Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Posts tagged ‘emotions’

Empaths vs. Alcohol

New Insight Into the Drinking Game

I’ve always been uncomfortable around people who overindulge in alcohol. I saw it in my parents often enough, and later, my ex-husband. At times, I simply masked it by over-indulging myself, with obvious unpleasant consequences.

It wasn’t until recently I finally recognized the discomfort lay, not in the inebriated state of others, but in the results of that state and its impact on me.

I discovered what was there all along when I accepted that alcohol releases inhibitions. I used to believe those inhibitions were those which stopped people from making fools of themselves to they could relax and have a little fun. But there’s a somewhat sinister side to the lack of inhibitions.

Releasing the Pain Body With a Little Lubrication

We naturally corral what Eckhart Tolle calls our “pain body” when we’re sober, but the addition of alcohol in increasing quantities removes the filter which we’ve put in place to function within the parameters of society. When we remove those filters, thought it might not be apparent to most, we leak all of the sadness, pain, and misery we’ve kept bottled up until it’s flowing out of us like a veritable river of agony.

The average person won’t even notice, and will, in fact enjoy the crazy, uninhibited-ness of the the outwardly happy drunk. Not so with an empath like me.

Once I made the connection, I realized my real issue with people in an inebriated states wasn’t the alcohol (or drugs for that matter) at all. Instead, it was that they were functioning without the usual filters which protect me and others like me from being flooded with someone else’s emotions. You could say we were being drowned in sorrows of someone else’s making.

Once I realized what was happening, I could start taking the necessary steps to protect myself and above all, refrain from engaging with those who danced gaily around the room with their filters in shreds.

Mixed Reactions

I posed my conjecture to a group of empaths recently. In some cases, I was gratified to find others who recognized themselves in me. In others, I was saddened some took my words to mean it was open season on people who drink to mask their pain. Instead of finding an opportunity for compassion (once they’d protected themselves, of course), they took my words as permission to bash and abuse those who chose the only way they could manage to put aside their pain, if just for a little while.

The truth is alcoholism is a disease, plain and simple, and the people who use any kind of drug to excess do so for many reasons, one of which is a lack of healthy coping mechanisms. To crush them further with our condemnation will only serve to drive them further into they abyss.

Granted, it’s neither our place nor our gift to help them all, or maybe, not any of them. But neither is it our place to push them over the edge on which many totter. I am saddened and even mortified to learn my words caused others to take that path.

Self-Medicating to Mask the Pain

I know a number of people I reach are alcoholics or recovering alcoholics and can only imagine the strength it takes to challenge the addiction every single day. Far too many of them are probably empaths who chose alcohol or drugs to shut out the voices, the emotions which bombard us daily when we don’t know what they are or why we hear them in the first place.

I was one of them once upon a time. Though I didn’t abuse alcohol to excess nor use it to mask my pain on a regular basis as my parents did, I used my own equally ineffective and harmful methods for running away from myself and my true purpose. But I also used some healthy ones like dancing.

Learning to Embrace our Humanity

What it all comes down to is we are born compassionate human beings. Life and circumstances change that in us. Whether it’s family troubles or accepted behaviors, traumas we experience as life moves forward with or without us, or something seemingly innocuous. We learn to protect ourselves from mental, physical, and emotional harm in the best way we know how. All too often, the first step is shutting down our compassion for others.

I learned the hard way that shutting down, be it my compassion, sharing, connecting, or authenticity is equivalent to cutting off a limb which is perfectly fine the way it is. Closing ourselves off means we’re denying the very thing which makes us human. As time goes on, it becomes a lonely existence and one impossible to maintain without some hefty sacrifices.

Yet we’re taught to believe that only by functioning according to society’s rules; being cheerful, being gregarious, getting along, being easy-going; will we be able to get ahead, to make something of ourselves, to be a contributing member of society.

Here’s where I have to cry BULLSHIT! To be a true member of our beautiful, crazy, messy society, we have to be our whole selves. We have to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sure, we don’t want to go around harming others, but would that even be an issue if we were loved and accepted for who we are in the first place? Do serial killers kill because they were loved and cherished, accepted and celebrated? Do bullies tear others down because they feel good about themselves? NO! They do harm because it’s all they know to make themselves feel less ignored, less lonely, less apart.

Loving Each Other Beneath the Pain

We all have grumpy days. It’s a part of life. Those who deny they do are the ones who most need our compassion because they’re forcing themselves into a mold no one can possibly fit. Life is full of challenges. It’s how we learn, like it or not. It’s also an opportunity to reach out and ask for support, for help from other humans. And here’s a news flash. Other humans LIKE being asked for help once in a while. It makes them feel needed as well.

Yes, I learned a lot from putting my thoughts about alcoholics in particular out there for a group of empaths. Not all of it was good, but it was all useful for me. It reminded me to keep looking below the surface. It told me to put the judgment aside and look at the person underneath, the person the alcohol sought to mask. The mask is flimsy at best and the person underneath is crying for understanding and love, or perhaps just someone to say: “You’re OK just the way you are, warts and all. You’re loved.”

These little reminders make me grateful for the community I’m building, the people I reach out to, and those who reach out to me. You won’t see me marching in the streets any time soon. I’m too busy trying to learn my lessons and spread compassion in the world I know I can touch. In my own small way, this is how I believe I can make a difference. Imagine what would happen if we all spread some compassion. It might not solve all the problems of the world, nor stop all the anger, hatred, and evil, but where we start our journey is entirely up to us, and should be celebrated.

When we belittle the efforts of others, we minimize our own. Whatever we choose to do, it all makes a difference. Believe that, if nothing else.

With Love and Gratitude

OK, I’ll step off my soapbox now and give you today’s gratitudes:

  1.  I am grateful for the people who show me both sides of the impact my words make.
  2.  I am grateful for my little forum where I hope to provide dialogue and the exchange of ideas including those which oppose my own. Only then will we all learn a few things we might have missed out on.
  3.  I am grateful for the new people who come into my life, the messages they bring, the help they offer, and the suggestions they make to help spread my own message further.
  4.  I am grateful for acts of compassion and love as they serve as examples of how much more I could be doing.
  5.  I am grateful for abundance; love, peace, compassion, lessons, people, examples, warmth, pleasure, pain, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author.

Advertisements

January 18, 2015 What is decluttering, really? Expanding my scope and simplifying my life.

Learning to think outside my cluttered box.

Today was a new adventure. I ventured into my LinkedIn account and started looking at the companies and groups I’ve been following. ACK! I’d spent the last year reinventing myself as a writer, yet over half of my LinkedIn groups were still about Finance, Accounting, Contract Management and Government Contracting. Time for a purge! If I want to be seen as the writer I am, I need to stop hanging with the counters of beans, even virtually.

Between the cracked pipe joint and subsequent re-flooding of the garage when I discovered, albeit belatedly, that the plumber had neglected to put the drain hose from the washing machine back into the laundry sink, the floor is now squeaky clean and much of the debris has been swept away. Even the kitchen floor, with its own share of the broken pipe flooding is rather the better for the experience. All of this flowing water made me realize that there is still much that I need to wash out of my life; much that needs a good purge, or maybe just a flush. (love these water references!)

I’ve discovered that our physical clutter is simply a physical representation of how we sit energetically.

There are times it would be nice to be able to just pull a plug and flush away all of the crap in our lives. We could let all of the unwanted detritus we accumulate through day to day living just spin down the drain and into some cosmic recycling plant. All of the emotional baggage we just can’t seem to part with; all of the hopes and dreams we never manifested and, in fact, found weren’t what we truly wanted; all of those crazy thoughts which fill up our brain but serve no purpose other than to take up space and make it difficult to retrieve the important things quickly. Those are the things we gather close to us and reflect in our outer environment.

Sure, cleaning up the outside is important, and it is not my intention to belittle the process. But just as the Universe steps in when we need to fix something in our lives, it can also do so subtly (or what it might consider subtly, given its inclination for head slaps!) by moving things around in our physical lives. If we pay attention, we’ll understand that this is a sign that we need to do some energetic and emotional house cleaning as well.

The last week or so has brought me a variety of reminders. I got flooded floors. I got a grumbly stomach which may or may not approve of what I’ve been eating. I’ve gotten days in a row when I needed to get up and moving more quickly than has been my usual. I even got some work I wasn’t expecting. But it all served to accomplish one thing. I need to get things out of the way before the real floodgates open. I need to get any bookwork that’s still hanging finished in the early part of this week (accounting stuff, that is) as I’m going to need the rest of the week to focus on what is truly important these days: writing and revising.

I’ve also committed to reviewing someone else’s children’s book and cleaning up mine for her review. Then, there’s the writers’ group I joined.  I need to clean up a chapter or two from “Sasha’s Journey” so I can submit that for critique! And if that wasn’t enough, I figured out a new angle for my book on suicide, and it, too, is clamoring for attention. Yet, today, I had a leisurely breakfast and finished up laundry. Not much more than that. OK, so I’m getting this post done early as I expect my creative brain to go gangbusters on my latest book tonight. Yes, I’m clearing the way in grand fashion. That can only mean one thing.

The Universe is gearing up to kick my butt into next September.

I can see it coming. I know what I have to do. The excitement is building in the pit of my belly. A launching is coming and I’m the vehicle. Yee Haw!

The good news is, I won’t be riding this monster wave alone. Rumor has it I’ll be in good company so I hope you’re doing your own clearing and have a very strong seat belt ready to fasten. Disney has yet to develop a ride that will compare to the one we’re about to take. When things finally slow down enough for us to catch our breath, we will have accomplished some wondrous deeds, indeed.

Guess there’s nothing left but to leave you with tonight’s gratitudes.
1. I am grateful for Universal head slaps and butt kicks.
2. I am grateful for the increased space in my head and home as I continue to organize and purge.
3. I am grateful for new opportunities which I might never have even considered without the aforementioned head slaps.
4. I am grateful for new friends, new people with new ideas, and new experiences.
5. I am grateful for abundance; clearing, cleaning, organizing, creating space, loving, writing, teaching sharing, encouraging, harmony, peace, friendship, health, inspiration and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: