I am a feeler. An empath. Most of my life this characteristic has been a source of many challenges, especially as I have explored living through trial and error in order to discover what it means to be a highly sensitive woman.
Throughout the course of much history, being sensitive and being a woman has been something regarded as stereotype. We have come a long ways in understanding that being a feeler in not only something that cannot solely be attributed to women, but is also a valuable gift. One that is albeit, grossly misunderstood.
It was because of the obstacles I’ve faced in that life that taught me what it means to be a highly sensitive woman and how to use this to the benefit of myself and others. My emotions, even in the shittiest moments of life, point the way to knowing how to make the most of every moment. To me, that is what it means to be a person of INFP (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving) personality.
I feel what others feel. I feel the atmosphere of almost every room I walk into, whether or not I realize it at the time. I feel things deeply. I cry at movies that I know are not real.I love deeply and am hurt easily, and let me tell you, those two aspects of my life are not easy to reconcile. At the mention of a tragedy, my heart is broken. That means when a stranger talks to me at the grocery store (which happens often) and begins to tell me about their mother dying of cancer, I cry.
I know I am not alone in this. It may be a phenomenon in human nature that many find odd, or even taboo, but even at this point in my life many in my circle can identify. Much of this is because I have chosen to stick with the people who know what it means to be real–to be vulnerable (more of this later). Many in my life who are close to me can tell you that they have seen the reality of this. I have negative experiences where I’ve been told that I am too emotional to prove to be a good leader, and yet I have had many incredible positive experiences. Those experiences include, connecting with the most genuine and sincere people, because we see the world through the same rose colored lenses, and being able to encourage friend and stranger alike, because I am able to see life from their perspective as well.
It has taken time to realize that at least half of what I’m feeling in any given moment may or may not originate from my own heart. I am still very much so learning. The biggest thing I am learning is how to handle it when I get overwhelmed from sitting in a room full of people and begin to feel a myriad of emotions and have no idea where it’s coming from. Or what to do when I do know where it’s coming from and have no practical means of doing anything with those emotions.
The biggest asset in all this learning, comes when I remember that what I am feeling is revealed to me to make a difference in the lives of those around me. It’s freeing when I know that what I am feeling is not my burden to bear, but I can certainly help someone to shoulder theirs. I have learned that when I acknowledge what I am feeling, and where it is coming from, then I analyze the source to know what to do with those emotions. I have personally found it highly beneficial to pray and ask God about it. This has helped me to know where the root of the feelings are, and what to do about it. Sometimes, it requires action of praying for and encouraging someone else, or buying them something they may need, or simply offering them a safe place and an ear to listen.
Sometimes I am required to merely affirm these feelings and give them over to God to handle. The greatest learning curve comes in knowing that I don’t have to fix every problem I see, or in this case–feel. I have to remind myself often, that although it is easy for me to pick up on another’s emotions, I don’t have to. Not only do I not have to feel what the atmosphere is asking me to feel, I also don’t have do anything with those feelings if I don’t want to. I can simply ask God to take over and move forward.
The entire reason I am writing this as my first blog post for Half-Hearted Musings of a Highly Sensitive Woman, is because not only is it part of the title of this site, but also because I feel it is of great importance in knowing who I am as the author of this page, and why I choose to write what I do.
As with anything I share with you as my readers, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Share your own experiences with us here on this site! Mostly I would love to hear what you guys want to know about being a feeler and any questions you have! Comment or contact me directly!
I am excited to see where this journey takes us together!