The Emotional Toolkit series is meant to introduce a set of emotional tools we can use to better understand ourselves, our emotions, and our interaction with the world.
I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Like the many other HSPs, violence on the News and on TV stays in my consciousness, haunting me, for months. I feel the pain of my loved ones, and of strangers, and assume it is my own. I sense emotions in tone of voice, perceive underlying motives in body language and word choice, and take subtle suggestions as personal attacks. I’m also physically sensitive to certain chemicals, sounds, foods, and environments. When I was younger, I lashed out and felt the need to build high walls to protect my soft inner core.This led me down a path of Judgment, Self Loathing, Isolation, and all consuming Rage. For the past three years I have been arming myself with an Emotional Toolkit, and piece by piece, I’m knocking down my walls, releasing the toxic negativity and embracing my sensitivity. While I am FAR from an expert, I am beginning to be an expert of my own inner world, and I felt these tools would be useful to others who are a HSP or on a path of self inquiry.
In 2015, at exactly the right time in my life I was introduced to a concept of Self Study by American Author Byron Katie (thework.com/) called the Mirrors concept.
The concept in its simplest form suggests that when we cast judgments on someone, we are truly identifying, isolating, and rejecting an element of our own personality that we wish to disassociate with.
For example, if I frequently complain about how unreliable someone is, according to the Mirrors concept, I am truly recognizing my own unreliability, and rather than taking ownership of that perceived flaw, and working to correct it, the Ego steps in to point fingers and shift blame.
Likewise, if someone in your life calls you a Liar, instead of feeling hurt and believing that you are a liar in their eyes, perhaps consider that they are calling themselves a liar and aren’t ready to acknowledge that part of themselves.
This concept is not something that is easy to internalize as it requires you to look at yourself and your shadow behaviors honestly and without attachment to the stories your ego spins. Not everyone is at a point in their lives when they are ready to do the Work, but if you feel that you are, I urge you to spend some time on thework.com, especially doing the Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet and watching video interviews.
If you are a HSP or find yourself surrounded by negative or toxic energy (especially if it is coming from you) I recommend wearing or carrying BLACK stones. Black Tourmaline is my personal favorite, but Obsidian, Jet, Onyx, or Shungite also work to shield and deflect negative energy, and as such, make great allies when doing inner shadow work.
Next time I’ll expand on this topic by sharing the Questions that I ask myself to De-escalate my Ego reaction when I feel emotionally triggered.
Questions? Comments? Want to discuss this further? Please feel free to Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop me a comment or message on Facebook or Instagram!