One of the most common clients I see are those entangled in unhealthy relationships. It seems that most Reiki people are empathic, and many are also co-dependent. It makes sense that as a people pleaser, you will be attracted to Reiki. Firstly, to recharge yourself after all that giving, and secondly to give more! Sometimes Reiki can actually stunt your growth through this phase as it actually refuels you enough to continue your toxic relationships. Without Reiki you would probably be more exhausted more quickly and forced to make changes. One of the downsides of having universal life force coursing through your hands is it actually allows you to keep going longer and without illness whilst fuelling toxic people.
If you are uncomfortable with a relationship you are in, do take the time to do an honest check-in – are you getting 50% and giving 50%? Healthy relationships should be equal, sometimes the balance will go off and you are supporting more and vice versa, but overall the feeling shouldn’t be draining, and you should feel supported as much as you are supporting.
When you are empathic it means you tend to understand and even feel another’s pain. This makes you an excellent support for others, it makes you compassionate, a good listener, and you will help others simply by making space and time for them. The down-side is it makes you a natural target for Narcissists, control-freaks, and those who have yet to learn that power comes from within.
I’ve compiled some resources that may be helpful if you know you are in a toxic relationship and are trying to understand the dynamics better – having knowledge of what you are dealing with is half the battle. When you know you are not going crazy, or when you see the manipulation for what it is – you are much better equipped firstly to accept that you are being used (tough one for sure for empaths – it’s hard to fathom how another human being can do that), and secondly to begin the difficult job of un-entangling yourself.
Resources to check if you are with a Narcissist:
Narcissists are not all like Donald Trump, though he would be a classic overt one. Covert Narcissists are much harder to spot and do not follow the typical grandiose rules. In relationships they tend to come across as victims and use guilt tripping, gas-lighting, control, and word salad – Debbie Mirza’s book is a great starting point:
Surviving Narcissism is a great resource channel:
This article explains well the dynamic of empath and Narcissist:
Once you start to identify what you are dealing with and begin to see your own part in keeping the dynamic going, it will be easier for you to see that your desire as an empath to make it better for others is really a double-edged sword. As you build your own boundaries and start to treat yourself as the priority, such relationships will begin to fall away, or at least be managed with more fairness and integrity.
Your recovery is about finding confidence in your own inner light. As much as toxic people are trying to grab at your light, your contribution is equally toxic – giving without boundaries and personal respect and inner love. A common mistake is to think if you give away your light it will shine back at you and give you validation. Your recovery is an inward journey – discovering the light in you is much stronger than the pale reflection of someone else’s validation.
The truth is that when you shine your light in a healthy way, no-one else can take it from you or diminish you, and you don’t need anyone else to reflect back at you, validate you, or make you ok. Shining your light is just what happens when you are being the light. And with this guidance, when you feel diminished, lacking or insecure - the work is inwards, not outwards.
Your Reiki self-treatment is key. Reiki brings you back to your centre, and your inner source. You can then see more clearly the dynamics of your relationships, the natural give and take or the take take, give give. Your choices become clearer, your boundaries, and your actions come from that space of light, not from the space of insecurity, lack or neediness.
As you deepen your Reiki practice you begin to see how you shift off centre during the day, and with whom. Start to notice the relationships that pull you away from peace, drain you, or make you feel stressed or angry. Sending to the "perfect resolution of my relationship with XYZ" is invaluable.
Notice also your own triggers, when you tend towards saying "yes" instead of "no", what is your own ulterior motive? Are you trying to keep the peace through appeasing? Or fearful of being cast as the "not nice" person, or the "unwanted" person? Feelings of not being good enough, worthy enough, lovable enough are often triggers for our over-giving, the exact same issues for someone who is over-taking. The flip side of the same coin. Use your Reiki practice to reset your attention - how do you feel after a Reiki self-treatment? Loved? Supported? Peaceful? Isn't it more true that you are all these things and more?