Honoring Your Heart As An Empath

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(Picture of me. Can you tell I was a deep child full of angsty thoughts?)

It’s one of those nights I can hardly sleep again. Many thoughts and things, my mind is a dizzy array of processing labyrinth. I can’t let go, I try, I pray, I do affirmations but I realize I probably just need to write it out and perhaps that is the gift of being a writer, thinking too deeply, feeling too deeply. And as a writer, as an artist I’m gifted to be one of those empaths I read about. 

Highly sensitive. 

Which confirms my life and previous accusations of “why are you so tired all the time?”, “why can’t you handle this?”, “why are you so weak and sensitive?”, “why can’t you just move on?”, “you are too sensitive”, “why do you need so much alone time” or the anger I get from people when I tell them I need alone time.

I can’t process, I literally break down, I need alone time. 

Try being an empath and growing up with people complaining to you, dumping their problems on you (especially your caretaker/parent). I find my physical being absorbing the heaviness of peoples’ problems, my own included. I am sore, weak, days where I feel like I can’t move but I still do, I walk, I dance, I need to express those emotions. 

Other times I pray out loud, I have to verbalize those emotions. 

But then I also know that after my alone time, I need people, I need to socialize, I need to express what I have been processing. I believe there are many people in this world that suffer in the silence as an empath, me included. We often try to overlook our need for space and time to process, thinking…”why can’t we just be like them? You know, the normal people who seem happy all the time”. 

While people seem to move on happily from disappointments or traumatic events, I find myself spiraling in thoughts of “why me” or “when will this healing end?”. I had to learn to set boundaries from energy vampires. When I was coaching people one on one I realize that it really wasn’t my thing since I am unable to listen to peoples’ problems without carrying their energy. I much prefer group settings where I speak my story and encouragement without having to counsel people one on one.

I also had to learn how to set boundaries with people in my life. And even block people out. Though after I felt a bit of guilt, I realize that I had to put my heart first. It is an ongoing learning process for me. I am imperfect. But I am learning to have grace for myself.

I am glad that I have been rescued from the lie that “I should be__________”.

You don’t have to be anything. You don’t have to pretend to be like everyone else.

You don’t have to get over it- you take your time, you process your thoughts, you need alone time, you take it, you need to be with people, you do that.

Part of honoring your heart is learning to cherish what you need and to care for your soul in ways that others may not understand, and that’s okay. You might even anger or disappoint people. People may lash out at you or take it personally…just explain yourself. Communicate your needs…or not. Some people will not understand because they are only focused on their own needs, and sometimes that means letting them go. And that’s okay too.

XOXO https://www.instagram.com/rebekkalien/

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The Truth of Your Heart & How To Live From A Place of Authenticity

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The truth of your emotions, if not dealt with resurrect in other areas of your life, creating discrepancies between who you are and what you do because your heart is desiring to tell the truth (even if you do not want to feel them). The adult self will reprimand the little one, when in fact the adult self should have allowed the little one to be honest at all cost….the cost of facing the pain, anger, the cost of not being liked or understood, the cost of rejection.

Love for self will eventually say “I am worth the cost”.

Though the process of moving past “people pleasing” (because perhaps you have not spoke the truth in fear that you will be rejected) will be difficult, you will reach a part of you heart that is authentic and you will be able to live out of authenticity versus people pleasing.

I am realizing that any form of addiction, “bad behavior” comes and swells from areas of your heart that you have shut down, unwilling to feel emotions, that is why you need a certain release because the truth of your emotions were not expressed. That is why people turn to self hating addictions or behaviors.

I have experienced this myself. The self willed discipline to be a certain way to society, to look a certain way. It came mostly from legalistic religious upbringing from institutions that loved the behaviors and not the person.

It taught people to not feel, to pretend to be positive and pretend to forgive yet with bitterness buried alive.

Self-will is useless. Only Spirit can enable you to be transformed. It is an inner transformation, not performance.
God sees the heart while people see outward appearance.

It has taught me to discern. Wisely.

But I have learned to be authentic with my true emotions.

Because emotions are valuable. Even if it is pain.

I have become stronger from within, as more people misunderstood me, the more I was able to face the pain of rejection and the more I became truthful with my heart.

The heart longs to be truthful, it needs to be expressed. Do not pretend, do not suppress them. We often fight our desires because of “shoulds”, no longer listening to the little child within. We try to discipline our hearts thinking we know better. The heart needs to express its true desire.

 

A New Day: My Story of Broken to Healed

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Less than 3 years ago I was sitting in a hostel in Barcelona in a bunkbed.

I had a dream that I was to quit real estate, like not actively participate in it anymore. I had just carried a duffel across western Europe and little did I know how much that experience would change my life. It was also on that bed that I first saw Toure Roberts speak via youtube. Up until then my relationship with God was outside of institutions because well I had let go of a really closed minded institution. I grew up going to church and I didn’t realize how legalistic most churches were until I finally left 6 plus years ago.

And I saw God like I never saw Him before. Gracious, fatherly, loving, generous, slow to anger, quick to love, quick to extend a hand. 

Then like a snake, I shed everything. I shed my career, I shed my relationship, I shed some friendships, I shed my apartment, I shed my prized super comfy sofa that I really loved, I shed almost everything, the forks and plates.

I had built my life on a lie, that I wasn’t enough. 

And God would speak into those insecurities and continue to speak “you are enough right here and right now” in the next days, next year, and so forth.

I learned to love myself in the darkest places of my heart. I learned to be okay with emotions, you know the ugly ones…emotions like “Hey you hurt me” or “hey that hurt, I mind that you said that”. I learned to VALUE my voice. 

Because even now when I tell people what I’m going through they quickly remark “you are victorious” instead of being there with me in the pain. I have learned that not many people are comfortable with facing their place of pain. Reading “No More Faking Fine” has taught me to lament, to struggle with God in the pain, to be okay not being okay.  

And obviously we all hate it when people complain too much or dwell on their pain 24 hours, we hate it…yah, that’s another issue, but some of us, like me, never learned to lament.

In the months and year of feeling like “nothing was happening” God was actually healing me and replacing the lie of “I’m not enough” to “I belong, I am enough. I am loved and accepted right here and right now”. 

And in doing so, I no longer needed the attention of people…of men, or the desire to need to be wanted or chased by potential partners. I no longer needed acceptance from people. And yah, I still have insecurities here and there but I feel different, I feel at peace with who I am now. 

No longer chasing things, opportunities, friends, potential friends, potential mates…I sunk deeper into God’s unconditional love for me. 

I would no longer be defined by my accomplishments and accolades but by the tiny and still voice of “enough” and “love”.

I found God’s love to be deeply captivating, deeply protective, silently powerful. 

The breakthrough is here. The breakthrough is you. The breakthrough is YOU knowing who you really truly are.

Gaining Freedom In The Waiting

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When you heal your heart, you may find seasons of seeming equilibrium, no extremes. Your old self may crave drama, it may be addicted to highs and lows, but you are a new being. You have been healed, you no longer need external validation to confirm your inner glory.
She is no longer broken, looking for acceptance in the wrong places or the wrong people. She is whole, gaining freedom in the waiting.
Her heart belongs only to the one who has freed her. She is secure in her own right, she breathes with courage. She waits when everyone runs, she runs when everyone waits. She listens to her heart because it tells her when to go, when to wait, where to go or whether to stay.
She is no longer attracted to the dark balls of illness and disease that looks for broken parts of humans to absorb and trap.
She is no longer chained to old patterns, bad boys, nice boys with manipulative tendencies, bitchy friends, gossip, bad-mouthing, she looks for peace in places. Where is the peace, she wanders there, she is attracted to light. She is light.
She would rather be alone than with bad company. She comes alive in the presence of the one who frees her, there within her heart. She lets go and flies free.

Don’t Let ”What Is” Prevent You From Going After ”What Will be”

dont-let-what-you-fear-losing-prevent-you-from-going-after-what-you-wantI woke up with this phrase in my spirit- “Don’t let what you fear losing prevent you from going after what you want”.

Life is full of change. In fact, life is progress and without it, we are not truly living. We go from being a baby to a kid to being a teenager to an adult. Our teeth grows, our hair grows, etc. But sometimes we need to let go of what is, what was to go after what will be or what we want to be. We need to pull a few wisdom teeth out, we need to cut our hair, get a trim, we need to chop those highlights because they start to fade.

I have been feeling a weirdness in my heart. It’s like my heart wants to progress but there is also a fear that I can’t handle the new season….that I’m not good enough, that I’m not truly ready for it. I am reminded that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

When we reach a new territory, it takes our hearts some time to adjust. WE struggle with letting go of “WHAT WAS” and eventually “what is” so that we can keep moving forward. 

You may be in a “good” relationship, but you are not growing with your boyfriend/girlfriend, in fact, you feel stagnant and most of the time you are pulling him/her up to your level of spirituality or intellect. People are proud of your relationship, but deep down you know there has to be something more but you are afraid of letting go of what is. 

You may have lost everything once, twice, three times and you have finally rebuilt yourself, but you are not doing what you love…you want to go ALL IN on your passions but you are afraid that you will lose everything again. Trust that your heart is worth investing everything for because authenticity and returning to WHO YOU REALLY ARE will bring joy back to your heart, even through pain.

You may have good friends but they are not supportive of your dreams because they don’t have the courage to do what it takes for their dreams. You fear losing them, you remember all the good times you had, but you know you have to choose yourself. New levels of friendship will arrive when you take that first step to go into your next level. 

Today’s post reads like a fortune cookie, but I believe these are prophecies and specific words God has released into my heart.

“Don’t let what you fear losing prevent you from going after what you want”.

What do you want and what are you afraid of losing? You are enough.

I Found My Identity In The Wilderness

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Finding our identity is probably one of live’s biggest struggle.

Ignoring other people’s opinions about who you are or who you should be and what you should do is another. It is never about what they think about you, but what you think about yourself. 

For a long time I didn’t really know who I was, I knew I had big dreams and I had visions of what my life would look like, but since every dream takes time…people simply saw my process. When people don’t see results, they start judging you big time. Even though you have only been on this earth for less than 30 years, for some reason they want you to be Richard Branson already. And perhaps it was my mistake to tell people, I basically was so full of passion that I told everyone. And then people started mocking me. 

And then I hid. 

Not in a cave, but something like one. I departed from people, cut ties with people who didn’t truly understand. I kept a few close friend and I am truly grateful for them because they have seen my journey. I believe that this season is essential. This season I call the wilderness season requires introspection and sometimes seasonal solitude. 

In the wilderness season God helped me weed out the lies…the lies of not being enough, lies that I wasn’t good enough, that I needed to prove myself….lies that I must hide myself to honor those around me (that didn’t know themselves).

It’s dishonoring to yourself to hide your light, it’s dishonoring to the creator who created you.  You are way too brilliant to be hid, you are way too beautiful to not be admired. 

But at the end of the day, you must see yourself right first. You must see your own beauty, your own brilliance, your own talent, your own genius. You must be so confident that even if others belittle you, you can defend yourself in confidence, or in confidence walk away. And oh, forgive them and not live with a false success revenge mentality (which is when you are offended and try to succeed to prove people wrong rather than doing it out of pure joy and love).

I often hear “do not engage, this is a low mentality warfare” sometimes when I hear negative remarks. I know it is their ego speaking, so I must be wise not to get distracted in low level spiritual warfare. There are so many tactics the enemy uses.

Gossip is one of the ways I’ve learned self-control. Today someone mentioned someone who was told something about someone. They were demeaning them, judging their decisions in life. I listened and then I said “we don’t know them, we don’t even talk to them, why are we judging them? And also we’ve made mistakes in our lives too, everyone has their battles”. I know that I have been there too, mistakes, failures, I am not one to judge. 

In a way, the wilderness season humbles you. It prepares you to be the great person you are, to confront giants that belittle you, tell you you’re not enough. The wilderness season prepares you to enter battles in your work, with companies, with consultants, with kings, queens, presidents. 

Interesting. What did they say about me? Well, I hope one day they know how brilliant they are too. Because I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, loved and accepted for who I am now.

Finding God In Bed

I like to use a provocative title to draw people in. But it is quite literal.

I woke up sobbing, feeling the depths of my heart, the hard pieces falling apart, away. For good perhaps. This time I had a dream where I was yelling, telling my story and a person in my life telling me to be quiet, to be ashamed. In the vicinity is an array of people that have told me to diminish myself because even if they didn’t know it, deep down they are afraid to be themselves and seeing someone free means they are still captive. 

I was crying in the dream, and when I got home my mom said I could no longer sleep there (meaning of rest) and that I must leave.

Sleeping in dreams usually means living in grace. The 5 years of wilderness for me was healing from the many wounds that I had somehow acquired in my life. 

Growing up in a single mother home, I didn’t quite learn what boundaries meant. This meant I listened to people, I got a load of garbage because I thought that meant I was loving them. Of course it was all in detriment to my own well being.

I found God in bed.

In sleep, in rest, in bed rest. I started having long, intense, novel like dreams. I had them every single night and I could remember them. 

And I stopped going to church. I found safe ways to listen to messages through youtube. I cut ties with people who were unsafe.

In this dream, I was wearing a coat to hide my bare chest. In dreams, bare chest usually means being unashamed, being completely wholly yourself. But I had to still hide my identity around the people who didn’t know how to be themselves.

Basically I wasn’t accepted as a human being. I was too edgy, too controversial, too much, too larger than life. I entered a season of solitude. During this time, I confronted my wounds and my heart. In a healing session I remember saying “to be honest, I was friends with people I didn’t even like” in reply to her question “it seems like you have a pattern of unfriending people and cutting them out of your life?”

I shocked myself there.

True, I was hiding myself, but to hang out with people I didn’t even like, that was extreme. But my final action told the truth. I actually found some people deeply annoying, obnoxious but I tried to be accommodating because I didn’t know how to say no or to explain why I felt how I felt.

Recently, I have started hanging out with people again. It is a slow process but I am now more mindful about what is mine and what isn’t. For example, when people have insecurities about being totally 100 percent themselves, they might project that unto you and try to control your freedom to be yourself. 

They might say something like “why are you doing that in public? It is embarrassing (to me)?” or dismiss your opinion without trying to understand it “that doesn’t make any sense, shut up”….those are examples of things people might say because they are unable to accept you for who you are and are fearful of what others think of them.

The religious spirit doesn’t just exist inside an institutional religion, but anywhere. The religious spirit is a spirit of control, it tries to bully you. The spirit of freedom is I believe who God truly is.

Here are some examples:

The religious spirit tells you that there is only right or wrong, black and white.

The spirit of freedom is relational, it is like a friend, it listens to your opinions and heart. It is collaborative and allows room for mistakes and decisions.

The religious spirit is controlling, it seeks to dominate people, it will only accept people if people follows their rules or idea of who they should be.

The spirit of freedom is unconditional and allows people to be themselves. It liberates rather than controls.

I hope this post gave you some insight. Peace and freedom. XOXO

Where the spirit is, there is liberty.