Over my entire life, I experienced my own deep emotions and feelings being an ultra-sensitive hyper-empath absorbing the emotions, feelings and thoughts of people, animals, buildings, the seasons, the elements and that which is beyond the physical realm.
I was picked on as a child, judged, under appreciated and stayed on the outside of social groups most of my life while still becoming a leader in many groups. I was temperamental and reactive, moody, melancholy, had low self-worth and self-esteem, was mostly shy even though I was both an introvert and an extrovert at the same time. Yet, through all this inner strife and tension, I never took drugs, including prescribed drugs, never drank alcohol or became addicted to anything to relieve my empathic nature, my existential angst. I was never clinically depressed or suicidal. The only time I got counseling was when I went to family counseling with my wife and son to help us figure out how to be better parents, a better family, a better couple. How did I do it?
What I discovered about myself through many years of soul-searching, self-analysis and introspection is that I am able to handle large amounts of stress without cracking. Certainly there were moments of anxiety, resentment and frustration. There is within me a natural Zen Garden where I can allow all things to be and not lose my mind. You can call it an inner strength if you like. You can say also that I learned to tame my physical and emotional self where I had domain over myself and I could control my passions. I had this ability since a young age, I just didn’t know how to use it at first.
I believe that all humans have this inner Zen Garden if they are willing to find it within. While we each have our own level of this Zen ability, it can be cultivated and these are the practices I used to strengthen my natural Zen condition:
1. I faced my emotions and allowed myself to feel.
2. I became more assertive in dealing with difficult emotional situations and people by confronting them.
3. I learned how to fast so that I could be in control of my body.
4. I learned to meditate so that I may connect to The All There Is.
5. I learned how not to sweat the small things and not have emotions when I went from point A to point A in ANY endeavor like driving in traffic (road rage).
6. I learned to have loving-detachment and simply allow others to learn from their mistakes instead of always helping them.
7. I leaned to accept myself for who I am and see myself as a master and not as weak.
8. I learned to Be myself and speak my truth always.
9. I learned to enjoy being alone.
10. I learned that everyone is in the act of becoming and who they are is EXACTLY who they should be. I therefore have no expectations of them.
These are a few of the practices I have learned to keep me out of the grips of Xanax, alcohol and addiction. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Take action. Become Zen.