Did you have a role in your family growing up?
In many families, each family member takes on a certain way of operating. Instead of responding authentically to each situation that arises, the role we take on causes us to respond in habitual and narrow ways.
One of my roles in my family was Holder of the Emotions. When one of my parents was upset, I knew it, felt it in my body, and “held” their feelings as though they were my own.
I’ve been learning about, and supporting, Highly Sensitive People for 15 years. Until recently, there was always an intangible element, a universal piece of the struggle, that I couldn’t put my finger on.
When I became overwhelmed and drained by someone’s mood, I felt powerless to do anything about it. In fact, a part of me had resigned myself to the fact that this was “just how it’s going to be for me and others like me.”
Now, as I've learned about energetic boundaries and how to heal them, I know that feeling powerless and overwhelmed is not a given!
How’s your energy today? Are you feeling on top of the world or in need of a Energizer-powerpack? Do you ever wonder what factors in your life boost or drain your energy as an HSP?
I’ve been exploring energy with some of the Highly Sensitive People who took my Intuitive Warrior Journey program. Recently, they sat down with me and shared first-hand about their experiences with energetic boundaries.
I learned SO much, and was blown away by what they shared and I thought you would be too.
Can you relate to any of these themes that emerged?
Let's talk about the different types of energetic boundary damage which cause our struggles with carrying others' emotions, feeling exhausted all the time, and losing touch with ourselves (to name a few).
First, let's recap what we've covered so far:
Cyndi Dale, author of Energetic Bounaries, says that when compromised, our energetic boundaries can become rigid, permeable, or poked full of holes.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “boundaries” before; it's an important topic!
Here's the thing though: after years of my own therapy and getting pretty darn good at setting boundaries, I still felt exhausted at the end of the day, like I was carrying around a 50 lb. backpack of the world's emotional junk.
What was going on? If I was decent at setting boundaries, why did I feel this way?
Can you guess THE most common challenge of being an HSP?
Here are some clues (quotes from our HSP community)...
All of these struggles come from energetic boundary issues.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Your stomach clenches as you watch the news, and you feel the suffering of people you’re hearing about.
Your friend or family member is struggling and you don’t just feel sad for them; you feel their pain in your body, almost like it’s happening to you.
Your child is crying, and their distress is excruciating to witness. It’s hard to detach and let them “just cry it out.” Or, if you’re not a parent, just hearing a baby scream can upset you and quicken your pulse.
As a highly sensitive person (HSP), other people’s feelings affect you. A lot.
People don’t even have to tell you how they’re feeling for you to know that they’re frustrated or stressed. You pick up on their mood through their facial expressions, tone and energy.
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT
Brooke Nielsen is a trauma-informed psychotherapist specializing in catapulting HSPs out of overwhelm and into a powerful calm. She founded Intuitive Warrior and the Therapeutic Center for Highly Sensitive People in Boulder, CO and has over a decade of expertise in trauma healing. Her Intuitive Warrior programs helps women and men discover the gifts that lie hidden in what they thought were the worst parts of themselves.
You are a gift to the world. You aren't alone. We need you here.