Shielding is a cross-cultural/cross-faith-based practice.
I have been wanting to write a piece about shielding for some time now. I guess this time is apropos. Especially as we are in the position of having to shield ourselves spiritually and physically.
I’ve known that I was an empath before there ever was a title. Most empaths –yours truly included, are in a constant state of exhaustion. Additionally, we struggle with setting boundaries.
Or as the Native American Medicine Woman I met in Ecuador, calls it “shielding”.
Furthermore, this woman felt the need to tell me, “Are you okay? Because you look like sh!t. Your energy is f*cked.”
She then spent the afternoon expressing to my daughter and me how we were both in need of shielding.
Jewish Shielding Prayer
Guide us with Your good counsel, and save us for the sake of Your Name. Shield us from foe, plague, sword, famine and anguish. -from the Jewish Hashkiveinu prayer
I’ve been an empath before it was cool…
When I was younger, I didn’t understand why I often felt sick. I was often told that I was a hypochondriac. But I started noticing extreme pain from time to time.
One particular evening, my stomach was in such considerable pain. Furthermore, the word “gangrene” popped in my head. “Gangrene? Whatever, maybe I am a hypochondriac.”, I thought to myself. The next morning, my step-mother called and asked me to pray for my grandmother.
She further explained that my grandmother was in surgery the night before and they had found gangrene in her stomach. Hmmm. Maybe this is all happening to me, not so that I should be sick. But that I should direct prayer (as a form of shielding) to whoever is truly sick.
On the far other side of the sphere, some empaths write off people as a form of shielding.
But how sustainable is that? On the contrary, one may continue a relationship while shielding the negative energy others so openly want to share.
True, right now we are all in a form of seclusion, yet this is soon to end. Moreover, some who are in quarantine at home with others are most likely struggling with other’s energy in the home 24/7.
I do not want to devalue the need to walk away from toxic/abusive relationships. These circumstances truly require complete distancing.
However, this writing is about shielding –or setting personal boundaries from the energy of our people. The people we live with, work with and socialize with.
Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. -Brene Brown
Faith Without Action is Dead
I believe in the intention of personal prayer. I also believe that prayer is not for God, but for the strengthening of my personal faith. God doesn’t need me. I need God.
That being said, shielding and shielding prayers are not an excuse to shut people out. At least, not in the form of emotional abuse. When we let love lead, we will know our motivations. Call it conscience, Holy Spirit, whatever you prefer.
Additionally, we do not pray then sit on our asses. We follow our Spirit in how it directs us.
For physical shielding, we are at the point where we must be vigilant. Sure, pray. But practice social distancing when needed. Wear your masks and gloves, and wash your hands frequently.
My personal shielding prayer is a simple phrase (with some added personal words) from Psalm 3:3:
You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
So, I did some research and found the following shielding prayers from several faiths:
My son, who has embraced The Orthodox Faith, shared this Orthodox Guardian Angel Prayer for Protection with me:
O Angel of God, my Holy Guardian, safeguard my life in the fear of Christ the God, set my mind on the right path, and strengthen my soul in the love of God. Guide me that I may receive a great mercy from Christ the God.
O Holy Angel, standing by my miserable soul and by my life affected by passions: Leave me not alone, nor depart from me because of my intemperance. Leave no chance to the crafty demon to get hold of me by overpowering this mortal flesh of mine. Strengthen my miserable and feeble hand, and set me upon the path of salvation.
And save me from every temptation of the adversary so that with no sin of mine should I incur the anger of God. Pray to God for me that He may fortify me in the fear of Him, and make me a servant worthy of His kindness.
By adding a daily shielding practice to your life, you may find yourself feeling healthier, more energetic. And experiencing true bliss.
Do you have a shielding practice? What can you do today to start one? Share with me in the comments below…and stay blissful my friends.