being human,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

To Be Known

I am writing today to get at what I’m feeling, and to hopefully transform it into something more productive. I had another good night of sleep last night for which I am thankful. But when I woke this morning, the best word I can use to describe the way I’m feeling is fragile. Yesterday was a big day on a number of levels. Good and bad.

As a human, I think one of our primary motivations is to be known, and hopefully to be loved. The feeling of being known and loved is one of validation, belonging. It’s a fruit of the spirit. It is life-giving. When, however, we are known and questioned, when there is disagreement, that’s part of life too. If we stay true to ourselves, it’s bound to happen.

Throughout this recent illness, so much has shown itself to me. The illness itself was one of the hardest things I’ve ever endured, but I fear the aftermath may be even harder. As I live into all of the new truths that are deep within my core, I fear being misunderstood and rejected. And the hardest part is that the truths that have revealed themselves feel completely non-negotiable. Sure, we can change our minds anytime we choose, but these truths don’t feel like anything I’ll change my mind about any time soon. When you’ve been brought to your knees (literally), throwing up over the toilet, weaker than you’ve ever been with massive aches and pains, a high fever and an inability to get out of bed for weeks, it—and the events throughout, and the truths that reveal themselves throughout those events—sort of become a deep embedded part of who you are. It’s almost like the illness deposited a cellular knowing into the core of who I am.

The compounding agent is my sensitivity. While I always knew how much of an empath and how highly sensitive I was/am, I did not understand the depth of it. When you are well, you might see it, but it doesn’t stop you in your tracks. In fact, it’s sometimes easy to ignore. Until it catches up with you.

What I know now is that I am highly affected not only by other people’s energy but by their words, mannerisms, the things they don’t say, the underlying tone of words, etc. I have always been such an agreeable person. I have always done my very best to make others feel seen, heard and loved just as they are. I’ve always tried to make outsiders feel welcome. I can sense when someone feels left out, and I’ve always taken it upon myself to welcome them and soften these feelings. That’s what empaths do. We feel so deeply into other people’s energetic systems that we can easily get lost in them. Energetic boundaries are key, something I’ve been working on but not to the depth I should have, until now.

Now that I’m on this side of the illness (hopefully the upswing, though some days I’m not sure), I recognize my deep need for protecting myself from outside influence. In the past, I could so easily be swayed by other people’s opinions, or at the very least I’d keep my mouth shut if I knew my opinion would not be popular. On this side, however, I know without a shadow of a doubt what I believe, and while I have a great number on the same page as I, there are a few close to me who wholeheartedly disagree. How will my tender HSP heart handle that?

For my own sanity (and health), I’ve chosen to not talk about the illness and the insights that came from it. With anyone. I write to clarify my feelings. It’s what works for me. I want to be known, and I feel I have important ideas to share about the state of the world, the people in it and the powers that be that are working overtime to keep us small. Talking, however, feels much less productive. It feels divisive and like it will cause more problems than help—between myself and the other person, and within myself—within my fragile emotional and energetic bodies.

Where am I going with this? I’m not entirely sure, except to describe an inner landscape that feels delicate, like it could get knocked out of balance quite easily, but most of all, an inner landscape that wishes to be free and whole and healthy again.

To be known and to be loved for who and how I am. That’s my wish today. For myself. And for all beings everywhere.

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash