Deep Feeler

November 25, 2013

I posted a link to an article on my Facebook page today that described deep feelers. The article grabbed me because of the title, asking, “Have You Ever Been Called ‘Oversensitive’”. While I can’t remember being called that directly, it has been implied since I was a little kid.

For several weeks I’ve been a ball of emotion, working hard to figure out what’s really going on with me and why my heart has been touched so deeply. Further, I want to know how to stop the flow of emotion that has created such overwhelm. My body shut down on me physically when I was unable to fully expel the vast reservoir of emotional-build up. Even though I thought I was doing what I needed to do to take of myself, my body told me otherwise, and it was a huge wake up call for me. Now I’ve been taxed with going deeper; being even more introspective than I normally am to understand my boundless stockpile of passion.

I would say that I became a therapist because I’m a deeply emotional person, yes. And, I would say that it makes me a better therapist because I connect with my clients on a deep emotional plane that some of patients have never even experienced. I’m coming to learn that not all therapists are born with this ample supply of emotion. Even in graduate school I was sort of amazed at how many counselors-to-be didn’t seem to have that deep emotional depth I had. They were learning the “skill” of therapy, but didn’t necessarily come with the deep feeler personality some other counselors, including me, possessed.

I’ve always thought that the institution of graduate school to create counselors was rather interesting anyway. Years ago, counselors didn’t have rigorous programs to construct great shrinks – extraordinary counselors were born. There was a rich, deep awareness within some people that made them natural healers. Today, you can get your counseling degree online which means you wouldn’t have to connect with a person’s energy field at all. How can one be out of emotional space of another and get them?

There’s a study that came out not long ago that said even counselors were horrible at really empathizing with their patients. The research found that even as therapists we are are horrible mind readers, when in fact this “skill” of psychoanalysis is noted as the most needed competence at all. That, even with all of the training and book knowledge, a majority of counselors still get it wrong. My husband relayed this to me and I wasn’t at all surprised because I don’t think you can “make” a therapist. I think to be exceptional, extraordinary and truly in tune with people, you have to be a deep feeler. I think deep feelers are born. Great healers and therapists are born.  Someone who has the ability to connect with people and know how patients feel do so through natural connection, not through skill.

In recent weeks, since my body began speaking a language I couldn’t fully understand, I decided to once again see a therapist. It’s been at least 14 years since I stepped foot in a therapist’s office, maybe more. My trip this time was simply, to let it all out. To say, finally, I have all of this, and I need you to take it.

Mostly, my time with Rick (the holder of space) is me just crying and crying and crying and letting all of my pent up passion out of my body. I’m putting it back into the Universe because the cosmos is much, much larger than I, and it has the ability to take every feeling I have and soak it up without my emotional noise being even close to a peep or a squeak of anything significant. To the world, my depth of emotion is minuscule. For a blip in time though, I seem to have forgotten how to give it back to the Universe; hence, I have a bit of a backlog.

Let me also pause and say that my husband is great at holding those emotions for me, and I think that’s important in any marriage. But, I had this sense that I’ve “too much.” That what I was going through was even more than what he could take on. That my issues were too vast and my emotions were too deep. He would probably deny this to be true, even a little bit, but in order to honor him AND me, and what I feel like I need in terms of just getting it out of my body into another space, I need to see a therapist that can hold space for me.

What I’m perplexed about, and have been talking with Rick about, is a) how to funnel my emotions out of my body safely and so that no one gets hurt (namely, me), and b) how my emotions are more than just mine. It feels like the deep feeling I have in my body is not all mine. That, they are really part of a larger body – part of the Universe. When I give the emotions back, they are soaked up by something larger than myself, and yet, I’m deeply connected to the world.

And so…this might be a good opportunity (since I’m working on full disclosure and authenticity) to divulge my belief in Spirit Guides.

When I say that my feelings are really part of a larger whole, that larger whole is the Universe, and in particular, my Spirit Guides.

I believe that spirit guides are spirits, angels, beings that help me through my time on Earth. I don’t know anything about where or how they live in another world, and I’m not really tied to knowing that information. I don’t know if I need or care to know. What I feel like I DO know is that they exist. And, they exist in a way that allows us (me and them) to live collaboratively.

My feelings are intuitive, creative, all-knowing, and connected, and while my feelings are mine, I didn’t necessarily create the whole of them. My feelings were created by us, as a team, working together on this planet. I have this deep sense of their presence at all times. Meaning, I don’t always access them because I can become selfish, self-absorbed and a little bit pompous, thinking “I got this”. I get cocky, thinking I have all the answers to my own life and I don’t need to access them. The truth is, for me, that WE have the answers for my life, and I forget to confide in them. That’s where I got in trouble recently. I forgot I was part of a bigger whole and tried doing life “my way.” That never works. Like, ever.

In terms of deep feeling, they help me have a great understanding and grasp on the energy happening around me. I can feel and read energy in a space very well. I know the energy there because I feel it in the depths of my body – deeply. For me, emotions, intuition and energy are not separate, they are the same. I am a deep feeler because I’m intuitive. I am intuitive because I have access to a greater source, which is my Spirit Guides, who are also connected to, and are, God. So, to say “I” am a deep feeler is a little bit selfish once again, because the correct phrase is, “we are deep feelers.”

When I go through a rough patch, unable to funnel my emotions in a productive way, my Spirit Guides nudge me, trying to wake me up to guide me in a more productive direction, or to help me understand the bigger picture, but I ignore their nudges. I trudge on as if I have and know all of the answers of my life. I’ll read more, ask more questions of others, and seek answers from friends. Those are important steps, too, beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I forget that I have this greater, all-knowing connection already in me, through my Spirit Guides.

Even as I type this, I want to delete it all, because I am full aware of how cuckoo it sounds. If I were reading it, I’d leave a comment about how messed up those ideas are and how I’m probably a really bad therapist because I have such wacky ideas.

BUT. I’m not going to erase it, because what’s come out of my difficult struggle of this past Summer is my need to be authentic. My need to face this part of me – this energy, deep feeling, emotional part – that drives my *entire* life. Entire. It’s like, I honestly can’t deny this anymore, because denying it is a burden. It’s trying to put out a fire with a spray bottle. The fire is raging.

All this to say, I’m not sure how other’s connect to their deep feeling parts without it being a deeply intuitive, energy space. But, I’d like to find out. I want to understand that part of me, and I want to understand that part of others. This is my journey.

 

 

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My Moody Nest

November 13, 2013

This week a friend posted this cartoon on her Facebook wall:

cute-sad-boy-friend-nest-help

I loved it so much, and was hoping someone would make me a nest. And then I remembered I’d found something I’d pinned to my “Love” board on Pinterest. This thing:

It’s called a Moody Nest. And, have you ever? 

When I saw this, I knew it was something I had to have. The reality is though, I already consider my bed to be my moody nest. I just hadn’t actually called it that.

My bed is my comfort space, my thinking zone, and my place to curl up in the fetal position, pull the covers right up to my nose, and stare. I stare at the wall, the ceiling fan, out the window, and at my eyelids. At the end of a long day, I like to curl up in my moody nest, and just be.

Lately, I’ve been missing the quality time I need in my moody nest, and when I don’t get that time, I really AM moody. It’s like the nest actually prevents me from being so moody. If I start to feel even a little bit moody, the nest calls my name, eager to engulf me and take my moody mood with it so that I’ll emerge into the land of the living and vibrant again.

My moody nest is a place that calms me. This brain of mine – it never shuts off. It’s churning like it’s running and a race; thoughts and creative ideas pour in from the Universe and fill me with busy. My ideas rage like a powerful river, coursing through my brain and body ready to come alive. Honestly, I wouldn’t be a business owner without those ideas, and without honoring their flow. I am guided by those creative juices and flow of ideas that course through my veins. Stopping them is fruitless; they take on life of their own.

The only way to slow the flood is to take to my moody nest.

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve used a moody nest. When I was growing up I took up space on the couch. I’d hunker down there an entire day, barely coming up for food or to use the restroom. When that space wasn’t quiet enough, I went to my bed. Once I got married, my husband noticed how much I enjoyed my bed and the couch, and I think he thought I slept there all the time, but really, I’m just taking time to stop the stream that quivers and courses through my body. Recovery and recuperation means stopping my brain from churning, kinking the flow, turning inward, and healing from the constant flow of life.

Once kids came into my life, getting my nest time has been quite harder and I’ve had to improvise. The couch isn’t the best place because kids can come jump on me and ask me a gazillion questions, neither of which are conducive to the quiet and peace I need during that introspective time. Now, with two living rooms, I’ll at times slip upstairs to my favorite, junky, old couch and hunker down until I hear, “Where’s Mom?!” and someone finds me. Sometimes, I use the couch in my office at work. Once I fell asleep before my next client came, and when I woke up, I had a waffle print on my cheek as I started my next session. I simply told my client, “Good news! I’m rested. :) ” And we went on about our time.

The very worst part of needing a moody nest is the lack of understanding from those who many not understand this need to shut down, go within, and restore my body and brain from the constant stream of activity life serves up, which can suck up every last morsel of energy. Not getting to be in the moody nest makes me…moody. Really moody.

All this to say that, right now, I’m really moody, and I could really use some moody nest time.

 

 

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I’ve made this very conscious effort to cut back on all extra activities in my life, and I’m not sure that’s the best thing. Two weeks ago I completely spaced and forgot about a birthday party for my girls and yesterday, I forgot about a Halloween party they were to attend. I didn’t tell them about either because they’re at the age where they don’t necessarily retain all they have on their agenda. I *am* their agenda. But when they get to school today, and all the kids will be talking about the Halloween party their little friend had, they’ll be so disappointed.

I suppose I could have buffered their emotions a bit by telling them I forgot, but I figured, Meh, let them hear it first hand. I’m interested in as little drama as possible right now.

Nevermind the drama. What worries me is this conscious effort to say no and lessen my load, coupled with this unconscious forgetfulness.

Brené Brown says, “I am never more courageous than when I’m willing to be imperfect and vulnerable, and when I’m willing to set boundaries with the people around me.” I suppose this essentially means I’m setting boundaries with myself – drawing a line in the sand of what I can and cannot do, what I will and will not stick my neck out for. But no where do I feel more imperfect than in my parenting, so missing out on events that would make my daughters happy triggers my feelings on inadequacy.

There is the very real possibility that I live joy vicariously through my daughters. Consciously, that makes me joyful in turn. Unconsciously, I get worn down by the constant need-tos, musts and drive to make their world perfect. Or shall I say, my world perfect. But in my new journey of pushing back, my message to myself is simply, “No. I won’t do that, and that’s okay.”

No, I will not allow an alcoholic to live in my home. No, I will not volunteer for the PTA. No, I will not schedule a play date when I’m dog ass tired from working all week. No, I will not cook dinner that will not be eaten anyway. No, I will not do one more thing that is not in line with exactly what I need to be doing, which is being introspective and simply being – allowing life to carry me instead of me trying to carry it, as if I know full well the direction I need to go, when in fact, I do not.

My body has been speaking to me, telling me I haven’t been introspective enough. In the past two weeks, my body has yelled, screamed, and thrashed about trying to get me to listen to the wisdom inside, or to the wisdom of my spirit guides – my angels, my possé, my multiple personality (choose one). I operate vicariously through them anyway, me being one with all the energy of the world and the world being one with me. Except that in my busyness and boundary-less life, I’ve cut myself off from the inner voices and introspection that would guide me through my life gracefully. I started thinking, “I got this.” In fact, I don’t.

So maybe it was my spirit guides who allowed me to forget the party yesterday, even while I thought, “There’s I something I am supposed to be doing today. Something.” I also missed the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo, which, let’s be honest, I don’t really need. The people there would have embraced my crazy, misunderstood (by me) gluten-free world, yes. But, what I really need to do is embrace it myself, not vie for validation from others who inevitably would encourage me to buy their products because that’s just how much they connect with me. And, let’s face it – I don’t need more products. My goal isn’t to spend more money. These days, it’s to spend less on product and on paring down. I yearn for simple.

Simple will be hard when I have to say no, because that tugs at the core part of my being that tells me I’m not measuring up, doing what she is doing. Looking back, I’ve always lived as if I’m sitting in the backseat, watching the world around me. The doors are unlocked and I can get out anytime to join in the world around me. I can even hop in the drivers seat if I want. I have that freedom, I know I do. But I don’t take charge. I sit in the back seat, peering out the window as the world passes by. I sit in the back seat watching someone else drive, me along for the ride. I chime in – I do! I tell the driver where to go, insist they turn here, make a left there, slow down! Sometimes they do, but mostly they don’t. They keep on driving, because they are in charge, not me. I’m only a passenger.

I want to be the driver, but I don’t want to do it if it means having to be bigger than I’m capable of being. I don’t want to do it if I have to be someone I’m not. I don’t want to overstep my boundaries, wear myself out, and be a person who isn’t living a simple, wholehearted, and authentic life, driving in a direction that suits me. I want to be real.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 
 Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

My imperfect existence and trust in the flow of life will allow me to step into my own greatness, and in my most authentic way, if I state my intention. So I am. My intention is to live in the flow of life, step into my greatness, be bigger than even I can imagine, and do it authentically, simply, and with my whole heart. My intention is to be real.

Photo Credit here.

 

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I’m Broken Open

October 27, 2013

My mind has dabbled in the possibility of writing again as my attempt at transparency begins to get revved up. I’m aware of the intense need to speak – my truth, my life, my world, my pains, my struggles, and my joy. Yet, I’m also aware that I’ve made attempts, albeit mostly unconsciously, to stifle myself because of fear. My shame resilience has been poor, but my defenses are down and I’m going into the arena, as Brene Brown would say. I’m going in…

Since this past Summer, I have a lot to tell. I’m sure there’s more than that, but that story needs to be written on the arena wall, and if I start writing now, and keep writing non-stop each morning and each evening as time permits, leaving my children to feed and clothe themselves and forgetting the parenting duties and wife duties altogether, perhaps I’ll have it all out by Christmas. But since I can’t really do that, I’ll start here:

This morning I had a visit from my brother. He used his last sputters of gas (from the $20 I gave him last week for the sputterings) to pickup extra clothes for job interviews he has thankfully secured for next week. In a phone call last week he told me was was cold and needed something warmer for his body. Apparently, the few clothes he has with him at his new home has holes in them. Since the weather has finally changed from horrid 100 degree temperatures to 40 to 60 degree temperatures, that’s like being in the middle of a blizzard for those of us used to the Texas heat. For him, it’s like being in the middle of a blizzard with no clothes or blankets to keep warm.

When he walked in, I had this intense desire to unwrap from my warm, cozy blanket and hide my piping hot coffee. I’d already began my Sunday of nothingness. He came from the homeless shelter 30 minutes away.

He began telling stories of his new home at the shelter – sharing a room with three other men, working the kitchen for all of the residents, his tiredness of not having any alone time, getting his phone charger stolen (whereby he then must charge in his truck, which runs his battery down, so he has to drive around, but that uses gas, which he only has sputters of), feeling cold because his only pairs of socks have holes in them, and his desire to just have orange juice. Not coffee, milk or water, which is all that’s served at the shelter, but the craving for a simple glass of orange juice.

It’s not lost on me that I’m sitting in an almost 4000 square foot, heated home where there’s an extra bedroom upstairs, an almost fully-stocked kitchen, a working heater, and a full bottle of orange juice for the taking.

My heart is heavy. He tells me these stories and I’m aware that I’m MORE than capable of helping him financially and physically, but I’m not because I can’t stomach it. My mind knows I can’t shelter him any longer but my heart is screaming out that I’ve betrayed him.

And when he said to me in the recent past, “You tell your clients you kicked your brother out and he’s staying in a homeless shelter…you be sure to tell them! Tell them what kind of therapist you really are!” that stings. Hard. It hits my heart like a ton of bricks and I feel like a fraud. I feel like I’ve betrayed him. I feel like I have betrayed every client that has ever or will ever walk into my office depending on me for some life-changing help, but haven’t received it because I actually DON’T have fairy dust, a magic wand o endless lists of “how tos” and know-hows on this, that and the other thing. I don’t have all that information. I only have what I have, and I hope it’s enough. In my brother’s case, it wasn’t enough.

And I’m acutely aware that my job isn’t about the how-tos, know-hows and whatchamacallits of life. Who am I to provide all that? Who am I?

What kind of therapist extinguishes help? What kind of therapist admits that not only do they not have all the answers, they’re not even sure they have SOME of the answers? Isn’t it my ethical duty to provide help when I can, to provide? To provide.

I’m a therapist in need of better boundaries, emotional preservation, and peace where my heart is concerned, and my heart is always concerned. It isn’t my job to provide, provide, provide, and provide. There is a limit that I’ve been stepping over, ignoring, looking past and pretending doesn’t exist for a very, very long time. I have no more emotional space and energy to provide…if I ever had it at all.

I told my brother he could not live in my home and sent him to a homeless shelter . The reasons for this will come out between now and Christmas, in all my transparency. Maybe. But for now, I just felt the need to get this little bit out of my body. The “I have to vomit” feeling has subsided, and I will commence eating my breakfast.

I watched my brother out the peep hole walk to his truck, get in, and drive away. He’ll be serving up lunch to the shelter residents soon, and I’ll be serving up lunch to my family. Life goes on. Purge happens.

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Hi. My name’s Jennifer. I want to show you a cool video.

If you love “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye (and if you don’t, then…really??) you must take a look at this remake by Gotye (Wally de Backer) himself. It’s really cool! Lyrics are below. You’re welcome. :)

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
I told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kinda sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

(Give it everything you have in this part…)

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing (I bet you had no idea it even said this)
I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough

No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number  (Yeah, you didn’t know it said this either I bet)
Guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

(Here comes your favorite part by Kimbra. Am I right??)

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believin it was always something that I’d done

But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know-oh-oh

But you didn’t have cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing (oh)
I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger
and that feels so rough

(oh)

No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect you records
And then change your number (oh)
Guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Somebody that I used to know
Somebody (now your just somebody that I used to know)
That I used to know
Somebody that I used to know
Somebody (somebody) (now your just somebody that I used to know)
That I used to know

I used to know
That I used to know
I used to know
Somebody

Here is the original YouTube link.

Here is the great USA Today article that turned me on to this little gem.

Signed,

A Shrink who does a fancy ping on that, by the way

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Exhausted and Near Tears

by Jennifer August 15, 2012 In Session

Tonight. Where did the time go, and here I am falling into bed completely exhausted and near tears. The day will arrive when I will not fall into bed, lifeless. It will be a day I’ve spent talking with friends, cleaning my home, and doing boring laundry. It will be a night I’ve enjoyed dinner [...]

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Body Hair Ramblings

by Jennifer August 15, 2012 In Session

I’m not sure I understand the influx of body hair as we age. Hair is growing erratically all over my body, as if I am storing up for cold winters. Except I live in Texas where right now, in the middle of Summer, each day is roughly 167 degrees, and I just can’t find a [...]

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Wordless Wednesday

by Jennifer July 11, 2012 Wordless Wednesday
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An Open Letter to Tom Cruise Amid His Days of Thunder

by Jennifer July 10, 2012 In Session

Dear Tom, Nothing could be more beautiful that falling in love.You’re a hopeless romantic, I can tell.  You’ve won women over for years – something I can personally attest to. I would spend minutes upon minutes in my tiny bedroom singing “Take My Breath Away” at the top of my lungs, willing my white knight [...]

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Zombie Apocalypse

by Jennifer July 3, 2012 In Session

I have to admit, I am more than a little freaked out over this so-called “zombie apocalypse” which is apparently now making its worldwide debut. Lately, there have been people-eating stories running rampant in the news. That, coupled with me watching “Lockedup” on MSNBC when I have NO business watching it whatsoever, has me totally [...]

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