November 2013 Article: When All Else Fails to Heal You, Part II

By Dave Markowitz ©2013*
Originally published in Positive Health Online, Europe’s number one online publication

In my experience, conscious seekers tend to be very caring toward others. But because we haven’t learned how to truly protect ourselves, we tend to be more empathic than compassionate in the literal senses of the words. Empathic abilities when not understood become burdens instead of gifts; we become emotional and energetic sponges that absorb unwanted and unnecessary energy leading to blockages, and emotional and physical pain and illness.

When all else fails

Why We Absorb the Maladies of Others

I am currently working with a very wise, spiritual woman I’ll call ‘Amy’ who can clearly recall being 3 years old and having an awareness of how ill her mother was at that time. Because babies only know love, Amy wanted to do something to help her mom. Amy remembers going to her mother’s bedside wanting “desperately to do something” and recalls “healing her mother” in that moment. After that experience, Amy’s mother did feel better, but Amy felt worse. Much worse.

She presented to me, in her own words, “barely able to walk”. She’d already had surgeries on her hip and feet, and doctors didn’t know what to do next. I was able to intuit that Amy actually absorbed the energy of her ailing mom at that time, and has been holding onto that stagnant energy ever since. And this is not uncommon. In my experience of late, I’ve found it to be the norm more than the exception. Amy’s loving act was both effective and detrimental at the same time - effective for her mom, and detrimental to her.

This seemingly loving intention created a pattern of feeling responsible for others’ health and so much more. Even as a youth, Amy felt responsible for holding the family container together. She recalls feeling responsible for everyone’s wellbeing, and of course acted from that ill-perceived place. Everyone else bought into that version of reality, too. Her siblings and mother blamed her for all that went ‘wrong’. This affected Amy’s self-esteem, which is energetically tied into the efficiency of the immune system. That, in addition to the energetic transfer, got Amy very sick in her youth and she has been plagued with serious pain and illness for many decades since.

Without a very conscious awareness driving the action, her soul’s contract of being a helper called her toward this event and its subsequent learning opportunities. Years of pain and illness drove her to try so many modalities and practitioners but few thought to ask about her childhood, and none created safe space for her to share this event with them. 

I explained that this learned sense of responsibility has been burdening her entire life. The one-way flow of energy when not understood makes us too attached to other people’s feelings and even their opinions. We become people pleasers, denying our own sense of self and always focusing on others. But just like we hear on every airplane ride about the oxygen masks, we need to take care of ourselves first. Amy is now integrating this information using the tools I’ve given her and as we work together doing specific exercises to fine-tune her empathic abilities, she is healing slowly but surely of ailments that have plagued her for five decades.

While Amy’s level of illness is one of the more extreme I’m working with, the underlying causes are the same for many of us. The sense of responsibility we often learn early on makes us live at the mercy of other people’s thoughts and opinions of us. We don’t dare anger another for fear we’ll be unloved. We don’t dare say what we want because we don’t feel worthy of having our needs met or can’t handle someone saying “no” to us. And we end up doing things out of fear, guilt, or shame - all very low vibrational patterns - in a feeble attempt to be loved by others. Guilt, fear and shame create resentment and a resultant constriction of energy, leaving us unable to fully heal or even excel in many areas of our lives. On the converse, acting from compassion and unconditional love is an expansive energy, opening us up to the healing and abundance of the Universe.

Tell Me More!

Doing the same actions but from compassion / unconditional love as opposed to responsibility / empathy has a very different effect on the people involved and the outcome. Empaths too easily confuse empathy with compassion - completely unconsciously of course. Compassion is the ability to hold sacred space - a safe haven filled with unconditional love and acceptance for whoever is in front of us. Each person has his or her designed soul path and no amounts of judgment or condemnation will prevent that from being fulfilled. Knowing this while loving all aspects of any individual is the definition of compassion - a very high vibration that can exude well beyond the physical dimensions of your immediate proximity and further the fulfilment of the soul’s mission. Compassion is the lubrication that helps the soul achieve its mission and makes that journey go smoother. It is the proverbial ripple that heals all by actually doing very little. It’s a state of being that recognizes the larger perspective and can love without attachments and hold space for even the most ill of individuals. When the mind and heart are aligned with this awareness, compassion can co-create deeper awareness and trust, and can catalyze wondrous healings and transformations.

Empathy however, is the feeling and keeping of energy that does not belong to you. It may be worth looking at to see if it’s part of why you’ve yet to heal.

I never believed that symptoms were idiopathic, or that they had to be permanent. All of nature includes both problems and solutions; we only have to look further than our learned realties to see it. To me, non-diagnosable symptoms, or even diagnosed illness that had no obvious cause were just a jigsaw puzzle needing to be filled in from beyond the physical world of prescriptions, surgeries, and even existent energy healing modalities. When I was open, the answers came to me, and invite you to do the same to see if this information resonates with you on a deeper level than solely mind awareness.

I’d love to get your feedback on the above. Please write and tell me your fears, your frustrations, and your successes!




This is a continuation of the series. When All Else Fails to Heal You. Part I can be found here. In part one of this series we discussed how responsibility for others could be a major factor in the manifestation of pain and illness in ourselves. I have found this to be especially true for highly sensitive people - empaths, intuitives, healers, and for most on a spiritual path.



The author makes no medical claims of diagnosis, treatment, or cures, and assumes no liability for the (mis)interpretation or (mis)application of any part or all of the above article. It is always best to see your doctor.

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