It was sometime after midnight, and I was curled up on the couch sobbing. In the exact same position I'd been an hour before. In the same pit of agony I'd been in for three solid hours. And yet the crying carried on, the tears pouring from my face and soaking my blanket, the sobs wracking my body.
And the crying carried on...
The thing that set off this fit of tears wasn't really a "thing" at all. Nothing happened, exactly. I was stressed, sure, but what else is new? The "thing" was that I had been asked to take on a new assignment, a new project with an indefinite end date. It's not something I would have sought, and yet intuitively I knew it had been selected for me by the Universe somehow, and that it would bring me joy and benefit me and others in important ways.
But for whatever reason, on that night the weight of the request became too much. I crumbled, caved, cracked wide open. I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed by 8 p.m., teary-eyed by 9, and sobbing uncontrollably from 9:30 until nearly 1 a.m.
Although the request seemed to be the catalyst for this monumental episode, inside I knew it wasn't. This was something bigger. MUCH bigger. The request simply triggered something held deeply within, something I had carried and struggled against and labored under for most of my life. It was the weight of being NEEDED.
Oh, the unbearable weight of being needed.
The weight of always being on call. Of never being able to truly relax and just BE. That omnipresent sense of obligation and duty. The fear of dropping the ball, of letting everyone down — intensified by the fear of knowing that if you slip up, everyone else suffers ... and when all is said and done, you still have to be the one to pull everyone back to safety. Because when you're the one everyone comes to, there's no one left holding space for you. And although you're always surrounded, always sought after, always called into the fray, it's the loneliest, most isolating feeling in the world.
But there was something else going on that caused this meltdown. It wasn't just about being needed — it was because I was DONE being needed. I wanted no part of it anymore ... and yet I still felt powerless to break the pattern and change my life.
The longer I sobbed, the more these words ran through my mind:
I give up.
I'm done fighting.
I'm done trying.
I have nothing left to give.
I am empty.
I am empty.
I am empty...
As the hours went on, I realized something: These weren't just words. I wasn't just throwing some petulant, pity-party tantrum at God, the Universe ... I was narrating the breakdown. And the words proved to be very prophetic.
I was done. I was empty — but more accurately, I was BEING emptied.
This was the purpose of the breakdown: I was being emptied and my load was being lightened ... not just so I could carry more, but so I could let go of the things I no longer needed, of the things that did not serve me or those around me, of the things that were weighing me down.
... which included the unbearable weight of being needed, and all the sorrow, frustration, fear, anger, anxiety, and isolation that went along with it.
Yes, I was being asked to take on something new, to change and shift and grow. And yes, I was also asking for changes at this point in my life — practically begging for them, because I was done with the cycles of frustration and pain, and I was soooo done with the pattern of carrying everybody else's crap for them, of being crushed under their load while they waltzed away, healed and happy and light as a feather. I was ready to be my own person, once and for all. Ready to set firmer boundaries and to have the people in my life respect them, and me. Ready to offer my love and energy on my terms, when I was ready, not just any time it was demanded of me. I was ready for change.
And so my request had been fulfilled. I was being released of that pain, that weight, that responsibility.
But it did not go quietly ... and that's OK. Because it's not supposed to.
When we think of emotional healing, we often think of peace, of happiness and lightness. We think of joy, fulfillment, relaxation. Of finally being free. But this isn't healing; this is after the healing. The actual healing itself is often anything but peaceful.
Healing is a transaction, an exchange of energy, and although it is given freely to all who seek it, I have discovered there is still a price ... and that price is the brief yet often intense suffering we feel in our own bodies as the pain is being pulled from us and leaves us for good.
And so there will always be pain in healing, in one form or another. It is an inherent, natural part of the healing process.
I have learned to see it as a sign that healing is indeed happening, that the energy of our sorrows is being purged from us, and that soon it will all be over and we will be left with pure light and love, should we choose to accept it.
Miraculous healing IS possible. I have experienced it time and again, and I continue to facilitate this healing for clients and loved ones. But sometimes it does require a small sacrifice on our parts. The size of that sacrifice varies and at times it may seem greater than what we can bear; but I attest to the pure power of this process and to the joy and peace that are found at the end, when all has been accomplished.
Along with the miracles, I have experienced this phenomenon of pain-before-healing in my own life, again and again and again. I see it in the lives of my clients through my energy healing work. And it happened again after this breakdown, when the weight of my struggles became too much — but after suffering under this weight and feeling my soul utterly purged, the light did indeed return. I was lifted up. I was wrapped in love and set down again on my own two feet, stronger and more powerful than ever. And ready to take on the tasks ahead of me.
If you are trapped in pain and agony, do not despair. You are right where you need to be. Your troubles are being brought to the surface so they can be released. Sorrow is a sign that healing is imminent, if we but push through and call upon the healing that is waiting to be ours.