This morning while in meditation I was given a life-review. Many of these have shown themselves as part of my spiritual practice – some simply for the sake of remembering; others for the sake of seeing, healing, and releasing. This morning’s review might prove to be a little of both, but it’s too soon to tell. Right now, I’m just tired. Most recently I’m physically exhausted from being an empath and processing a world at war.
But beyond this, my soul is tired. I’m weary. Soul weary.
As an introvert and an empath, this world is sometimes (increasingly so it seems) just TOO MUCH. Too much noise. Too much activity. Too much stress. Too much chaos. Too much hatred. Too much violence. I’m a strong, courageous, and resilient woman but after a lifetime of TOO MUCH I’m tired. My bones are tired. My blood is tired. My skin hurts. My mind is exhausted. My soul is weary.
I know I’m not alone in this. I hear from friends and family members every day who are deeply soul weary. It seems this soul-weariness has come to a point for many where we no longer have the strength or interest to move through one more layer of wet concrete to get to what? Some level of success as defined by a system based in fear, oppression, and control? “Just do it,” Just doesn’t anymore. And there’s nothing to “get over” and “move on” from when we live in a disordered world.
Our world is sick, and it has made us all sick.
As I write these words, I find I’m too exhausted to even list all the ways in which our world has made us sick. If you don’t see the sickness, either you are in denial or you are part of the problem. Those who are suffering because of our world know the reasons all too well. In short, the systems that have been created and out of which we are expected to live are not sustainable for ourselves or our planet.
What comes to my mind is the canary in the coalmine. Perhaps we who have become sickened to the point of being soul-weary are the canaries in the coalmine of our world. As every good coalminer knows, if the canaries are becoming ill, it’s time to run, get the hell out of that mine because soon you will become sick and dying too. The canaries alert the miners to a lack of oxygen or poisonous gas. We are that alert.
Those of us who are soul weary are here to tell the world STOP what you’re doing because if you continue in this direction, soon we are all going to die.
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From the moment that Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, I have been both deep in prayer and physically writhing from the effects of being an empath. I cannot help but feel the world in rapt and anxious attention to the conflict along with the grief, fear, and enormous courage of the Ukrainian citizens. Still in the throes of the excruciating pain of an empathic full-body migraine, I feel at the center of it all –
As a species, we find ourselves at a potential turning point – one, through which, we might finally break free from the clutches of tyranny. An innocent nation is being attacked and the court of popular opinion leans on the side of Ukraine. Russians themselves decry the actions of their president and those who support him and are rising in protest. Members of the Russian military are beginning to question the orders they’ve been given along with the reasons why. In a recent phone call with a family member in Ukraine, a friend learned that many Russian soldiers are discussing the possibility of simply laying down their arms.
Russian soldiers laying down their arms? Imagine that!
Imagine that! Imagine the precedent this would set for the people of our world! In a world where recent wars have been created by men in power for the sake of other men in power. In world where economies and the bank accounts of the wealthiest in our world have become dependent on war. In a world where the innocent have no voice and the soldiers are simply doing what they are told. What would happen if those sent to fight another’s war simply lay down their arms and joined hands with those they’ve been told are their enemy? What would happen?
We would suddenly find ourselves living in a whole new world.
Lauri Ann Lumby was born with a deeply introverted (yet social) and contemplative spirit. She is gifted with seeing the truth beyond the illusion and because of this gift, has been called a mystic, a visionary, and a prophet. Lauri is also a catalyst, meaning that those things that are stuck or which need to come to an end begin to move, simply because of her presence. This reality has earned her the designation of “Priestess of Death” – a title she willingly embraces knowing that in every ending is the promise of new life.
It seems no matter how much training and practice I have put in to being an objective observer of this world, remaining emotionally detached from the ongoing violence that plagues our world, my body has something else to say. When collective attention is directed at another of the many violent events of our world, I feel it. No amount of spiritual practice or discipline seems to change that. I feel the violence in every cell of my physical body, and it hurts. It hurts both physically and emotionally as the collective emotions around said-events creep into my being. As my mind is saying, “another day another shooting” (how sad is it that for many of us it has come to this!) my body is collapsing in on itself – writhing in the collective pain of disappointment, fear, sorrow, and an increasing feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness.
Being a human barometer is hard.
Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of another so that we can understand their struggle, their suffering, and their pain. Being an empath places us in those shoes whether we choose to be there or not. Being an empath allows us to literally feel the physical sensations and emotions of another. Being an empath is like having a body that is constantly testing the “pressure” of our world. Like a barometer, we cannot turn ourselves “off.” We are always “on” feeling what is happening in our world, or what is about to happen. We might not know what it is we are feeling…but believe me
WE ARE FEELING IT!
As a Capricorn who has mastered the fine art of detachment, who is doggedly self-sufficient and (on good days) believes I can accomplish anything, I keep forgetting the debilitating reality of being an empath. When the barometer that I am reads “high pressure” I simply cannot function. My ego tries to push through it so I can do “the work” I have been programmed to believe I need to be doing to “survive” in this world and to be “a productive member of society.” The harder I push against the high pressure reading, the sicker I become, reminding me of the Buddhist saying, “What we resist will persist.” UGH!
Being an empath is hard!
So what is one to do? As the past week has reminded me, there is NOTHING I can do. Instead, I am invited to surrender. To just be. To sit in the yuck. To feel it. To dive deep into it. To bring it into my prayers and to surround whatever it is I’m feeling with love. I find I really have not other choice. I can’t turn the barometer off and I cannot turn away from the pain of our world. What I can do is remember that as I am allowing myself to be with the pain that the world may not be able to be with on its own, in some small way the pain is being healed and the path cleared for humanity to begin making a different choice – even if it kills me.
What are your experiences of being an empath? How have you come to understand this gift and its calling?