Have you ever felt emotions so uncomfortable that you wished you could hand them off to the person next to you, like a runner passing a baton? You’re in good company. Even Jesus prayed to his Father to “let this cup pass from me.” It’s only natural to want to escape painful emotions. But what about the feelings you don’t know you’re having? The ones that bubble beneath the surface, just below consciousness? What happens to those?
It took a set of salt and pepper shakers to remind me recently of a basic energetic principle: we’re all connected in one enormous circuit. Energy is constantly flowing between us with either a positive or negative charge. The setting was my mother’s kitchen. At the age of 69, she decided quite suddenly to move from Michigan to Chicago to live near me and my kids. She has always lived in small towns, so I was shocked and impressed by her adventurous spirit. I happily went to help her pack. Now my mother is a self-described thrift store aficionado with one credo: if it’s a deal, it’s worth having, and if it’s worth having one, it’s better to have three. Finally, because of her decision to move from a 3- bedroom home to a 650-square-foot apartment, it was time to pick one – and only one! – salt and pepper set. So while she was distracted by showing the house to a potential buyer, I did just that. I picked one set, emptied the others and put them in the donation box, put the boxes in my car, and drove them away.
The next morning she asked me where her things were. I quickly leaped onto my soapbox. “You know you have to clear out. How many salt and pepper shakers do you need? You knew this was going to be challenging. I’m only trying to help.”
She burst into tears. “How would you feel if I went into your house and did that to your stuff?” she asked.
She was right. I wouldn’t like it one bit. But, I told myself, she was overreacting. And in fact, in the following days, I heard her repeat my transgression to several people. I had apologized, so it annoyed me that she wouldn’t let it go. I went to a friend for sympathy, but instead was called on the carpet: Why did you do that to her? What gave you the right to do that?
Um….Why did I do that? I could think of several practical and logical excuses, but the truth was that my actions were controlling and manipulative. So why would I steamroll my own mother? My friend forced me to dig deeper and, kicking and screaming, I admitted that I was overwhelmed by all the packing to be done, and anxious about such a big life change for both of us. But rather than voice my feelings, I passed my discomfort to my mother, forcing her to express what I was feeling. She shed the tears that, eventually, cleared the sky.
These energy leaks happen all the time. As an intuitive, I’ve had the experience of taking on other’s moods, but it was a revelation to see that I also, in my own moments of unawareness, dump on others. The circuit flows both ways. Barbara Brennan, in her book Light Emerging, describes “bioplasmic streamers” or cords that we send out that push, pull, or block energy between our auras. We do this unconsciously to create a feeling of safety. When a negative feeling threatens our belief system, the energy must be released to bring about equilibrium.
So the next time you find yourself quibbling or exploding over some trivial matter, know that the Universe has invited you to an advanced level physics class. The more absurd the situation, the bigger the lesson. In those moments, ask yourself:
Is this really my business? Why do I care about this? Is there something important I’d like to say if I only knew how? If you’re really stuck, just embrace the absurdity and ask, “Could you please pass the salt?”