A few months ago, I wrote about life as an empath and introvert, namely absorbing other people's energies and feeling misunderstood. People reached out to me, saying they related to my post and I anchored deeper into my identity as a sensitive being.
Something happened over the next few weeks. My tone grew tense and my approach more rigid when it came to honoring my needs. I was overcorrecting. I was holding my sensitivities like a sword and using it as a weapon to keep from letting go.
This aspect of myself isn't something I want to admit, let alone write about. And yet, as the late Leonard Cohen beautifully wrote, "There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
When faced with our flaws and imperfections, there's only one place to go and that's up.
Here are 3 ways to honor your feelings without compromising compassion:
1) Get In Touch
Lately, I've been rejecting social plans so quickly that my intuition doesn't have time to kick-in. Find a quiet place to sit. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Envision a white light coming in through the crown of your head. Breathe until you feel centered. When I did this most recently I got to the bottom of my knee-jerk reaction and discovered that I actually did want to go to a party (gasp!) No one was more surprised than me. Let your breath be your guide.
2) Relax Before You Act
After years of stifling my sensitivities, I have the potential to over-communicate my "very" important feelings. I forgot the art of letting go, relaxing and showing compassion in my delivery. When I want to blurt out my feelings, I'm working on breathing and doing what's hardest for me at first...absolutely nothing. Let your body tense and contract. Count to 10 and speak from there.
3) Create Space For Others
The next time you're feeling misunderstood, look into the other person's eyes. I was surprised to find that the person across from me was just as desperate to feel loved and accepted. We were in it together. The moment allowed my shoulders to relax and my jaw to soften.
The more I lovingly confront my flaws (beating ourselves up never helps) the more compassion I have for others. You and everyone you know is doing the very best they can.
I'm still filled to the brim with emotion, but I'm setting down my sensitivity as a sword. I'm opening myself to the higher truth of my heart and letting go a whole lot more.
When was the last time you communicated your feelings in a gentle way? Did you feel like you were compromising your authenticity? What worked and what didn't? Leave a comment or question below! I'm re-reading Don Miguel Ruiz's book The Four Agreements this month if you want to join. His words always steer me back to compassion and love.
Wishing you all my very best,
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