Dancing outside my comfort zone

Posts tagged ‘Empath’

Dissed or Dismissed

https://www.flickr.com/photos/isfullofcrap/14380470592/in/photolist-nUKEU9-oMLPmB-8o71Ca-nPPNHJ-qd9RKP-okhmqR-fuWjT3-oML6M6-fuX8cK-p5e2Em-GERdfA-vFBnZi-oML9bz-p4ZHWk-o5JVM2-oMLPzT-aC6HoR-fuG2oD-5fJ4yk-p3e3fq-fvcbu9-fuxXyo-4vkQY2-fuWm8Q-o7cT4m-dxhEEA-nPPevH-9hDwZw-axGR4j-nWVbLk-ry7Zq9-nPNYbf-fuhu2e-o4eXnh-noF8Du-o5gnFG-6j3PHv-ocnr3Y-BKd9wG-dmwng-oMLLX9-fuWM6k-fvc3HQ-oMLjrL-fuXjMt-dFuNNC-o22Eqd-U1T3as-o5go5s-9T6eJo

When We Outlive Our Usefulness

Recently I was forced to accept a hard truth. A woman for whom I’d been doing a few simple kindnesses had been accepting them with little more than an off-hand thank you, almost as if my actions were her due. Then I witnessed her offering to compensate someone else for a similar kindness. It made me feel that in her eyes I had little value, a feeling which was proven when she approached a group of us talking and acted like I wasn’t there.

Sure, I was hurt at first. But then I remembered a friend’s wise words. “Don’t take another person’s actions personally”. In this case and a few others recently, I saw how well the words applied and am doing my best to take them to heart.

People and Their Stuff

People are always going through their own stuff. We aren’t always aware of what that stuff is (unless it’s one of those people who broadcast their entire life in true basketball play-by-play fashion on social media). Some are truly going through a difficult time. But like it or not, some are simply narcissists who direct their attention towards those who can benefit them is some way and blatantly snub those who might somehow stand in their way or worse, offer them no value. Either way, their actions are a reflection of themselves and nothing more.

Unfortunately, they are often quite adept at drawing an empath into their game for a little while. Their very real struggles to achieve value and validation can tug at sensitive heartstrings and bring a desire to help. But eventually their true, soul-sucking nature comes through and it becomes clear that this person will continue to take, never to be filled and will, if they’re permitted, drain the empath dry before seeking another soul to suck.

With Age Comes Perspective

As I get older, I don’t stop being taken in but I do learn to recognize the signs and extricate myself before any long-term damage is done. The knowledge that it truly isn’t personal has done a lot to help me withdraw and heal more readily

Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say these people don’t recognize their insensitivity or the harm they do, I do believe it isn’t a conscious choice to harm a particular person. They simply latch onto the easiest targets to fill a well in themselves which can never be filled. They themselves are a black hole of insecurities which absorb compliments and reassurances like a dry sponge yet never come close to saturation.

That would require becoming a complete human being capable of both giving and taking on a visceral level. They’re only capable of such actions on a superficial level at best.

Learning to Offer Pity and Nothing More

I’ve found such people earn my pity as they are incapable of having truly fulfilling relationships with others. They’ll always be looking for the next emotional well to drain in a fruitless effort to more than dampen the ground at the bottom of their own. But it just absorbs what it takes from others like a vampire sucks blood, never satisfied, never fulfilled.

I can’t imagine the emptiness of a life which depends on the emotions and approval of others, yet still finds no value in themselves. It must be a sad, lonely place where love and joy are just words with no meaning to which they might connect personal experience.

Experiences Help Me Better Understand My Mom

Then I think about my mom and the collection of faces she showed the world. I wonder if this emptiness I recognize in others was the life she lived and saw fit to cut short because she saw no reason to continue living in that infinitely dry well. Though I’m tempted to show more compassion for those who live their lives this way, I know it will not only pass unappreciated, but will end with me feeling used and hurt.

There are many people in this world who deserve our love and compassion; those who face their own struggles, yet put some effort into getting through each day on their own. But there are some who always expect others to fix what’s broken. Those who never recognize that in order to fix their own broken parts, they have to be an active and willing participant. To me, these people are no better than the man who pays for sex because he’s not willing to give something back to his partner other than the sightless, soulless cash he gives in exchange for a few moments of physical pleasure.

Recognizing Real Value

They believe they give value for what they receive, and I’m sure in their minds, that value is fair and reasonable. But that questionable value is something I’ve chosen to refuse. If I can’t give of myself willingly and lovingly, I’d rather walk away and leave a broken, lonely, confused person to someone else’s ministrations. To help them, even for the short time I’m able would only leave me drained and them searching for something they’ll never find.

Still, I can’t help giving them the benefit of the doubt for a little while, in hopes they can find the spark of humanity they’ve long since buried beneath layers of brick, mortar, and building materials proven impermeable to the balm of humanity we all come into this world bearing. My hope will always spring eternal. I’ll forever believe I can make a difference in just one person’s life. No matter how many times I fail.

There is Always a Reason for Gratitude

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful I toppled my own walls, despite the agony it caused for a little while.
  2. I am grateful my well is always full, no matter how many people have tried to drain it dry.
  3. I am grateful for friends who value me even when I’m not behaving like I deserve it.
  4. I am grateful for my writing which helps me work things out, sort things out, and just gain perspective over that which weighs me down for a bit.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; prosperity, friendship, love, hope, joy, compassion, inspiration, insight, motivation, support, peace, harmony, and philanthropy.

Love and Light

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

 

Photo courtesy of R. Crap Mariner via Flikr

Navigating a World Designed by Extroverts

Have You Guessed?

My name is Sheri and I am an Introvert. That means I have two choices: I can either become a recluse and find a way to live my life far away from people, or I can adapt. For most of my life, I chose the latter and learned how to fool people into believing I was at least somewhat like them. Eventually, I learned I could have the best of both worlds.

To make matters worse, I’m also an Empath. What that means in simple terms is that if you’re feeling sad or angry or scared, I’m going to feel it too, right down to the marrow of my bones.

Learning to Play a Part

Part of my adaptation to the world of Extroverts has been learning to detach myself from people while being in close proximity. When I first realized the need to create some kind of barrier between myself and humanity, I chose something simple. I imagined myself surrounded by outward facing mirrors which reflected emotions and even thoughts directed at me or near me back to the sender. It was a solution, albeit primitive and filled with drawbacks. Imagine living your life inside a disco ball!

After a couple of decades of unknowingly drowning in loneliness and a withdrawal from the comforts of human contact, I learned I was shutting out the good with the bad and sought another solution.

In the meantime, I’d learned to project an image of confidence and friendliness. People were fooled…to a point. They bought into the confident, extroverted person I projected, but knew instinctively that it lacked the warmth which would have made me human and approachable. What I got for my trouble was a lot of superficial relationships.

Turning Point

Personal traumas and life in general made me aware of a need for true human contact, messy emotions and all. But I knew I needed to be selective about the people whose dark, twisty sides I allowed into my head. So I studied and read and talked to my kids. Eventually I learned I could use the elements to which I related best (in my case, fire and water) to create a barrier which allowed me to selectively block people instead of the overall detachment I’d established in my 20’s.

But the factor which helped me cope in a world of strong, outgoing personalities best was choosing to follow my passion for writing which is, at best, a solitary occupation. Now, I get to choose when to interact with people and when to spend a day or days alone with my cats. I get lots of time to recharge before diving back into the world, strong, confident and able to perpetuate the myth that I am an Extrovert too.  Like Anna in The King and I, I face my fears by acting like they don’t exist until eventually, they just don’t!

Moving Forward

Today I follow a somewhat regular schedule of seclusion and socialization which seems to work for me. When the balance shifts, I might need to hide out for a few days after an excessive amount of human contact, but for the most part, I’m able to recharge my batteries more and more easily with practice.

Are you an Introvert in an Extrovert’s world? What are some of the things you do to navigate life without becoming overwhelmed. Leave me a comment. I’ll bet you have some ideas I haven’t even considered!

The Biggest Factor of All: Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.
  2. I am grateful for attracting more people like myself.
  3. I am grateful for what I fooled myself into believing and being.
  4. I am grateful for the lifestyle which allows me to be who I am, and to love that person unconditionally.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, solitude, recharging, inspiration, motivation, opportunities, confidence, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Photo courtesy of Mark Sebastian via Flickr

December 25, 2014 Another Christmas has passed, leaving love and joy in its wake. #shericonaway

Basking in the glow of another beautiful day.

As Christmas 2015 joins the legion of Christmas pasts, I find myself oddly introspective. The day was joyful and full of silliness, sweetness and the love of my extended family as we shared our version of the day. With our annual Jewish Christmas Eve dinner, the Christmas morning breakfast and shenanigans and our Christmas Day movie now just memories, I sit in the comfortably quiet house,the only sounds, the humming of the computer and my fingers tap dancing on the keyboard. And it is good.

My daughter and grand puppy arrived home safely and my adopted son made his girlfriend cry when he gave her a beautiful jewelry box he’d made himself, with her particular preferences in mind. And it is good.

I’m all warm and cozy in the Looney Tunes pajama pants my daughter gave me. The cats are snoozing on desk and bed, no longer needing to listen for the pitter patter of the feet of a 40 pound bundle of love puppy. And it is good.

My tree is somewhat the worse for wear after two kittens saw their first Christmas tree. Pyewacket contented himself with pulling the string of beads further and further from the tree while Scrappy Doo bent the lower branches because he insisted on perching on them. But it is all good.

Wrapping paper and boxes have been broken down and crammed into the barrel designated for recyclables. Leftovers have been divided up and put away. The kitchen is clean and the gift boxes collapsed and returned to their bin. All that remains is to undecorate the tree and stow tree and decorations carefully away until next year. Life is good.

Warm and comfy in the tender embrace of my introspection, I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in time. What tomorrow brings is for tomorrow. I know it will be good, even if it should appear challenging at first. Gifts come in many sizes, shapes and colors, and are wrapped to reflect the hand of the giver. None of these things make them any more or less valuable. They are simply different gifts which serve us in different, but equally important ways.

My introspection takes me along a path of appreciation where I see each gift for what it will ultimately mean to my journey and not necessarily for any frustrations they might temporarily cause when I think they’re leading me astray.

Whatever challenges come, whatever shape the gifts might take, the one thing I can be sure of is that I am blessed. And because I am blessed, I am grateful.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the gifts I have received and those yet to come. All are there to move me along my path and teach me what I need to know to follow my journey.
2. I am grateful for traditions both new and old. Each year, we add something, and each year, we revisit many things.
3. I am grateful that we find new things to laugh about and new jokes to share each year. It is the humor which truly nourishes my soul.
4. I am grateful for the quiet after the chaos, the introspection after the expectations, for therein lies my balance.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, harmony, family, sharing, giving, receiving and joining. Also for health, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

August 3, 2014 Another post inspired by my friend who likes post with her coffee. :)

Tell me again; What’s so special about being an Empath?

I have a friend who has regularly read my blog for quite some time, and almost as regularly, inspires what I write. Recently, she had questions about one of my posts; specifically, she wanted to understand what I meant when I said I’m an Empath. I gave her a fairly simple explanation, which seems to have piqued her curiosity. Today, she posted an article which was posted on SpiritScience.net from one of their members entitled “How to Protect Yourself as an Empath”. While some of the article resonated with me, most of it did not. However, beneath the article were links to other articles. I’ve attached a link to one which gave me some serious “Aha” moments. The author has gathered a plethora of traits and experiences for Empaths. While some (thankfully) are not part of my experience, others have, at one point or another, been added to my bag of tricks for coping with things like crowds or the strong negative energies some of my fellow humans are wont to project. Others, still, have given me some ideas on how better to utilize this double pronged gift with which I was born.

http://thespiritscience.net/2014/07/21/30-traits-of-an-empath-how-to-know-if-youre-an-empath/

But how do you know? When does the lightbulb come on?

This topic takes me back to a time when a recently ex-boyfriend was pelting me with massive amounts of negative energy. Being pretty ignorant of shielding at the time, I did the only thing I could think of and envisioned myself surrounded by outward facing mirrors. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it blocked the negative energy very effectively, but it blocked everything else as well. I sometimes wonder if that had something to do with my moving in with a man I’d recently met and marrying him a few months later. Had I not blocked out all energy, would I have seen him for what he was, and realized that the feelings I had for him were not of the “happily ever after” kind?

Though I’ll never know the answers to these questions, what I do know is that the experiences I had were necessary (not the least of which was the birth of my two daughters!) and were filled with many lessons I needed in order to grow into the person I now am. Many of those lessons were pretty painful, and for a time, I lost my true self (someday, I might actually discuss life as the wife of an alcoholic!), but believe me, those lessons won’t soon be forgotten! The best part of those lessons has been that I’ve learned how I do and do not deserve to be treated!

But I digress. I know that my daughters exhibited evidence of Empathic tendencies at a very early age, only because, by then, I’d figured out what was “wrong” with me and taken clumsy steps to ameliorate the effects. If I were to climb into the wayback machine and go back to my own childhood, I’d recognize those same traits in that younger me as well. Like many younger Empaths, both my daughters and I sought ways to deal with what, to the rest of the world, seemed like just an oversensitivity. We built walls or limited our circles of friends, but whatever we did carried into our adulthood. My daughters were lucky, though, because I did know what was going on and taught them to shield from a young age. Or at last, I started to teach them, but the end result was that they taught me better, more effective and less all-inclusive ways to shield.

Is there a better teacher than the limitless imagination of a child?

Being able to explain what they were experiencing opened up an amazing opportunity for me to learn. The girls’ imaginations were not restricted by the paradigms we adults learn to live with, and fail to question often enough. They taught me to look for methods to shield which used outside energies, predominantly from the Earth herself, to maintain my shields without requiring constant monitoring or a drain on my own energy. They opened my eyes to possibilities I’d either never have found on my own, or which would have taken me far longer to find. At this point, the legacy my mother was either unable to pass on to me, or just completely ignorant of the gift (and frankly, I couldn’t tell you for sure whether it came from my mom or my dad) is out in the open. My girls will likely find it in their own children, and as parents, must make their own decisions about how much or how little to share. One thing, though, is for certain. They take with them something I didn’t have growing up: not only permission but encouragement to not only be different, but to embrace their unique and wonderful selves!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for being unique.
2. I am grateful for the lessons I learned that my parents weren’t able to teach.
3. I am grateful that I am an Empath…most of the time!
4. I am grateful for quiet, lazy days after a week of running hither and yon.
5. I am grateful for the abundance which is available to all of us: love, health, harmony, peace, joy and prosperity.

Love and light

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: