Dear Sara: How can you tell the difference between being enlightened vs. numb? Sometimes instead of being mad I think “poor them, what has brought them to this thinking?” Other times I just feel no emotion about the situation and I think I have risen above it, but maybe I am being numb and just avoiding? — Kathi
From Sara: This is a very astute question. I think the key is to look at how much unprocessed trauma you have in your life. If we have a lot of trauma from the past or present, we often numb out or disassociate—we literally go somewhere else for a long time, until we’re able to reach a place where we can safely process what we’ve experienced. In spiritual terms, we are literally visiting another realm—our souls are hovering outside our bodies, because our earth life doesn’t feel or isn’t safe. So this situation of numbing out is about finding that safe space—with the help of a friend, mentor, counselor, healer, the Universe—until we feel safe enough to live fully in our earth lives again. On the flip side of this, compassion can also feel like detachment or disassociating—we take the soul’s view, the expanded view, the view from our wisdom as souls who’ve experienced lifetime after lifetime and seen it all—the good, the bad, the all of it. We know that we are here for soul lessons, we know we’re infinite, and we know we are One soul. So this gives a more detached view. For anyone faced with this question, I would suggest looking at how far you are in clearing any past trauma, and if you have more to clear, take your time and find that safe help for healing. You can release your pain over time. If you’ve cleared your past trauma, understand that compassion can feel like detachment—allow your whole heart to open for yourselves and others. Open your heart, feel the pain, and then transmute the pain into love.