Shielding & Stuff

by Jesa Macbeth

I'd especially like to thank Brenda, Jon, Vic, Kory, and Gawain of the HEAL-L email list for their comments, suggestions, and questions on this subject. However, I must note that these are my opinions and not theirs, and some of them would disagree with my ideas strongly.

Before I get into this, I'd like to emphasize something: my ideas come from my experience; yours must differ, just as your life experience differs from mine. Mine work for me (or they get changed). If they work for you, fine - if they don't, well, that's ok - it just means that you are in a different place than I am at this present moment. Please note that in the following I am not advising you; I am not saying that you ought to do things differently than you do. I am just presenting some ideas for your consideration. You may or may not find them useful.

The Problems with Shielding

There are problems with shielding and reasons why so many healers, intuitives, and sensitives have so much trouble with it. Fundamentally, there seems to be two basic kinds of people. There are those who wear their energy field (aura and more) like armor, and it protects them from other people's energies. And there are those who use their energy field for an instrument of sensitivity, who reach out and "touch" with it, who are often "over sensitive" to other people's energies. There are also the people who started out armored, perhaps for many years, who through illness or other damage to the nervous system or through emotional trauma seem to lose the armor and become "over sensitive".

The armored people often have to struggle and struggle as children (and sometimes as adults) to learn to be aware of other people as being real and as having valid needs and desires of their own, and to appropriately balance the needs and wants of others and their own. These people usually know very well what they want. (I suspect we all have some trouble about being all that clear about what we need.)

The sensitive people have no problem with recognizing the needs and wants of others. Their struggle is to learn to be clearly aware of their own valid needs and desires - and to keep the two sides in an appropriate balance.

Ok, then - so, obviously, the armored people just naturally are shielded, and the sensitives are not. To a naturally shielded person, the idea of taking down the shield may seem scary, even foolhardy - why would anyone want to do that? But to a sensitive, walking around with shielding on is like wearing earplugs and a blindfold - empathy, an essential sense (one we are unconsciously used to relying on) is missing. I remember all too well the first time I got really shielded. A friend talked me through a visualization that included green light, pink light, white light, and concrete bunkers.

It was wonderful! It was so quiet in there, like living in a silent pink fog. Er. It was awfully quiet in there... Then I wanted to know what someone really meant and was really feeling when she said something to me and I, without quite knowing what I was doing, made a little peep hole in the armor. Then I wanted to suss out something else - voila! - another peep hole. Ooops. Pretty soon I had fishnet where the bunker had been. Sigh.

So I talked to some people who understood these things, and they said that, of course, I could use shielding temporarily, but that I would always destroy it again because I wanted to see, to sense, to know what was going on. There was a better way - the only problem was that it is harder to do. (The story of my life... the story of yours too? Yeah, I thought so...)

A Different Point of View

A lot of the ideas about shielding arise from a misconception. That misunderstanding goes something like: Other people are sometimes stronger than I, other people are sometimes wicked, other people can "drain" or "suck" my energy, there are Psychic Vampires out there (shudder) trying to get me. Sometimes people even believe that others have certain sorts of psychic powers over them and can control them in various ways. This is a mistake that people often make, but the subtle energy world is not quite like the physical world, although there are many similarities.

Other people can't "do stuff" to our energy - we have to collude and/or cooperate with them to become drained or whatever. My energy field is mine - in fact, it could truthfully be said that it is me. Yours is you. I can't do anything to yours without your cooperation; nor can you do anything to mine. You cannot make me angry, you cannot heal me, you cannot do anything to me on an energy or emotional level, unless I allow it. I make a choice. I may make that choice unconsciously and automatically, I may make that choice from anger or fear, I may make it consciously and from love - but whichever way it is, I do make it. You can push my buttons, but I don't have to respond as you expect - but I will if I am running on automatic and sleepwalking through the world.

(This is what is so disconcerting to other people about those who have achieved a degree of self-realization or enlightenment - they don't respond unconsciously, automatically, predictably. They respond consciously and appropriately to the situation, often with understanding and compassionate love, often in unexpected ways.)

One of the ways in which we give our energy away is simply to believe that other people can take it. Then when someone demands something on the psychic level (energy, a response, a behavior), we just meekly hand it over. We do this so automatically that we don't even recognize that we are doing it. We do not need to defend ourselves from attack - we only need to truly recognize that no one can do anything to us without our consent - and then not give that consent. Then we can, instead, consciously chose an appropriate response to the demand - one that is best of us, best for them, healing and loving instead of fearful or angry.

In the physical world, someone can come up and attack us. If they are stronger than we think we are, they can hurt us. At the level of subtle energies, this is not so. Natural law is different on that level. We are each responsible for our own energy field. We are responsible for what we do with it and for our intentions (which our energy field immediately responds to and takes action on, even when we take no physical action regarding them). Part of what we have to learn is to be clear about exactly what we are doing with our own energy in response to other people so we can make conscious choices about this.

That one is a big lesson, and it seems to take a lot of learning and repeated practice. Many people are deeply attached to the role and drama of Victimhood, which may have become deeply engrained in past life or childhood experiences. They will need shields until they are ready to give up that role.

A Solution

This section is short and simple, perhaps surprisingly so for some people who have been taught complicated and scary things about shielding. The trick is simply to stay centered and earthed: to be always in my center looking out rather than to be "out there" looking around identifying myself with other people's energies. If I identify myself with those energies, I become just like them. Urg. So I need to be very clear about who I am, what I am, and what is other people's stuff. I need to be awake and aware.

If we stay aware:

In the process of learning to be solidly earthed, centered, and connected, there are times when we lose it - usually when we most need it. Something catchs us by surprise, we wobble, and then we have to re-ground, re-center, do the whole bit all over again. The more we practice, the better we get about noticing when we are losing it, and the more adept we become at restoring our balance. It's just practice and practice and practice. When we get really good at this, we stay aware of our own needs even while we empathize with those of others. Then we can learn to find an appropriate balance between the two. This all takes a lot of practice, and often in developing this we need the temporary first aid of shielding.

Shielding As First Aid

Shielding is simple. Most any visualization that conceptualizes a good shield around us will work. I've used everything from detailed suits of armor to lights of various colors to walls to angel's wings enfolding me. They all work. Whatever images appeal to you will work well for you. You like the idea of a dark blue cloak? Fine, it will shield you. You like the idea of a Sherman tank? Fine, it too will shield you. You like an elaborate confection of colored lights with assigned attributes? Great, that will work. You prefer a simple white light? No, problem - it's as good as anything else. All of this is just a matter of concentration, and the better your concentration, and the more you practice at this, the better the shield will work - for a while, until you unconsciously begin taking it down. But that while may well be long enough to serve your present real needs.

For myself, I just need to remember that I need a shield because I am not centered and earthed and connected enough and to keep practicing that as well.

There are a few things that I've found helpful in making the shielding imagery work for me:

Then I'm ok about putting up an external shield, whatever shield of light or image I choose - at least, I am until I (usually unconsciously) begin dismantling it again.


Shielding is what we need to do when we are developing and not yet firmly earthed, centered, and connected. It is like using water wings while learning to swim or trainer wheels when learning to bicycle. It isn't something we should become dependent on, because it limits us and because it is a statement of feeling fearful and weak - and if we believe we are weak, we make ourselves unnecessarily so. It is what we need to do when we feel like victims.

One problem is that shields take energy. You need to keep drawing the energy in from somewhere to feed the shield. If you fail to do that, maintaining the shield may exhaust you - and then you might think that the shield didn't work and that you have been "drained", although the truth is that you've drained yourself.

Another problem is that, if you are a natural healer (and many, many people are), when someone psychically demands energy, you probably will give it to them - even if, on another level, you are resisting doing so. There are two things here - you lose energy twice as fast because you're giving it away and you're using up energy to over-ride your own resistance (and resistance also takes energy - so it's a triple whammy on your own energy). Kinda silly, that, but people do it all the time, and then accuse others of "draining" them. A better choice would be to be aware of the need for energy in the other, to consdiously chose to give it to them, and to give them channeled energy rather than your own. In other words - to learn to do healing on purpose and well rather than reluctantly, fearfully, unconsciously, and badly.

Yet another problem is that a shield is a message to the universe saying, "I'm scared." Some people, when they sense a message like that, attack. So in a way, shielding can draw the very energies that we are trying to avoid by using it. And then we think that the problem is that we need stronger shields. Not so.

We need to use shielding as a temporary measure when we feel frightened, threatened or insecure, and then we need to use the space/time it buys us to concentrate on building our connections to earth and the source, developing our awareness of our own inner self, our powerful center, developing our inner clarity, and reconciling our inner conflicts. We also need, perhaps most of all, to remember to ask for trust, love, clear guidance, and bountiful healing energy to flow through us. And it will.

We can carry own protection in the healthiest possible way. Look at it this way: if our energy is low or if we are fearful, we make ourselves vulnerable to energy around us by being defensive and absorbant. If, by earthing, centering, connecting, we keep our energy strong and healthy, then we become something like the sun - radiant and strong, rather than absorbant and weak. We radiate healthy, healing energy out - and there is an infinite amount of it where that came from. There is no shortage of it in this universe - only in our minds. The important thing is to keep ourselves right - radiant and strong energetically, which feels so good, a true natural high, rather than concentrating on defending our weakness.

Have you ever thought: trust is an energy - like love. We don't create energy, it passes through us. We don't create love or healing or trust - they just flow through us when we are open to them. Tension, fear, anger, despair, inner conflict block the flow of energy. The more of those things we release, the more that we allow to heal in ourselves, the more trust, love, healing flow through...

And where there is trust and unconditional love, there is no room for fear. But it takes one whale of a lot of practice, folks. I'm not perfect, I don't know anyone who is. We do what we need to do for where we are now in our development, but if we keep that goal of grounded trust and love in mind, we travel toward it faster.

Um, lots of that good healing and loving and trusting stuff to you all.

Copyright © 1997 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
Your comments will be read with interest.

I'm going to put up a page here on the use of "shields" to transform energy someday, but it isn't ready yet. Please come back later if you want to see it. There are also some related things on my personal pages - see the OAS link page for a link to them.

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