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I Tried Energy Healing To Rid My Life Of Toxicity

I have to make my life reflect my healing instead of my surface-level comfort zone.

I Tried It

I realized I had issues, issues about a year ago when I was on my therapist's couch and she asked me if I was thinking about harming myself. I've used charm, wit, and charisma to mask my inner turmoil since middle school, so without skipping a beat, I said, "Even if I was thinking about harming myself, I couldn't because I have to be at work on Monday at 9 a.m." I've been seeing her for the past 10 years, and she's helped me navigate through toxic environments---some I was born into and some I've created myself.

With the help of therapy, I have been able to graduate from college, become financially independent, and thrive in the professional world.(All of these experiences required me to shut myself down emotionally. It's like for the past 10 years I've been living my life on low-battery mode, and when I get burned out, I recharge to about 10% and keep going.

My therapist knows me well enough to know that at the moment, I needed her to laugh with me because if I started crying, I would probably suffocate. That Monday, she placed me on a medical leave of absence from work for six months due to depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. She saved my life.

Around the same time, a friend of mine referred me to an energy healer. I figured, hey, at this point, as long as I am not doing some devil shit, I have nothing to lose. Plus, a guy that was supposed to be my dick appointment/antidepressant ghosted me. (Yes, I know my priorities were all messed up, but where do you think I get this material?)

At the very least, the healer would be able to read the cards and tell me if he was coming back. I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown and didn't have the energy to go hunting for penis.

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I put my deposit down, called in, and gave her my full name and birthday. I heard cards shuffling and for 45 minutes she read me for filth, mentioning people, places, and things that only I would know. I was shooketh, yet comforted. During my first reading, I walked away with two important messages: I am a very powerful woman, and my grandma is pissed because I'm not still enough for her to reach me spiritually. Wow.

My grandmother raised me to have a high vibration and a deep respect for the spirit world, and she nurtured my creativity and empathic abilities. She basically was the Mary Poppins to my whole family. When sickle cell anemia took her at 60 years old, my life drastically changed for the worse. Her house was my safe haven from the hostile and high conflict environment I was born into, and where I could be my creative quirky self. She missed my first kiss, my first abusive relationship, my first heartbreak---even a devastating rape I endured.

I'd retreated so far within myself that if you handed me an invisible cloak, I would have kissed your feet like you just handed me $10 million. I hated myself, and I hated life without her here. Period.

So, here I am with this energy healer telling me my grandma is mad at me because I'm too anxious to receive insight and messages from her and to see the universe working in my favor.

No shit.

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By the time I got off that call, my wig was on a 90-degree tilt and I felt overwhelmed by all the messages I received. I then felt a sense of peace wash over me that no prescription or shot of alcohol could give me over the years.

The healer was able to remind me that I have ancestors on the other side guiding me. They aren't sitting up in heaven sipping wine and watching me as if I were on a surveillance camera. They are actually helping me navigate and trying their best to push me to my highest self, working very hard behind the scenes to assist.

I spent so much time aching in agony, feeling like I'll be alone and misunderstood for the rest of my life, only to find out that's simply untrue. There is another side---in this lifetime and the next---and by harming myself I would be robbing myself of the opportunity of experiencing the magic of it.

I wish I could tell you that as soon as I hung up the phone my credit score went up 50 points, my husband appeared out of thin air, and I became a millionaire with abs. Nope. Working with this energy healer made me have to face my shadow head on. Consciously, I have reached a level of depth but now I have to make my life reflect my healing instead of my surface-level comfort zone.

I had to call myself out for my shallow self-care regimen, my surface level version of self-love, the shallow relationships I participated in, the way I worked myself into a depression. I've had to re-evaluate my current position in my own life, have some very hard conversations, and watch towers fall. Without God, my support system, and my energy healer, it would seem like my world was falling apart, but I know better.

My world is being renovated. It is under construction.

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The most important thing seeking spiritual guidance from an energy healer helped me with was connecting back to myself and my life's path.

I am a performer who yields high results. It's a gift and a curse because when people are used to you yielding high results, they are often not concerned about your well-being. They often wonder where you get the energy and they just want to consume and utilize it. If you don't recognize your own power, value, and magic in this lifetime, someone else will else will suck you dry and accuse you of liking it. This is why self-care and self-love is so important. Meditation, prayer, nature walks, dream journaling are all the self-care practices that come second nature to me because it is now intentional.

Find your own flow! Right now mine is a tsunami which is often misunderstood because I have to pull back, retreat, and recharge but when I come, it's not to play, it's to flood. The investment that I made into seeking spiritual advice has allowed me to live in a vibration of gratitude that is healing and restorative. The most beautiful souls gravitate toward me because I walk in my power even when stumbling. It is God's gift, and I am just a vessel.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

Feature image by Shutterstock

Originally published on January 8, 2020

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Mental health awareness is at an all-time high with many of us seeking self-improvement and healing with the support of therapists. Tucked away in cozy offices, or in the comfort of our own homes, millions of women receive the tools needed to navigate our emotions, relate to those around us, or simply exist in a judgment-free space.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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