“You’re too sensitive!”
I heard that all the time while I was growing up, and have heard it on occasion since. I’ve heard it said to others, too, and know peeps who heard it as well.
Like many who are naturally more empathic and sensitive to subtle (and not so subtle) energies around them, I didn’t question what I heard for much of my life, even though it didn’t feel right to me even then.
I thought there was some fatal flaw in my sensitivity, empathy, and compassion, if only because no one ever suggested that it might be the bullying, meanness, insensitivity, or cruelty around me that was a problem.
The more hostile or toxic behaviors can be (and have been) normalized by making one’s sensitivity to them (or non-collusion with them) the problem. That’s called ‘scapegoating’, just for the record.
And that’s a real mind fuq, let’s be honest about it.
I’m in good company, too, in that I believed what I was told – that I was ‘too sensitive’ and had to ‘toughen up’.
Rarely did I hear someone else say, “I’m so sorry – that was (rude, bullying, insensitive, tactless, cruel) of me. I felt upset by something else and I unloaded it on you (or someone else), which isn’t fair. I’m sorry.”
And very often, my ‘over sensitivity’ was in fact a very natural and reasonable response to someone else’s tactlessness, rudeness, insensitivity, or outright cruelty that they didn’t want to be accountable for and certainly didn’t want reflected back to them by the mirror that empath-sensitives can unwittingly be.
It’s important at some point in the reclamation of the gift of empathic sensitivity that we take off the rose-colored glasses and clear out the ‘cover stories’ we were taught to collude with, and call it what it was and what it is.
Not as part of a victim game — quite the opposite, actually, as part of a liberation from faulty conditioning and internalized toxicity.
I know from experience that it can take awhile, that journey of reclaiming and standing for the gift of empathic sensitivity, but it’s a must, given that we live in a time when a restoration of empathy is vital medicine, in a culture marked by a deficit of it (and hence the cruelty and insensitivity that often results from a lack of empathy).
As empath-sensitives, we can be highly sensitive, and there are things in our environment or culture that heighten that sensitivity even more, from astro-energetics to electromagnetic or EMF ‘pollution’ to other people’s energies and ‘offloads’.
It’s very helpful to be aware of these things, and of the strategies that help to navigate life as an empath-sensitive, so that we can offer the gift of it while also surviving as a sensitive in a collective energy field that’s often filled with toxic crud and faulty programming.
As you know if you’ve been reading my Sophia’s Children blog (or the other experimental blogs along the way), I’ve been at it awhile and have made a pretty significant (and experiential) study of it. My energy and shamanic training illuminated the issue further.
As a result, it’s a high-priority teaching-and-writing topic for me, and one on which I’ve blogged and am currently incubating and preparing an additional series and program on.
So I have to smile when it ‘comes up in batches’, like a confirmation:
In the last 24 hours alone, I received several emails about it, revisited the draft of this blog entry, exchanged several emails about it, continued my own research on it, and got a ‘heads up’ about a recent article by the wonderful writer, Anne LaMotte, about it and marveled at just how similar her experience was to my own.
You’ll also find previous blog entries geared toward empath-sensitives here in the blog, and in Ivy Sea offerings I’ve created over the years; and there will be more coming, so stay tuned and share your experiences in the comments section (below) or via email to me.
In the meanwhile, if you’re reclaiming your sensitivity, navigating life and transformation as an empath-sensitive, or feeling the increase in sensitivity that often comes with certain types of spiritual practice and spiritual awakening, you can schedule a tele-session or series with me, or take a look at some of the other resources created for people just like you (and me!).
You’ll find more of the posts in the Resources for Empaths & Sensitives series here.
Lots of love and more soon,
November 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Great Blog Jamie and of course “I relate” – amazingly it fits right into the Bruno group related drama that went on last week and into the weekend, bleeding into Monday. Why? Because I refused to be bossed, bullied, etc. etc. – powerful lessons, but ouch!! Painful only because I responded differently, as in holding my boundaries tight. I’ll tell you about it next time we get to speak by phone. Love, Carmina