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Reiki Masters Can Struggle with Ego and Self-Worth Issues

Article by Tammy Hatherill, Reiki Master

This is quite a personal journey for me. I used to only feel good when others said nice things about me, invited me to their lunches and get togethers. My self-worth and self-esteem was attached to the opinions and actions of others. Therefore if I was ever excluded or ‘left-out’ my mood would plummet dramatically, and for days and sometimes weeks or months, I would replay negative self-talk. “I’m not good enough. They don’t like me.” The sad thing is I used to BELIEVE this negative self-talk.

A really big example of this ostracisation is when I was considering doing my Reiki Masters. I was going to do this through a beautiful and soulful girlfriend of mine. I thought she was simply magical and perfect for me. There were other Masters in my area, but for one reason or another I wasn’t drawn to them. One was a drinker and smoker, and another I felt uncomfortable with, and were not practicing what they would be teaching.

This girlfriend of mine, I thought was amazing and so right for me….. Then we had a disagreement. The subject was about something of extreme importance to me and for the first time I felt judgement and criticism. This potential teacher did not give me space or time to digest her criticisms about my stance and opinion, and within a few days after the altercation (if one can even call it that) she decided that she was not going to teach me Reiki Masters “because I don’t feel you will listen to me Tammy.”


Image by hms831

Well that sent me into an emotional roller coaster. More so, after that I was never again invited to any Reiki Share nights, and many of the Reiki people in that lineage, never bothered with me again. It was a heart-wrenching taste of ostracisation from a group of people who are meant to love, care and share. I was gutted beyond belief. I was astounded that a group could hear one side of the story and then cut me off. The hurt and the pain were intense and unreal.

Don’t forget my self-worth and self-esteem were still wrapped up in what people thought of me, and suddenly this ‘friend’ didn’t think I was worthy enough to be a student of hers because I held a strong opinion and belief about a subject I knew inside out and had firsthand experience with, whereas she did not. Her information only came from other sources. My friend did not like my opinion and some of the things I was doing because of this opinion and experience. Instead of HELPING me through it and TEACHING me another way, she gave me two days after ‘reprimanding me like I was a little child’, to digest her words, and in those two days, she deemed me unfit to be her student.

My whole self-worth plummeted. It plummeted more when other ‘Reiki’ professionals followed her lead and I was never again invited ANY of their events, and in-fact I know (without a shadow of a doubt) that things have been done, and it was made certain “Tammy” wasn’t invited. I even had a person lie to me and cancel a planned event with me, to attend another one, of which I wasn’t invited. The lies used to hurt also because it’s challenged my intelligence.

My belief in the Reiki world began to crumble. Then I found the courage from somewhere to really shine!! I suggest this courage came from doing self-reiki every day. I grew tall and finally have my Reiki Master Certificate through another and more beautiful teacher. She is not connected with the Reiki group in my home-town. I had to take this road on my own as no-one was embracing me anymore. I had offended one and in doing so, lost many who never heard from me nor my side of the story. I was cast out and cast aside… but I wouldn’t let that hold me down forever.

Don’t get me wrong, it took a lot of soul searching and strength to get through this. There were many tears, because I held this old friend on a pedestal and used to think she was the epiphany of what a teacher should be. She turned out to be far from that. Then she began to say things like I was stalking her and spreading horrible un-truths about me. This was far from actuality. Granted she did receive some group emails sent to my mail list. That was it. It wasn’t stalking but she spread lies and toxicity. It hurt and was sad.

It was an extremely painful lesson in ostracisation (by a Reiki community in my area) and now I have learned that my own self-worth and self-esteem come from WITHIN me. I can now look back and be so thankful for that experience. It was hard but the lesson was beautiful for me to realise I had to learn the hard way, that I must see the potential in me, and not receive it externally. Even those who are meant to love unconditionally and not judge may still do this. No-one is above human ego, and I’ve come to realise the Reiki Master who hurt me is human. She has an ego, just as I do and just as you do. It was her ego reacting to my initial stance that she didn’t like. It was her ego that felt she must be ‘listened to’ and since I wasn’t going to, she didn’t want me as a student. It was my ego that was bruised when she concluded this.

Snow-flakes bush

Image by Tatters ❀

Every day, I practice self-reiki and it helps with inner growth and self-development. I know how far I’ve come with the ostracisation dilemma, because I’ve had another and more recent experience of being intentionally “left out.”

There are two female friends and I, who catch up for lunch on occasion. We take it in turns to pay. First time one of them paid, and then I, and so the next lunch the other lady would. I was recently in touch with them trying to organise a lunch. I was happy and excited and had so much to share with them. I was really looking forward to it. They were saying that as one had a new job they didn’t know when it would be and there were other reasons it wasn’t happening. Then I find out, that not even 3 or 4 days after my suggestion, they went to lunch together. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t invited.

This would have devastated me in the past. Just as the Reiki Master and her fellow Reiki Practitioners had. I’m so happy to announce that with self-reiki and understanding myself and understanding people better, I wasn’t hurt. Not even a sad emotion rose to the surface. I thought, “well OK – that happens in life. They obviously didn’t want me there. And I’m OK with that.”

I realise that I prefer not to associate with people who really don’t want me around. If I am not good enough for them, whether it’s to teach me Reiki or to have lunch with, it’s their loss. It does not make me a bad person. Obviously there was some lesson to learn from having them in my life, and if that lesson is learned people will drop out of my life.

This insight and this strength has come from studying Reiki. I encourage everyone who struggles with such things as self-worth and self-esteem issues, and who struggle big time with what others think of them and the feelings of ostracisation, to have a Reiki treatment with a Practitioner, or if you are attuned, give Reiki to yourself every single day. You won’t regret it. Only wonderful and good things can come from a daily treatment.

You are so worthwhile.

With love, light and harmony.
Tammy Hatherill

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Tammy Hatherill

Tammy Hatherill

Tammy Hatherill is the owner/operator of Tammy’s Tarot and Healing. She is a well known Tarot and and Reiki Master/Teacher, and shared her love of tarot for over 12 months with a regular radio segment on 104.1 Territory FM. Tammy is the author of two books: Trapped Behind Bars and The Diary of a Fallen Angel, and is a journalist for numerous organisation: Reiki Rays, Tiny Buddha, Personal Growth and Hypnotherapy Journal Australia. You can find her website at www.tammystarotandhealing.com
and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammystarotandhealing/


{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Sarah August 10, 2014, 9:08 am

    What remarkable woman you are Tammy. I have no doubt your ‘friend’ learned some valuable lessons from this experience as well. I hope she has and has incorporated it in her Reiki. Tammy it sounds like you’ve learned your lessons and have grown from it. The Reiki community who ‘outed’ you may not fully understand or appreciate the love you radiate, and when you love so fully, you can hurt fully to and perhaps when hurt say and do things you’d not normally say or do. Thanks for a wonderful message to all of us. It’s a good one to remember. I love your honesty and your vulnerability. from Sarah.

  • Tammy Hatherill August 10, 2014, 9:23 am

    Dear Sarah, I’m not sure how to respond to your beautiful words. YES I have learned some hard lessons and you nailed it. When I’m hurt I can ‘lash’ out. Before I learned Reiki and before I understood myself and other people, I was quicker and a lot worse at doing ‘reacting. I seem to have it more under control now. Thank goodness!! I wouldn’t know about that ‘group’ as I’ve been well and truly cut off and that’s OK. I’m comfortable in my own world. We each bring something different to the Reiki arena and I am content with what and how I do things. They need to be content with how they treat people. I am feeling good!! Thank you again for your kind words. Love light and harmony. Tammy

  • Sarah August 10, 2014, 10:14 am

    It seems to me that your ‘friend’ discriminated against you as well. What country are you in Tammy? Because I’m sure a teacher can’t reject a student from doing a course? What University would allow such discrimination to occur? I know there are always 3 sides to a story, your side, her side and the truth somewhere in the middle.. but I don’t think she had grounds not to teach you based on her reaction to your stance or opinion. Did she consider holding up a mirror, to see why she reacted to whatever was going on. Was it you, or was it her own beliefs that had been challenged and you copped it? I don’t think I’d want to be taught by her especially if she can’t see she always was reacting if her opinion was so strong in itself. She sounds like she had a right and wrong. You being wrong for thinking what you thought and doing whatever you did. Gosh this article has really made me think deep. Thank you again. from Sarah.

    • Angie May 14, 2017, 8:57 pm

      There are ONLY 2 sides to a story. You are in the wrong. Think deep about that.

      • Tammy Hatherill May 15, 2017, 1:33 am

        Interesting remark Angie considering you don’t know me…. There are actually more sides to a story than two, however if you believe there are only 2 that’s your journey… this story is over 3 or 4 years so I have no emotional attachment to it any more and believe it or not I’m not in the wrong and neither is the other person as we each follow our own journey. Love and light to you xxx

  • Tammy Hatherill August 10, 2014, 10:42 am

    I’m in Australia Sarah. In all honesty she taught me so much from this experience and was never meant to be any type of formal teacher to me. Ironically I taught her formally in another modality. So I think the Universe was simply saying, she wasn’t the teacher for me. In the most devastating way at the time. However such is life. I’m not sure if she realised she had the initial reaction and that is not my place to point out what lessons she could have or should have learned. I can only relate my lessons and my personal growth and development. Everyone is human and every one makes mistakes. I know I have made many in life and now I am more conscious and aware and can only improve my life and teach others what I know and maybe help. Love, light and harmony. Tammy x

  • Melinda Wood August 10, 2014, 11:51 pm

    It’s interesting that people think they own the right to define what reality is. I was once taught in a university course that all reality is subjective. Not sure how accurate that is, although it has certainly stopped me seeking “the truth”and exaimined life from the point of view of accuracies and probabilities. Always good for a woman who loves details. I can tend to obsession.

    I have been on the “pointy end” (is this Australian slang?) of one of those Reiki power struggles. Over details as it would be.

    Love the energy of your site.

    I do run a Reiki share group in Northern N.S.W. (just north of Byron Bay) if anyone feels so inclined let me know. I do it from home and we practise I.E.T. also.

    Thanks Tammy. I am teaching tomorrow and thought it might be a good idea to look at your site. Much appreciated.

    Take it easy.

    Blessings Melinda

    • Tammy Hatherill August 11, 2014, 12:29 am

      Hi Melinda. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been on the ‘pointy end’ of Reiki power struggles as well. I’m astounded it exists however, now I’ve come to accept that even Reiki Masters are people and human who have ego and self-worth and self-esteem issues just like everyone else, it makes sense. The sad thing is when they can’t see it. I was in an unrelated course with ladies from “that” lineage 12 months or so ago, and overheard them talking about a new reiki master who’d come to live here. They were debating whether they should invite her to their “Reiki Masters Meditations” night. I’m not sure if they did but I’m well aware I wasn’t. Its how I know that I’ve been cast aside as someone who doesn’t fit their group dynamics (and thankfully so because I don’t wish to associate with people who feel this is the right way to treat people). Thank goodness spirit guided me well away from them.

      Wow you live in a beautiful part of Australia. I love Northern NSW. I’m in the NT. Good luck with your reiki share nights, and I would love to attend if I lived closer. Maybe if I’m ever down that way we could catch up.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      With love, light and harmony.

      Tammy xx

      • Melinda Wood August 19, 2014, 8:40 am

        Thanks Tammy. You would certainly be welcome. Love Reiki and I have been doing Reiki since 1995. Its interesting that some people have this idea that some people are “worthy”” and some are not. Not an idea that I am willing to subscribe to. Blessings Melinda

  • Shalini August 11, 2014, 9:59 am

    Hi Tammy,

    Kudos to you for having faced and having had the courage and strength to come out of such hurtful situations! Bravo!!!
    I personally feel that people just get petty and jealous. when their sense of security is threatened they get down to doing what they did to you. Such people are shallow and egoistic. The world is full of all kinds! such incidents do break us for a while but then you ultimately realize that everything happens for a reason. Everything has a positive outcome to it too. We tend to focus more on the negative (that’s being human I guess!). You have evolved and grown as a person through this trial. Pat your back and carry on doing the good work that you do. The law of Karma takes care of everything. Each one will have to pay for their doings.
    I too have faced a lot of what you have gone through at the hands of my own teacher and friends and my heart goes out to you as I know exactly how you would have felt at that time. But Tammy, I am at peace today with everything and myself. Love yourself! Your happiness lies only within you.

    You are as unique and special as anyone else could be. 🙂

    I loved your website and all the great work you are doing!!

    with love and best wishes,


    • Tammy Hatherill August 11, 2014, 10:41 am

      Everyone has been so very understanding and I appreciate it… it was a very harmful situation because the stance I took, was on the group of people/situation that caused my depression/PTSD and it went against what the friend, felt was correct. My experience was vastly different to hers. Shalini, I am dreadfully sorry to read that you were put through something horrendous at the hands of your own teacher. However you may be right, perhaps certain teachers become threatened by those people who appear to outshine them. Although to me, nobody can overshadow anyone else, because we can all shine and illuminate the world. There is nothing to be threatened over. Also I think this friend, had a mind set about who I was, and my stance went against that mental image she had of me. I am not ashamed nor do I think I am a bad person for being honest with myself and standing up for my beliefs.. normally I would just agree with everything she said, even if privately I thought she was pushy or impatient with life events. I guess the fall out would have happed eventually when I stood up for anything I truly believed in. We are all on a journey that’s for sure. I sent that whole situation and group love and Reiki, but they are not a clique I want to associate with. I had one of them throw out my business cards and then tell me she’d given them all out to people, which wasn’t true at all, so insulting my intelligence as well. They leave me out of their ‘get togethers’ and so I just don’t belong. That’s ok, I’d rather belong to my down to earth and yet loving group of souls. Not people who judge and hide behind ‘love’. I do hope the angels, spirit and god surrounds them, because they are hurtful and judgemental. That’s my discernment about them, not judgement, because I really don’t care. I just wish they wouldn’t hurt further people.

  • Missn August 12, 2014, 1:23 am

    So this is one of the biggest and most painful lessons of all. Every time we focus soley on the self, we miss everything and most especially, we don’t give God, light, love, whatever you want to call it, the chance to move through because we think it is all about this self which does not want to help us or anyone else. This is one of the most painful lessons of all.

  • Tammy Hatherill August 12, 2014, 4:18 am

    Hi Missn, yes it’s one of the biggest and most painful lessons. I can put my hand up also and say I wasn’t perfect. My emotional reaction to her ‘decision’ that I wasn’t worthy enough to be taught by her, was un-reiki like. I ‘reacted’ without thinking and was extremely upset, thus leading to an explosion of anger. Ego!! All good now though because once we work through our ‘experiences’ we can see the lessons.

  • Jenny Smagala August 13, 2014, 2:07 pm

    G’day from a fellow Aussie, Tammy,

    Thanks for sharing your painful journey so that others can find their path through life’s upsets. People can be extremely cruel to each other. We can be stupid and judgemental and narrow-minded. BUT there’s a LOT of love too. You have done so well! You’ve changed your beliefs AND you’ve become a reiki master AND you’ve written 2 books!!!! I’m impressed.

    • Tammy Hatherill August 14, 2014, 3:28 am

      Hi Jenny!! Where do you live in Aus? I’m in Darwin, NT. Tropical paradise!!! Thank you for your lovely and kind words. I feel I’ve been though the things I have, so that I can help and assist others. How can I help people through self worth issues and self-esteem issues, without having experienced it myself? I know many people do, who haven’t been through such things but I feel I can build a better rapport. If that makes sense! I can also relate to obese people, because I’ve managed to shed 60 od kilos over the past few years, and know that feeling as well!! So my journey has had its ups and downs and it’s all called life. I was able to speak briefly this morning on my radio segment about depression, and if anyone is interested they can here it here:


  • chana August 18, 2014, 11:22 am

    Hi Tammy thank you for sharing I am sure we went through some weird problems. I totally understand how you feel. As for myself as a Reiki healer I have gone through tough obstacle with people I’m surrounded by and my own life challenging obstacles. I can tell you up until now I am still having troubles with that its to point i feel i am the bad person and leading bad examples to others i share with or surrounded by..I have not given treatment to myself and performing Reiki on others like I used to its been years now. After reading your article you are right we need to give treatment to ourself every day. Moving forward I will def need to focused more in myself then others. Thank you for sharing!

    May you be blessed in the circle of light!


  • Suzanne August 19, 2014, 3:05 am

    Hi Tammy,your story resonates with me, i have had a very similar incident with a Reiki Teacher, we have been friends ever since i did my masters 8yrs ago, i thought she was my friend & i admired & loved her greatly,but i have come to realise she isnt my friend anymore & most likely never was. I found it hard to comprehend how a healer could create such a huge Ego & treat people as though they were nothing.
    I have moved on & have a new group of aquaintances that are healers & clients that are all willing to help each other out, it may be in a time of need or referring clients on to each other. I wish you the very best. Love & Light

    • Tammy Hatherill August 19, 2014, 3:43 am

      Hi Chana and Suzanne, I’m sorry to read you’ve been through similar things. There is no escaping human ego unfortunately no matter how enlightened we become, we all have ego that can raise it’s ugly head. Ego can be a good thing as well and not always the “evil” it’s made out to be, however in the cases of hurting people, its definitely a negative. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Big warm hugs. Tammy xxx

  • Carole September 7, 2014, 1:31 pm

    Dear Tammy,
    When I started reading your column I thought you were taking about my first Reiki Master Teacher! Seriously!
    I went through a very similar thing after my Reiki level 2 with who I thought was at the time my best friend! It was one of the most painful thing I went through in my life (a BFF divorce) but also one of the most beneficial as I learned so much from this experience, as so you have – I am so proud of you for pursuing the reiki journey despite what others may have thought or said or done. The only way to pass this is to send them all divine Reiki!

    I now teach Reiki and meditative writing and also co-creator of monthly women’s healing circle, a thing I would have never thought possible back then. I have found my strength and my power and I have this old friend to thank for who cut me free from HER expectations. Thank God for that! and I now fly free to find my own path.

    May the light guide your way on…
    ❤ °ИΛMΛ§中Ɛ° ❤ ॐ

    • Tammy Hatherill - Reiki Master September 7, 2014, 10:02 pm

      Dear Carole, yes it’s very painful when a friendship break apart due to expectations. She even wrote in one of her emails that she did not ‘expect my reaction’…. hello!! I had been dealing with PTSD for 10 years, so I don’t know how she thought she could waltz in and say what she did and not realise I wasn’t going to have an opinion and/or reaction. HOWEVER I do thank spirit for showing me the truth behind the mask of love with these people. I recently was able to bring up the ostracisation with another one of them. Which she apologise profusely for, saying she was unaware. At worst is was ostracisation, or in the least it was lack of empathy, feeling, or concern for me. Based on one incident with one person and now their overriding master has an issue. Ahhh it’s all learning for me and there is a bigger picture. I’m working for myself so I don’t need to put up with this sort of stuff, which is used to have to put up with in paid employment working for others. No need for it now. <3 Spirit has set me free for a reason. XXX

      • Missn September 7, 2014, 10:49 pm

        Boy, sure don’t mind saying how hard it is to overcome this self and find “God.”

        • Tammy Hatherill - Reiki Master September 7, 2014, 11:03 pm

          Missn, yes it’s a difficult journey, however with love of thyself, and understanding ‘shifts in energy’ and sometimes the need to break away from certain people, can and does help. I don’t dislike or begrudge any of them, as they are also on a journey of self-discovery. I may not appreciate some of their behaviours, however that’s their lessons. My lessons are to observe my own behaviour (and I can put my hand up and say, it wasn’t the best at the time because I ‘reacted’) and then from that I can improve and move forward. If these people were not in my life, then I wouldn’t be learning the lessons they provide. All lessons are great, the good and the bad. I love them all, but of course the lovely lessons are much nicer to live through. Big warm hugs. Tammy xxx

  • Sherrie Ashenbremer October 30, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Loved reading about your journey. So glad you worked it all out and feel so much better. I took Reiki 1 & 2 about one year ago or so. I haven’t practiced it as much as I wish. I do use it on the animals at the shelter where I volunteer, but I need to learn to use it on myself, I don’t do that. I have a 20 yr old son, he is a recovering heroin addict, the road with him has been long and hurtful. Very hard to deal with your kid when he is on heroin. So much involved with all that. I have two friends that were both very close and very good friends of mine. After everything went down with my son, they pulled away from me. No more text saying lets get coffee tomorrow? No more come over for a chat and visit, no more stopping by. No more nothing! It hurts and I just don’t understand why they didn’t stand by me when I needed a friend, I stood by each of them when they had troubles. So my point here is I know how people can turn on you. I just don’t understand why. Love your article and I love your heart, you are a good person. Sherrie

    • Tammy Hatherill - Reiki Master October 31, 2014, 11:42 am

      Hi Sherrie, thanks for your comment. I am so sorry to read of your son’s addiction but glad to hear he’s recovering. I agree that it’s very painful and sometimes we don’t understand why ‘friends’ drift away, and yet I now understand and believe wholeheartedly there is a BIGGER picture. We may not understand the purpose for years.. and yet these friends of yours have drifted apart and away from your life, is for a reason. Big warm hugs. I know this comment doesn’t take away the tears and broken heart, but know that you are loved by spirit, the angels and the universe. You are a good person… and you’ll attract good people into your life. Big cyber hugs from Australia to wherever you live. Tammy xxx

  • Jean January 12, 2018, 3:33 am

    I was touched by your experience and overjoyed with the way you you listened to your inner self and continued to move forward through the pain and confusion. It is all about the journey that is what I have learned. It is how you handle whatever is given to you. I have been involved in Reiki for 15 years and receive sessions regularly. My spiritual path has taken many twists and turns, but all for my betterment, although not always easy. Recently, I decided to change Reiki Masters after 12 years because I felt that it just wasn’t working anymore. I am much more intuitive than she is and have grown significantly in my psychic ability, mediumship. I really felt like she did not acknowledge my gifts and at times was condescending, referring to me as her student and she the teacher. I never took any classes from her. I was her client and friend. I re-united with my very first Reiki Master and am so happy! She is like a mentor to me and is guiding me to further develop my gifts. I have love and gratitude for my previous Reiki master, but I had to realize that it was time for change and that she was holding me back. It was a difficult decision, but I know it was the right one. I listened to my heart and my guides. Love, light and peace, Jean

    • Tammy Hatherill January 12, 2018, 6:52 am

      Thanks for taking the time to write Jean. I believe many people have lots of twists and turns on their journey, such as you’ve expressed about yours. and mine as well. I’m thrilled to read how you’ve reconnected with your first Reiki Master. That’s beautiful. Sending love and gratitude is all one can do to those that are no longer in alignment with us. Big hugs to you. Love, light, and harmony. Tammy xxx

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