Flow, Not Geyser

Geysers are beautiful, but you don’t want to feel like one.

Highly sensitive people feel a constant flow of emotions. It’s not something that we can control. It’s just how we experience life. Emotionally. It’s like having a bubbling natural spring inside you 24/7. One emotion surfaces and flows into another. New ones keep bubbling up to combine and collide with the previous ones. Its a watery kaliedescope of feelings. It’s a never-ending emotional well with every day and every moment. It’s a certain way to live that others may not understand.

Some people will tell you “Don’t overthink it.” What they really mean is “Don’t over feel it.” Well, sorry folks, we don’t know how to (not) do that. It’s like telling us not to breathe or not to breathe too much. It is the core to who we are, and we can’t imagine life any other way FOR US.

Instead, we need to learn to release our emotions freely as a natural spring does and not try to push them down. We don’t want our core lovely artesian well to become a not so lovely and potentially dangerous spewing geyser.

How to do that? First step is acknowledgment. This is how I perceive my world. Second step is  acceptance. I may be different, but I will stay true to who I am. Third step is learning to navigate in this world. I can learn how to channel my emotional energy without trying to squash it. Fourth step is protection. I will steer clear from those who try to drink my well dry.

Permission and access and faith are our biggest allies in self-acceptance. A highly sensitive person must give themselves permission:  permission to be who we are; permission to walk away; permission to feel every feeling without fear knowing that it will pass. A highly sensitive person must give themselves access: access to creative outlets; access to solitude; access to nature. A highly sensitive person must have faith: faith in a Higher power and the power of prayer; faith in ourselves; faith in humanity. Permission and access and faith will help to sustain us.

So flow like a spring, like a brook, like a river. Don’t dam yourself. Don’t geyser yourself. Feel what you feel when you feel it. It’s natural.

 

Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin

I’ve always admired artists who paint self-portraits. Imagine looking in a mirror for hours to recreate yourself in paint on canvas? (Much harder than taking a quick selfie.) It is an intense act of bravery ~ to look so closely at yourself, to be that comfortable in your own skin.

And isn’t that the goal for everyone in life? To be comfortable in your own skin? To own who you are and what you are? To know what and how you can contribute to this thing called life? To be authentic.

We’re born authentic. But the hard knocks of life mess us up. It is often a long journey back. But it is a journey up, too. Back to innocent self-acceptance, but up in this messy world. With more tools and more understanding, we can secure a hard won self-acceptance re-entry in our adult lives.

Three beliefs have kept me going and led me back to being comfortable in my own skin. First, honor your body. Bless it; don’t curse it. It’s not perfect, but it has done some amazing things for you. Your body carries your whole life history. Give it some gratitude. Second, keep the candles burning. Keep hope alive. Seek out stories and people of kindness and examples of humanity helping each other. Cheer for the underdogs and help those you can. Third, nurture your own spirit. Do things that strengthen your inner peace. Time alone to reflect, pray, meditate, do yoga, walk, etc. is necessary to take care of inner self. The more authentic, peaceful, and self-accepting you are, the more compassion you can offer to others. And that is an empath’s super power – deep understanding, feeling, and compassion.

Empaths and highly sensitive people give much to others; now here is a prayer to remind you to honor and care for yourself. It is from a loving kindness meditation from Sita Chopra: May I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I live with ease. She suggests saying these words to yourself several times through out the day. You wish these blessings for others, now extend them to yourself, too. Be comfortable in your own skin.

*Self-portrait is by Zinaida Serebriakova