I have always been super sensitive to everything around me. I am sensitive to sound, light, smells, chemicals, food, fabrics, you name it really.
When I was younger I was labelled too sensitive. I thought this meant that there was something wrong with me. I never seemed to fit anywhere. What I didn’t realise was that not fitting in was and is actually a really significant compliment. There is so much wrong with the way things work in the world today. There are many of us who know that we need change. People are not happy within the systems they work in and are looking for alternatives. ‘If you feel as if you don’t fit into this world, it’s because you’re here to create a better one.’ Author Unknown.
The great news is that I am learning about my sensitivities and how to utilise them to work for me. I have stopped fighting them, I have stopped trying to conform to someone else’s idea of what works. The unfortunate part of all of this is that it has taken me so long to work it all out. Maybe this intense struggle is the motivating factor for my helping others with the same challenges and gifts.
So what is an Empath? I am sure there are plenty of descriptions, explanations, definitions and information out there about the subject. For me it was reading The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff MD. I had read articles before on the subject and thought, ‘Oh yeah, I can relate to that.’ then one of these articles referred to The Empath’s Survival Guide.
When I pick up a book or look into something, I don’t go in thinking that this is going to be the answer. I keep an open mind and tune into what feels right for me. I take what I need and work from there. There might be nothing in it but I have found that there is usually something I relate to. For me personally, whatever I pick up and read will coincide with what is going on for me at the time. It is how I learn best, knowledge and understanding backed up by experience.
Judith Orloff MD states ‘Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain, but for empath’s it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defences that most people have.’
For myself, if I am sitting in a room with someone with a migraine then I too will feel the effects of a migraine as happened the other day. Now that I understand what is happening, I know to tune into whether the pain or the emotion I am feeling is actually mine or someone else’s. I address it or I give myself some time out and it usually corrects itself, depending on the degree of the circumstances. I am surprised to find that most of the symptoms I feel are actually from others.
One of my client’s is school aged and the school setting is incredibly difficult for empath’s for there is just so much going on. I now understand why I myself struggled in the school system. I was tuned into what was happening for me as a person, teacher, parent, I was tuned into what was happening for my students (many of who were struggling with learning difficulties), I was tuned into what was happening for my student’s parents, my peers, I was also tuned into the sounds and visuals. No wonder my system was overloaded so often. Had I known what I know now, I could have incorporated some strategies so that my gifts worked for me.
The down side to my gifts is that when those around me are feeling and experiencing tough times, I am feeling what they are feeling. Yesterday I was feeling nauseous, I just couldn't shake it. I went out with a friend and while I was away from my home, I felt fine. As soon as I stepped back inside the house I felt nauseous again. I knew straight away that I wasn’t the source of this feeling and I tracked down the culprit.
The upside to my gifts is that I can’t be lied to. I see right through dishonesty. Very handy skill to have as a parent. Not that my kids are intentionally dishonest, but one kid in particular likes to put on a bit of a front, that everything is just fine. As I can feel what they are feeling, I can check in to make sure they are alright.
Reading Judith’s book was the validation I needed for everything I had felt most of my life. I saw why I had struggled so much. I particularly saw that I wasn’t nearly as messed up as I thought I was. In fact, if anything I can sense those around me and how much they are dealing with. It became clear that all I had to do was to understand my sensitivities and learn to incorporate them into my life.
As a healer, these sensitivities to what is going on for others is such a gift. There is no need for justification of what one might be feeling for I get it. Add this to the intuition I have developed and I am very tuned in to what my clients need as part of their recuperation.
Please, you may not be sensitive yourself but read this book if you live with or love someone who is always being told they are too sensitive, that they should toughen up, or grow thicker skin. Especially children, as I know the road you travel when people don’t understand you, when you think or feel that you don’t fit. All it takes is understanding and incorporating a few strategies for people with sensitivities to really thrive. Strategies that work for me are setting boundaries with others, scheduling secluded breaks, and getting outside.
These small additions allow me to recharge and carry on.
If you need support throughout this discovery, then contact me to schedule an appointment. Even if you just want to chat, I'd be happy to help in anyway I can.
Inner Health with Neuro-Training
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