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in this article, we’ll look at 3 reasons healers, teachers, and leaders might feel too scared to shine and do our work in the world:

• fear of being targeted or cancelled online
• lived experience, where attention was unsafe
• past life persecution memories (‘the witch wound’)

what a courageous thing, to find a tender dream in your heart and step into service…

and then do it.

what bravery!

most of us who hold space professionally are gentle souls who genuinely wish to help what’s calling out for mending and tending here earthside. hullo kindred spirits, highly sensitive folks, starseeds, old souls, and empaths – what a marvel to have come to this beautiful (and tumultuous) planet in the first place, much less to sing our songs of hope and healing in the world.

even if we had those legendary skins we sensitives have heard all our lives about – the ones we’re supposed to ‘just toughen up’ into – it would still be an enormously heroic, epic thing to hang a shingle and do what you do, especially in our volatile times.

can we be honest about how scary it can feel to hold space in our world right now?

I’ve witnessed so many magnificent, tender, gifted healers experience initiations that rock our souls to the core, and can leave us fearful around doing our work. there are so many ways that can happen – fielding wounded humans trying to handle their unresolved hurt in an unskillful way, personal lived experience in this current lifetime that taught us attention is unsafe, ancient echoes from times when gifted ones were hurt or hunted, or funky spiritual contracts that help us grow and still hurt like hell to walk through.

I’ve navigated all of these experiences, and if you have too and are still hurting, may this writing be a healing balm to your magnificent spirit.

I remember when I was targeted online and cancelled earlier in my career as a healer, and it was shocking, traumatic, and painful. if that’s happened to you, far in the past or recently, my heart wants to send you a big heart-hug.

I hope you’re okay.

we can name with compassion and grace that it’s really scary to face unkindness or censure on the internet, which usually comes from people with unhealed wounds.  the folks doing all the yelling, shaming, blaming, or directing mean-spirited comments can do real harm before moving to the next target to rinse and repeat – you might have seen colleagues navigate that initiation, or survived it on your own.  as a result, you might find yourself frozen in inaction at the exact time when your heart wants to deliver your gifts to a world in urgent need of them.

but there’s more complexity for tender-hearted folks who hold space than just online bullying…

looking deeper, you might have had painful lived experiences outside of your professional work in this lifetime that taught you – in slightly-rugged or totally-devastating ways – that having attention paid to you comes with a steep price tag. perhaps that looked like being singled out when you were young (or as an adult), and you learned that attention = pain.

perhaps your gifts or age or inexperience made you a target for harmful or unwell ones working out their hurt on you…and you learned that attention is to be avoided at all costs, no matter how much your larger self wants you to shine here, and fulfill your mission planetside. that’s a tricky puzzle, and sensitive souls really struggle in it.

are there deeper layers for healers and helpers, beyond this lifetime? you bet.

enter past lives. so, so many healers, helpers, leader, and teachers are here planetside right now who have worn an earthsuit hundreds or thousands of times, and been persecuted for being wise women, hedge witches, medicine carriers, gifted ones, sighted elders, visionaries, or simply pure of heart in a world that sometimes seeks to hurt for amusement, or to shut down the song of light at all costs.

I’m speaking of ‘the witch wound,’ have navigated my own very strong version of it, and can’t count the number of people I’ve worked with who know in their flesh and blood and bone that they’ve been here before, and their very soul-stuff shudders to think of ‘being seen’ (and possibly deeply hurt again) in this world.

of course. if you have soul memory of being burned, hunted, crucified, ostracized, shunned, or injured for bringing your gifts, it would take all the courage in creation to draw the deep breath, and put yourself in a position to field all of that again.

blessings, blessings. none of the dynamics mentioned here are simple, or easy to be with.

sometimes, you might feel like no matter how much personal work you’ve done, no matter how many buckets of healing work or therapy sessions you’ve received, no matter how many pillows you’ve pummeled, or how many tearful nights you’ve lain awake ruminating over those old (or current) ‘being seen and hunted’ fears, that these wounds will ever leave you.

that’s totally normal. you are not alone in your experience!

this doesn’t get talked about enough. I know many, many healers and teachers who have survived painful initiations like the ones mentioned here, who don’t talk or write about it.  I honor and understand that – it took me a long time to be able to write this, and some tender part of my heart still feels afraid that speaking about it will invite it all again.  if that happened, I know I’d be okay, and same goes for you.  I think it’s important to speak about this topic, and bring it from the shadows into the light where healing can happen.

if you’re identifying with your own version of the experiences named here, and you wish to receive this blessing, may you feel comfort. may you remember kindness. may you find rest and healing to help you. may you feel how very much love there is for you, and may you be well.

we’re all working out our wounds, here in earth-school. I offer to you that one way to bring salve to the wounded heart that’s been targeted, cancelled, bullied, or otherwise persecuted in a contemporary way, is to connect with others who understand, after giving yourself the time and space you need to begin healing.

later, there may be a time when you humpty-dumpty yourself back together enough so you can consider fulfilling your planetside mission and doing what you came here to, or helping others heal similar wounds and stand in their power in a strong, new way.  that comes later. you’ll know when is right for you.

there are other things that can help – receiving healing of course (reiki, soul retrieval, trauma release, power restoration, ceremony) and exploring your current and past-life spiritual contracts so you can consciously understand what kind of high-level curriculum your soul might be working at that brought you ugly teachings in the first place in service to learning how to alchemize poison into gift.

note! I am NOT saying that some high-falootin’ spiritual contract that may (or may not) be at work for you negates or justifies how cruelly you may have been treated. I’m saying that when you’re ready in your healing, it may bear fruit to explore spiritual contracts as a way to access a larger picture, when and only when the heart and nervous system feel ready. when you do, you can release or rewrite any contracts you find, and that’s an extraordinary balm to the soul.

it might help you to write – publicly or privately – to your beloveds here planetside, who came like you did in response to gaia’s call for help, even with battered or bruised or reluctant souls, to help one more time here. it might help to find other folks with similar experiences who have done enough healing work to be able to listen with compassion to you, and offer genuine love without condition, so you can feel seen in a safe way, and so your heart can truly mend.

one last offering, if you’ve read this far…

no matter how much you may have been hurt here planetside – in this or other lives – I believe in you. if you came here to help, to mend, to tend, to hang your shingle and do what only your irreplaceable, unique, wondrous self can do – I know you can find your way back into the center of your power and shine again.

in a funny, twisted kind of way, it’s sometimes an honor to be cancelled, bullied, persecuted or otherwise hunted as you may have been, for bringing light and grace here. if you weren’t powerful, radiant, and needed to help balance things here planetside back towards the good…the unwell people who came at you wouldn’t have bothered in the first place.  and, you get to choose the beloveds whose opinions and thoughts can affect you, and where you put your power.

I wish to name that any of these ideas – my best understanding in the moment I’m writing from – may feel tender to consider, and what is true for me may not be for you.  I honor you.

either way, here’s an inalienable truth…

you are powerful, capable of healing, and strong.

if you need help healing your own experiences around these topics, I’m here for you and we can work together in sessions to help you.  if you’ve got this on your own, right on.  I honor you, with hand to heart.

above all, thanks for being brave enough to come back to this complicated planet to help in our topsy-turvy, evolutionary times. you may never know just how much your light and gifts were needed here planetside, especially if you struggled to deliver them, but know this…

we need you, we love you, and we thank you.


ps – do you know one or two folks who would benefit from receiving the dreaming otter articles? if yes, please encourage them to subscribe to the email list here. I would be so grateful – thanks, and may that kindness return to you a thousandfold.