As a young woman, one Spring day, I was attended a meeting in someone's home from my church group. In this meeting there was a woman sitting across from me that I had never met before. She was smiling and relaying a pleasant story, but the longer she spoke the more my gut twisted in knots just looking at her.
The woman was saying all the right things, with the right expressions and gestures, but there was something very wrong about the 'picture' I was feeling. I felt I was looking at something with all the wrong 'colors'.
Finally, I blurted "You know it's OK to cry about it." Her eyes widened and she stared at me for a second or two before the tears started falling. And, then, another story came flooding out. One that she obviously needed to share.
Later, after all of the tears had been wiped away and cake had been served, she asked me how I knew. I mumbled something about not knowing and just having a gut feeling, which was the truth. I didn't know how I knew. I just did.
The minister's wife asked me if I knew I had the gift of discernment. "No. What is that?" I asked. She told me that empathy is but one of the gifts we receive from God.
1st Corinthians, chapter 12, verses 4-11.
But, even after she explained thoroughly, I couldn't see it as a gift.
When you are a Highly Sensitive Person, empathy can make you feel as though you live in outer space somewhere instead of planet Earth. In fact, empathy can leave your head spinning, both, emotionally and physically.
It's no fun picking up on how others are feeling. It isn't easy feeling their sorrows, pain, and anger as if their feelings are your very own. it's all too easy to become confused about which feelings you are are actually responsible for. This can cause overwhelm in a hurry. In fact, I see empathy as one of the leading reasons for addictions of all kinds in order to stop feeling so much.
Still, if empathy is the gift you have been given by god it means you are meant to do something special with it in the world. Your gift, whatever it may be, whether it's empathy or one of the other gifts mentioned in the bible verses above) is tied to your purpose in life, which is a subject for another blog.
Just realize that not all people have your gift. Understanding this one thing can be a first step toward calming your inner fish. It's much easier living on planet Earth when you know 80% of the population can't read you the way you read them.
So, enjoy being a more sensitive individual with the gift of empathy. It's who you are and you're very special!
To learn how to protect yourself spiritually with common, everyday items from in and around your home, click here.
Artwork: Christ at 33 by Heinrich Hofmann
Mari J. Dionne
AADP Certified Holistic Health Practitioner of Natural Healing
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