Trusting Your Sensitivity
As a sensitive person, you are equipped with a finely tuned radar, feedback, and guidance system – your sensitive nervous system and energy field. Your sensitivity is always there, like a good friend, letting you know what will work for you and what won’t. It also provides you with information beyond what’s immediately evident, through intuition. Trusting this information is a profound way to start coming back into alignment with yourself and the gifts of being highly sensitive.
~ What Guidance Looks Like ~
Guidance comes in many forms, from practical to spiritual, and from the immediate to the long term. It comes emotionally, empathically, intellectually, intuitively, psychically, and physically. As a sensitive soul, your well -being will benefit when you learn to trust this input.
For example, you may have received both a strong Yes and a strong No from your feedback system. With a strong Yes, you might feel excited, invigorated, curious, intrigued, or delighted. With a strong No, you might feel your energy level plummet, your heart sink, a sense of discomfort or unease, or you might feel tense, tired, worried, stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted. With these feelings, you can learn to recognize your No responses.
It can be challenging to stay true to this guidance, however, whether it’s a yes or no. There are often influences trying to override your inner knowing, like your ego’s fears about money when you know it’s time to leave a soul-draining job, or your family’s protests when you say “no” to yet another social obligation, or the insidious internal “shoulds” that tell you that you’ll miss out on something or let someone down. But not honoring this guidance is a form of self-betrayal and ultimately is a strain on your body, mind, heart, and soul.
~ When It’s Hard to Discern ~
Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear sense of guidance on certain issues. When that happens, it will help to give yourself some time. Things we are attached to, or have an emotional charge about, are particularly hard to resolve intuitively because our minds and egos take over. To the extent that you can, let it go. Insights come in flashes and waves at the right moments, in the right time. This is part of learning to trust.
~ Lessons in Self-Care ~
You might also consider that your emotional responses can take the form of guidance about what you need in the moment. I’ve learned to recognize that when I feel cranky, crabby, grumpy, or resentful, it’s a clear sign that I’ve been over-giving, overdoing, or picking up on too much from someone else. That’s when I know it’s time to rest, rejuvenate, or revise my current plans. I’ve never been so quick to hop into a bath of Epsom salts as I am when my emotions tell me to rest.
Although many of us struggle with taking proper care of ourselves, consider this thought from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. She says: “Afraid to appear selfish, we lose our self.” So often, we think that we don’t deserve it or something else needs to come first. But I find that when you work with your sensitivity, by honoring what it’s asking you for rather than trying to disregard or work against it, taking care of others or our work gets easier and more joyful.
~ Developing Your Sensitivity ~
When I talk about my coaching program, Embrace Your Essential Self, I usually mention developing our sensitivity. Last year when I mentioned this in a talk, a participant asked, “You mean you want us to be MORE sensitive?” In a way, the answer IS yes, though not in the way you might think. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to get more overstimulated, more stressed, or more exposed. What it does mean is taking time to stop and pay attention to the guidance that your sensitivity is bringing into your life. You’ll be glad you did.
** How are you trusting your sensitivity? **