This is not a trick question…
How about highly sensitive, deeply intuitive and /or extremely creative?
Do you recognize yourself in any of these questions:
- Are you attuned to reading and/or feeling subtle energies?
- Do you pick up on thoughts, or know what others are going to share before they do?
- Do you seem to channel emotional states and feelings of others nearby?
- Do you receive subtle clues within environments and relationships?
- Do you notice or are you challenged by your own inner rhythms and energetic patterns?
- Do you do things backwards, in non-linear direction or bounce from thing to thing?
- Do you get stuck or frozen by challenging feeling states, and need to retreat or limit engagement due to overwhelm?
Yes? Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes…
OK, me too!
Very often sensitive, intuitive and creative qualities are found in those of us who have been or are wounded; we may be actively aware of our own shadow material, finding that memories of harming or traumatic events haunt us, as do acute disappointments, challenging emotions, sensitive pain body and poor boundaries.
Before I became a depth coach, my emotional literacy and transformational work began, in fact poured out of me, during a challenging time of transition; a ‘dark night’ period of my life. I did not realize that I was highly anything, other than highly attuned to my own inner pain and sense of wounded-ness.
I was, in fact, stuck in the archetypal energies of the victim/martyr, which was a surprise to me and quite unwelcomed by my egoic victimized self when I became aware of this possibility.
I began to unravel this truth [victim/martyr] in spite of myself and it took me many years to really engage the journey of the wounded healer. My understanding of trapped fear, unspoken anger, fierce jealousy, helplessness and hopelessness, came from looking deep rather than seeking the silver lining. These insights did not come into my awareness all at once but over time, unfolding their messages, often through art-making and writing. I was highly sensitive but did not realize it or understand how it would become useful and valuable.
The wounded healer comes to those who feel pain of self and others, over-empathy is a marker of this expression of self. Wounded healers may be self identified as seekers, but wounded healers will grow in the direction of seeking and deep inner knowing when they are becoming more conscious. An archetypal growth pattern of a healed healer is an a unconscious yearning of the wounded self. – Cat Caracelo
Definitions are important.
After all we humans are designed to be meaning makers!
The nuances and distinctions of the words that we use, those that we carry with us are the very words that define us. The words and names that we use to define ourselves are charged with energy. It is important to understanding our definitions and evaluate where they have come from, if they fit; if they are accurate and useful for who we are and who we want to be. Asking if they are yours or wondering if they were given to you in anger, pain, power or fear are important places to begin this evaluation process.
Are you carrying names, definitions and identities that were given in error?
Did you mean to accept and swallow that story you were fed as a child?
Personal definitions are that which mean ‘this about me’, remember you can reevaluate what you think you know. Some things are true and have been disowned, they may need to be accepted and embraced. Other things, old truths and un-truths which are no longer relevant will need to be identified and released. Consider if you have adopted ideas about yourself in times of confusion, disempowerment or during your early development.
For instance, I did not realize that I was creative for many years, so I was harsh and self-critical about my non linear approach to life, and therefore pushed myself to prove my value and worth through the lens of others. This form of proving was very destructive for decades.
PROVITUDE: an attitudinal behavior of proving oneself
Clarity about my own nature of “highly creative” took time to cultivate and when realized, it was illuminating. It allowed me to re-value my own definitions of artist, being an artist of life. Not fine arts or technique only, but expressive arts and deeply personal transformative process that I valued.
These name, titles, words of meaning become our core ingredients, and by unpacking them and refashioning them into new form, we can get a sense of how they may need to shift and change over time.
As we experience life, each moment of experience become layers of who we are. Each has a color, tone, texture, shadow and shape, a distinctive imprint whether we remember it or not. Sometimes remembering is learning something and claiming it for the first time…illumination!
If you were called sensitive when you were young and it was delivered with a tone of disdain then you may not be very happy to call yourself sensitive now. But if you feel easily triggered and fearful, you may need to claim highly sensitive as a new frame of reference for what you have perceived to be a flaw or sign of brokenness. Something inside that feels like a perpetual wound or failure might actually be a high sensitivity to others emotional state. Emotional literacy, understanding the nuances of your felt and perceived emotions, how they impact and determine your choices, is woven into all areas of my practice I know that this is a common
I experienced this for many years not knowing what to make of it, understanding the intuitive but not the sensitive, that was also part of my highly creative nature.
From a recent Huffington Post article:
“Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. As scientists now understand it, creativity is far more complex than the right-left brain distinction would have us think (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional). In fact, creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways and emotions, and we still don’t have the full picture of how the imaginative mind works.
And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they’re complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it’s not just a stereotype of the “tortured artist” — artists really may be more complicated people. Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.
“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.” – Carolyn Gregoire
As it happens, I am sensitive, intuitive AND creative.
Before I understood this complexity, I made choices and decisions based on valuing my ability to meet needs, rather than evaluating whether my boundaries were getting stepped over by me and others.
It was hard for me to make sense of paradoxical feelings, qualities and attributes.
If one feels emotional pain and gets a sense of the needs of others in their midst, it is natural to want to reach out to offer care. This reaching out can bypass the understanding or appropriate boundaries within relationships, leading to terrible misunderstandings or unmet needs. My own experience with stepping over my own boundaries began to change when I could understand and claim sensitive, intuitive and creative as equal, and as strengths.
It is possible to reframe our experiences and look deeply at our own source material to find new possibilities embedded in our stories, truths, experiences and feelings WHEN they are clarified. Understanding your sensing systems, resiliency and abilities is critical to balancing in this busy world.
Explore where you find your inner balance.
These resources will also be helpful: