I am intuitive; I am empathic; I see energy.
I haven’t always known (or understood) these aspects of myself; I knew they existed because interacting with other people was never simple. Meeting someone for the first time was like experiencing a short film in two seconds—our connection ignited a response from the mind, heart, and soul.
It can be overwhelming.
As a teenager, these parts of myself were confusing. Even when I tried to turn it off, I still received soulful information and feeling emotions that were not my own. Sometimes, I felt alone. Sometimes, I felt crazy.
Sometimes, I felt like I knew things about people that I wasn’t supposed to know.
I was baffled by simple questions like, “Isn’t he cute?”
“Well, I don’t know. Physically, he looks cute. But let me get closer so I can look in his eyes and see what his soul has to say,” I would think to myself.
It was too much.
So, I did my best to repress it and shut it down. I took these beautiful gifts, wrapped them up and hid them in the most sacred spot I have—the place of my deepest knowing, my soul space.
I vowed to myself to live from my headspace; I would let my ego protect me from things that were not easily accepted and difficult to explain. I made rational and intellectual decisions about my life—and, really, it wasn’t difficult to do.
I excelled in school and sports; surrounded myself with all the popular kids and was often told by adults that I had so much going for me.
Occasionally, one of my perfect little gifts would find a way to escape. When this happened, I would hear things like, “You’re so sensitive,” or “Why do you always have to be so intense?” And just like that, I would collect the runaway packages and put them back into their safe hiding place.
One of the most important things to share about all of this is that nobody told me to dim down; I knew that I was loved unconditionally and was always told that I could be anything I wanted to be. I don’t know if I’ll every truly understand why I allowed myself to live as my smaller self for so long.
Maybe it doesn’t matter, because eventually, the universe stepped in and took over.
Almost 10 years ago, I was given a wake-up call. For months, I had been suffering from migraines and nobody could tell me why. One day, I heard this voice that instructed me to take a bath and place my hands on my neck—maybe I should have been skeptical, but I wasn’t. I trusted the voice as if it was my own. (I would later realize, it was.)
As I placed my hands on my neck, I could feel my consciousness transported to the knot that existed at the base of my head. I watched as the knot was broken into a million pieces until it no longer existed.
The next morning, my migraine was gone and I could hear the crinkling of the paper as the packages unwrapped themselves.
Life moved quickly after that event. I transitioned out of my job; immersed myself in spiritual practice; and, vowed to reacquaint myself with my gifts.
It isn’t always easy and there are many times I want to disconnect from my seeing and knowing. And, sometimes I do. (My favorite hiding places are distraction, boredom, and occasionally, whiskey.)
But what I know now, that I didn’t know when I was younger is that my gifts make me powerful. Trusting my intuition allows me to be authentic. Being empathic opens the door to compassion. And seeing energy grants me permission to set healthy boundaries.
The truth is: I am intense but I’m also playful. I am sensitive but I’m also strong. I am flawed but I’m perfectly flawed.
And when it comes to choosing between mind and soul, I choose soul.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives