The Bad Side of Feeling Too Much
I always knew that the holiday season was a terrible time for me emotionally, but I never completely realized what it was about until this Christmas. I have just recently identified as an empath. I have known my whole life my body “knew” things, but not until recently I did realize that being an empathic is a specific type of psychic skill.
While there are many different types of clairsentient empathy, my particular kind means that every single day, my body functions like a big emotional lint collector for everyone around me. This means without even trying, whatever other people feel when I am around them gets collected by my body. This clogs me up emotionally and physically. Until recently I didn’t realize this was happening to me. I didn’t realize that I needed to constantly get rid of this psychic lint for my own mental health. (I just started an on-line course with Colette Baron-Reid called “Weight-Loss for People Who Feel Too Much” and it has been very enlightening so far…I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.)
Now I wouldn’t trade the empathic part of me for anything. After all, it tunes me into what people are feeling, and I like that. But I have only recently realized what a huge emotional and physical toll this takes on me. I’m still learning how to consciously deal with processing and protecting myself from these negative aspects of my body empathy. So while I think this Christmas will start to be different from ones in the past, it’s still not going to be a walk in the park.
One thing I have chosen to make a priority this year, is to respect my body more.
Traditionally at Christmas I have violated my own physical, financial and emotional boundaries. I overeat, I overspend, and I subject myself to people I don’t like “in the spirit of the season”. When you add the heightened emotions of everyone at Christmas, it means that often Christmas isn’t very merry for me.
Taking care of yourself last is apparently a common empathic symptom. While I can’t fix everything all at once, I have decided to start by respecting my physical boundaries as much as I can this Christmas. And hibernation looks very attractive.
Go Inside, Literally and Figuratively
In addition to my new awareness of my emotional needs, I already feel slower this Christmas. I feel slower than possibly any other year in recent memory. I feel like a sloth-like bear, who needs to wind-down her movements to match the darkness and the cold. I need to spend time resting in my basement, surrounded by the absorbing qualities of earth. I need the stillness and the neutrality.
I’m trying to be okay with that. I am consciously giving myself permission to do this. It brings me joy to be able to respect my physical limits, because of my history of repeatedly ignoring my physical limits at Christmas. I’m telling myself that it’s okay for me to come home and hibernate. I know that in the long run, this will energize me to go out.
In the past, when my intellect was predominantly in control of my life, I have been afraid of slowing down. I was afraid that if I allowed myself to slow and sometimes stop completely, that I would never be active and productive again. My mind was afraid that “I” would be lost. But I discovered that was a big lie of my mind, to not listen to my wise body. From experience, I learned that just like the natural landscape, it is absolutely necessary for me to slow down in order to survive.
I have learned, that as long as I listen to my intuition, that I will always move through whatever cycle I am in. I have also learned the hard way, that the more I resist my intuitive nudges, the worse I will end up feeling.
I have learned that without rest and stopping, there is no rejuvenation. I have learned that without a break, there is no way to start afresh. I have learned that without reflection and analysis, there are no real realizations or breakthroughs.
It hard to do this when it conflicts with the Christmas social calendar, but the results of not doing it, are worse.
So I’ve embraced hibernation. Reassuringly, my northern landscape almost demands it of my body, whether my mind agrees or not.
I invite you to surrender to whatever cycle you body is telling you, you are in. You don’t have to be an empath in order to suffer from the holiday season! It is always the best idea to listen to your body wisdom not matter who you are. While it might be challenging at this busy time of year, sometimes you just have to go with what feels good and right.
Enjoy listening to your body!!
Think you might be an empath too? Need me to help you hear quiet intuitive nudges? Need a priorities tune-up for the New Year? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I have only two more spots available until December 31, 2010.