And so this is Christmas

Posted: December 21, 2014 in writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This year really feels like it is winding to a close. Loose ends are being tidied away and, metaphorically at least, I’ll be glad to see that calender tick over to 2015. I’ve learned a lot in 2014, some tough lessons at times, but I think I’ve come out of it a stronger, and perhaps a more authentic person. My goal going forward is to be ‘true’ to myself.

Most days now, I know what I want. I also know what I will or won’t tolerate and, most of all, I know that self-care is perhaps the greatest gift you can give…to yourself.

Part of caring for self means setting boundaries. As the title of this blog suggests, I’m a ‘sensitive’ person…whatever that means. I guess for want of a good definition, I’ll have a go at defining it for myself:

  • Well, firstly, I try and please everyone as much as I can. (I know that’s silly…)
  • Secondly, I am intensely aware of other people’s emotions and moods. I can get sucked into the vortex of their anger or despair, insecurity and even jealousy. Once I’m aware, I feel almost responsible for making them feel better and I get anxious that things aren’t ‘right’.
  • I’m also aware, sometimes inadvertently, of what other’s are thinking. I have an antenna that goes up and sure enough I’ll get a call or a visit and that person will raise the thing I know they’ve called to speak about. Sometimes, the antenna is just a connection and I’ll hear from the person that has come to mind.
  • For better or worse I’m psychologically perceptive (this runs in my family). I know what bothers a person and where and why they are feeling a little vulnerable. Most of the time I say to myself it’s none of my business and manage to stand aside from it. Not everybody wants or needs to be helped and sometimes it really is ‘their business’ not mine.
  • Occasionally, I can get flashes or insight into probable outcomes. I try and keep that to myself unless I’m asked because I’ve found people want to hear what they want to hear and the future is unknowable to them, and perhaps to me, anyway.
  • Sometimes, I will have a prophetic dream and this gives me an insight that may or may not be worrying.

On the flip side of this ‘sensitivity’ is the ability to understand the good stuff, the joy, the humour, the compassion and to really empathise when someone is feeling down or needs help. Being a ‘feeling’ person allows me to experience the full range of emotions myself. At times life is sublime. At other times…well, I’ve learned to cope better in recent years with the other side of the ‘sublime’ coin. Emotions can be a rollercoaster and I’ve had my share of the rides.

Until now, and I’ve hit middle age, I really didn’t know what to do with this ‘sensitivity’ but I’ve been learning a lot this year. Here are some of the lessons I’ve received in 2014:

  • Set boundaries and say ‘no’ if rest is needed or the price is too high. It’s liberating to please yourself, especially when it means you can take care of yourself.
  • Other people’s anger or resentment or vulnerability is their ‘stuff’ not mine.
  • I don’t have to be responsible for everyone, just my kids and partner, family and friends.
  • If people are behaving badly, that’s their lesson not mine. Life is short and I owe it to myself to be surrounded in positivity.
  • There is always going to be tension between people. That’s the way life is; we don’t all get along. I don’t have to solve that or get involved in other people’s dysfunction. I just have to mind my own dysfunction and watch it doesn’t impact on anyone else.
  • It’s ok for me to live my life the way I want to live it, not the way other’s might want me too.
  •  And finally, this is a biggie, I have opinions and a voice and I’ll speak up when it’s important to me. (There’s an old saying that you should choose your fights and I do believe that as much as I believe that we should ‘live and let live’.)

Most of all, I hope 2015 is a positive, happy and trusting year for everyone. One where we all have a little more faith in each other. One where we can ‘live and let live’ and be tolerant of others and what is important to them, and make life good for ourselves and that will, in turn, flow onto others.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you get in lots of ‘self-care’ over the holiday break.

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