Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Definition of Crazy

"Words have energy".

This is the single message that continues to tumble around in my brain after listening to the recorded call of session six of Inner Mean Girl Reform School.  I play witness to their truth every day, which only proves their point as those three words motivate me on my path to wellness.

If you asked me to create a list of 100 words to describe myself I can't say that I would think to put the word "sensitive" among them.  (Strangely enough, I do have to create a list of over 100 things I like about myself for this weeks homework...)  It continues to amaze me; the dichotomy of how we see ourselves, how others see us and how WE think others see us.  

What I am slowly coming to terms with is that I am, a sensitive person.  It is
actually hard to type that as I believe that this word carries energy that equates it with weakness.  

Be careful when you give her feedback on her work.  She is so 'sensitive'.
He is 'sensitive' about his weight gain! Whatever you do, don't stare! supplies the following definitions of sensitive, providing some insight into why this word carries the energy it does.  I wonder why it is that people choose to latch on to one definition more than the other?  Culture?  Gender?  Context?


endowed with sensationhaving perception through the senses.
readily or excessively affected by external agencies or influences.
having acute mental or emotional sensibility; aware of and responsive to the feelings of others.
easily pained, annoyed, etc.
pertaining to or connected with the senses or sensation.

What I hear from others as they describe me and what I am starting to believe about myself is that I am sensitive to energy...and the energy of words can often cripple my ability to function.  Examples over the past months include listening while the Spouse animatedly, and loudly, describes various frustrating situations at work.  There are no solutions to them. So I listen, as each word feels like another brick in the backpack.  

It has taken me some time, but I am now able to listen, without adding fuel to an already blazing perceived injustice fire, while at the same time, allowing the energy infused words he disgorges to flow over, around and past me.  I offer "that must be hard", or "how can I help?" and will every so often share a similar story without engaging in the emotion it threatens to stir up in my body.   

What caught me by surprise last week was over hearing a conversation at the

gym.  I had finished my work out and was applying makeup before blow drying my hair.  Two women were criticizing an instructor--her lack of professionalism, how she kept "chatting up" other instructors in the class instead of focusing on the group and how she clearly felt she was better than everyone else and the rules did not apply to her.  

They were just words....bits of air and they were not even directed toward me, but their energy constricted my breathing  as they slithered across the floor and up my legs.  I tried to not listen.  It didn't matter.  The air was thick with it and I worked faster so I could turn on the hairdryer in an attempt to block their advance.  

As I finally switched it on, I envisioned lavender light coming out the end. Lavender is a light of compassion and I used it to disperse the energy, slowly causing it to unravel and fade away.  If that is the kind of effect it had on me, what kind of effect do you think those words had on the two women talking? Or the woman the words were directed toward?  Think about how she would have felt to have these harsh comments spoken to her face.  That is powerful energy.  

And the two women talking did not "resolve" their situation.  Instead of letting the incident go, they choose to replay their angry thoughts AFTER the injustice was done.  This sort of energy sets off the fight or flight response once again, and floods your body with  the same stress response chemicals (adrenalin) as if you were still in the situation; increasing your risk of liver and kidney damage, stroke or heart attack and can lead to depression or anxiety (this I know first hand!)   Why do we so often choose to do this to ourselves?

Not only are you sending negative energy  into the universe toward the person who has offended you, the majority of the negative energy crashes around inside your body playing havoc with your immune system and setting the tone for an elevated level of anxiety with which you will greet every situation that occurs that day.

I myself have had conversations in my head, (and sometimes out loud --yeah-- that is me--the one muttering to herself), playing out various scenarios about what will occur the next time I see them and how I will handle their idiocy. This is a particularly nasty thing to do to yourself as there is not even a real thing to be angry about.  I am built up in my mind what sort of thing might occur and have caused my body to react as if it has!  So can you imagine how this sort of thing--which can be as horrible as I want it to be because I am making it up as I go along--contributed heavily to my collapse of 2012.    (Maybe that is the definition of crazy?  Sometimes I even get angry with people who "interrupt" my internal rants with a question. Can't they see I am busy fabricating a conversation!?  Sigh.....)

Tomorrow I will wrestle with the one hundred and some odd words I need to come up with to describe myself.  As someone who will now happily embraces the adjective sensitive as part of who I am, I will have to continue to remind myself of the strength and power it takes to own this descriptor.  Being insensitive is easy. Being sensitive is hard. 

I would argue, sensitive is neither a weakness or a strength.  It just is.  It falls into the group of words that include intuitive, thoughtful, vulnerable, compassionate and can be the very best part of each of us should we choose to spend time in contemplation of how to apply it in our daily practice to get the most out of each day we are on this planet.   

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