“Come in she said, I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.” (Bob Dylan) Shelter from the storm embraces those in need. Those hurting. Those battered by life or by circumstance. The broken hearted. The broken spirited. Shelter from the storm is a warm embrace, a kind word, a holding hand, a nod of understanding. It is providing empathy for the breaking and the broken.
Giving shelter from the storm comes naturally to highly sensitive people and empaths. We will pull you in as you crawl toward us. We will feel your hurt, listen to it, validate it. We will hold you as you push through the ugliness and back toward the light. We will be your companion and meet your needs and help with healing. It is our natural gift, and oh, we will give it….until we are spent.
And that is the challenge of being empathic. We tend to give it all away. No limits. Shelter from the storm implies temporary safe haven. It is not a harbor in every storm or a host to every hunger. This took me a long time to learn. There is a difference between helping someone who is going through a bad time and hosting someone who thrives in a hurricane. Don’t get sucked under again and again. If s/he doesn’t want to get on the life raft, sail away to shore anyway. Disengage. (I know easier said than done.)
And sometimes when the storm passes, it is you who is left behind. You provided what was needed – TLC – but you may have fell in love or at least in deep like. With the storm/crisis now over, those moments of heart-bearing soul are often scary for others, so they move away from those who witnessed it – yep, you.
We can embrace and use our gift of providing shelter from the storm, but know that it is a moment in time. It will bring us closer with some, and it will be a momentary passing with others. With each encounter, our compassion and light will continue to expand.
Shelter From the Storm by Bob Dylan Vimeo link: