Some call it a dark night of the soul. Others call it ego death. Whatever the term, the empaths are being called to shed their egoic mind and ascend to higher planes of emotional and spiritual awareness. Plain and simple, the world needs it right now as we shift out of trauma and fear and into love and peace. We need it on a personal level and we need it on a collective level.
Ego death is when you are forced to reconcile your karma, when you are forced to see your blind spots, your problems, your complicity, the way you hurt others and the way others have continually hurt you. Think of the ego like prison bars around your brain. It keeps your emotional, spiritual, and mental health inside barriers, not allowing you to grow and expand, not allowing you to see beyond the circumstantial, the ways you have always thought about things and always done things. It keeps you in a low vibration and prevents your true life path and genius from rising.
Think of this process like this: there lies a huge block of ice in front of you, which represents your ego. You take an ice pick to the block and begin hitting it, smashing pieces to the ground. It’s freezing outside so there is no chance of it melting on its own. A few shards hit the ground and you ask your higher self or higher power questions about why those shards froze into the block to begin with. You get answers and see your blind spots and wounds for what they really are; why you made those decisions or passively allowed them to transpire. It can take weeks, months, or years to slowly but surely chip away at the ice and you can’t except it to do the work itself and you can’t overlook the tiny shard on the ground. They all mean something and they all lead you to the truth and without examining each one, your ego stays put. Only when you take care of each individual ice crystal with the heat of friction will you allow it to dissolve in the cold weather.
Once you begin this “icy” process, it shifts into something more like a tornado. It’s like a proverbial opening of Pandora’s box and all of the things you suppressed and hid or pretended weren’t there come rushing out. You can’t control it, you have to just ride the waves. Imagine you are observing a tornado close-up from the side of the road and suddenly find yourself caught in the eye. You’ll get blown to the left, blown to the right, blown up, down, and sideways inside of it. It controls and suspends you and you can’t get out. As you pick away at that ice block, you may lower down into the storm system, feeling like you’re making progress about exiting and feel exuberant about it. The next moment, a huge chunk of ice falls off the block and you get drawn up higher into the storm system — one step forward, two steps backwards. You thought you were making progress but suddenly realize how far you have to go to climb your way out. So too is the shedding of the ego. One step forward, a few steps backwards, always lowering into the cone, then getting drawn back into the eye. It’s not your fault, it is normal.
Stages of ego death:
Spiritual awakening (some kind of impetus wakes you up out of the amnesia. Awareness of the disconnect from your soul — all of the ways you have compromised yourself for other people’s benefit)
Seeking (delving deeper into your religion, spirituality, or esoteric and metaphysical matters that you vibe with)
Trying to explain or bring others into your process because you desire true connection
Isolation (when you begin to ascend on your own path and realize others, even your closest loved ones, are no longer on the same wavelength as you because you were wearing a mask when you bonded with them and so were they)
Grief (life isn’t what I want it to be/thought it would be)
Avoidance (trying to avoid the ego problems that led you to this point; blocking spiritual ascension)
Denial (“things aren’t as bad as they seem; I can live with my ego — everyone else does. I don’t have any problems.”)
Acceptance (“I need to do something to change this situation”)
Change (recognizing major life changes you need to make in order to ascend and doing it despite the hardship)
Deconstruction (identifying every bad/low energy in your body and soul, identifying problems and picking them apart to see what the cause of it was and what led you there — identification of core wounds and life lessons)
Detaching from karmic partners (letting go of toxic relationships that keep you in your ego. This can happen quickly if you are headstrong, or you may go back to them time and again because you worry about the consequences of leaving them — there is typically punishment involved. It’s not called karma for nothing.)
Figure out who you actually are on a soul level and pursue that
Regret over what you have done to others
Seeking friendships and partnerships with people on your new wavelength
Resentment and frustration, or sadness, anger and bitterness (at those who have wounded you time and time again, or cyclical situations you always find yourself in; re-triggering. This can happen many times throughout the process)
Release of the triggers by finding new ways to look at them (ex: this person did that to me because of this thing that happened to them, they didn’t realize what they were doing; I wanted love and acceptance so I made this compromise which caused this consequence, etc)
Peace and acceptance (finding your true life path, releasing karma, accepting yourself and your choices or lessons, healing your core wounds)
Good fortune (getting what you deserve — good things — because you shed your ego)
If you are going through this or know others who are, please please please use kid gloves with these people. They may act out, or withdrawal. They’re not depressed, weird, or bipolar. They’re having an existential crisis. Don’t talk about them/gossip, take advantage of them, or backstab while they are down and confused. (If you have true mental health problems, please seek professional support, but I am only speaking about transient life issues based on a spiritual awakening here).
You or others also need understanding, support, and connection during this time. Typically, someone shedding their ego doesn’t want or need advice. Telling these people what you think is best for them won’t help or work because everyone is on their own unique journey and so your words of wisdom can do more damage than good since this person needs to tune into their intuition and higher power in order to find their way out. Your life experiences will not help someone who has had vastly unique experiences that you cannot understand (this is why I offer Energy Readings — so I can be a blank slate for you and lead you to your higher truth). This means listen and absorb or accept what they are going through without pressuring for answers or resolution. This means sitting with them to absorb their energy instead of expecting something from them. In life, we have often had Maslow’s hierarchy of needs withheld from us. During this time, those awakening desperately need higher-level emotional support in order to self-actualize.
This is a heavy topic. I’ve not only been through it myself but I have witnessed it happening to my clients. It’s miserable and it sucks, in all honesty. I’ve written seven (possibly eight) other blog posts on the topic of empath sabotage and this is one of the biggies. If you are highly sensitive or empathic, this has likely been happening to you your entire life, whether you have realized it thus far or not.
Let me explain this phenomenon to you.
We live in a world or duality. Up and down, day and night, sleeping and awake. We also live in a world of many different types of people. I am not speaking about external identifiers in this case (sex, religion, ethnicity, etc). I am speaking about matters of the soul: empathy versus narcissism. In this world exist three types of people: empaths, narcissists, and those somewhere in the middle. Also note that empaths can exhibit many traits of narcissists if they have been surrounded by them or otherwise influenced by them. Narcissists can play the empath part. It gets confusing. Only by feeling a person’s energy and intention can you differentiate.
We all also have our own individual and collective karma. That is, the problems we need to work through in the here and now in order to spiritually ascend. Without resolving these things, you will come back lifetime after lifetime, or you will experience in this lifetime, the same problems, hassles, triggers, and pains.
Empaths by and large carry a greater burden of karma because 1). you have been here so many times and hold the burdens of those lifetimes within your subconscious mind and body, and 2). others have shifted their own karmic consequences onto you to purposefully avoid the consequences of their actions, or to not be found out as egoic and you have accepted it. It’s the classic “shoot the messenger” archetype — it is easier for others to blameshift rather than accept the karma. It’s also like being thrown to the wolves while the proverbial mob cheers at the bloodshed because no one else wanted to be the sacrificial lamb. Empaths have always been the sacrificial lamb.
Point blank, here’s how to stop that shit:
- call out others on their bad behavior instead of hiding it or internalizing it as your fault (this is the most common abuse tactic, FYI)
- actively work to expose the karma of those who have blamed you (yes you deserve justice. This doesn’t have to be nasty but it can mean honesty and clear communication to get to the bottom of things in a situation full of deceit)
- let go of energetic strings that others hold over you for purposes of power and control — no one gets to control you except yourself
- see their ego for what it is — don’t try to hide it for someone else’s sake
- do not internalize someone else’s problems into your body
- get rid of spiritual narcissists in your life who project and deflect
- pursue yourself and your life path at all costs, no matter what wrenches are thrown in your way
- do not believe the energy narcissist shift onto you, only you get to define who you are
- be the lone wolf if you need to, do not accept groupthink bullying at the expense of yourself or others
Undoing your own karma and that others have forced on you is the best course of action because then you will be free and find peace. You will no longer be sick, stressed, and indebted. It’s not fair and it is abusive when others do this to you, but you can make it better yourself — I have seen it and done it.
If all else fails, remember this — judgment day will come. It may not be now. It may not be soon. They may keep getting away with the transplaced pain. But everyone will have to answer for what they have done. They will only get away with this for so long. And unfortunately for them, the groupthink will mean nothing when it comes to the scales of justice.
Karma isn’t just a sequence of unfortunate events or punishment for bad behavior. It is a long trail backwards of cause and effect, and it happens for a variety of reasons, not necessarily because you “deserve” it despite what you may have heard. Instead, it’s a reflection of Newton’s third law: everything affects everything else and will have an impact down the road, whether we anticipate it or not. And it will happen to you no matter your religious or spiritual beliefs because it is basic physics.
I was sitting in a salon yesterday for a haircut and while I waited, I listened to a hairdresser (rather loudly) tell another client her lengthy family history and drama without abandon: her mother grew up as the mother figure when she was only a child; this woman’s mother acted more like a teenager rather than caregiver, and when they all tried to move in together this week (despite the painful past), the grandmother (who happened to be dying of cancer) realized after one day and one too many fights it wasn’t going to work out so she secretly packed up her bags and headed back home from Texas to Michigan. And no one wanted to talk about it. Whew.
As I always say, we all have problems. Every person and every family or circle of friends/community has deep-rooted underlying issues, despite many working hard to pretend there are no issues. I enjoy the people who are brave enough to admit to the problems — and respect those who actually want to work through them.
In a situation like the above you may think, well, those are some family issues that are unfortunate and may never be resolved. But when I hear these kinds of things I think back to what led these people to this place in life and what would be required to make it better (and therefore change the karma).
There are really simple ways to understand karma and I want to challenge you to begin using these tools so you can see how karmic storylines are playing out in your life and therefore, how to improve them — which is everyone’s responsibility while alive here.
First, dig really deep to identify the core wound associated in the situation. In this example, the core wounds would be abandonment (getting triggered in the mother, based on her childhood) and lack of help, and a grandmother who is always avoidant, shuts off, and runs when things gets hard or leaves others to pick up the pieces. Realistically, the daughter wants her mother to be the adult, do the responsible thing, admit to what she lacked as a parent, and show unconditional love despite her daughter’s resentment. You see, the roles were reversed and it caused everyone great pain. The daughter wants a mother (instead of having to be her own mother) and the grandmother likely had a childhood in which she was expected to be responsible far too young and she rebelled which could overwhelm her, or perhaps because she was now sick she also needed care and unconditional love. Do you see how the cycle keeps repeating?
Once you understand the core wound, you can see why this situation is transpiring to begin with. It’s not for no reason — it’s because the people involved are triggering each other’s core wounds; if so, they will just repeat in situation after situation, lifetime after lifetime no matter which sex or role you are born into. When you address the situation head on and find compassion, empathy, and compromise, you can resolve your core wounds so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. So you can grow instead of retreat and repeat.
In the above example, changing the karma would require a hard conversation. It would require all parties see beyond the circumstantial triggers (arguments about silly things that never get to the root of the issues/core wounds) and talk about the depth of their wound in order for the other to truly understand. It would also require genuine listening and the desire from others to resolve the issue no matter what, ie: weakening their own ego for the sake of someone else.
Secondly, look back to all famous works of literature, or even popular shows and books. What is embedded into the collective unconscious is no mistake. The stories we keep telling and sharing with the world at large are as old as time itself. Yes the characters and intricacies of the plot change, but the overarching themes are the same. In nearly every story you read or watch, a common denominator is that the characters are presented with a choice: do I repeat the past or do I venture into the brave unknown? Do I forgo what everyone else wants or expects of me or do I choose my own path? Are we all going to keep doing what is easy or will anyone choose the difficult thing? Who will prevent the truth or good from rising and who will fight to expose it? Who will come up with solutions and who will allow the problems to persist? If I choose my own path, what is the punishment I will face? Does the fear of that outweigh the truth of what is in my soul?
Karmic storyline character roles:
- The twin flames: fight constantly, passive aggressive if only for comedic effect or can also be overtly aggressive, very high masculine and high feminine, or one is integrated and one not; abusive relationship. One may actively try to make things better (grow), but not always.
- Distractor: comes in to “swipe” the scene clean and create a transition to a new topic, or so everyone forgets what just happened – sometimes for comic relief, to control the conversation or groupthink, sex appeal, etc.
- Narcissist: the fearless, egoful leader who gets everyone into trouble and out of trouble, manipulates the entire situation to get his way or make sure no one lets onto what he is doing, earns the favor of others especially those in authority, abuses others then justifies or blames it on victim. He may try to do the right thing every now and then to save face but will always go back to control or abuse.
- The lackeys: carrying out sinister deeds on behalf of the narcissist leader(s) so they stay in the good graces and receive benefits from the leader. They assume they will be protected, but the leader may eventually turn against them too.
- Empath: the sweet, sensitive, king or queen type energy who tries to bring everyone to their senses and do the right thing but is not heard or purposefully quieted. The narcissistic leader/abuser generally targets them to “astroturf” their reality. The narc may eventually fess up and say they will never do it again and there may be a forgive and forget mentality, or the victim may remain hurt.
- Soul mates: any two people on the same wavelength and always work together when problems arise.
- The wise one/mentor: warns the characters about the dangers, but the characters often do not listen then feel bad afterwards and realize he/she were right; helps others learn the lesson.
- The groupthink background actors/the “mob”: mindlessly supporting the narcissists in order to not be targeted themselves or in order to fit in. May remain silent or may perpetuate groupthink gossip. Refuse to think for themselves.
Use this information to your advantage to identify the storylines you are in, your role and the role of others, and how to escape them or turn them on their heads.