Stepping Back In Carefully

My family of origin. It’s been broken for a while. And now somebody is ill. Time to pick up the pieces. Time to show some compassion. But how? What to do?

First you gotta put the past behind you, and concentrate on the now. Woulda, coulda, shoulda doesn’t help right now. It’s not going to get fixed at this late date under these conditions, but if you reach out and build that bridge with compassion, it will get better.

Take it slow. If you can. As an empath or highly sensitive person, we feel everything. Conflicting emotions can be difficult and overwhelming. And exhausting. Step in, but take time to step out and rest. Don’t expect clarity at every moment. Do the best you can, and some days the best you can will be different than on other days.

Have a support system, but don’t tell everyone you know. We need to be able to confide in and process with a few trusted confidantes who won’t judge us. We want advice and suggestions, not judgment. We are already judging ourselves over years of family troubles, we don’t need any more.

Don’t get stuck. Forget how did it get this way. It did. Period. Time to accept and move on. And step in. Don’t wait to get dragged in. Stepping is easier than dragging, and it gives you more autonomy.

Do you have another family member who you can be brutally honest with? It is helpful to validate our feelings and thoughts with someone who shares our family history. Work through the mess together. Work through what needs to be done together. Pray and hold each other’s hand together.

Keep some boundaries. You have created a life outside of your family or origin. Keep it. Protect it. Do what you can, but don’t sacrifice what you have made.

Time shifts when someone is seriously ill, and you realize that you don’t have the luxury of figuring things out because you don’t have the luxury of time. We can use our time to move toward forgiveness. The ill person may be grateful that you are just showing up – and gratitude melts anger.

My family member doesn’t have good days anymore. No good days and bad days. There are bad days with good moments and bad moments. And my heart breaks for her and breaks for the family I thought I had many years ago before it shattered. So I remind myself that I am doing the best I can in this moment …. and so is she.



Take Off the Mask, I Can See You Anyway

It is very unnerving for an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person to be around a liar. To be lied to. To our face. Cuz we know it.

You see, your outside is not matching your inside when you lie to us. We can see beneath the mask. It is like a massive assault to our senses that is both hard to process and hard to recover from. Because the lying tells us to not believe what we feel, what we know to be true.

This is especially  confusing to empath children and HSPs. Because there is a lot of dishonesty in the world. That we are supposed to ignore. Even within our families. It is very stressful when adults tell you not to trust your gut – for example, when they tell you to be nice to cruel family members. (What’s up with that? Isn’t it better for children not to even be around untrustworthy adults? Rather, stop pretending and ignoring warning signs that may actually endanger sensitive children!)

Remember the old saying, “The eyes are a window to your soul?” They are also the window to your emotions. When someone’s face and words do not match their body language and internal energy, it is very unnerving to us. Empathic and sensitive children, young adults, and adults need to learn to trust what they feel, rather than the opposite. Instead of hearing, “you are too sensitive.” We need to hear “trust your true feelings.”

Lying and liars have become quite popular these days. And I don’t get it. Yes, social media can spread lies more quickly, but fact checking is available at our finger tips. Some in the public realm believe, “If I say it, it is true.” Which of course is not true. And truth does matter. It matters a lot. And not just to empaths and sensitives.

“Friedrich Nietzsche said, “I not upset you lied to me; I’m upset from now on I can’t trust you.”  

  • I would update that yes, I am upset that you lied to me, and now I can’t trust you.
  • I am only reminded to trust myself, to see through your mask.
  • Or better yet, to stay away from you ….



Kick Back

Kick back. Often. Why? Our posture can change our attitude and approach. Really. Not kidding.

Our bodies are our private homes. They house all of our thoughts and emotions. They wear our lifetime of personal history. And sometimes, we get stuck in our heads or our hearts. We may have a constant loop of troubling thoughts or hurtful feelings. Our bodies can become warehouses of tension and pain. One way to tackle this looping replay of what is troubling us is to literally kick back.

When you kick back, you may think this is doing nothing. Wrong. It is not doing nothing. It is doing something. You are actively changing your posture. You are making a statement. You are choosing to hold your body differently. Kicking back is a considered position and approach.

Posture can change attitude. When we kick back, we stretch out our legs to relax and cross our feet for grounding. It is a relaxed position of confidence. Tension melts away when we move into this body position. We unwind, we consider our options and opportunities, we are grateful, and we literally breathe easier. Sometimes we do our best thinking and calmest feeling when we kick back.

If kicking back seems new territory for you, I encourage you to try it. Remember the old adage of fake it til you make it?  Try kicking back (even if just for moments) in the midst of or at the end of a busy day. Tension will dissipate. It just happens when you shift your body into this position. And you can kick back almost anywhere!

Kicking back leads to a calmer attitude and a clearer mind. It provides opportunity to consider in a relaxed position, and it loosens tension in your body. So after your long day of __________________, kick back.        Inhale. Exhale.