bad stuff.

    The good news is, that for you as a healer and counselor, you can choose to gently vibrate these people out of your reality. That is not to say turn your back on someone in true need - never that! It is to say, rather, that if someone is choosing to stay stuck in the seething morass of their own negativity, you DO have the right to vibrate them out of YOUR reality. When you have done everything possible as a healer to help someone move forward, and they insist on doing the luxuriant backstroke in their deep pool of angst, it's time to free yourself of this energy.

    Focusing on them becoming more aware of positive solutions, as you've indicated doing, can also be the most powerful therapeutic tool!

    I enjoy your writing very much, dear one, and look forward to reading more!

    ~ Dawn

  6. Thank you Dawn. I very much enjoy your work also. Bless you for Authentic Blogger also. What a great way to get us all together. : )

  7. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is step back and create a loving space for someone else to find their way. Sometimes the best approach is asking the second group what they think they can do to improve their situation. If they come up with nothing, ask them if they'd like some advice. If they say no, you can state your piece but then let them be. If you cannot tolerate the negativity, say so gently. Human relations are difficult when it comes to the folks that perpetuate the "poor me drama" and yes I'm borrowing from James Redfield. LOL That drama is about manipulating for energy and forcing people to love the poor me ONLY the way the poor me wants to be loved. It is unhealthy and the best thing you can do is tell them you love them and point them in the direction of the light (loving themselves) and let them know if they need some assistance getting there, you'll be there. Until they are willing to solve instead of perpetuate, there isn't anything you can do...but step away...just step away. :)

  8. My dear Jaie, thank you so much for your insightful comment. I know from your sharing with me that you have much personal experience in this area! I know it hasn't always been easy for you, but it has given you a wealth of information to share with your own readers and now, mine too. Many blessings!

  9. No matter how practiced you are at not being drawn into others negative energy it's very hard to ignore it, especially if you truly have empathy in your heart. I have over time learned to deal with negative people but I can't say that I am always able to do it without a shift in my energy. Thanks for your comments & thoughts on this difficult subject.



  10. Thank you for your comments Bill. Yes I feel I am constantly honing this skill. I have certainly gotten better over time. I developed a class when I ran my healing center/school called "Boundaries for bodyworkers and everyone else" that addressed this very subject. I have always had many Indigos/empaths attracted to my school and practice and it made me happy to be able to support them in this way as one that really gets it!