I was thinking about personal development yesterday and how for me, it’s been like a slingshot…..I’ll get pulled back further and further with more and more tension, then at the breaking point and just in the nick of time, I’ll shoot forward and end up with some new revelations and epiphanies, and maybe even make a little progress.
Here’s a story (one of many) about an event that triggered a big jump in my self awareness. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told by those who had the most influence over me, that I was just too sensitive, like it was a bad thing or something to overcome….”You need to grow a thick skin if you want to get by in this world, you’re just too sensitive”. And I was sensitive, things affected me deeply and I bought into it. I learned to laugh and joke to hide it.
At the time, I had no clue that much of what I was feeling was actually the emotions of other people and that those emotions didn’t even belong to me yet I was taking them in and making them my own. It wasn’t until I was thirty years old that I finally had that “what the……?” moment when I realized what was really happening. I’m an empath, but not some big magical empath with great powers, just…..an empath.
I was renting space at a place called Englers Block in Branson, Missouri. I was doing woodburned portraits from photographs on cedar plaques at the time. This lady walks up to me, hands me a small photo and says “Can you do a portrait of her?” It was a school photo of a pretty girl about 8 years old. I looked at this photo and within seconds my chest started to get tight, my throat started to get tight, my stomach felt sick and I burst into tears. And I’m not talkin’ a little tear in my eye, I’m talkin’ a full blown loud sob session, enough to turn heads and make a scene. Rather embarrassing…….
She remained completely dry-eyed and stoic and said “That’s my daughter, she died a month ago.” Whaat? Well I just lost it……full blown, uninhibited melt down. I pulled myself together eventually, apologized to all the concerned people who had gathered around, but I don’t remember what happened with the portrait or the lady. She had served her purpose, I guess.
I do, however, remember the astonishing realization that apparently I pick up on and express other people’s emotions, most noticeably unexpressed grief. From that point on, I started to see myself in a different way. Maybe being too sensitive wasn’t really a bad thing, I just needed to work with it and either allow others emotions to come into me and pass on through without owning them, or put up an energetic shield that protects me from feeling those emotions altogether.
I always seem to forget to put up that shield, but I’ve gotten much better at recognizing when something doesn’t belong to me . I don’t really understand what purpose all of this serves, but I do know that I’m one of those people that gets confided in alot and sometimes I stumble across the right thing to say. I have a tendency to isolate myself, though.
Now I get accused of being naive about certain people’s bad behavior. I see it as more of an awareness of the root emotion behind the behavior which seems to feel more like a wounded child than a bad adult.
Now the trick is to avoid being co-dependent and taking on too much responsibility for another person who needs to learn their own lessons at their own pace.
Maann, there’s always somethin’……..!
Well that’s enough deep thought for today.
Have a good one!
Comments on: ">Personal Development: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" (3)
>That's actually a really neat story… I love coming to your blog! Not only do you often get a smile or a laugh out of me, you also have interesting stories!
>Thank you! I really love your blog posts too! Actually, I'm heading over there right now….
>Fantastic blog Laurie, thanks so much for sharing. I love meeting other people who are on a journey that involves such discovery, especially when they're not afraid to figure it all out… or attempt to anyway! 🙂