- a person with the ability to perceive the mental or emotional state of another individual.
My grandmother not only had a heart of gold, like most grandmothers, but she was also very intuitive. She gave this personification of someone wise and all knowing, for a young child at tine this was unsettling and I remember asking her one time if she was a psychic, she simply smiled and said no, ‘I just know things!’ I never truly appreciated her gifts of knowing what to say, when to say it or what to do and when to do it, until I got older. Her selflessness, always giving so much of herself to others, a lot of whom were undeserving, her relentless willingness to help those in need even if it meant giving her last. Often came across more as a weakness than anything else. But those who truly appreciated her, said she had a pure heart of Gold.
As the old adage goes, the chip doesn’t fall far from the block. It was not just a part of my upbringing, it was engrained in my fabric because I started noticing the same attitudes in myself that I saw in her and I was never aware of the word empath until I was well into my 40s. All of my life I was singled out as being selfish, stubborn, naive and just a little bit crazy. Some call it a gift, some say it’s a curse, I’m caught in the middle because the empathic self also comes with the uncontrollable surge of feeling the emotions of others. This made me understand better why my grandmother was so jealous of her time, why she was bordered becoming a reclusive. Empaths are not selfish, crazy or naive, we just see and experience the world differently. I have had friends who stopped communicating with me after my warning them about certain relationships only to have them to come back months or sometimes years later to ask. “how did you know?” Over the years, I can’t say that I’ve learned to control my sense of knowing, because how do you not care about others? It’s not something that can be flicked off and on at will. But I have become more aware of my emotions and have found people who have supported me along the way.
I think Anthon S. Maarten put it best into words what he says………..
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
As the world went into lockdown, there were many who buckled under the pressures of confinement. My spirit welcomed it! I no longer had to lie in bed for an hour while my brain coerces my my body into motion. I didn’t have to exhaust myself for 9 hours while trying to maintain the barrier to buffer the noise and all the different personalities around me. In those months my spirit had the opportunity to heal, my thoughts were not randomly trying to wander off, they were more focused and gained clarity. It was a renewal of self, something I was not able to do in a long time. It felt great! Had it not been for that break I don’t think I would’ve had the mental or emotional capacity to handle all that is happening in my personal life right now. That time of rejuvenation and renewal gave me the strength to reinforce those boundaries. In doing this, I’m learning also learning to express my authentic self!
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