Such painful beauty
One day basking, next in tears
Small jab which draws blood
Such painful beauty
One day basking, next in tears
Small jab which draws blood
My heart has been tossed about in many storms
Violent gales left behind wakes of damage and distrust
Taking years to repair, as the gaping tears knit back together
The moments spent in the eye of the storm were befuddling
As I looked around in the void where my beloved should be found
To see nothing, to hear faint echoes of words devoid of meaning
How does one take shelter from the searing bolts of truth
When the innermost self speaks of what it truly needs?
I can lie and pretend until the end of time, it doesn’t erase what’s real
Doesn’t make the truth of what would make the sun shine again any less true
Many a life has been lost to complacency, to those sweet little lies we tell ourselves
Just as surely as the heavens will open up again to release their furies
My heart will keep speaking the truth of what it needs until I heed it
As exciting as it has been to play in the rain and dance in the howling winds
One of my most tightly held secrets is that I long for shelter, a sanctuary
A place where I know that there is not only longing, but belonging.
Bustles through the leaves
Stuffing his cheeks with walnuts
Winter pantry’s full
As an empath myself, I understand the difficulty in finding a balance between recharging your batteries and maintaining a fulfilling social life. Coming into the world as a sensitive can make the waters tricky to navigate, especially when there is no real guidance throughout childhood. While other sensitivities present plenty of sticky situations of their own while undergoing the learning process, for today we’re going to focus on self-care for empaths.
Walking into a crowded room or through any place where there are a lot of people can be overwhelming for a person who easily picks up on the emotional states of everyone around them. Even after learning what is happening, it can be a real challenge to learn how to slow down long enough to figure out where feelings are coming from and how to deflect some of it. One of the biggest steps that an empath takes is learning to tell if the feelings that wash through them are theirs or someone else’s.
The reason why that step is so important is that it is the starting place when it comes to learning to let emotions flow through us as opposed to overwhelming us. Once we learn to slow down long enough to objectively ask if there is any reason why we would reasonably experiencing a particular emotion and find the answer to be no, it makes taking a deep breath and letting it go a lot easier. Be gentle with yourself about this. It took me over a decade to work my way through it all, and I still have my moments from time to time…when I simply need to remove myself from the situation and find a quiet place.
Being an empath really is a gift, even though sometimes it can make you feel like an outcast. There’s no way to explain what it’s like to walk through a room and be barraged with varying emotions to someone who does not share that gift. So, while it’s nice when the people in our lives are understanding of our need to remove all of the stimulus for a while to regain some energy, it isn’t a guarantee that they will, and that is okay. The goal is not to get others to see things our way.
The ultimate goal is learning to respect the boundaries that we need to put into place in order to navigate our lives as comfortably as possible. Understanding that the need to put some distance between ourselves and the world on a regular basis is not a negative thing is one of the biggest favors that an empath can do for themselves. Taking that quiet time, when there is no influx of energy is a necessity. Just like people who are extroverted having a need for a lot of social contact is normal for them, the need to minimize exposure regularly is normal for us. Neither is better or worse than the other. It simply is.
When it comes to the people in our lives, it can get a little dicey at times. Just realize that we do not have to explain ourselves…that no is a complete sentence. Empaths can have a really hard time with that because we are so attuned to the feelings and needs of others that we can fall into the trap of seeing everything and everyone else as being more important than ourselves. The fact that we are more sensitive to external stimulus than roughly 80% of our peers doesn’t make us inferior. It simply gives us a different set of parameters to live within.
Next week, you can expect a post with some specific tips, pointers, and exercises which I’ve learned over the years to help empaths navigate their lives with more ease.
On a warm summer evening, when I was around five years old, I had been sitting outside with my mother, grandmother, and sister. We spent a lot of time outdoors when I was growing up. A lot of unusual things happened in and around my childhood home. On this particular night, we came inside right at dusk. My mother sent me to get a bath before bed. Afterward, the four of us settled in my bedroom to play a board game.
We set everything up on my bed, and were sitting there playing the game, talking, and laughing when the sound of breaking glass shattered the night. Falling quiet, we listened to figure out where the sound had come from. It remained quiet for a little while, so we resumed playing the game. After a little while, the sound of breaking glass filled the night again. This time, it was even louder and lasted longer. We could tell this time that the sound was coming from outside. My mother opened my bedroom window to try to determine exactly where all of the glass was being broken.
Once more, the night grew quiet. Instead of resuming the game however, this time we stayed quiet, waiting to see if more would happen. We weren’t disappointed. Before long, the sound started up again. This time we could tell that the noise was coming from the garden area which was up on the little hill right behind the house. For whatever reason, my family had a large number of canning jars up there on the ground and would bring some in from time to time to sterilize them for canning vegetables. Thinking back, I am pretty sure that we would take jars up there which had gone past their date and dumped the contents onto the garden ground over the winter as compost.
Anyway, the sound was incredibly loud and from the duration, we fully expected to find dozens of broken jars up there. My mother went to wake my father up so that all of us could go out with flashlights to see what was going on. Dad responded in his usual way, “Whatever it is it out there and we’re in here. Just go to bed.” My mother was furious with him for not being interested enough to go and find out what was going on. Since he wasn’t willing to get up though, we decided to wait until the following day to go up there and check things out.
My grandmother lived right next door, but decided to spend the night at our house rather than go outside with whatever or whoever was out there breaking all the glass. She called my grandfather and simply told him that she wanted to stay the night with us and told him good night. I’m not sure why she didn’t tell him about what as going on. The next morning, the three of us headed up onto the hill to the garden to assess the damage. To our utter surprise, there was not a single broken jar to be found.
Thinking that we may have been mistaken about the location, we went down the hill to the small stream, where there was another garden to see if perhaps the jars down there had been broken. There was nothing there either. We were out of places to look, so we went back into the house. I was sent into my bedroom to play while they talked in the kitchen. I’m not sure what they discussed about the events of the night before. What I do know for sure is that all of them had a look of fear in their eyes when we had come into the house.
This was but one incident of unexplained things which happened in and around our house. I’ll be back next Wednesday with another story from my childhood home.
Rolling over rocks
Makes a soothing melody
Sings the deer to sleep
*Note – This poem was inspired by the title of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. This is not a piece of “fandom” poetry. I simply loved the name of the episode. On with the poem.
Moments in time, spent in the spaces where silence has lease
Are not moments of empty despair, but of quiet comfort
Filled with magical moments found in the hush of a forest
Walking down shaded paths, hand in hand, no voices cluttering the crisp air
Sitting in the window, watching the rain as it clears the world outside
Washing away remnants of the busy hum of normally bustling streets
Nestling into the warmth and contentment of fluffy pillows and favorite blankets
The gentle rise and fall of a chest ‘neath your head, a heart beating a soothing lullaby
Slowing down for a while, blissfully escaping the fray of day to day life
It is here that we can simply be, with no demands or pressures to be or do anything
Other than the base essence of who we are, so simple and free, drifting with ease
Close your eyes, blow, make a wish
Pixie’s magic wand
It was late on a Friday evening, and I was sitting at home alone, as usual. Sometimes being an introverted witch can get a little boring. Not often, but it does happen. So, last Friday night, I got tired of blankly staring at Netflix and decided to stir up some lively energy. The first thing I did was turn on a Pandora station which plays a lot of what I like to call “slinky” music. As the sensuous sounds poured out of the speakers, I put on some makeup, fixed my hair, and went into the bedroom, put on my rose quartz pendant, and changed into a flowing dress.
After I was satisfied with how I felt in my own skin, I lit some incense and burned some sage before lighting about ten candles. As the flickering glow filled the room, I began to sway and spin to the music. Hips undulating and arms raised high, everything but the rhythm and candle flames disappeared. Just as I was getting lost in the swirling energy, there was a knock on the door.
Snapping out of my trance-like state, I opened the door. To my surprise, I found myself face to face with one of my neighbors. I’d seen him around in the building and exchanged pleasantries but that was as far as the contact had gone. He said that he remembered what apartment I had told him that I lived in and that he hoped that it was okay that he dropped by. We had talked about going for a cup of coffee sometime, so it wasn’t like I was put off by him. Truth be told, I found him to be quite attractive. There was just something about him.
Swinging the door open wider, I invited him in. As we walked into the living room, he stopped, noticing all of the candles and the music. He asked if he had interrupted something. I laughed nervously, and told him that this was how introverts entertained ourselves. When he raised an eyebrow questioningly, I explained to him that I had been dancing by myself. Talk about feeling lame. Next thing I knew, I found myself being taken into his arms.
Our eyes locked and we began swaying to the music. Before long I found my body melting into his. He pulled me closer, and as I looked up into his eyes he lowered his head and kissed me. This was the kind of kiss that you can feel clear down into your toes. He pulled his head back and looked at me, his eyes asking me if it was okay. In reply, I wrapped my arms around his neck and drew him back down for another kiss. He said that he felt almost like he was under some kind of spell, that what was happening between us made him feel like he was in a waking dream.
Witch’s honor, I had not cast any spells. I had simply raised the energy for my own entertainment and empowerment. Lately, I had been feeling sort of flat and this had been my attempt to change that. Wow, did it ever work. Before I could think any further, I found myself being spun around for yet another sensual dance, our hips moving in unison. After who knows how many more times we had kissed, the air was sparking with intense energy. He had obviously felt it too, because after one more burning kiss, he took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom.
One evening when I was around eight or nine years old, my mother and I sat on the couch watching “Jaws 3”. I know, not exactly child appropriate, but times were different in the late 70’s and early 80’s, plus my mother was not the conventional mother. So, there were a lot of movies that I got to watch when I was really young that a lot of my school mates did not and I’m sure that these early experiences played a part in my still present love of horror movies.
Anyway, she and I had made popcorn and were settled in watching the movie while waiting for my dad to get home from work. He was late and looking back I can see that my mom was upset about this, but back then I didn’t really connect the dots as to why she was a little edgy. As the movie continued, I found myself getting more and more jumpy. Every time that damned shark pulled someone under the water, I’d let out a shriek and wiggle closer to my mom.
About halfway through the movie, we began hearing knocking sounds on the outside wall of the living room. Mom had me get up to see if dad’s truck was out there. It wasn’t, so we dismissed it and continued watching the movie. The knocking started again. By this time it was dark and we hadn’t seen headlights through the windows, so we knew that it wasn’t my dad. My grandfather lived right next door, so we thought that maybe he was fooling around. Mom got up to look this time, and no one was out there.
She sat back down on the couch, feeling really annoyed. I remember her saying that she was sure that it was my grandfather and that if she caught him, she was going to give him a piece of her mind. Once more, the knocking came. It was louder than ever this time, sounding like it was coming from inside the wall. We both jumped up and ran out of the door to try to catch my grandfather in the act. He was nowhere to be seen. We sneaked over to his house and peeked in his window, only to find him sitting in his recliner watching TV.
Now, we were starting to get nervous. I remember mom saying that she wished that my dad would “get his ass home” and figure out what was going on. With nothing else to do, we sat back down on the couch and tried to get back into the movie. We were both on edge. The knocking happened again. This time it was three extra loud raps. Whipping our heads around, we noticed that a large oil painting which hung on that wall began to move. It swung back and forth, over and over, its heavy frame scraping against the wall with each movement.
You have to understand that this was a painting which measured probably four feet wide by three feet tall. This thing was heavy, so there was no way that it was doing this without assistance from “someone”. There’s no way that it was the wind either, as it was late Fall and too chilly to have the windows open. It’s highly unlikely that an average wind could have moved that painting anyway. We watched in fear for a while, then Mom and I both screamed. We had decided that enough was enough, so we put on our jackets and waited outside in the dark for my father to get home. When he finally did, we tried telling him what was going on. As with anything paranormal which happened in that house, dad didn’t even want to hear about it, let alone talk about it. So, we all went into the house, mom and I feeling a little defeated because if dad didn’t believe us, who would?