You’re One of My Kind

When we come across someone we have an instant connection with, we recognize us in them and them in us. We stop in our tracks and take notice. Uh -huh. You’re one of my kind. Kismet. Destiny. Fate that we are meeting at this time on this path. Confirmation and reassurance that we are okay or that we will be okay.

It’s the understanding without having to explain. It’s the I get who you are, and you get who I am. It’s the we don’t know each other, but oh, we know each other. It’s the handshake that shifts into a warm embrace. It’s the saying much with very few words. It’s the you too a-ha moment for reasons of tragedy or for reasons of joy.

Empaths and highly sensitive people have this experience with more frequency. Because we are wired to be open to it. We see you and feel you. It makes our connection faster and more intense. It makes emotional connection under the right circumstances possible with a near stranger.

It’s like being a chameleon. In a good way. Some chameleons have the ability to change color as a form of social signaling or a reaction to their environment. They are Old World Lizards with the ability to see differently from most other animals. Empaths and highly sensitive people are also highly aware of their environments and often see things in a different way. Our form of blending is connecting to those near us. If we could change color as a badge of empathy, we would.

We are who we are. A chameleon can’t change that fact that it’s a chameleon. Same with us. Again, we are who we are. In a shared environment, we may share our true colors and our true stories. And like a chameleon, our connection with another may be brief but will transform us brilliantly.


When You Gotta Say I’m Sorry

“I need to be kindest to the man I love most in the world.” My thoughts the day after arguing. I teach kindness, but I wasn’t so kind to my guy last night. I made the wrong choice to be impatient, to be dismissive, to be unkind. Words were exchanged. Doors were closed. Feelings were hurt. And I felt our negative energy all night long. Was it worth it? No. Definitely no.

Arguments between significant others are often spontaneous displays of different agendas. I need this right now, but you want that right now. But I don’t care what you need or want right now. Aren’t you even listening to what I am saying? Something like that sound familiar? We all fall into that trap. Especially when we are tired or overwhelmed. Especially when we are working with little time left and little energy left. I would wager that most arguments like these happen at the end of a long day.

I am not at my best when I am exhausted. So what to do? (I do not live alone and I won’t be left alone.) You can own it. Affirm to yourself that you are tired and may be easily annoyed. Tell yourself not to engage in conflict (unless it is about something extremely important). Take some breaths and count or bite your tongue. Why? Because the fallout from an unimportant argument will be worse for you, oh sensitive one. You will feel bad for the rest of the night. Oh, and you will feel your partner’s bad. That’s double bad. Who wants to feel double bad?

If you’ve read my page for awhile, you will know that I love sunrises. Dawn is beautiful. Light, hope, and love return with each day. And we often see things more clearly in the morning. Begin the day with an honest apology. Extend the olive branch. Because really, you love this person more than anything, and this person loves you just as much. So tell them with an I’m sorry.







Grace Under Pressure

Ernest Hemingway said “Courage is grace under pressure.” He meant stand your ground and be guided by grace. He meant keep your cool when others around you are losing theirs. He meant show courteous good will in troubling times and hardship. He meant show others how to lead with graceful courage.

What has happened to “grace under pressure”? It appears often absent these days. But I think it IS still with us. It doesn’t seek the limelight because that is not its purpose. Its purpose is to be steadfast and surefooted. It stands in sharp contrast to the bullish opinions seizing our media that are rushed out every day without thought or care. “Grace under pressure” requires calm and thought. It requires careful consideration and not quick name calling. It requires self-control and composure.

Many do follow the “grace under pressure” guide. They know it takes practice and lots of it. They are those who retain their composure in the midst of conflict and stress. They are those who know who they are and what they can do under challenging circumstances.

They may be on the public stage or on a private one. They are the athletes who stand up after they fall and keep coming back. They are the statesman who consistently put their citizens needs first and foremost. They are the nurses who calm the frightened. They are the friends who stay through the storms. They are you and me. They are us.

Think of a time when you showed strength that you did not even know you had, and you used that strength to help in a crisis. You were fully present. You rallied the troops, you held the hand, you calmed the scared, you rose to the occasion.You were showing grace under pressure. We all have this amazing ability inside of us. We need to honor it, develop it, and use it.

A Peaceful Heart Stays Clean

Strong? Yes. Dumping grounds? No.

We all have broken parts, and compassion for others helps with the healing process. But there are persons who will deliberately and continually take advantage of empaths’ and sensitives’ compassion and empathy. Some people call them energy vampires, but I think of them as dump trucks. It took me a long time to figure out why. When a distraught person is near an empath, we will take on their emotions, help carry the burden so to speak. Emotionally chaotic people will feel some relief JUST BY BEING AROUND YOU. And the more negative emotions they dump on you, the better they feel. So they will want to be around you. A LOT.

Perfect description of this is “a crush of want.” (Nick Cave). When I heard this, I thought, yes, yes, yes. That is exactly what it feels like. Because the want is never ending for some people. It feels suffocating, and if we don’t get out of the way, the dumping will crush us.  If I take your pain on as my pain whenever I’m near you, guess what? I can’t be near you. I have my own wounds to heal.

Empaths are strong. We can handle a lot of emotion. All kinds. But we need to set boundaries to keep the dump trucks out of our environments. They are skilled at demanding our attention as they rattle into the room. I feel no match. So I step away. I refuse to be the garbage dump. We are at cross purposes, so I will cross you out of my life as much as possible. I will not invite you into my home, and if I meet you, it will be on neutral ground. And I will give myself time to recover after time spent with you. The less of a host a become for you, the less of a parasite you will be, and eventually, you will go looking for another dumping ground.

My children helped me clear my environment of dump trucks. That was my turning point. My energy shift. I wanted my energy to go to them. It was up to me to create a peaceful family environment. I made it clear that my children would always come first, and the dump trucks slowly but steadily paraded away.

Do I still take on other people’s emotions? Yes, of course. It is part of who I am and who I will always be. Born this way. But I recognize who I need to stand back from. No one wants to be a dumpster.