Using Reiki to Cut Unhealthy Ties

Using Reiki to Cut Unhealthy Ties

Reiki helps your awareness unfold

by Kriss Erickson


I don’t know about you, but somehow, every few months, despite my sincerest efforts to be practical, my closet needs to be cleared out. Some items never make it onto my person, others fade and become worn. Even cherished items, like the embroidered denim jeans that I got so many compliments on that I thought I’d never part with, eventually outlive their usefulness.


I always feel good after clearing out a closet, drawer or other area. Even if my room was otherwise spotless, the atmosphere feels lighter and brighter after a clearing.


Clearing energetic areas of life is just as refreshing, and even more important to a healthy sense of be-ing than releasing unneeded items. Knowing what is useful to you in each stage of your life makes letting go easier. The ending of the year and the beginning of a new year, is an excellent time to consider uncluttering your energetic space.


Knowing What to Let Go Of


We live each life to learn, and each person that comes into your life is there to teach you something. It’s easy to see, for example that when you’re learning to ride a bicycle, that training wheels can help you to hold your balance. But once you know you can ride without the extra support, you have more flexibility if you trust that you will stay in balance without the training wheels.


Some relationships can be like training wheels. A cherished teacher, for example, can show you the ropes, so to speak, of a subject or way of thinking. Once you have learned what you can from them, though, the relationship will naturally either shift to one of colleagues, or end, as your life paths continue on in different directions.


Some relationships can be cluttery. Perhaps filled with random facts, adventures, chance encounters. This can also work for awhile. I think of these kinds of relationships from when I was younger, single, and had more free time. What was fun to me, and what I had time for, has shifted. So from time to time I have had to reevaluate how I was spending my time, what I was doing, etc.


Other relationships can be toxic. These relationships are characterized by fear, anger, jealousy and other dense frequencies. Unfortunately, toxic relationships are not limited to acquaintances, but can include family members and friends.


Family relationships can be tricky to evaluate, since we tend to develop deep ties in those areas. Family ties are, ideally, meant to be strong. But sometimes they can be toxic or otherwise unhealthy. An example is if you grew up with parents who were abusive in some way. The expectation from society is that you “should” maintain a relationship with them no matter how they treat you.


But allowing yourself to be treated badly, even by a parent or other relative, does not help you to grow. Excusing bad behavior does not help the abusive person, either. If an understanding can be reached, of course, maintain the relationship. But if the abusive behavior is deeply engrained, putting distance between you or even cutting that tie completely, can be healthier for you.


Other relationships to consider letting go of:


  • People who lie to you
  • People who steal from you (this can be your time and/or ideas as well as your money)
  • People who only want what they can get from you
  • People who create drama and constantly ask others to handle the drama for them
  • People who don’t value you
  • People who always take and never give back (lack of balance)


How to Cut Ties


The energies in our lives are there because we have invited them, or allowed them, to be there. In my own childhood, I experienced abuse from both parents. At the time it seemed so unfair and cruel. And in many ways it was. But I came to see that I had agreed to work with those specific parents to learn to handle very difficult energies.


It was healthier for me to cut ties with my parents after I grew up. They were committed to living in pain and I was not.


My mother died young, so that tie was severed by her illness. And yes, I still needed to formally cut the remaining emotional ties, after she had left this earth. When it came to my father, I had to make a very clear, conscious decision that he was not welcome in my life. I wrote him a letter to that end several years before he died.


Reiki can be very helpful in cutting ties, as it teaches us about clarity, intent and energy. The frequencies of Reiki remind us that all creation goes through cycles that begin and end in a balanced state. The shifting, changing, upheavals and transformative energies of each cycle are intended to bring us to a state of deeper peace and clarity.




In Reiki level I we learn to clear our energy after each Reiki share. That practice is called “Kenyoku” and is simply a matter of intentionally brushing off the energy of the other, once the session is completed. This is not a rejection of the other, but simply an acknowledgement that we each must walk our own life paths.


This practice helps us to remember that no matter what anyone else is going through, our main purpose is to walk our own path. Of course we help others along the way, but taking on the challenges of another person only saps our energy and does not remove the process of growth for the other.




Meditation is another way to cut ties. You could begin by clearing your mind, centering and grounding yourself, then think through the aspects of your life. What areas bring you joy and peace? Which bring you stress and pain? Follow each area to its origin and decide what you would like to do about it.


A way to release people who are not serving your best interests is to picture them as you meditate. Smile at them and welcome them. Then very kindly show them how your path and theirs are not in harmony. Set a clear boundary in your mind about what areas of life, if any, that you and the other person can continue to walk together.


Sending the Mental/Emotional Reiki symbol and the Distant Symbol can help to create an atmosphere of understanding.


It is important to follow up the meditation with a heartfelt talk with the person. They will feel the energy shift after you have made your decision, but it is honorable to speak to them about it as well.


Aura Clearing


There are many ways to cut ties. One of them is called Aura Clearing. A version of Aura Clearing is taught at the Reiki Master level, but there are many ways of clearing the Aura. Before I was attuned to Reiki, a tall, orange-garbed monk who I called “Bruce” would come and help to carefully and respectfully cut ties that the recipient chose to release.


The main focus is to be gentle, aware of the energy shifts, and not to cut too many ties at once.


How Many Ties Can Be Safely Cut at One Time?


Cutting a tie to another human being, or to a belief or behavior, is very much like having a physical operation or injury. The area must be treated gently, with respect, and the person reminded to take some down time to heal, after a tie is cut.


If there are several small ties, they can be cut, one by one, in a single session. Major ties, like those with close family members or deep beliefs, no matter how destructive the abusive person has been, must be cut one at a time.


Each time a cord is cut, no matter how small, take time to read the energy field. How is the recipient handling the energy shift? How big a ripple has the cutting of the tie sent through the person? How deep was the tie? How many energetic roots did it have? This process is the same whether you are working on yourself or assisting someone else.


No matter how small the cord, always send in white light, or a Reiki symbol like the Mental/Emotional or Master symbol to balance and fill the space with light.


A large tie, like a family tie, needs extra special attention and gentle handling. It can be tempting, especially upon coming to realize the depth of an abusive pattern, for a person to want to cut all ties. Doing so can also feel, at least momentarily, empowering and freeing, so much so that it can be tempting to rush on with life.


But each energetic tie that is cut affects the nervous system. I advise people to only cut one large tie, and then only after they have done as much work around the issue(s) as possible. It is also wise to take several days off, away from the regular schedule, to recover from the cutting of the tie.


I advise people to view the cutting of a large or deep tie, as if they are recovering from an injury or illness. It’s easy to see why it’s important to take time to recover from an operation or the flu. Giving the nervous system time to recover lets your be-ing know:


  • That you respect it and its processes
  • That you understand the process you have undergone
  • That you will and are taking care of it


Taking time to recover also allows the nervous system to reset itself, at the new “normal” which is life without the stress of whatever the dysfunction was.


If too many ties are cut, and/or time is not given to the nervous system to recover, it has no foundation upon which to rebuild itself. It can literally lose its bearing, which in extreme instances can create psychic breaks, adrenal and nervous system exhaustion.


The abovementioned adverse reactions to cord cutting can also occur when too many cords are cut at once.


The biggest thing to remember is that life is a process. Seeing what you would like to shift does not mean that you have to shift all of the aspects in one day. This is no more realistic than deciding to remodel a kitchen and expecting that process to be completed in one day.


Show yourself the respect, kindness and gentleness that you would like others to show to you.