There needs to be a mandatory worldwide sensitivity training course. Particularly in this wonderful country that I live in. It’s very sad that it took years after a horrible, life-changing brain injury for the people in my life to understand some things about me. This lack of understanding, sensitivity, and empathy has led to some devastatingly painful outcomes for me.
Even my husband, who I am 100% positive is an empath and recently told me that he has taken the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment which resulted in him being told he has the personality type INFJ, has made some insensitivity errors with me. (I most certainly, absolutely have with him, too. But this is my blog about stroke recovery so…. 🙂 If you’re familiar with Meyers-Briggs, you’ll know that INFJ is the rarest personality type. It means you’re full of sensitivity and empathy to the point that it can really mess up your life if you don’t know how to nurture these traits. I’ll be confident that he gets it then every few months he’ll say something that tells me “oh, he doesn’t get it.” But this rarely happens anymore, I’m pretty sure that he totally gets it now.
When I start getting angry, when I start yelling or saying mean things, when I get upset, when I react horribly to something someone else is saying, I absolutely hate the way that I AM FEELING INSIDE. That is what needs compassion and understanding. That’s not really me, my personality. People need to be understanding of WHY I may be lashing out and the painful stuff that I AM experiencing and what is going on in MY brain. It’s not fun in my brain, not fun at all.
If you have ever said the following phrase to someone, or any variation of it, you should be immediately flogged. The phrase is (or a related variation) “ YOU’RE TOO SENSITIVE.” Don’t ever say that to someone. If you ever have, smack yourself in the face right now. The thing to do is to ask WHY that person is getting so upset and try to remedy that reason. Don’t just tell someone to stop feeling something that they are feeling or react a different way than they naturally do. That leads to disaster, trust me on that.
So, if your loved one has a stroke – which by the way is one of the worst things that can happen to a human being- please, please, please understand that they f’n hate the way they feel inside and react to things. They(I) don’t want to feel this way, either.
I have done SO, SO, SO many things to try to calm down these intense, flip on a dime emotions of mine. Because they’re awful. It’s horrible living in my head. Especially when I had no one to talk to about anything that was happening to me and simply being told how to act. (Which has been the case my entire GD life) My favorite is when I laugh and cry simultaneously. Doesn’t that sound like fun? (It’s incredibly painful) The thing I found that helps the most – and this is after trying everything including moving across the country to a warmer, sunnier climate – is a daily practice of meditation. That is what calms my mind down the best when I am consistent with a daily practice. I’ve been practicing some form of meditation for years now but I’ve always had trouble doing it consistently, every day. That’s different now. Everyday I meditate for half an hour, every.single.day.
Speaking of daily meditation, the specific meditation I’m doing(there are thousands of different meditations you could try, this one just feels right for me right now) is called Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. I want to give a shout out to this blog, which I can’t believe I only recently found. When you click on that link, it will take you to a website dedicated to this particular meditation. The guy who writes this blog has a WEALTH of knowledge and is a stroke survivor to boot! He has really helped me reconcile some hang-ups I had about spiritual teachers who are narcissists and have a God-complex whose true colors come out too late. This seems to be common in the yoga/meditation/spiritual teacher world. So, be careful but don’t let it stop you from taking up or continuing this practice. Separate the teachings from the teacher. (I have no idea why this paragraph is a different color and I also have no idea how to make it not a different color.)