A few weeks ago, I went for a lovely forest walk with a friend that I had not seen in a while. It was so wonderful to have an open, honest, vulnerable, inquisitive, transparent conversation. One of my very favourite things! She is also Highly Sensitive and growth and awareness oriented. She said something near the end of our walk that stuck with me. She said, growing up, I felt like an ’emotional orphan’. I could not really talk to/connect with my family about emotions and what was really going on inside. I instantaneously could relate and knew exactly what she meant.
Growing up, I could (and did) rely on my friends for emotional support and deep connection. I could not be alone. I needed them to regulate myself. When I was in my early 20’s something started to happen. I felt an energetic drift away from most friends and connections, and my parents divorced, and my little family of 4 was all going in entirely different directions, including emotionally! It was very lonely and difficult for me as I love connections, deep connections! This is a time in my life where I truly really felt like an ’emotional orphan,’ and it did NOT feel good!
Also, my high sensitivity and empath nature and traits were being pushed (pulled?) out of deep hiding and into the forefront. This is not something that I wanted or welcomed! I felt ‘happy’ the way they were! Loneliness and being alone was my biggest fear. This intensely solitary introspection and restructuring lasted for over two decades! I wondered if this was always how it was going to be.
In 2019, I began my official EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) training and developed some deep connections with some wonderful people- which remain today. Regular EFT swaps enable us to take turns facilitating each other, looking at the places in our internal worlds that (we feel) need healing and attention; hurts, pain, difficulties, traumas, limiting beliefs, blocks etc. We do this with total safety, openness, honesty, and curiosity and zero judgement. It has been completely internally transformational! My emotional needs and traumas were now safely being tended to and taken care of!
Also, around the same time, I did an online class with Dr. Michael R. Smith called the Empath Academy, where for the first time, I felt truly at ease in a group and could be completely myself! It felt incredible– like I had found ‘my people, my place, where I belonged’…..’ my soul family,’ as Michael called it. In an instant, decades of loneliness and isolation suddenly vanished! I cried a lot during the class- deep core-level relief tears. Deep authentic connections, people like me – just what my soul had been longing for, for so long!
Looking back, I can now see and understand very clearly that this was a time where I was supposed to/meant to go deeply within and really connect with myself and get to know and learn to love myself as well as acknowledge and take care of, heal, build, and create my inner life; instead of relying on everyone on the outside to meet my needs and escape from myself! Today, I love deep connections more than ever and I also deeply enjoy and need to be alone quite a lot. A balance had been struck between the two extremes. My younger self would never have believed that liking and needing to be alone was part of our nature too!
Being an Empath and Highly Sensitive is definitely not always easy. But I have come to see and understand the many beautiful gifts and traits associated with it (more on that another time). I can now see that life has deep wisdom and guides and supports us (even if we believe that is the farthest thing from the truth) to precisely the people and situations that we need to be more of ourselves and bring us closer to ourselves and healing/balancing. I no longer feel like an ’emotional orphan’ nor have an inner battle with life- anger towards life because I felt so alone. I now trust its incredible wisdom.
Where and how do you find and feel deep connection and belonging?
Here’s to finding our tribe – the people that make our hearts smile and sing….and deep and solid connections with ourselves!