Do you feel safe in this world?
As empaths, the feeling of safety may sometimes elude us: whether it’s from early childhood conditioning or other experiences growing up, we carry this with us even as adults, affecting many aspects of our lives.
Our feelings of safety, security and abundance can be threatened by many reasons:
- Dysfunctional families
- Experiences of poverty or lack
- Stimulus that may be considered normal and tolerable for others feel like an attack on our senses, especially when we are in a state of imbalance
- Trauma – sexual or otherwise
- We may have been deemed as being ‘too much’ and were rejected in some way in the past, bringing up acute feelings of guilt and shame, leading to self-abandonment.
- We hide or disguise our true selves in the belief that revealing who we truly are could be dangerous, threatening or unloveable in some way.
While it can be difficult and deep-seated, I believe that these scripts can absolutely be re-written or dropped completely over time.
The most important ingredient, as always, is about intention. Step by step, by being present and loving with ourselves, and detaching emotions, blame or a sense of victimhood to our stories, we can heal our sense of safety, and become rooted and strong.
Working with the lower chakras
Feelings of safety and security in particular are related to the Root (or first) Chakra:
The Root Chakra is found at the base of your spine. This is your foundation. The basic issues associated with the root chakra are instinct, safety, survival, grounding, family, security, boundaries, and new beginnings. (source)
Feelings of being supported and seen are related to the Sacral Chakra:
Our roles are affected by the programming in this area of fear of abandonment, financial security, social status, children, and creativity. You can be controlled by your fears, level of trust, control, blame, guilt and shame. This area is concerned with daily aspects of living, people to whom we relate, and quality of our relationships. It also relates to everything we own, money, relationships, and passion. (source)
(Art by Mara Friedman)
When we feel unsafe, we may:
- unconsciously hold ourselves back from taking risks, making positive changes
- be hostile, have disproportionately emotional responses
- close off our hearts to others and become isolated – which reinforces feelings of being abandoned
- be afraid to express ourselves – something I believe that empaths are here to heal in this lifetime
As a result, some empaths live mostly from the neck up, energetically speaking. While our third eyes are usually wide open, our crown chakra too – our throat chakras may or may not be frozen. Chakras from the neck down may have been closed or blocked in an attempt to protect ourselves.
Building a sense of security
As with most deep seated issues, we tend not to be aware of it on a conscious level and are driven by them on a subconscious level. For myself, I didn’t set out with the intention of ‘healing my sacral chakra’. I just knew that I often had deep, visceral fears about being supported financially by my own skills and talents; I’d believed I had to push past my sensitivity and change who I am in order to survive. It was only through meditation that I got better at observing my own knee-jerk, reflexive emotions that arose over spending, earning, and thoughts about my path ahead. Slowly, realization dawned and allowed me to crystallize and verbalize these fears.
Being very present with my emotional responses, seeing the blocks, and untying the knots that were holding me back formed the core of my the main work.
The genius of being an empath is that we are really good at diving deep. When it comes down to it, in moments of self-reflection, if we are willing to get 100% honest with ourselves, we are able to uncover our own blocks and work through them.
On the healing path…
Healing can also often be as simple as seeing that the story that holds a fear in place is nothing but just that: a story. An illusion. Not truth. It is also as profound as knowing that underneath it all, we all hold the purity of Source – Love, Universe, God/dess.
Healing is a matter of uncovering our whole and perfect selves than anything else. Wiping away the dirt, dust and grime that have accumulated in our minds, hearts, and energy bodies over the years – and revealing our birthright, our true nature underneath.
Whether we feel our chakras are ‘out of balance’ or not, or however much inner work we need to put in, it’s important to do it from a knowledge that we are all already whole and perfect – from a place of self-love, in other words.
How I’m working with my lower chakras
This is probably the most fundamental thing: exercise. My exercise of choice is yoga (I loathe gyms with a passion.) But it can be anything: walking, running, stretching – the most important thing is to get your body moving regularly. So essential for empaths but also something we often encounter enormous resistance against! Exercise helps us to feel at home in our bodies, helps us to build physical strength and boost our immune systems.
I’ve also been working with crystals, specifically rhodochrosite, carnelian and rhodonite.
These crystals are associated with the lower chakras, as well as the heart chakra. At first, I wore them all day as a pendant for a couple of days. The thing about working with crystals is that it’s pretty subtle – but powerful. Just as I was thinking, ‘I don’t think anything’s happening!”; I felt like I was hit by a truck – I was SO exhausted, and then there were all these thoughts and feelings coming up…
How did I know it was something I had to release? Over a period of about ten days, there was this low level vibration of anxiety and fear that was almost relentless. Low grade enough for me to still go about and do my thing, but present enough to influence my words and actions. During my daily meditation, it was just there. Like a brick wall – hard to rise above, go around or to ignore it. The only way around it was through it. (As always!)
My way through it is through the written word. It is the most cathartic medium and the most important part of the healing process for me. This pulls them out into the light of day, so that they can no longer lurk around in the Shadow. This could look different for you: it may be painting, dancing, gardening, any kind of creative work. Preferably accompanied by healing tears. The important part is to allow yourself to fully feel your emotions as they come up. Let it flow freely – without self-judgement – until it all passes – and it will pass.
Once you set the intention of healing a certain area, you can also trust that the Universe will offer up events and people as opportunities to explore your trigger points, in order to help you along on your healing path. So if it does happen, don’t just take at face value the issues that come up – observe the emotions that come up for you around these events. Once you see them, you will be able to change your responses and make profound shifts within yourself.
Restoring a sense of security
If feeling safe is one thing that you are struggling with right now, the first place to start is to make sure that you are physically in a place of safety and to move yourself out of harm’s way.
Be aware that it’s impossible to 100% detach your experience from where you come from, the political systems you live in, and the complex interweaving of social, cultural and economic factors, so start becoming conscious of what you allow yourself to be affected by. What do your friends, family and community at large believe in? What are their mainstream values? Do you share these values with them? Could it be time to unplug yourself from any culture of fear? Healing means choosing what is best for your own well-being, even if it means temporarily distancing yourself from the things that are most familiar to you.
Coming from Singapore, as a tiny island-city, where ‘fear of losing’ is practically programmed into our national ethos. I’ve had to consciously de-program myself from many beliefs that even though I felt weren’t true, seemed necessary to my survival.
So depending on the part of the world you are from, and your own unique experiences, healing this area will directly relate to your day-to-day experience, and may change your world fundamentally!
You are safe, no matter what
You are a child of the Universe. Know that just by your very existence, you are supported.
You are an empath: someone whose presence already offers a healing to this world simply by being. When you heal and cultivate safety and security within yourself – that’s not dependent on your outer reality looking a certain way – trust that you are performing a great act of service for this world.