Ten words of advice to the young girl that didn’t understand her sensitivity

This article is for all sensitive persons and their parents and loved ones. I hope it helps.

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Life is a barrel of lessons; that hurt. I didn’t have a clue about what sensitivity and empathic traits were growing up. This led to epic fails, bad decisions, and painful mistakes.

It also ultimately led to understanding people, having compassion for lifes journey, noticing the smallest of delights in our wonderful world, being open to the universal nudges and wisdom gifted in every moment and ultimately led me to arriving at a place of self acceptance.

At some point; I promise you life WILL make sense, each moment will feel special and you will see yourself with the kindest of eyes and gentlest of hearts. You will see that you are someone, just like everyone, doing their best. This rainbow of happy vibes doesn’t happen every day; being sensitive in a fast paced world is a mixed bag of tricks; but it gets easier.

Throw yourself in; own it, breathe it, live it; YOUR way.

Life threw a lot at me; and that chat can stay asleep for another day. This article is not about me, but a gentle voice of advice and support that you can take on board or not!

That’s just it, being a highly sensitive person you have sort of popped out with a strong inner voice that knows what is right for you. Practice this now with my words. Some will resonate and some will not. Think about it, play with it and take it from there.

So, if I was standing in front of myself aged lets say 16 to 30 again (because these years contained the most “it fucking sucks” wounds); what would I say to myself about navigating life.

That’s me aged 19 – wish i could say that was an ice-cream. Uni ball 1995

One.

Let’s first make it clear that if you are sensitive or empathic you have a radar to feel that is set at a different threshold for what you sense.

The obvious ones such as noise, stimulus and emotions are felt a little more deeply; but normally this isn’t obvious until several things trigger you and you go from hero to zero in a meltdown which can be an explosion of tears, anger, walls, or negative coping skills. For example a loud commute to school in traffic or someone playing the radio one notch too high, someone banging a pen off the desk, a flickering light and then someone says something negative to you. Ordinarily you could hold it in for ONE of these, but the x, y, and z added to make 1000 in terms of sensory overload.

I wish mine were that calm!

But also your radar is acutely tuned to feel people and the world. Thoughts, emotions, vibrations, pain, world news, and even lunar, solar and weather patterns; on some level and in a variety of ways these can be sensed. How you know all that you sense is not entirely clear to you and many times you will feel a little odd, unsure, and shaky in what exactly it is that you are sensing.

Some sensitive persons can feel spirit energy and thoughts and feelings in places from events that may have happened in the past or recent past. These ‘knowings’ can feel positive or negative; but generally it is only the negative ones that grab our attention with a big wallop of anxiety.

The dream world can also be intense; beautiful, surreal, prophetic, fore-warning and the whole mash up of life. This can lead to fatigue in some and a feeling of not being grounded or fully present. Does this sound like you?

You are NOT mad; start to practice clearing the clutter and spend time deciphering the messages that are important with a “lets understand this message button”, and over-riding the ones that aren’t with a “delete” button. Too much time spent trying to figure everything out is wasting your time and precious energy. And if emotionally you feel all over the shop, it truly is helpful to have support. I didn’t have support. It was scary and overwhelming; often.

In a nutshell, learn to be discerning.

Two

It’s not all about you. Ouch.

That negative thought, the self-doubt, the paranoia about envy, the anxiety, the insecurity; have you ever stopped to ask is it me, or is this someone else I am feeling? This question is going to become one of the most important questions of your life as a sensitive person. Especially if you feel people’s thoughts, emotions and physical pain through your body.

Is it me?

Is this someone else?
What am I supposed to do about it?
Am I supposed to do something about it?

Do I want to do something about it?
– it’s ok to say no, not now.
And maybe send the person who you are sensing an energy of it’s ok, I trust you will figure this through; I believe in you.

Sensitive persons can tend to get caught up in a loop of never feeling good enough and never feeling heard; when these thoughts start to go around and round your head; ask yourself, truly are these my thoughts? It is not empowering to never feel good enough? Practice shifting focus by seeing yourself like everyone else, as someone who matters. These aren’t your limiting thoughts.

It is worth adding that some sensitive persons also feel the energy of a place, its history and what may have happened there. Some places feel positive and others heavy or anxious. This isn’t always obvious; especially if you get caught up in thinking that your anxiety is your mental health problem and have people telling you that something is wrong with you. Perhaps you are perfect and simply more attuned to people and energy? Have you considered this?

Watch your anxiety and energy; start to get curious and be aware of your surroundings rather than focused inwards on what is wrong with you; like I said it is not always you.

For example, after some practice we may understand why we feel so anxious in a busy place; because quite simply we are feeling the energy of many people and their days as they pass us by; but it can be less obvious why we are feeling sad or anxious standing in a place that is quiet and free of people. You may have no clue that you are standing where some epic showdown went on centuries ago.

So, if you feel mega mood shifts and like the ground is moving under you all of a sudden, have the awareness of what you are feeling and where you are, then try to come back into yourself (i.e. drop into your whole being rather than feeling you must curl up in an energy ball and push away what you are sensing), see yourself as strong with feet rooted into the ground and mother nature energy, focus on your light source within and your core energy (can you use colour for this?) and see yourself as the positive being that you are. You have this!

TRUST.

Trust that you aren’t mad, you are safe, and you can transition from what you are feeling into a better feeling space.

Also know, if healing people, animals and spaces comes naturally to you, that you don’t always have to do this every single time you sense something (how exhausting would this be!).

Sometimes you can say no; not today. I need a rest and my energy and me time. And this is perfectly okay.

Three

Be mindful of being too certain about what you sense.

Being empathic or sensitive means that you are feeling the thing, the people around the thing, their thoughts about the thing, and everything that touches that thing as well as unsaid media and news and the whole spider web of “that thing”.

This shows you that sometimes it can be tricky and a bit scrambled to claim 100% accuracy on what you may be sensing. It has taken me a bit of time to learn this myself; especially when I started to trust my intuitions; I had to accept that sometimes I just couldn’t sense everything spot on because there was just too much clutter surrounding it. Now I tend to stay quiet for a while rather than go in guns all blazing.

We are connected to everyone around us, and they are connected to everyone around them, and on and on it goes.

Sometimes you are best watching and learning; before going all in with certainty about ‘that thing’.

Four

Your mother absolutely, truly and deeply loves you. You are a part of her, you chose her and you have much to learn from your journey with her. She may not understand everything about you; and she may be very tough on you (or too soft on you). Try to see this from the place of love; get curious. What is your journey?

Don’t forget too that your mother has lived life, walked the path of being a woman on this planet and had her share of tough experiences, incredible learnings and holds the wisdom of all the ancestors and women that walked before. Pain too; but wisdom certainly.

Are you aware that your sensitivity means that at times you may feel her pain, her ancestors pain, and her worries and troubles. See #Two; ask yourself your question list.

Remember it is a great challenge to always come from a place of love and to see past the words and drama; you are only human too. But never forget that your mother loves you. And I am 100% sure, that you are more than able to give back that drama; relationships are a two-way complex street!

Your mother is the most precious friend and guide in your life.

Five

Navigating sexual energy is a nightmare. This is not a topic often discussed and if I knew what I know now back when I was a young woman, I would have protected myself from a world of pain, mistakes, self judgments, and shame. Boys, men and navigating the world of going out, having fun, dating and more was a painful hurtful nightmare at times; so utterly confusing and life shattering!

There was confusion perhaps also as there were many times my sensitivity and empathy to what I sensed in others led to me questioning my own sexuality which led to sudden wallops of unexpected energy and mega confusion! I had no idea that what I sensed wasn’t my energy, I had an idea that the feelings and thoughts were not mine but when you feel them through you as a sensitive it makes for a terribly confusing place to be in. Luckily this passes! Time has shown me to often observe the chaos and know that it will pass; a bit like changing channels on the television.

If you are empathic and highly sensitive, sexual energy from others can feel like sexual energy in you. It can be a very hazy fine line because it can lead to you ending up in an intimate situation without really knowing if you wanted to be there at all.

His or her turned on body feels like your turned on body because your energy will internalise theirs. See how this can completely overwhelm your system? And without taking the time to ask your inner self, your emotional self and your soul if you want to be there, mistakes can happen very quickly. Mistakes that can lead to the world of pain and shame because afterwards if your inner critic starts to work against yourself you will bring with it everyone’s inner critic.

So not only have you ended up in a compromising situation; you have also felt the worlds sexual shame and judgement. This really is a lot for a young person to feel; if you have someone to talk to that understands please do. It is worth having a deeper chat with a close friend or councillor about how to set healthy boundaries for yourself around sex if you feel vulnerable, uncertain or fearful. I know it is awkward to have these chats; but the more we feel supported in life the easier things get.

Also, many sensitive persons dislike saying no; for many reasons. However, when it comes to the sacredness of your body and your intimate energy; saying no to disappoint someone else is far less painful that hurting yourself.

Hectic places, alcohol and drugs are going to make it much harder to feel your truth and energy within; please remember this as you navigate the world that is freedom and fun as a teen and young adult. Also, mistakes happen, that’s life; you are only human too so don’t be too hard on yourself. {Important note, although I am not discussing rape here, it is a topic that cannot be ignored in the context of this point. Rape is NOT a mistake, it is never a mistake and it is never your fault. Please always speak to someone.}

I don’t know how to advise you to navigate this better; lessons are learnings. We fuck up a lot in life to learn and grow! Every single adult one of us has made LOTS of mistakes. However, a seemingly innocuous mistake to a less sensitive person can feel like a massive trauma to a sensitive person. If you have found yourself hurt and traumatised but feel too “silly” to talk it out. Stop right there; you aren’t silly and what you feel is very real. If you need support and a safe place to talk please do; I am here if you don’t have someone to talk to.

Six

Body judgement; agh where do I start!

You are influenced from everywhere about how to feel about your body and 99.99999% of that is negative. Why? So that you will buy the products and gear and perpetually feel like you are never enough. It is a powerful marketing strategy.

Not only this, but your lack of confidence in your body leads to a ridiculous waste of your energy. Be you, be different, be kind. Your body is a miracle, a gift, the tangible substance of our being.

Not all days are going to be easy in your body; and I describe the feeling big days as big feeling days. In other words I have learnt to see that the days I feel fat and uncomfortable and want to be invisible are the days I am feeling more from the world. Mondays are the worst because most people don’t like their bodies on a Monday, but days that are full of emotions and turbulence also rock my ability to feel completely comfortable in my body. Also, being around people who don’t feel confident and comfortable can shake me a little too.

Can you explore this more? Can you love and appreciate your body? Can you feed, water, move, and express your body into a state of joy and gratitude and everything that it means to feel alive? Don’t over think it; sometimes a good old dance around the bedroom and pulling funny faces and ridiculous moves are all that it takes.

Creativity, movement, activity, expression, nature, colour, art, music – what makes you feel alive?

Seven

Social media; this is your field more than mine. I grew up in an era where the phone was stuck to the wall and you had to pull the cord out the door so that your parents couldn’t hear the conversation. Truth!

You had to wait for that phone call from the person you fancied and it felt like forever. We had books, we had school, we had words and a lot of quiet space in the middle when you had to get a bus, or bike or wait for the lift or meeting. Silence. I didn’t grow up in this unbelievably fast technology driven world where there is everything, everywhere, right now, and in your face.

Social media has created a lack of boundaries when it comes to everything but you know this more than me.

What I want you to think about is what energy social media as an entity has. Does it impact your mood? Does it suck you into conversations and arguments more than you want? It feels like any thread or post has a cord right into your mood and energy buttons. So, observe please how you use social media and if this is dragging you down in mood and self belief; how can you better manage it?

I have to be strict with how I use social media; otherwise it will steal my day, my mood and my sanity. Yet, there are many positives also.

Learn to use social media in a way that serves you and be very mindful of how you feel in connection to how you use it, what you share and how you share it. And remember just one click or a word and opinion can send someone else’s world crashing down around them. Be kind, be responsible; lead the way and show US how to use social media better. You are the generation that now knows more than us.

In essence social media uses us, or we use it.

Eight

One of the hardest thing growing up is knowing how to find our place, our group, our identity. To balance the need to be seen and the desire to be different; with the comfort of feeling safe and at times invisible.

Peer pressure and group dynamics are a very real and significant thing in your life. As a sensitive person the feeling of peer expectations can be significant; and also group behaviour can change how we act and speak. Be mindful of this; spending time alone can help us gain clarity on who we are and connects us to the navigation system that guides us in life.

Spend time figuring out your values, how you wish to be an example (trust me you are), the things that matter to you; the causes to fight and the ones to let go; the people who matter and the ones that don’t. You have far more control here than you actually realise and the world is crying out for you to be you, different, unique. Trust me; being the same doesn’t work. Be you.

If you feel like this:

Make the changes to create this:

I know that it is not easy; and I have met young men and women that have inspired me beyond belief with the stories of how they changed their lives by making changes that as a youth can feel incredibly scary. But they did, and it paid off.

Find allies, build a tribe, find your circle of common interests.

Seek a senior mentor and guide in life if you can. Adults have been there; we have all fallen face down in the muck of life lessons; lean on us!

We aren’t going to stop you and we are going to be there in support and love. We know that life is a journey; we understand that failure, mistakes and tough lessons are what forms us.

We do our best to love, support, nurture and guide; but we won’t block your path. Quite simply we love you and believe in you.

Not every day is going to be amazing, some days feel tough, its normal to have a low as much as the high. It is normal to feel uncertain, it is ok to not want to get up some mornings; this happens to the best of us. Trust that every rain cloud is followed by sun.

Finally, pick your battles; the world is full of idiots, some time it is someone else, sometimes it is actually us; pick your battles and walk away from others.

Nine

Drugs and alcohol; I don’t want to impact your journey of life experiences with a lecture in what alcohol and drugs can do to your body or to your life; you know this.

What I will say is that drugs and alcohol can take a sensitive person right off the ground. You can swing either way between numb to overly open to everything that is around you. Your environment, the people who you are with, the venue and place, even the music can all influence your experience for better or worse;never mind how a sensitive body may react to a noxious substance. Furthermore decision making will be affected; which can impact your safety and it is important that you are aware of this.

Drugs and alcohol can be fun; but they can also be a weapon of destruction in your life if you cannot be responsible. Remember at the end of the day; at the times when we need it most, there isn’t always going to be someone there to pick you up off the floor when bad things happen. When it comes to drink and drugs you must take care of yourself; make good decisions and protect your mind, body and energy.

I used to lose myself in the dance trance scene of 2000s; and quickly learnt that for me it was all about the music.

I am 42 years old now; I have had my share of bad experiences as I reveled in the party years; and watched clients and loved ones go through even worse ones. Not everyone comes out of the crazy years unscathed. Adverse drug reactions happen, negative flash backs, arrests, drug addictions, accidents, alcoholism, death; this is the real world.

Furthermore, drugs are sold to make money. They are often impure (at times lethal), they are illegal and their journey from source to you touches many hands (and sinister intentions) and this in itself can lead to a whole other experience for the taker.

Please take care of yourself; be young, have fun, but also be wise.

Ten

Lastly, if I could talk to my younger self I would say to her don’t try to hold it all in. Don’t get so full of emotions and overwhelm that the only strategy was to make myself numb. I battled an eating and over exercise disorder for many years. These years, while full of life and good stuff were also stolen by pain and anxiety and an utter waste of my time in a head full of food and exercise neurosis. It was bad; and I never wish this on you.

I did the best that I knew; my coping skills were food and exercise and they were how I learnt to deal with world pain, emotional overwhelm, feeling misunderstood, sheer terror of being alone and a feeling a lack of support (not anyone’s fault might I add, it is very challenging to understand a highly sensitive/ empathic person).

We do the very best we can, but beating up on our bodies, not eating, over eating, alcohol, drugs, sex, cutting ourselves and so on are in the long-term not the best ways to deal with challenges and pain. They work for a while; sort of. There are new skills that we can learn and we can become skillful in feeling this world and experiencing it in all the love, experiences and good stuff that is out there.

This is your life, and your time to shine.

There are many people in your world and in your life that can be there for you OR they are just around the corner waiting for you to find them. Me included; you are not alone, you are not weak and you are far from useless.

If things feel tough, reach out.

You are so very precious

Love,
Andrea

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One thought on “Ten words of advice to the young girl that didn’t understand her sensitivity

  1. Hi Andrea, you have raised some very good points for people to learn from. I agree with all you have said. If only I knew when I was younger. Unfortunately, the negative arena pulls both good and bad into it with the purpose of dragging down. The consensus is very negative and does not examine or question what they do or why. Empathy is not an emotion it is a gift within a Natural Healer and only is triggered during healing. Sensitivity is what people experience when feeling the energy around them and their environment. Nothing worse than negative environments. Encountering harmful people, be polite, sometimes have to put them in their place or they believe they can bully. I usually raise my vibrations well above theirs to take me out of the negative plane. I sit in public spiritually, emotionally and mentally elsewhere in my own environment and aura. I have to do this or I would just not go out of the house. Blessings dear, I found your post by chance, well there is no chance it was meant to be.

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