What does every caregiver, highly sensitive person (HSP) or empath need?
Answer: They don't know.
Just to be fair, not everyone knows what they need every moment. Heck, Marshall Rosenberg built an entire movement (NVC) helping people, even countries, get clear on needs. Let's ease up a bit. Ask our gentle selves an easier question.
"How am I feeling?"
Highly Probable Answer: I don't know.
Yup. Unless it's an easy one like being on a rollercoaster ride (exhilarated / terrified / barfy) or having the stomach flu (miserable / exhausted / barfy) we often get stumped putting a name to our feelings.
Speaking of rollercoasters, back to needs! Understand, needs tend to live underneath feelings. So let's look there first at those elusive feelings.
It's no surprise caring types spend much of their time tuning into the feelings of others. This leaves little energy to deal with our own emotions. Given some time and we've got an unhealthy pattern of tuning ourselves out. Keep it up and the destination is certain.
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Recently, while working through the effects of a long term relationship with an energy vampire, I discovered a helpful strategy. One to help me tune into my emotions. I asked myself a simple question.
Here it is...
Am I sad, mad, glad or scared?
Day one, I asked at least a dozen times. And every time getting the same response. Some version of, "I don't know."
Uh, not sure...
Heck if I know!
Mmmm. That's a good question.
But like any hopeful empath clutching a decent strategy, I persevered. Glad was first to be identified. As a child, I was well trained not to impose negative emotions on others. <Shameful!> But feeling glad was acceptable and familiar.
Oh! I appear to be smiling. I believe I'm glad!
Mad came second and mostly because I live with teenagers.
Sad showed up when a bird hit the window and scared, I noticed, prefers being hidden. When scared shows up, it looks like anxiety, worry or stress.
So what does every empath need?
To care just enough about themselves to check in. To ask the tell tale, SelfCare question,
How are you feeling honeybun?
Am I Sad? Mad? Glad? or Scared?
Tune into yourself each week by subscribing to our newsletter AND because we can always use a little encouragement.
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