Recognizing the Oz Within

I love the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. Not only is it a compelling story that I never tire of watching, it is a stunning example of the differences in perception between highly sensitive people (HSPs) and the rest of the population. If you know the story, you know that the main character, Dorothy, lives in Kansas. Here is the black, white and every shade in between of the world we know. You can perceive reality in its starkest, most fundamental state.

Dorothy is like most of the rest of the population of our planet. She knows no different, that is until she lands in Oz. She opens the door into a vibrant and brilliant world. One that shines. It is a wonder to the eyes and to the other senses. Life takes on a whole new energy. Her vision is crisper, and it presents her world in a different light to her.

Explore what lies beyond the rainbow
“Double rainbow seen from Lower Mammoth” by YellowstoneNPS is marked under CC PDM 1.0.

But color or lack of color is not the only difference between Kansas and Oz. She is surprised by the idiosyncrasies of Oz. All the elements of life are there, but they declare themselves in strange new ways. Dorothy is surprised by these differences enough to tell her little dog, “I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.“

We HSPs are born into a black and white world, seeing the wonder of Oz. If you are like myself, you spent much of your life trying to push your Oz perception into the Kansas landscape. But now you are realizing that Oz is where you belong. If so, this blog is for you.

Here, we will

  • Explore the advantages that your highly sensitive nature gives you;
  • Learn how to better face the challenges of the negative aspects of high sensitivity; and,
  • Learn how we can support our fellow HSPs as well as teach the rest of the world about us, and what we have to offer.

We humans know, discern, and understand what our world consists of through our senses. Sensual perception tells us how the world works. One of an HSP’s qualities is that of enhanced sensual perception. Perception that goes beyond the black and white vision of the normal world. Normal perception gives enough information to navigate through a lifetime. But the color world as perceived by Dorothy in Oz is more dazzling. And the vividness exposes that which cannot be seen by typical vision. A radiance which yields a deeper understanding to life.

Highly sensitive people everywhere are beginning to recognize the truly wonderful gifts that we have. While we acknowledge that we are not superior to anyone else, we also honor how our difference gives us certain advantages inaccessible to the other 80%-85% of the world.

With this blog, I hope to inform, enhance, and inspire. As you discern the unique idiosyncrasies of your uniqueness, life in Oz will soon become more comfortable.

Join me as we explore Oz together.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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Navigating the Urge to Feel

In my very early adulthood, there was a popular song called “Born to Be Alive.” Its message was a very upbeat, motivating, but simple one. Enjoy being alive. Most people support that message, but have no idea what being alive is really all about.

Science is studying and finding out how our perception of life and our emotions are tied closely together. It doesn’t stop there. Our cognition (the process through which we acquire understanding using thought, experience and the senses) is also linked to our emotions. We have a biological drive to feel. And those emotions help us learn, understand, and navigate the world we live in. We all possess this drive. But as HSPs, we experience the emotionality portion much differently than our counterparts.

We as HSPs feel our emotions deeply. Our gifts, through these deeply felt emotions, contribute value to the world around us. But those deeply held emotions can become overpowering very quickly, impacting our health and well-being. We, as HSPs, especially need to take precautions to defend ourselves against any overwhelm that may develop.

The good news is that we do have control over the amount of overwhelm we might experience. We can take command of our emotions through a concept called emotion regulation.

Image courtesy of SarahRichterArt on Pixabay.

Acceptance

We have feelings. Large, powerful, captivating feelings. These feelings are gateways to our compassion, empathy, and ability to sense that which in our environment is hidden from non-HSPs. Denial may be the “easy” answer to cope with the enormity of those feelings. But it is not the solution.

Elaine Aron, PhD, who is the pioneer in this field and has spent decades studying sensory processing sensitivity believes that the answer is found in emotional regulation. We need to gain mastery over our ability to influence the emotions we have, choosing the appropriate time and expression of them.

Emotional regulation begins with acceptance of our feelings, confronting and banishing the shame we may possess in having them. You are capable of regulating your emotions. If bad feelings arise, know that they will not last long. Keep a positive attitude that you can do something about them.

Management

Once you have accepted that your emotions are part of who you are, and that they are important to your perception of the world around you, you must believe that you do have control over them.

Start by acknowledging the emotion you are feeling at the moment. Are you controlling it or is it controlling you? What is happening in your mind and body at this moment? Awareness helps put the emotion into perspective.

Now, look at it even further. What brought about this emotion? Are there steps you can take to change the way you feel at this moment? Can you reframe the situation? If not, look into ways that you can confront the emotion. Use positive self-talk, or take yourself out of the situation (by removing yourself from the environment, etc.)

Honing Your Skills

Doing certain practices while you are not in the grips of a difficult emotion helps put you in the right frame of mind for those times when they develop:

  • Work on your patience;
  • Increase your mindfulness;
  • Do meditation;
  • Write in a journal or diary;
  • Confide in a trusted friend.

Emotional regulation is a way to gain control over your emotions. Strengthening your control over overpowering emotions allows you to live a fuller life, enjoying the array of emotions you have and learning what they have to teach you.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Ethical Decisions and Highly Sensitive People

Twenty years ago, when I was starting a freelance career, it was difficult to get those first few customers. No one wanted to take a chance on a writer with no proven prior history. My heart took a jump when a man called me out of the blue asking if I would write content for their website. I was thrilled. Until he started telling me about the site. It was a company that was marketing pharmaceutical products online to the general public.

My enthusiasm hit the brakes. “These are typical products that require a prescription from a doctor?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. I followed that up with “What kind of validation procedures do you employ to make sure the products are prescribed by a qualified physician?” “None,” he said, “We don’t care.”

Red flag warnings immediately went through my mind. I thanked him for the offer, but declined working for them. He became indignant. “You’re a new writer. Do you know what kind of an opportunity you are throwing away here?” Yes, I did. that wasn’t enough incentive for me to violate my personal standards.

People have varying degrees of ethical standards they’ve set for themselves. As a highly sensitive person, I am very aware of my own personal standards and where they come from. Here are some of the HSP traits that form the ethical decisions we make:

Image courtesy of Tumisu on Pixabay.

Deep Listening

HSPs enjoy the intimacy of one-on-one connection with other people. We are interested in the lives of others and want to learn more about people. We employ our listening skills to deepen relationships with the people we are close to. These innate abilities help us build our critical listening skills.

Critical listening applies careful thinking and reasoning skills to analyze exactly what a person means by what they say. By listening critically, we can eliminate assumptions that cloud true meaning. Once we have the facts, we have a basis to make a choice.

Conscientious

After we’ve weighed the facts, we determine how our choices affect others. We are very aware of the feelings of those around us. We are deliberate in our actions, taking into account the impact our choices make on the future, making sure we land on the side of right vs. wrong.

Responsibility

Our conscientiousness goes hand-in-hand with our strong sense of responsibility. Our morals compel us to keep our obligations and perform our duties to the best of our abilities. This means that we must commit to only the roles and tasks that we feel comfortable in performing. We take this precept seriously.

Ethical decision-making is another trait that you can add to your HSP resume. It may cost you, as it did me, but in the end you can stand strong and know that your decisions are contributing to the welfare rather than the demise of our world.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Signs of Peril, Recognizing and Averting Psychopathic Danger

As a highly sensitive person, you are a target. Energy vampires are all around us, and they love to target highly sensitive people. Psychopaths are one of those dangerous people.

We are deeply empathic. That means that we tend to be compassionate, caring, loving, sharing, warm, conscientious, and a good listener. Psychopaths, by nature, prey on people who exhibit these traits. They have low empathy and are self-absorbed. They see desirable qualities as easily exploitable.

How to Recognize a Psychopath

Your first line of defense is to listen to your intuition. Highly sensitive people have calibrated intuitions. If you sense that something is off about someone you meet, listen to that perception. You can trust it. You may verify it through practical experience. Here are some signs to watch out for:

Image courtesy of Ciker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay.
  • Psychopaths don’t move their heads when they talk (consistently – be careful not to assume this if someone has neck pain or some other pathology that might explain this condition);
  • Psychopaths exhibit the “Psychopathic Stare” (a fixed gaze that feels unsettling);
  • Psychopathic eyes (pupils that don’t dilate, irises that appear black, dead or flat looking);
  • When a psychopath smiles, be weary if it doesn’t involve their eyes; and,
  • They will hold eye contact for an uncomfortable amount of time.

For a more complete assessment, see the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

While only trained mental health professionals can accurately diagnose someone with psychopathy, these guidelines can help you decide whether or not to engage with a person further.

Keeping Your Defenses Sharp

Your empathy is a gift. You must use it wisely. That means keeping it from being exploited. One of the issues that we struggle with is saying “yes” when we want to say “no.” This can arise from a struggle with setting our boundaries.

As empathic people, we feel so strongly another person’s pain and suffering that we hurt along with that person. Our very natural response to that is to alleviate their agony. While this is a truly kind and humanitarian gesture, we cannot solve everyone’s problems nor soothe their anguish. Yet, we often have trouble drawing that line.

This empathic trait also leaves us open to manipulation. Exploiting people, especially ones whose first response is to ease misery, is a skill that energy vampires polish to perfection. Psychopaths are some of the worst of these.

As you go about your life, it’s important that you do not sacrifice all your good qualities. Your strong sensitivity provides a means to promote healing in others. But you must always put yourself first, and that means steering clear of psychopaths. Use your intuition and these guidelines to protect yourself and stay safe.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Let the Great Resignation Awaken Your Inner HSP

I resigned my job in October of last year. The reason I gave my employers was that I wanted to have time to focus on writing my book, which is true. But underlying that compelling choice was a yearning for something more.

When we were asked to work from home in March of 2020, I had mixed feelings. But I soon began to thrive. Becoming more productive and more contented than ever before. When we were forced to return to work in August of 2021, I was not ambivalent. I was discouraged. I did not wish to return.

I enjoyed working in solitude. Not having to close my door to the many interruptions that passed by and sometimes stopped to enter my office. Avoiding the 45-minute drive into work and 45-minute drive home in rush hour traffic. The nature of my work required that I make one trip a week into my office to drop off and pick up work product, materials, etc. I could handle that without angst.

At home I was free to use my breaks to walk our dogs, taking in the nature that surrounds our home. I thrived with the additional time to myself. And I became more productive in the home environment. I am an introvert-HSP so the occasional Zoom meeting with colleagues was all I needed to supply my need for human interaction outside of home.

Image courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay.

I am not the only person who has decided to forsake the typical career life for something more tailored to my personal needs. The pandemic has spurred people, many of whom are Millennials or Gen Zers, to search for a more personally satisfying work experience.

So why is the Great Resignation an opportunity for HSPs to nurture their unique qualities?

We Seek Growth

We strive to be the best that we can be. The Great Resignation gives us an opportunity to explore those areas of ourselves that need attention. The parts of ourselves that are questioning what we are, what we believe, what we want to be. Within a global change like this, we have the impetus to find like-minded souls; people who support, encourage, and add to our knowledge, because they are going through the same process.

We Seek to Contribute Through Our Unique Qualities

We possess qualities that are rare (1 in 5 people or 20% of the population). Those qualities are vital to forward-thinking strategies for the future, intuiting present circumstances and how those circumstances should spark change, and mediating disputes, just to name a few. The Great Resignation is an apt time to make a change to a profession that is more suited to you and your unique qualities.

We Seek an Environment in Which We Can Nurture Ourselves

We need to work in an environment that is comfortable for us. That environment often does not look like the historical work setting. The Great Resignation affords us an opportunity to find the most wholesome backdrop to our purpose. As we seek to grow and contribute, we must take care of ourselves. This means finding the surroundings that allow us to prosper and evolve.

The workplace is in a state of transition. More and more employees are speaking out against an antiquated system by leaving their current positions. This transformation is your vehicle to awaken the previously denied parts of yourself that can flourish at this time of change.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Is There Such a Thing as an Intuitive Empath? My Question to You

Decades ago, I was driving home from work just shortly after noon on a Saturday. The Interstate I was travelling was nearly devoid of other vehicles. It was a balmy autumn day. I was happy to have finished my required Saturday morning shift at the law firm I worked for. Feeling happy, I drove peacefully along. Then, suddenly, without any obvious provocation, I was hit with a strange sensation. It was a combination of physical and emotional foreboding — a strange electricity and shift within me, like someone gripping me from the inside. That was accompanied by a profound shift in mood. A knowing. An internal jolt. An awareness of movement from one realm to another. Death.

It was unlike anything I had sensed before. It stunned me so much that I looked at the clock to mentally record the time (12:21 pm). I finished my trip home and attempted to go about my day. I could not concentrate on the household chores nor any other activity that afternoon. In exasperation I finally grabbed my shopping list and headed for the grocery store.

As I was walking back to my car after getting my groceries, I spotted my aunt and cousin across the parking lot. A sudden and weighty sadness hit me. They continued in my direction and I stopped dead in my tracks. As they approached, I could see their pained faces more clearly, and felt the heaviness of grief grow as they came closer.

They had tried to contact me by phone, but did not reach me (pre-cellphone days), so they drove to my home. Since they did not find me there, they headed back and spotted my car in the store’s parking lot. Now, standing still with my cart in front of me, they gently took me aside and informed me that my brother had passed away in an automobile accident.

Image courtesy of Bluemount_Score on Pixabay

My brother was my only sibling and we had always been very close. This devastating news nearly brought me to my knees. The last time I saw him was when the family visited me at my new apartment one week prior. During that visit, I had glanced his direction and gotten a flash thought. “He’s going to die.” it said to me. I pushed the offending thought aside and chastised myself with “Don’t think such awful things.”

As HSPs, we are accustomed to sensing what others cannot. One of our highly sensitive traits is what seems like an overabundance of empathy. Someone is thought to be an empath if their empathy goes beyond that of normal empathy to actually feel what that other person is feeling. Often, HSPs feel such deep empathy for people that they can take on another person’s illness (physical empaths) or absorb another person’s mood (emotional empaths). The connection between high sensitivity and empaths is strong.

These traits have been studied and are becoming accepted as true occurrences. But in her book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, Life Strategies for Sensitive People, Dr. Judith Orloff defines another type of empath – an intuitive empath.

Dr. Orloff asserts that this empath is sensitive to phenomena beyond that of the everyday. Plumbing the depths that science has yet to understand. I am slow to call myself telepathic, but the incident and accompanying feeling seem too much to chalk up to coincidence. And I have had more than a few more incidents happen to me that I can’t explain. Premonitions too precise to attribute to accidental cause. Impressions to my mind that I would never consciously think to predict, happening, sometimes years later.

I would love to hear how you see this situation? Is it extraordinary coincidence? Something else? Or is there such a thing as intuitive empath capability? Have you experienced something similar? I’d really love to know.

As an aside, my brother’s death certificate listed his passing at 12:19 pm that day.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Dealing with Frustration as an HSP

Putting away groceries the other day, I surprised myself. I was emptying potatoes into a bag in the pantry when the bag slipped and all the potatoes flew in every direction. I let out a grunt – a half-scream, guttural cry. Frustration. It had been building since I got home. I knew I had many other demands on my time which were taunting me throughout my grocery store trip. Tasks that needed to be done, all of which I prioritized as high. But the need to replenish our food supply took on greater importance as it represented survival.

As an HSP, I am well acquainted with a wide range of human emotion within. Most HSPs, being more in tune with their emotions, are. While this gives us a more intuitive perception on our world, we can only take advantage of that if we keep our awareness keen. I allowed myself to become distracted.

What I experienced was frustration. Frustration and anger are closely related. Anger often results from a wrong committed against you. Frustration results from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs. The feeling that results from these causes, an intense displeasure, is also similar. Frustration can also produce or be accompanied by anxiety or depression. Our intense empathy can sometimes stand in the way of our ability to recognize and accept these negative emotions.

We must be careful. Due to our different physiology, we experience these emotions more intensely than our fellow humans. We, as empaths, also absorb them from those around us. That intensity can be overwhelming, especially during times of great unrest and stress. And they can sneak up on you, like they did to me during the pantry incident.

Here is how I am dealing with my frustration. Hopefully these tips will help you too.

Take Care of Yourself

Your number one responsibility is to yourself. When times are tough, the first person we tend to forget to take care of is ourselves. This can be a problem for most of us most of the time, but is especially difficult during stress. But making sure that we continue to exercise, eat a proper diet, make time for quiet contemplation and alone time, and put these activities first and foremost is absolutely necessary. When we do this, we are better able to deal with the negatives.

Keep Your Awareness Sharp

I allowed myself to focus on the many things I needed to be doing, instead of focusing on the task at hand. When you zone in on what you are doing, you keep your mind sharp and you get your task done sooner and with great efficiency. Then, you are free to move on to the next. Staying aware keeps your mind on the present and how you are feeling at that moment.

Find a Way to Release Your Frustration

Newly arisen emotion needs release. You must allow those emotions freedom to express themselves. When you do, you free them to move on, and you can move on also. A great way to release those emotions is to talk to a trusted friend, someone who is a good listener. Yes, you usually take on that role, but you also need that kindness shown to you on occasion. If you are uncomfortable with talking it out, or have no one to turn to, journaling or writing down your frustration is also a good release. HSPs relate well to writing. Our need for solitude has heightened our ability to “talk it out” with ourselves.

Frustration is part of life. It can sneak up on HSPs if we let it. But being kind to ourselves means that we deal positively with negative emotions like frustration. I hope you will resonate with these suggestions and that they give you peace.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Four Strategies for Taming HSP Overwhelm When Hateful Forces Rule

Do you, as an HSP, feel extreme overwhelm right now? You are not alone. Negative aggressive forces are coming at us in record numbers and intensity. From political unrest, self-absorbed people demanding their “rights” with no regard for others’ rights, to impending wars and military chaos, we face multiple challenges on a daily basis. These circumstances show no evidence of resolving anytime soon, so it is necessary that we adapt in order to protect ourselves.

Life is stressful for everyone, but much more so for the highly sensitive person. Candace Pert in her wonderful book Molecules of Emotion, illuminated the new discovery of how emotions interact with the bodymind. Every emotion is expressed as a neuropeptide in the body. To summarize very quickly, these chemicals in a normal environment work their way out of the body. When allowed escape, they cause no harm. When our systems are bombarded with stressors, these biochemicals get stored without means of elimination, causing harm and disease. To understand this more fully, read this article recapping one of Ms. Pert’s talks on the subject.

Image courtesy of Geralt on Pixabay.

This process happens in all human physiology. Imagine how much more imposing this can be in the highly sensitive person’s body. Below I share with you tips that I am using right now to limit any possible clogged biochemicals, thus reducing the harm they may cause.

Start Grieving Now

Today, we are experiencing tremendous trauma. We are incurring great losses in our lives, routines, and ways of life. We will need to grieve those losses. Our lifestyle will suffer. Any loss requires grief to move forward. Don’t wait for it all to pile up. Acknowledge that change is coming. Feel your sorrow and grief. Allow it expression. Rely on a trusted friend or loved one to talk it over. Talk to a professional if it is too overwhelming to shoulder yourself. This is a natural process, and a necessity.

Take Care of Your Health

These days it is even more important to be as healthy as possible in order to combat the inevitable onslaught. The healthier you are, the better your ability to cope with negative energy. Prioritize your diet, exercise, quiet time, and self-care.

Discern, Don’t Judge

One of our strong traits is to be super conscientious. We see the evil that exists more readily than most people, and it hurts us. We suffer within. The atrocities that occur half a world away resonate within us and cause us pain. You must put these into perspective. It is important to witness, without judgement, the events that cause hurt, pain, and suffering. In this way, you see those results without assigning blame. When you discern (do not assign blame), the act itself takes precedence over the person or people perpetrating the behavior. You can then do what is possible to alleviate or change the behavior (for instance, peaceful protest or joining a prayer gathering) without letting the negativity paralyze you.

Don’t Take It Personally

View world or personal events with discernment over judgement. As you do, it will become easier to see it is not directed toward you. The person or people who perpetrate such maliciousness are facing issues within themselves that are even greater than the ugliness they exhibit outwardly. Protect yourself from living in their nightmare. When you take it personally, you are the one to cause more harm to yourself. You’ve allowed them to infiltrate your own perspective about yourself.

When hateful or rageful forces occur around you, there is a strategy you can use to protect yourself. Be kind to yourself and take positive steps to ward off those harmful effects.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Why It’s Important to Include Laughter in Your Life

I found myself feeling low the other day. Too much of the world’s negativity had found its way into my psyche. I’d become overwhelmed by the amount of entitled people in the news, the political craziness, and the continued strain of going anywhere during a pandemic. Life’s stressors gaining a foothold into my good humor.

I needed a quick fix. I headed for a favorite Internet site for some comic relief. There I spent about 40 minutes laughing out loud. I lost myself in the humorous routines I was watching. With a busy schedule, this seemed like an unnecessary indulgence at first. So, I looked into it.

What I found was this. Laughter is very important to the health and well-being of everyone. It is especially important for the highly sensitive.

Regaining Balance

As highly sensitive people, we are bombarded by stimulants on every level. As we laugh, we are able to recharge and increase our energy. We distract ourselves away from the negative energy flowing our way as we load up on endorphins.

Laughter alters our perspective. As we develop a lighthearted attitude, we are able to change how we view a threat, seeing it more as a challenge. As we do, our balance can return to normal.

Image courtesy of V10g on Pixabay.

Increased Immunity/Stress Relief

In our normal population, it is well known that laughter provides stress relief and increased immunity. It is so crucial to a highly sensitive nature that it is imperative that we include it in our self-care regimen. Stress becomes harmful far sooner than it does for the normal person. Our systems are exposed to increasing level of stimulation, causing overload far sooner.

Laughter has been found to be so therapeutic that it has been included in the mental health field as a mode of therapy for depression, anxiety and insomnia.

One such form of therapy is Laughter Therapy developed by Dr. Madan Kataria. It combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing techniques. What a great way to get the benefits of both at the same time.

Creativity Booster

One of our enviable traits is our creative ability. That creativity can become stifled when our balance is off and our stress is high. Removing those things alone helps strengthen our creativity. But laughter also sparks creative flow. Laughter lightens our mood, allows us to relax, and shifts our perspective. Which in turn allows our creative forces to move more easily.

Laughter shares a great deal with creativity. Surprise is a component of both. The success of any humorous exchange relies in some part on that element of surprise. Creativity leads us to a new, innovative end product. It is not creativity if it does not surprise our senses in some way.

A good belly laugh or even a chuckle helps us deal with unkind side effects that can accompany our highly sensitive natures. And even support our good traits. Acquaint yourself with this easy, enjoyable and free means of healing. It’s worth your attention.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Five Steps to Finding and Keeping Your Purpose

Everyone on earth has a purpose, a calling, a reason why we are living here and now. For the HSP, that purpose is vitally more important than the average person. Your gifts are rare. They need to be put to important use.

You, as an HSP, already have a strong desire for meaningful purpose. You are deeply conscientious, spiritual (not necessarily religious, but can sense a deeper meaning to life), and process all of life’s questions fully within yourself. You’re not one to party your life away. You want that life to matter, to stand for something.

But you also might not have a clue what that purpose is. If you do not, definitely read on. If you do know your purpose, that’s great. You still might find this information supportive in carrying out that purpose. Here are five steps to ensure you get and stay on the right path.

Encourage an Openness Mindset

Keep an open mind to what comes into your awareness on a daily basis. Be grateful for what you have, but open to new experience. Develop your sense of awe and curiosity. Look into other points of view that may seem foreign to you now. Use your incredible empathy to delve into ideas that are unfamiliar.

Image courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay.com.

Explore Your Interests

Your purpose will always be embedded in the interests that you have. What drives your passions? What topics get your juices flowing? What activities do you love? Where do you derive satisfaction? You may have many routes that together form a more generalized purpose. Or, you may have one intensely burning enthusiasm for solving a particular problem. Sit down with paper and pen. Start exploring your possibilities. Even if you think the project you are driven to is too large, let yourself dream. It may be that you are meant for a leadership role. HSPs make wonderful leaders.

These interests are the roots of your purpose. They grow into seedlings as you nurture them. Giving attention and energy to them is like exposing them to sunlight and water. They begin to grow and thrive.

Pursue Your Passion with Care

As you start living your purpose, keep in mind both your positive and negative traits. DOES is the acronym that Dr. Elaine Aron uses to describe these traits. D = Depth of Processing, O = Overstimulation, E = Emotional Responsivity/Empathy, S = Sensitive to Subtleties. Your gifts are special features that only you can contribute to a cause, but remember this. HSPs have a tendency to overextend themselves when pursuing their passion. Take care to tend to your own needs as you do.

Live With Determination Every Day

Each day is a gift in itself. Start your day with the determination that you will waste none of it. As you wake, remind yourself that today matters. Move on with confidence.

Readjust as Needed

Your life may have one purpose. It may have many. And it may take time to find your true purpose. Give yourself permission to change as you feel led. If you complete a project, you have been working on, get started on another. If you want to explore your purpose through different avenues, dip your toe in each one until you find the one that fits. Feel confident that this is just part of the process.

HSPs have a strong need for a purposeful life. If you are feeling somewhat unsettled, it may mean that you are not currently living your purpose. Don’t be hard on yourself. But take some time to explore how you can turn that uneasiness into a meaningful aspiration.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Banishing the Echo in Your Heart, 5 Steps for Healing

Last week’s post identified the personality trait known as echoism. Echoism is on the extreme opposite side of narcissism, but both are destructive. Narcissism is destructive to those who come into relationship with a narcissist, and echoism is destruction caused by narcissistic abuse. While getting help from a good therapist is the most effective way to rise above the damage of echoism, there are some steps that you can take by yourself to begin the healing process.

First: Make a Commitment to Your Healing

Traits of echoism include low self-esteem, poor boundaries, and a desire to be invisible. You are not a mistake of nature. You are an exceptional person. Your job is to allow that distinctiveness to come to the surface and flourish in the face of the wrong that has been done to you.

Image courtesy of Geralt on Pixabay.

Second: Allow Your Anger to Surface

  • The behavior that formed your echoism was a gross injustice to you, befitting of justifiable anger.
  • Getting angry allows you to express buried emotions and motivates your healing process.

Third: See the Situation for What it Truly Is

  • Start to identify and recognize what has been done to you that is toxic behavior.
  • Recognize and record your awesome qualities. You have many to start with, but you’ve also developed others due to your experience. You are a survivor – that in itself is a truly amazing feat. But being a survivor facilitates your developing additional empathy, patience, kindness, a loving nature, and many other admirable qualities.
  • Reclassify your perceived weaknesses into the strengths that they are.

Fourth: Celebrate Your Specialness

  • Allow yourself to feel good about who you are and your accomplishments. You deserve it. Being the best you can be is not consistently giving of yourself. It is when you give and take with honest recognition of your own capabilities.
  • Celebrating your specialness lets yourself and others know that you also recognize your worth.

Fifth: Record Your Journey in a Grief Recovery Journal

  • Start your commitment to your healing off right. Get yourself a lovely journal that you feel good about writing in. Make a pledge to yourself to write faithfully.
  • In the beginning your recordings will be the incidents where you were treated badly – the wronged actions that led you to believe things about yourself that are not true. These help you with the next two steps, getting angry and seeing the situation for what it truly is.
  • Record your emotions, no matter how ugly they may seem to you. Remember – this journal is for your eyes only.
  • As you begin to heal, you will start to record your insights into the behavior that damaged you, how you were deceived, and how you now see the truth.
  • Be sure to record your victories, your positive changes, and the attributes that make you unique and special.

As you heal, the anger will burn itself out and you will benefit from the growth that came at such a hefty price. When you slip backward, revive your journal and read how much you overcame. Feel good about yourself. You deserve it.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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