Tag Archives: High Sensitivity

Loving the Inner Child

I have been aware of the need to love the inner child for many years , through my own reading and research on how to overcome my childhood issues. It is only in the last few months that I have really noticed a difference in the way I have related to this part of myself in a more loving, nurturing way.

About a month ago, I purchased some new piano music to try after streaming the album online. I picked a few pieces and found them to be extremely difficult. I usually pride myself on spending lots of time working through difficult pieces to improve my playing, but these were so difficult as to not really provide much pleasure in even small improvements. At first I found myself exceptionally angry and frustrated.

“I should be able to play it!”

“Why can’t I play it?!”

“I must be a lot worse at piano than I thought!”

“I’m so rubbish. I’ll never be good enough.” (Notice how this then became a generalisation to my whole self!)

By this point I was really grumpy and about to let the frustration spoil my evening, so I decided to take myself off into our bedroom to meditate, to see if I could work through this.

Well, very quickly after relaxing into meditation I became aware of the barking voice of my old deputy headmistress from my primary school-

“You stupid child, why can’t you do it? Everybody else can do it, why can’t you? Are you an idiot?”

These words were never directed at me, but there were a certain few classmates who bore the brunt of the abuse over the years. She was an absolute dragon! I’d honestly forgotten about her, but during this meditation I realised my inner child hadn’t! She was still absolutely terrified of her, and had taken on the belief that she must be absolutely flawless to avoid this type of verbal attack. She was devastated for her classmates, but also just terrified by the insane rage of this woman. My inner child thought that this was normal and what was deserved. She didn’t know that this kind of verbal attack was abusive, and cruel, and that the only one in the wrong was the headmistress.

I honestly felt true compassion for my inner child in that moment. I wanted to protect her and shout back at the headmistress. I knew I was capable of being just as fierce! I wanted to pick up little Rachel, and comfort her. So in my mind I did. I told her that she was in no way deserving of this kind of bullying, that she was loved and protected, she had done absolutely nothing wrong, and the headmistress was a cruel human being who would probably lose her job now. The primary school was a very strict Catholic school and was big on the shaming approach. You will go to hell if you’re disobedient- that kind of thing. That seriously screws you up when you’re so young, sensitive, and vulnerable. There were also incidents of teachers smacking misbehaving kids over their knee in front of the whole class. I remember this clearly. We were only 4 or 5.

This might sound trivial to some people, but being such a highly sensitive individual, and so desperate to please everybody, I was extremely affected. No wonder I always want to be so bloody perfect at art and music, and life in general. The headmistress’s bullying voice became my own bullying voice, in a bid to protect myself from public shaming. If I could bully myself into the desired behaviour/performance/achievement, then I would get there before the she would- hence avoiding a verbal assault in front of my peers.

Anyway, after soothing my inner child whilst in meditation, I did start to feel much more loved, calmer, and I cared much less about the difficult piano pieces. Insanely difficult. I was expecting too much, and reminded myself of the other hard pieces I had learned, and how much I loved playing them. Loving playing is the most important part.

I was proud of myself for noticing my anger that evening, and for having the presence of mind to stop myself, and say “hey, let’s sort this out before it ruins the whole evening. What is going on here that is making me feel so angry? How am I treating myself?”

I am grateful that some higher guidance hooked me up with a very good reason why I was feeling so much fear, and that I was able to soothe my inner child. To begin to feel this kind of protectiveness for her, this love and compassion, is quite a breakthrough for me, so I am very thankful! I’m sure there will be much more work with her to come!

Talking and Connection During Lockdown.

I am relieved that I’m starting to feel a little better. The weather has suddenly jumped from an average of 0 degrees C, to about 9, so I’m actually looking forward to my dog walk today.

I’d been grumpy with my husband all day Saturday, which I wrote about in my last post, and feeling shame about it. But Sunday started well as we both gave each other Valentine’s cards and little gifts, so that cheered me up and we opened up about the day before. He said he’d been very stressed about a situation at work, and suddenly everything clicked into place. That was why I was avoiding being around him on Saturday! I was feeling his stress as something I couldn’t face going near. Normally I can give support over these things, but because I have been feeling depressed for a few weeks, I just didn’t have the emotional strength or energy to deal with his problems.

I felt relieved to know that was what had been the issue (the trials of the highly sensitive empath), and once we talked about his work problem, we both felt much better, which relaxed the energy between us.

Then I actually felt strong enough to ring my parents- yes, it takes strength due to childhood traumas still lingering between us. They can be fun to talk to and are certainly better now I’m an adult, so that actually cheered me up, as I think I’d been missing chatting to people. Lockdown has certainly made me feel more isolated, and I’m really not great at picking up the phone to chat to friends (I’m phone phobic!). I definitely have social anxiety but also a need for some connection and conversation.

I feel lucky that I have hugs and affection everyday. If I lived alone, I’d definitely be missing those.

So Valentine’s Day was actually really good and we ended up with gorgeous steaks for dinner, (for once I didn’t overcook them) and watched the original X Men on Disney Plus.

It’s a total cliche, but I think a hot bath helped, as well as the Bach Flower Remedy Mustard (for depression with no known cause), and the essential oil Petitgrain. Lots of little things all adding up- that’s the way to improve my mood!

I think starting to write on here again has helped too. I haven’t really been very in touch with myself over the last year or two. I had been writing in my journal sporadically, but not like I used to. This is helping me to feel more human again. I forget how talking about things can help, even if I’m talking to cyberspace! I really do appreciate people reading this- so thank you if you are here!

Lockdown Depression

Depression SOS: Bach Flower Remedies

Bach Flower Remedies for Depression- Mustard and Gentian. (You Tube Video)

Making Friends with Fear

Last night my husband and I went food shopping at the local supermarket. As expected, the shelves were very empty and I found myself taken aback by a wave of fear and panic that hit me like a tonne of bricks.

I knew this fear was not just my own, but the lingering energy of the hundreds of people who had walked in the doors over the last 24 hours or so, shocked, and some even quite terrified to see, for the first time, the effects of coronavirus in our rural town. The collective fear felt more foreign to me, like lots of voices and thoughts all chattering at once:

“what will I do if I can’t get milk, or tea, or toilet rolls?”

I know it sounds superficial when you consider that people are in serious pain with the virus, or have lost loved ones, but it is a very real fear to have your sense of security and safety tugged out from beneath your feet. We live in our own little bubble of the routine and security of an efficiently functioning society, so any disruption to that is bound to feel jarring.

If like me you have felt this cloud of fear when out shopping, or at home with the media flowing through your mind, then it is a good time to just acknowledge it is there.

My natural reaction to any uncomfortable emotion is to try and suppress or deny it. Distraction plays a part, but too often I’ll turn to obsessive or compulsive behaviour.

Today I felt a connection with my guides and angels as I finally stopped to feel this fear. I realised that I have been so scared to feel it, or any uncomfortable emotion, that I’ve desperately been pushing against it in resistance. But the wisdom they gave was to allow it. Allow the fear to be with you. Allow the fear to rest in your body and around you. Feel it in your body. Where do you feel it. Don’t try and change it. Let it be there. Is your stomach tight? Your shoulders tense? Your jaw clenched? Feel into the body. Be an investigator! Ask your body what it needs. Ask your spirit what it needs. Listen to your intuition and trust it. Talk to the fear- what is there that is so scary?

The more we spend time getting to know what we are feeling, the less frightening the fear will seem. We can send love to ourselves, give ourselves a big hug.

It is ok to feel fear.
We are not bad or weak or cowards for feeling fear.
It is all ok in this moment.

Ask that any fear that does not belong to you be cleared from your body and energy field. We help nobody by taking on this burden, particularly as it is so easy for Spirit to help us clear this- just ask! We are worthy of their help. Every single one of us.

Surrendering our feelings helps so much.
If we don’t know how to release fear, that is ok. Love yourself anyway.
Whatever you are feeling- tell yourself it is ok and that you are worthy of love. You are love.
Surrender any feelings of not knowing. Release into the uncertainty.

As I walked the dog this morning I noticed how “normal” everything felt out in nature. I didn’t feel a fearful vibration. The birds were chirping and carrying on about their daily business as usual, and I found this very comforting. If you are sensitive, I highly recommend spending some time in nature every day, even just to feel the normality of birds singing their joyful song, or flowers unfolding their petals in perfect timing with natures rhythm. Nature trusts in the universe. That everything is ok.

It is in our society where the fear is accumulating- our unnatural society of consumption and power and gain. In nature the earth is breathing a sigh of relief as pollution levels decrease significantly due to coronavirus. There is a natural healing process taking place. Everything is ok. Trust in the process.


Resources

These posts are all on my sister-site The Light Sanctuary, where I delve deeper into spirituality:

Divine Light Meditation– clear energetic vibrations of fear from your body and energetic field.

Sensitivity to World Events

Sensing Light Out Into The World

Bach Flower Remedies for Depression: Mustard & Gentian

Mustard and Gentian are Bach Flower Remedies which can be helpful in healing from depression.

Related Posts

Bach Flower Remedies

Depression SOS: Bach Flower Remedies

Bach Flower Remedies- Walnut

 

The Empath: Extreme Sensitivity

ID-100126946A few years ago I wrote a guest post about Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity for the website Mental Health Talk.

It’s been interesting to read it back to myself. I realise I’ve changed my views slightly since then- mainly that I no longer see bipolar disorder as an illness:

“From here onwards in my blog I am going to use the term “Bipolar Disorder” only to describe behaviours that have been grouped accordingly by psychiatrists. So the term will henceforth appear in italics. I no longer believe I have Bipolar Disorder, but am a completely whole individual, 100% healthy, but who just requires a different lifestyle to maintain balance.”

From my blog post Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

I believe I was diagnosed as bipolar due to the fact that I am extremely sensitive and it is this which has caused major life challenges for me, coupled with reaction to chronic trauma throughout my infancy through to adulthood.

I definitely relate to Elaine Aron’s perception of the Highly Sensitive Person: somebody who is more sensitive to stimulation from environmental cues, as well as more easily overwhelmed. For more in depth discussion on this, please see my article Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity.

But I’ve also never felt that this fully describes the deeper extreme sensitivity that I feel. The only term I’ve ever found to explain this is Empath.


PeacockEmpaths: Energy Sensitivity.

My understanding of the term Empath is a person who is extremely sensitive to the emotions and energy of other people and the environment.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP, has never explained how I can become overwhelmed by somebody else’s sadness or joy. I don’t just imagine it, I feel it. It’s as if I can merge myself with them and actually feel the emotion they are going through.

Without an awareness of this, therefore no skills or training in managing this energy sensitivity, it is no wonder that I got diagnosed as having bipolar disorder as my emotions were all over the place!! I could take on suicidal depressions, raging anger, irritability- any emotion and it probably didn’t originate from me!

It is not just being around an angry person that may cause me to feel their anger- which I often experience as a very fearful defence. Anger or any emotions can hang around in the environment. For example- if work colleagues in a meeting have just had a heated discussion about an issue that has generated frustration and anger- the anger and intense emotions can hang about as a cloud of energy in the room. So when I enter the room I immediately feel the intensity and chaos of emotion- it’s like the molecules in the air change. That’s how it feels to me.

Learning to defend myself against these energies and protect myself is a massive ongoing project. A big part of this is clearing my energy so that I release any energy that does not belong to me. It’s kind of like an energetic shower! Since working on these skills, I have noticed a definite improvement in my mood changes and ability to remain balanced and peaceful.

In my opinion there are many people out there who experience energies in this way who have no idea that they are being affected massively by other people’s emotions. They turn up in doctor’s offices with depression and anxiety that could be cleared and managed on an energetic level. It is empowering to realise you can take back control of your emotional experiences, rather than experiencing your emotions as out of control and running away with you.

Empathy as a GiftID-10023748

Once on the road to managing and balancing energetic sensitivity, it is possible to use this skill in a way that helps other people. Being able to feel how somebody else is feeling, but also being able to clear it away when necessary, can help you relate to somebody else’s experience and help you develop as an effective counsellor.

But it can be taken further to a psychic level.

As well as experiencing the energy of other people, you may be able to read their aura. It is possible to get a sense of what they like, what is going on in their life, what they spend their time thinking about etc. You may receive visual images or words in your mind, or feel a sense of what they are like as a person.

This is not only possible with living people, but we also pick up on energy of beings in spirit. We may receive images/thoughts/feelings from spirits who may be trying to communicate with us, or again, they may leave an environment in a cloud of feeling, like anger or fear. Think of visiting an old haunted house- any feelings of the place being creepy and unnerving are completely valid, as the spirit is likely to be fearful or angry.

As well as more negative energies, we can also communicate with higher energies- those in spirit who are peaceful and loving, as well as guides, and angel energies. This is such a beautiful experience and so worth developing and spending time on. I’ll definitely write more this in future as it is an important part of my life now. There are many benefits to connecting with loved ones in spirit, as well as guides- you receive so much love and support, as well as guidance and wisdom. To know we are not alone and are always supported and championed is so comforting and uplifting!

We learn to control who we interact with through intention. I always have the intention to work with the higher energies only. This can lead us to become really great healers.

But again, if you have been picking up on the energies of spirits as well as the living- no wonder your emotions are rocked around tumultuously!

ButterflyIs an Empath born or made?

I don’t know for sure!

My understanding is that we can be born highly sensitive. Due to that sensitivity we may be more likely to experience events and daily living (that other people cope with easily) as traumatic, or experience extreme trauma. Trauma would then increase our sensitivity as we are always ‘switched on’, scanning the environment for potential trouble so that we are able to control what we can in order to avoid any threat- for example, conflict. This is called hypervigilance. We are so tuned in to other people’s wellbeing, emotions, and our environment that we are basically practicing being even more sensitive without realising. We become so good at it that we enter the realms of being an empath.

So basically I think that Highly Sensitive People are born, and that trauma can create an empath from a Highly Sensitive Person.

This is just a theory that feels right to me.

To me it explains why I have found it so difficult to function in the world. Everybody else seems to get along with life so easily, whilst I have felt tossed about by every little thing in the environment. But knowing that I can have mastery over this energy sensitivity is so empowering. I can take back control and learn to use this as something positive in my life.

Being labelled as bipolar is so disempowering, that suddenly realising that actually you are experiencing energies as an empath can feel very exciting! Due to our sensitivity it could trigger a burst of positive high vibration energy, which is important to manage through your awareness of it, by staying grounded, and working on staying peaceful and centred. More on this in a future post!

It is easy to see being an empath as something quite special, which it is, but it does not mean we are in any way better than anybody else. Some people are good at carpentry, some at sport, we’re good at being empaths!

There is so much more to this topic which I’d like to explore in future!

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity – my guest blog post on Mental Health Talk.

Bipolar: Your Mood May Not Be Your Own – guest post on Mental Health Talk.

Absorbing Others’ Energy – a fascinating and very useful video by Ralph Smart.

You’re So Sensitive

Hypomania and Grounding

Depression and Grounding

Grounding for Emotional Wellbeing – a video featuring a meditation exercise to help you to ground yourself.

 

 

 

 

Highly Intuitive People

Highly Intuitive People- CoverMy mind feels almost as slow as my body today, but I still managed to get some interesting reading done: Highly Intuitive People by Heidi Sawyer, which I feel I really relate to.

I think those of us who are highly intuitive-sensitive types are probably more prone to bipolar disorder symptoms. (Please see my guest post for Mental Health Talk: Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity for more on this topic).

Jiva

The chapter “Cope With Others and Their Power Struggles” has some interesting thoughts about how we use our energy.

Sawyer talks about us having an aura, the energetic carrier of all that we are as a human soul- our Jiva (sanskrit word for the immortal essence of a living thing).

As our true essence, Jiva can be weak or strong depending on how much we are in connection to our true selves/our own identity. It builds confidence and self-esteem.

Building Jiva increases our emotional strength and healing capacity- surely a strong tool in coping with bipolar disorder or mental dis-ease of any kind.

We can strengthen Jiva by releasing negativity and anything else that drains us energetically. We can do the things we truly love, which light us up and connect us with who we truly are.

By strengthening our Jiva, we have a stronger sense of self, of our own identity, and need less the approval of others. We are less likely to take on others’ cares and worries on an energetic level to please them or make them ‘feel better’. We are also less likely to be rocked by criticism and disapproval in general. We approve of ourselves and that’s all we need.

59267cezgcextwlThe Need to Please Others- Narcissistic Families

Many of us may feel we have to please others (see People-Pleasing), and pressure ourselves into adjusting our behaviour to feel we are approved of by whoever we are with.

This is how we’ve been taught to behave throughout our childhood, often within a narcissistic family. We learn to walk on eggshells and keep the peace- this became our identity, a strong part of which was to ignore and neglect our own needs. Survival of the family- which is inherently damaged through various traumas- becomes priority, even over being true to ourselves and our own identity.

Our Jiva has become weak through our developmental stages. We let people walk all over us, give too much energy to others, make others more important than ourselves- this is how we have learnt to survive. It is not our fault.

ID-10046699Creating a Happy Life

But we can change things. We can have a happier life where we feel in control of what is happening to us, of how our life pans out. We’ve been taught that we aren’t worthy of a happy life. But we are!

We can create our own life! We don’t need the approval of others’, it is safe for us now to be our true selves.

We lived in a family system where the only means of survival was to submit our identities to become what our parents’ wanted us to be. We could not have emotions or needs- because they were too inconvenient to our parents, or caused significant anxiety. We could be emotional caretakers and counsellors, best friends, even to some extent surrogate spouses. We gave up our energy, our true selves. We did it to survive. (Because as a small child, it really is about survival- who will take care of your needs if you are abandoned by your family?)

We don’t need to do this anymore.

MoonThe Terror of Being Our True Selves

You’d think it would be easy to overcome this- once we realise it is safe to live the life we want to create. But I’ve found many challenges already- mainly fears of stepping away from the safety of the identity I was given.

To me it feels terrifying to identify and take care of my needs- it goes against everything I was taught, everything that is my current identity, everything that has helped me to survive a narcissistic family system. It sounds silly, but I still feel extremely anxious if I sit down and draw- “I’m being too selfish”, “I should be spending my time helping other people”, “it’s a childish pastime”.

Releasing these beliefs that have kept me alive within my family is terrifying! We still have that belief deeply ingrained that we must be that which we’ve been moulded into, in order to survive.

But it’s worth it!

When we can do the things in life that light us up- for me drawing, writing, painting, walking in nature, taking care of myself nutritionally, being with my loved ones and my dog- we strengthen our jiva. We are doing things that make us happy!

Strong Jiva will keep us energised. We will not feel the need to give others our time and energy. We will not be manipulated by others. We can identify our own needs and put ourselves first. Our health will improve.

ID-10095922In relation to bipolar disorder.

So part of me wonders if my current downward swing into very low energy is because I’ve been giving too much energy to others, denying myself who I truly am, and denying my emotions. I haven’t been taking care of my needs. I think this is very likely the case and perhaps is the pattern of bipolar disorder as a set of symptoms?

We find our creativity, our true self, become highly energised by this- perhaps to a hypomanic/manic state. We enter a frenzy of creativity/spirituality/ideas, but deny anything that may be anxiety-provoking. We keep busy-busy-busy to push any fears that arise as far away as possible. The upward spiral continues. But this is exhausting and the inevitable energy slump hits hard. We then experience all the emotions we were denying- guilt, shame, fear, and become deeply depressed. We have betrayed our ‘false self’ which kept us alive. This feels devastating at a soul level.

It’s just a theory- but it makes some sense to me at the moment, and I think it could be a part of helping me to understand how I can improve things for myself.

 

Related Articles

People- Pleasing 

Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People– Guest post on Mental Health Talk.

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Absorbing Others’ Energy

The Narcissistic Family

Was Part of Your Childhood Deprived by Emotional Incest?

Confessions of an Ex-Narcissist

Book: Highly Intuitive People by Heidi Sawyer

 

 

High Sensitivity

 “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive.

“To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.”

Pearl Buck- author of Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Good Earth and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938.

Are you an HSP? Take the quiz to find out, or read Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People– my guest post on Mental Health Talk.

I’ve recently come across some great resources on Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) which might interest the HSPs amongst you:

Being Highly Sensitive and Creative- highlysensitive.org.

Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity- highlysensitive.org

Shyness, Introversion, Sensitivity- What’s the Difference? – highlysensitive.org

What’s So Great About Being Highly Sensitive Anyway?- highlysensitive.org