Sometimes seeing the news about floods, hurricanes, fires, and all manner of disasters can really get to me inside, even when it doesn’t directly affect me.
My strength for empathy can be a real challenge at times like that. I can even feel it in my body as I write this. I had a good cry about flooding just the other day. Sometimes tears are just the thing.
I once lost my home in a fire, and escaped in the middle of the night, and that was a very hard thing to be sure. And I can’t imagine the horror of a whole region going through fires at once. As a highly sensitive introvert, I wonder how I would manage.
When one of many natural disasters had just happened and was on my mind, I asked people in my Facebook group for introverts to share their related feelings or experiences. One story came from Ksenia who had just gone through the latest hurricane and flood in Texas.
I was inspired by her resilience and I think we all learned from her tips too. So I asked her for permission to share this more widely, to help others like us, so we can remember we are stronger than we think.
The world is changing at an accelerated pace, in unpredictable ways, thanks to climate disruption, outbreaks, and other destabilizing forces.
That acceleration and unpredictability is a scary thought to my human brain that craves stability. I’m talking about more than one temporary change. Sorry to bear this bad news but I think you already sense this, consciously or unconsciously. People with high empathy tend to feel it quite a bit.
Bear with me because I also have good news.
As I’ve been studying what is happening and likely to happen in the short-term and long-term, one of the key things that wise people are suggesting, and I agree, is to know how to calm your nervous system so you can adapt and help others, in whatever scenarios we find ourselves in.
I know we can do that and it’s a good place to focus first. I’ll talk about how, and what about for highly sensitive people and introverts?
My clients and I have big hearts (naturally empathetic), which means we automatically care about people and how it’s going in the world all around us. It’s a gift, and… sometimes it can lead to taking on more stress or responsibility than one body can handle.
We can be at risk for overwhelm from others’ energy or the ever maddening news. Well, let’s be honest, overwhelm can come just as easily from the inner critic (which says things like “You’re not good enough”). This week it was the national news that got to me.
But we have things to do here on earth. Ya know? People with big hearts are needed!
So, I’m thinkin’ we have to find a way that works for us. We need to manage our outer and inner roadblocks as job #1. We won’t be able to live our purpose if we don’t. The solution is not to shut our hearts down. It’s to stay open but add in effective grounding.
We need a giant Pause button so we can find solid ground and start from there.