I am here with the intention of telling you a new kind of story. A story where pain, suffering, struggle, drama and crisis are not necessary for spiritual enlightenment. This sounds pretty unbelievable and unrealistic, doesn't it? I didn't quite believe it myself either, and it was releasing the belief that I had to hit rock bottom in order to be enlightened that ironically enough was my "struggle," if you will.
I've always been a deeply spiritual person, and while I've had my ups and downs, I never experienced any major tragedies or set-backs in this lifetime. I was a highly gifted child and success came to me effortlessly in most situations. While I was often challenged by being deeply emotional and having high levels of anxiety - these were inward challenges that were not noticed by those around me nor negatively affected my overall quality of life. Moreover, I was always guided to channel my anxious energy into my studies and creative outlets. As I grew and matured, success followed me and my faith and abundance steadily grew. And yet as the abundance in my life grew, I began feeling overwhelmed not only with wonder and gratitude, but a deep sense of guilt.
What did I do to deserve all of this? I felt like compared to other people I worked and stressed less, and yet somehow I was constantly rewarded for taking what I saw as the path of least resistance. I saw others in constant suffering, never being fulfilled nor rewarded - it felt like everyone around me was always working so much harder than me, and yet my life was a constant blessing no matter what I did or didn't do.
I came to a point where I did not hit "rock bottom" but instead hit what was the absolute highest pinnacle of my life. I found myself engaged to a man who surpassed all my dreams and we were living in a beautiful forest by the lake in my dream house where I had imagined myself retiring in my late 50s - but I was only 26. I looked around and saw that I had manifested everything I had ever dreamed of. I felt completely fulfilled. I thought to myself, if this is all there is, I'm okay with that. If I died now, I would have no regrets.
Luckily, I did not die. And this is where the story takes an interesting turn. Around this time I ended up taking a week long trip with a friend. I had an amazing time. On the night we were coming back home on our commute, my friend was beside me sleeping and I was really happy reflecting on what a great time I had had. I was not thinking about my friend, just about myself and all my awesome experiences. Then, suddenly, something washed over me. I don't quite know how to describe it because I have never experienced anything like this before.
Suddenly, I just knew that some really traumatic things had happened to my friend. Things she had never directly talked about or told me about.
I suddenly came crashing into my immense psychic and empathic abilities. But, even though I had always been deeply spiritual - I found this experience a little too hard to accept as real.
Fear and doubt began to take over. I've been trained as an academic in research and I also have some background in psychology. I started to think about how people repress things and then project them onto others, and I started to wonder if maybe I had been the one who had gone through this intense trauma. Maybe I was the repressed one projecting onto my friend?
By the end of the night, I truly believed that this trauma had happened to me. I took on my friend's trauma as my own.
Deep down inside, on a subconscious level, I knew I was an empath and I understood that I had empathically connected to my friend on a really deep level and tapped into her traumatic experiences. I was also having very beautiful spiritual experiences as I connected more deeply with my newly awakened psychic abilities. Despite all the positive empathic experiences, I was still in denial that I was really an empath. Consciously, I still couldn't fully admit that I had these abilities to interact with energy and emotions so deeply. It felt crazy to actually believe that I could tap into other people's feelings, thoughts and experiences. I had to talk to a lot of trusted people and counsellors before I could trust that I was an empath, and that there was nothing wrong with me, and that the trauma truly did not happen to me. (You can read the longer version of my empathic awakening by reading my free e-book WTF I'm an Empath!? Click here to sign up for your free copy.)
So while I did experience a sort of crisis - it was technically not my own. I tried to make someone else's struggle my own, because I believed that without deep suffering I couldn't possibly experience enlightenment and wisdom. However, this experience of tapping into someone else's trauma awakened me to my psychic, empathic, and healing abilities that I was not fully conscious of previously. I realized that I had actually been empathic all my life, but I needed an experience so extremely contrary to my own beautiful life that I had been accustomed to in order to fully accept the truth of my miraculous abilities. Furthermore, my experience has given me an acute awareness of how attached we are as a society to the idea that we must suffer and hit rock bottom before we can reach wisdom or enlightenment. Rather than believing that I was born wise and enlightened and could simply continue to grow peacefully in this enlightenment, I was under the common impression that enlightenment was something that could only be earned through pain and suffering.
In my journey to discern the truth of my empathic experiences I serendipitously came to learn the ThetaHealing® technique. With this amazing tool to help me, I create the space for highly sensitive and empathic individuals to release the last remaining bits of struggle and imperfection from their lives. ThetaHealing is a meditative and conversational healing modality where we can shift our reality by changing our subconscious beliefs. The best thing about being a ThetaHealer is that I am not doing the healing. All healing comes from the divine Universe, Creator of All That Is - or whatever you choose to call the creative life force that flows through and beyond us. I am simply a facilitator and witness. ThetaHealing has helped me gain greater discernment and control over my empathic abilities. In fact, at this point I no longer even consider myself to be an empath. Moreover, ThetaHealing has given me the tools to release all beliefs around suffering and struggle. It is safe and possible for me to grow spiritually in peace and increasing abundance, without pain, suffering, or struggle.
We are often encouraged to share our struggles in order to appear as humble and relatable. But I refuse this storyline of struggle and conflict. I refuse to let suffering define my life. And I do this adamantly because I believe it's time we started telling new stories that offer the possibility of a life that is free of struggle and suffering, and any obligations to suffer.
We are so used to seeing suffering and conflict structure the stories we tell - whether in books, movies, or our own lives - that we start to feel obligated to live out that structure through any means possible in order to understand ourselves as "normal". But I have learned that this is not normal and it is not how we are meant to live. Pain, suffering, and struggle are an illusion that we create for ourselves, and we have the power to dis-create all of this.
In my cosmic journey in the last two years, I have received several divine messages that I would like to share with you here.
Dr. Joanna Perkins is a visionary, award-winning scholar, ThetaHealer®, and the creator of Sensitive Self-Care. Joanna has been gifted with unique insights into the psychology and belief systems of HSPs and empaths. Moreover, her extensive interdisciplinary studies have given her a tremendous visionary wisdom into Western group conscious beliefs. This wisdom allows Joanna to create radical shifts for anyone who desires to live life truly on their own terms and surpass external forces. In particular, she helps her clients disconnect from the thoughts, feelings, and judgements of other people and societal group conscious beliefs so that they can craft their lives according to their own “impossibly” perfect visions. Joanna specializes in creating private one-on-one spiritual retreats and healing intensives for highly sensitive and empathic individuals who have achieved extraordinary success and are ready to discover themselves on an even deeper level.