Every interaction between two things causes some change. Think about this. When water moves across a stone, part of that stone is pulled from it and carried away. It is a trivial amount at any given moment, but the years will alter the shape of the stone.
Some interactions cause change that takes away from us and some interactions can restore us. This post is focusing on becoming aware of how we are being chipped away, eroded by things we choose to do as well as events beyond our individual control.
Relationships: specifically bad relationships. Some people naturally take from others. I don’t mean like thieves taking your new shoes, but they take energy. Examine the people in your life, and observe how they relate to you. If they typically come to you and tell you about all the crap that’s going on, all the drama, all the things they don’t like, then they are taking from you: emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Society at large: television, radio, Internet, advertisements, consumerism, greed, politics, crime, war. Obviously we cannot easily separate ourselves from these things. Certainly some of these same things are beneficial. After all, the products of our society are allowing me to share these ideas with you right now. Water is essential for life, but too much of it will kill you. Fire is a great tool, but used carelessly it can cause harm.
Our environment: high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals in our food, Monsanto, poisons on our crops, GMOs, added sugars, caffeine, toxic water, air pollution, noise, pollution, signal pollution. We have made the very environment we live in into an unhealthy space. Some of these things we can choose to avoid, others are not so easy to escape.
Traumas: Being in an serious accident, being emotionally and physically abused, falling ill to disease, witnessing something horrific. These are sudden events that can not only cripple us emotionally and physically, but they can do significant damage to our spirit.
All of these things wear at us. Like the rock in the riverbed, the majority of what we experience is slight and we don’t even notice it. But it changes us. As people get older, they often become “jaded” and feel pessimistic about new experiences. They weren’t always that way. The rock used to have unique features but becomes smooth. In like manner, our spirit, our soul erodes over time as well.
Shamans help restore the eroded soul. Some may specialize with only helping repair the damage from trauma, but I think most are “general” healers. We help people find the self they once knew. We help them regain their passion. We help them feel refreshed and young at heart again. These are things that contribute to our overall well being, including our ability to resist and recover from other ailments