I’ve always been a healer. I just didn’t always realize it. I was about four or five when I realized that if I had a cut or bruise, if I put my hand over it and let my hand get warm, the injury stopped hurting. I tried to explain this to my parents. They told me I was imagining it.

I’ve also always wanted to help others. Whenever I saw someone who was in pain, whether physical or emotional, I felt it, and I didn’t like that they had to feel it. I wanted to stop it. Not that I’ve always know how to stop their pain. Sometimes, especially when I was a child, there was nothing I could do. But I wanted to.

And then there are my “invisible friends.” Not imaginary friends. As a young child, I was very specific about that. They weren’t imaginary; people just couldn’t see them.

They’ve been around for as long as I can remember. Several of them; at one point when I was in elementary school, I think they numbered around forty. All had distinct names and personalities. All told me things that I couldn’t have made up, because I had no way to know them. As I got older, I read in my mother’s women’s magazines that children outgrow their imaginary friends, often by the time they’re in school. I was ten or eleven. The number had dropped from forty to five or six, but even so, my invisible friends weren’t going anywhere.

That worried me. I already knew I was weird and different, where “different” was very definitely not a good thing. The whole hand-over-an-injury thing was something I’d learned not to talk about. So was what I referred to as “remembering something that hasn’t happened yet.” Those things exasperated my mother, upset my father, and gave my peers extra reasons–as if they needed any–to make fun of me. And I learned not to talk about my invisible friends either.

I went through my teens and into adulthood. People told me I was a good listener and made them feel better. I didn’t understand how, but I was glad to help them. My invisible friends kept telling me things I couldn’t have known on my own, like when one of them helped me through a math test in eleventh grade. I had consistently failed or gotten D’s on every assignment in the chapter, and I didn’t understand any of the concepts or how to solve the problems. But with my “invisible friend” talking me through the problems on the test, I got a B.

I got married. I had kids. I continued “remembering things that hadn’t happened yet.” People kept telling me I made them feel calmer, though that seemed to upset some of them. One or two even told me they were afraid of me because of how I made them feel. That didn’t make sense to me; why be afraid of someone who made you feel better? But I learned to just accept that some people just couldn’t accept me.

I continued wanting to help people without knowing how. And then I met someone who taught me how. He and I became friends, bonding over a shared love of reading and writing, and over time he started telling me about energy healing and channeling. Finally, my life started to make sense. The way I’d made my injuries stop hurting as a child was basic energy healing, done instinctively. My invisible friends weren’t at all imaginary; they were my guides. And the energy healing and channeling my friend did for me helped me work through trauma and abuse from my childhood, as well as helping me grow and gain the strength to leave a marriage that had become increasingly toxic not only for me, but for my children as well.

My life hasn’t been a straightforward progression from there. I struggled as a single mother, and was not always the parent I wanted to be for my children. Issues from the past and from that marriage reared their heads from time to time, causing problems for me and the people around me. I found a new spouse, but wasn’t always able to accept how well he treated me, because it wasn’t what I was used to.

I’ve kept working, though. New skills and tools I’ve found have helped me in my ongoing work to release the effects my past has had on me. I’ve kept working to improve the skills I learned from my friend, and to strengthen my bonds with my guides.

Most importantly, I’ve found ways to use those skills and tools to help others. I’m far from the only person who has experienced bullying and verbal and emotional abuse, or the only person whose past has impacts on their present that they might not even be aware of. I still hate seeing someone else hurting, but now I can see ways to help them deal with and even release their pain, whether physical or emotional. As I learn and grow, I also learn how to help others grow. And that’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. Through River Flow Healing, I’m finally able to do what that little girl wanted to do but wasn’t able.

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