Letters to the Emotionally Intense
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Here are some of the previous letters:
It may seem paradoxical at first glance, but the answer to healing from defensive non-attachment is actually to affirm our ultimate autonomy and resilience.
We push away good things in life because deep down, we worry that we would not survive losses and heartbreaks.
If we know we are strong enough to go through grieve, disappointment and heartbreaks, then placing our trust in someone’s hand would become much less threatening.
Sometimes, in an intimate partnership, we could not help but act out of unrealistic demands, projections, and expectations, as if we are testing the limit of reality.
We often, albeit unconsciously, look to our current relationships to fulfil our deepest unfulfilled needs and longings, to plug the gaps in our psyches, and to heal where we have been wounded. When our partner disappoints us, the situation provides valuable information that points to our deepest longings.
Through awareness and reflections, we realise what we are deeply hungry for - someone to mirror our expressions, to celebrate our existence, for us to trust and occasionally rely on, or to share a sense of kinship and likeness.
If we were to peel back, one layer after another, to the root of what now seems to be an unruly beast, we often find a tiny, fragile, tender seed of deprived need.
Because of their innate excitabilities, and the capacity to absorb and process a vast amount of information, they need a consistent supply of rigorous, ‘good quality’ stimulations, from a multitude of sources.
Physical activities, sensual comfort, emotional depth, intellectual discourse, cultures, adventures and having varieties in life— these are the essential nutrients for their health and optimal functioning.
“MY CBT therapist told me those were ‘irrational thinking,’ which made it worse- now I just blame myself;”
“ I have gone through my childhood trauma many times, but when I argue with my partner, I still behave like a five-year-old!”
Our psyche, like everything else in nature, has its wisdom. When our psyche is fully equipped, we could not stop the move towards wholeness even if we try.
How can you be yourself, even when you are different? Can you live with full integrity, without being attacked or annihilated?
We shall explore how to survive situations and conventional settings in which you don’t neatly ‘fit in,' or even inadvertently attacked or put down. We will discuss how to manage painful emotional flashbacks, set personal and psychological boundaries, bounce back from interpersonal injuries, and ultimately, use these hostile situations as opportunities to learn and grow.
What do you do when no one is watching?
With whom do you feel most at ease?
When does your natural humour, playfulness, and spontaneity come out?
Many of us have developed an adaptive social self, or a way of being that is carefully edited, partially silenced and rigidly held. In this letter, I start with a personal sharing about my struggle to walk away from the conventional myths of what we must do and the cultural confines of what it means to be successful. We end the with the small changes that we can make today to work towards inner freedom.
Can you feel truly belonged, if you are not being yourself?
Here is the news:
You are allowed to tell someone you are angry, annoyed, frustrated, even when there is no ‘justified,' ‘logical’ reason.
You are allowed to tell the world the strength and velocity of your feelings.
You are allowed to stop putting on that fake smile.
You do not need anyone’s permission for all the intensity inside of you to come up and come out.
Can you be emotionally intense and emotionally empty at the same time?
Do you have a mind too busy, yet a heart that feels vacant?
How is it that you can be both too full and too empty?
People who were born emotionally intense, sensitive and are gifted with heightened perceptivity are like powerful sports cars.
In the right condition and with the right keeping, they can be one of the most high-performing machines in the world and win many races. The problem is, however, that they may not have been taught how to run this powerful machine.
Spiritual practice is the act of harnessing a kind of soul strength that is deeper than what meets the eyes.
By having the ability to see, hear and know the mysteries that lies beyond science and logic, we can draw power from something much greater than ourselves.
Here are four spiritual lessons that are especially relevant and useful to the emotionally intense and spiritually sensitive individuals.
People do not ‘get back to normal’ after a loss. Grief doesn't move us towards a new solution, but rather, a transformation. A crisis like this can set us free by revealing the truth about life— that it is unpredictable and sometimes precarious. We are forced to break through the illusion that we can control life, and to face the raw reality of how little power we have. If we can face and accept this, we can access the deep peace that is within us.
Have you ever wondered why you attracted a certain type of people into your life?
Or, why do you keep coming across the same type of problems with authority figures or romantic partners?
Why do you seem to behave or react in ways that seem irrational?
The psychology concept of transference may help us understand these relationship phenomena.
Intellectually, we know that our parents cannot change who they are; Rationally, we know that the past is in the past. On many levels, we have forgiven them. However, these do not change the emotional reality that is raw, heavy, reactive, uncontrollable and full of rage.
Part of you wants to love and trust wholeheartedly, to immerse in all-encompassing love, to experience exuberant joy and excitement, whilst another part of you is anxious about losses, betrayal and abandonment.
If your logical mind or rational reason have not caught up with your intuitive senses, you will experience it as a confusing ‘head-and-heart-split’.
All you have to do, is to preserve the part of you that is curious, and see the world as presenting to you a series of exciting learning opportunities.
You do not have to be ‘there’ already, you are already at your healthiest when you keep your mind open, recognise your own gifts and virtues, and proactively strive towards becoming the best version of yourself.
Our ultimate yearning as human beings is to be seen, heard, and accepted for the full extent of who we are.... You do not have to choose between power and love, or between freedom and connection. You can have both.
It is not about worshiping a deity, but about harnessing a sense of trust that your life is unfolding in the perfect order.
After having spent years trying to break free from the chain of pain and guilt, you have successfully walked away and built a life outside of home- yet somehow, minutes into a reunion can have you regressed back into feeling and behaving like a vulnerable child, or a raging teenager.
We can think of the practice of drawing boundaries as self-parenting. ...There will always a young and rebellious child within us that wish to push the boundaries, that argues back and pushes you to reach for that cake.
Finding your flow is especially challenging if you have heightened intensity in one or more areas —because ‘common sense’ or ‘general rules’ do not apply in your case... Others may be surprised by, or even feel intimidated by your lifestyle choices.
Do you sometimes find yourself acting in ways that are‘out-of-character’ ?
Do you struggle with powerful surges of emotions such as anger or envy and cannot legitimise their causes?
Do you sometimes feel surprised by aspects of your personality?
Grief is part of truly living. Living is not the same as avoiding dying and a painless existence is a vacant one.