Union and Individuality

I am grateful for the gift of being able to see through the illusion of boundaries, but this was a very confusing gift for me until I learned how to create boundaries for myself, a process that didn’t begin in full until my early twenties. Until then, it was unclear to me how to differentiate my emotional state from the emotions of others, a common challenge for many who identify, like I did, as an empath. Merging and entering into a felt-sense understanding of the experiences of others continues to be a gift of mine, but I have had to expend great effort in creating and feeling my own boundaries so that I am not utterly lost in the ocean of consciousness without an anchor of reference as to how to guide my own life force. 

I remember I was challenged and afraid when I started actively claiming my boundaries. In doing so I had a greater sense of vulnerability. Perhaps this is a bit ironic considering I was choosing to no longer simply be open to everything, but in claiming my territory so-to-speak I was embracing my individuality, my apparent separateness, which caused me to feel unsafe, in danger, and more accountable (read more “blamable”) for my life. This practice of honoring my individuality taught me to trust the wisdom within me, empowered me to make powerful decisions based on my inner wisdom, and trust my relationship with the Universe and all my relations. I began to feel more co-creative with life, a quality I later recognized as essential to being part of a community. If “I” did not show up in a community, could I really be said to be a “part” of it?

In the process of claiming my boundaries I also felt guilty because I thought that I was doing a disservice to others by not feeling their emotions – suffering with their suffering. However, through practice I began to understand that I am quite capable, often more so, of helping someone who has fallen in an emotional hole in the ground if I do not jump into the hole with them. Staying grounded in myself does not prevent me from feeling the joys and pains of others, but it does give me the power to maintain clarity amidst them.

I have learned a lot about the balance necessary between total boundary-less unity and honoring individuality. I now have access to both and my life is a dance that happens in the dynamic relationship between the two. I still tend to favor unitive consciousness as more representative of the way things actually are (beyond the illusion of separation), but I have also come to honor the complex diversity and richness that co-arises with each individual form.

I am grateful for the opportunity to explore and share this with you all.

Many blessings and Namaste,

Ryan Heart