Empath Training: Are You Hiding From Your Sensitivity?
by Aletheia Luna
Within us all lies the dormant ability to feel other people’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Yet within our loud, busy, and energetically frantic world, our sensitivity is often forced to shut down.
The daily stress that we deal with in our 21st-century lifestyles plays a major role in our ability to function as healthy, mature empaths. Overeating, under-eating, binging on entertainment, excessive multitasking, smoking, overworking are all modern habits that bombard our minds and bodies with too much stimuli. The more stimulated we constantly are, the more distanced we are from ourselves.
Stimulation-seeking itself is usually a sign of escapism.
We escape from reality because deep down we feel as though we can’t deal with it — and most of us actually haven’t been taught by our parents, teachers or anyone else how to deal with it. In fact, as children we may have grown up in emotionally dulled, immature or wounded families that shunned any form of sensitivity. Unsurprisingly, this caused us to block out and suppress that vulnerable, but gifted, place within ourselves to fit in. This was not really a bad thing, instead, it served as a necessary survival mechanism to help you adapt to your surroundings.
As an adult, you might be wondering whether you are continuing to block out your empathic abilities. After all, the mark of a vibrant, skillful and self-expressive human being is the ability to access emotions, and thus empathy.
While you may consider yourself to be an empath, it is still possible for you to actively block out overwhelming and negative sensations. While it’s important that you learn how to establish boundaries, it’s also essential that you permit yourself to consciously process uncomfortable stimuli. This will help it to be released, so that you can move on.
Empath Training: Have You Blocked Out Your Sensitivity?
Deep down you might suspect that you are hiding from the world due to your intense sensitivity. In fact, it’s very likely that a part of you is skeptical, cautious and unconvinced about the necessity of “opening up” to your sensitivity again. Why the hell would you want to do that when it could potentially cause you pain, rejection or rile up old wounds — the very things that you’ve been unconsciously hiding from?
The answer is simple: without consciously allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you will forever live in a state of emptiness. Without allowing yourself to be sensitive again, your life will be nothing but a vacuous, grey, numbed existence.
Exploring the ways in which you’ve unknowingly suppressed your sensitivity is the first vital step in reclaiming your personal power as an empathic being. This empath training article will open a few doorways for you to explore. Below I’ve provided some common ways in which people suppress/block out their empathic sensitivity, but this list isn’t exhaustive.
I also encourage you to introspect in a journal. Ask yourself, “What ways am I hiding/avoiding/suppressing my sensitivity and why?” You may like to start by writing down each heading below to categorize your thoughts like I have:
Physical Forms of Empathic Suppression
Emotional Forms of Empathic Suppression
Mental Forms of Empathic Suppression
As an empath, I’ve found that consciously permitting myself to experience discomfort, without attachment, has helped me to become so much healthier, energized, and psychologically balanced. There are so many things I’d like to share with you about training yourself to become a robust empath. If you would like more in-depth guidance, check out our empath book.
(For the time being, you might like to read deeper into this topic with some tips I wrote here.)
Aletheia Luna is an influential spiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a psychospiritual counselor, tarot reader, and professional writer, Luna’s mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. See more of her work at lonerwolf.com.
7 Inner Archetypes That Cripple Your Confidence and Self-Respect
by Aletheia Luna
The absence of self-love lies at the very core of every form of anxiety, depression, loneliness and emptiness that we feel as a species.
In fact, low self-esteem is such a pandemic problem, that we get at least a handful of emails, Q&A’s and comments on this website about it every single day!
Everyone in life at some point experiences issues with low self-esteem and poor self-confidence. In our world that teaches the preeminence of material wealth and accomplishment over soulful depth and wisdom, it’s no wonder that so many of us feel internally weak and fatally flawed.
If you feel as though you’re lacking self-confidence and respect, I can’t stress enough how important it is to become self-aware of the inner archetypes within you. And not only that: but to love and fully accept them as they are. This will allow their hold over you to cease.
What Are Archetypes?
Father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, once proposed that we all share a universal unconscious mind, called the “collective unconscious.” The collective unconscious is a layer within the mind that possesses all of the spiritual, symbolic, and mythological experiences and knowledge of existence. When we are born, we all inherit these ancient ancestral patterns. Archetypes then, are essentially patterns that aid our physical, mental and emotional growth as humans.
7 Inner Archetype ExamplesSince Jung, many authors, psychologists and thinkers have identified a large number of archetypes that exist within all of us to some degree. While many archetypes are positive or neutral (e.g. the visionary, the warrior, the engineer, the companion, the artist, etc.) some are destructive.
Every archetype we have within us has, at some point in our lives, served a purpose. Whether that is to gain attention or acceptance as children, or simply to make friends, every archetype has aided us in some way. However, as adults many of us “grow out of” certain archetypes. Gradually, instead of benefiting us, these archetypes actually undermine and wound us.
Unfortunately, many of us drag around these old and irrelevant archetypes with us for our entire lives. Little do we know that these very archetypes are secretly depriving us of the faith, self-trust and willpower we need to experience joy, creativity and peace.
The more self-aware you become of these archetypes, the better equipped you’ll be to release their hold on you. So now the question is, which of the following archetype examples are you still holding on to?
The AddictOther names: workaholic, consumer, gambler, glutton, hedonist
Addictions come in many forms. You can be addicted to physical things such as food, alcohol, tobacco, drug, money and sex. You can be addicted to concepts such as fame, success and beauty. And you can also be addicted to emotions such as the approval, love and acceptance of others.
Addict archetypes are places within us that believe that people, emotions, situations and objects outside of ourselves can make us happy. Unfortunately, this deprives us of our personal power, and makes us enslaved to whatever we are pursuing.
Lesson to be learned: Nothing outside of you can bring you love, happiness, approval or acceptance — YOU must find these things inside for them to truly last or bring you peace.
The BeggarOther names: outcast, vagrant
The Beggar archetype within us approaches life from a place of destitution, neediness and impoverishment. When The Beggar is ruling your life, you will find yourself constantly dependent and reliant on others for your security, happiness and well-being.
The Beggar within us is ruled by the following mistaken core belief: “I don’t have anything of value. I need others to help and support me.” Thus, when we approach life from a place of inner poorness, we are constantly propelling ourselves towards situations that reinforce this feeling.
Lesson to be learned: Your thoughts influence your reality. If you believe you are poor and have nothing to offer, your existence will reflect that. On the other hand, if you believe you are already rich and have gifts to share with the world, your existence will also reflect that.
The FanaticOther names: perfectionist, worrier, control-freak, bigot
The Fanatic archetype is both passionate and driven, but also prone to stubbornness and neuroticism. If your inner Fanatic is imbalanced you might be an obsessive worrier, perfectionist or “control-freak.”
The Fanatic’s main concern is control. This can create a lot of tension, health issues and relationship problems.
Lesson to be learned: The only thing you can control in life is how YOU perceive and approach life. You cannot completely control external situations, and you can never fully control other people. Realize that life is more than safety, security and success. Learn to loosen up and introduce more spontaneity into your life.
The JudgeOther names: critic, examiner
As humans, our natural instinct is to judge. We judge situations to assess whether they’re dangerous or not, we judge to find our ideal partners, we judge to find clarity and discernment in daily life. This is all natural. But often our lives revolve so much around the mind that we neglect the heart.
When The Judge within you is imbalanced, it will always be analyzing and condemning you. Negative self-talk is often strongly linked to rogue inner Judges that don’t know when to stop. A major cause of low self-esteem are Judge archetypes that are fueled by negative core beliefs and cognitive distortions.
Lessons to be learned: Judgement is normal, but is your self-judgment harming you more than helping you? Remember to show yourself leniency, kindness, objectivity and forgiveness — just like a proper judge would.
The Martyr is an archetype within us that desperately craves for praise, adoration and a sense of self-worth from grandiose acts of self-sacrifice. Martyr’s will often adopt the role of caretakers and cater to everyone else’s needs but their own. However, when our inner Martyr’s are not appreciated enough by others, we resort to guilt-tripping and manipulation.
Essentially, our inner Martyrs are places within us that are deeply wounded. These are the places that believe our self-worth comes from what we DO rather than what we ARE inherently.
Lessons to be learned: You don’t need to sacrifice all of your needs, wants and dreams for others in order to be worthy or lovable. You are innately worthy and lovable. Take responsibility for your happiness and learn how to love yourself fearlessly.
The SaboteurOther names: destroyer, serial killer, mad scientist
Just like all other archetypes listed here, The Saboteur is a natural part of the cycle of birth and death. Everything in life must eventually be destroyed in order for new things to arise. The shadow side of The Saboteur archetype is that it can develop a ravenous appetite for destruction.
Self-destructiveness is the biggest issue that The Saboteur brings to our lives. When we are deeply wounded and filled with self-hatred, The Saboteur is a wrathful confidant that tears down everything in our path. Relationships, friendships, careers, health, mental stability — nothing stands in the way of The Saboteur.
Lessons to be learned: What part of you feels that you aren’t worthy of freedom, joy and love? Explore your deeper feelings of worthlessness and how they poison and undermine your life decisions. You must learn to respect, honor and love the person you are.
The VictimOther names: slave
Victimhood allows us to acknowledge our woundedness, but when we get bogged down in it, it can cripple us.
The biggest problem that The Victim brings to our lives is disowned personal power. When we don’t take responsibility for our prosperity, bliss and contentment, our lives seem like a never-ending stream of misery. The truth is that there is only so much you can blame other people for your grief or misfortune.
Lessons to be learned: Stop blaming other people for your failures and disappointments. You are only a victim if you make yourself out to be one. Instead of being a victim, adopt the role of a fighter: this is a much more empowering role that will enable you to develop self-responsibility.
How to Regain Your Confidence and Self-RespectAfter you have read the archetype examples above and identified your main one (or bunch), you will need to meditate on them. Ask yourself, “How exactly is this archetype/s influencing my thoughts, feelings and actions?” You can journal about this, discuss it with someone you trust, sit in solitude with the question, or anything else that will help you introspect.
Finally, your job is not to hate, destroy or repress these archetypes in you.Instead, allow yourself to come into a peaceful understanding of them. Let the Archetype/s know that you appreciate the roles they have served in your life, but you’re now ready to surrender them and move on. You might like to design your own ritual or ceremony for this last part if you desire.
If it helps, bookmark or print out this page of archetype examples to re-read as you go through this process.
I know how debilitating low self-esteem and poor self-confidence can be. I have struggled with this many times in my own life. The difference is that I accept it as normal and do my best to move on, take care of myself, and honor my gifts.
If you have any experiences or insights to share about the archetype examples above, I encourage you to share below.
About Aletheia LunaAletheia Luna is an influential spiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a psychospiritual counselor, tarot reader, and professional writer, Luna's mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any
21 Signs You're Experiencing Soul Loss
“Soul loss is regarded as the most serious diagnosis and the single greatest cause of premature death and serious illness by the traditionals, and it’s not even mentioned in our Western medical textbooks.” — Deepak Chopra
In our society, there is a mysterious phenomenon occurring known as “Soul Loss” arising in all people of all ages, genders, races and backgrounds. Indigenous people have known about the occurrence of Soul Loss for millennia, and understand it as the result of an inner fragmentation caused by unawareness, a traumatic experience, or, an intense shock to the mind and body. When we experience Soul Loss, a part of our Soul – or living essence – ‘hides’ or shuts away, hindering us from expressing and experiencing our true potential and wholeness as human beings. Oftentimes entire aspects of our psyches are completely blocked out or repressed.
While for many of us Soul Loss may sound uncomfortably familiar, this experience is usually temporary, and with the proper Soul Work these lost elements of ourselves can be reintegrated into our lives.
What is Soul Loss?During my introduction to shamanism and the methods of ritualistic ‘soul retrieval‘, the basic understanding of Soul Loss that was expressed was that parts of our souls travel off into other realms, or alternate realities, sometimes being possessed by spirits. In the shamanistic perspective, when these parts of our souls are not recovered, we can’t seem to find inner completion or wholeness.
Before psychology, this explanation was the only way primal cultures could explain such a common phenomenon in order to find ways to treat it – and it was immensely effective.
Soul loss is in fact the rule rather than the exception. As individuals, unless we have become Awakened Souls we lose our soulful energy every time we identify with our egos; every time we seek to feel whole through addictions, stimulation seeking, dogmatic beliefs, conditional relationships, and workaholism.
Aside from our incapacity to feel whole, when we experience Soul Loss we begin experiencing feelings of weakness, fatigue, depression, anxiety and emptiness. We just know something is missing from our lives – but many of us struggle to discover what exactly is missing. To understand Soul Loss as a loss, or disconnection, from the most vital parts of who we are, is known in psychology as ‘dissociation‘ – a root of many mental maladies.
The Psychology Behind Soul LossOnce we recognize our souls (or consciousness) as an intensity of energy – anything that creates a reduction in this energy will result in listlessness, moroseness, and depression.
To create an imbalance within the psyche is to allow the individual parts of the personality (e.g. the shadow self, anima, animus, etc.) to make themselves independent and thus escape the control of the conscious mind.
Psychologist Carl Jung understood this process as relating to our ‘psychic libido‘. Jung proposed that our psychological personalities were composed of different ‘complexes’ (or parts of our sense of self), and the primary one of those responsible for control over all the others was our ‘ego’ which is the mental image we have of ourselves, or what we believe ourselves to be. Our conscious energy can be weakened due to one of these ‘complexes’ escaping the control of our ego and becoming autonomous, therefore leeching all of our ‘psychic libido’ energy and creating a psychological imbalance that shatters our natural wholeness.
So what causes one of our psychological ‘complexes’ to emancipate itself and become a tyrannical usurper of consciousness? Often the answer is that identifying with something harmful, or experiencing a trauma of some kind creates this phenomenon.
An extreme example might help explain better:
Imagine that a young child is molested or abused. In order to cope with the horrendous experience, the child escapes by disassociating, or detaching themselves, from the situation. In the process of protecting themselves, the child creates various alter ego’s, or entirely different personalities within themselves as a defense mechanism.
In psychology, this is treated as “multiple personality disorder” (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder). It is easy to understand how tribal cultures would have perceived this as a loss of the Soul. But essentially, psychological disassociation is nature’s way of protecting our physical organism against intense trauma and loss by blocking these wounding situations out. In the end however, it is our responsibility to protect our spiritual organism, our soul.
But Soul Loss, or psychological disassociation, is not limited to these extreme cases and can be found in different degrees in most people. Addictions, eating disorders, identity disorders, post traumatic stress, depression, codependency, narcissism, low self-esteem, and adjustment disorders are all common causes for Soul Loss in our superficial, fast-paced, materialistic modern societies that are mostly devoid of all sense of sacredness.
A young woman who dreams of being an artist but has to live up to her parent’s expectations of being a doctor will lose a little bit of her soul, ignoring an essential part of her being. Or suppose the young woman does go ahead and follows her dream of being an artist, but deep down she still depends on her parent’s approval. She then either blames them to avoid taking responsibility for pursuing her passion, or she grows low in self-esteem because she is not accepted by them. This story might sound familiar to you.
Fortunately there are many ways of finding wholeness again. A lot of the material Luna and I write for LonerWolf is a form of ‘Soul Retrieval’, where we help you to become aware of aspects within yourself that you may have been ignoring. We do this by encouraging the development of authenticity, for self-exploration, self-love and self-transformation.
Next, you will be able to apply this knowledge of Soul Loss to yourself. Are you experiencing it?
Signs You Might Be Experiencing Soul LossThere are a variety of physical, psychological and spiritual symptoms pertaining to Soul Loss. When we experience Soul Loss – or parts of our soul ‘hiding away’ or disassociating from us – the result is a loss in soulful energy, or the very vitality of our lives. This loss of energy prevents us from living healthy, fulfilling and creative lives. Sometimes Soul Loss can last for a whole lifetime, resulting in the development of a self-destructive person who we often refer to as a “Lost Soul” in our language.
To recover these lost parts of ourselves, and to become balanced, whole and centered once again, we must first identify the symptoms of Soul Loss within us. Below you will find some of the most common symptoms: