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Say a Prayer For the Pretender

I had been hearing the lyrics “say a prayer for the pretender” from Jackson Browne’s song The Pretender for a few days, so I sat down with my journal and asked my spirit guide Holly to help me understand why I was receiving this particular message. Here is what she had to say:

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

It would be easy to focus on all the ways humans are afraid to show their authenticity: gay and trans individuals who fear a backlash from family, church, community. People of mixed-ethnicity who are accused of being too black, too brown, too Asian, or perhaps, on the other hand, too white. People who are intellectually gifted may be accused of “ruining the curve” on a test, or of acting arrogantly when they are simply speaking with a vocabulary that feels authentic. There are many reasons why people might choose to be pretenders.

But now let’s focus on you, dear friend, and why you might have chosen to be a pretender. You were born with Ehlers-Danlos and wore braces on your hips as an infant. As a result of the EDS, your joints ached, your stomach hurt, and when you complained, you were called a hypochondriac, and you were misunderstood. Add to that, you were an empath who felt the pain of others and the planet, and you couldn’t distinguish which was your own pain. So you became a pretender. You would carry your pain in silence and try to stop listening to the messages of your body. That disconnect from your body caused your pain body to speak even more loudly to get the attention it needed.

And here you are today, an empath who experiences the pain of the world through your body. The day the attacks on Ukraine began, you found yourself in the throes of significant vertigo, and 12 days later, the bombardment on Ukraine continues, and so does your vertigo. The good news is that you are no longer a pretender about the depth of your spiritual unity with the other living beings on your planet. You have worked hard to not take on the cries of humanity and this planet, and you are no longer physically debilitated by school shootings, tsunamis, wild fires, and other disasters natural and man-made. But this tragedy in Ukraine has crossed a new threshold for you. You are experiencing Spiritual Vertigo due to relatives who were murdered and/or driven out of Kyiv by a pogrom 100 years ago. (My grandfather was murdered along with the young men of his village, but my great-grandfather, who survived the pogram, is pictured here after an escape to America.) Humans carry trauma from past lives and from ancestral crises. That is what you are experiencing, vertigo that was triggered by the waves of despair. But the good news is that you are living a more authentic life trying to find a balance between being a fully human and fully divine being. May this feeling of disequilibrium serve to remind you of the unity, the interconnectedness, of all living beings.

And for those who are still unable to step fully into their authenticity: SAY A PRAYER FOR THE PRETENDER.

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on

We would say that love needs to be sent to all who are suffering on this planet. So, too, does love need to be sent to the perpetrators of violence and hate, whose hearts are closed and are in dire need of healing and opening. Sending heart-opening love does not mean you love what they are doing. Hating the haters does not bring about love and peace. You see, dear friends, they, too are pretenders. Say a prayer for the pretenders. Soul Bridge Coaching and Holly, March 8, 2022

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