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  • Dora Nudelman

Embracing Your Gifts (even if they don't feel like gifts)

As a highly aware and empathic person myself, my sensitivity to the people and world around me for a long time felt far from a gift. Since I can remember I have always been hyper-aware of other people's thoughts, behavior, and feelings. As a result, as a child I tended to be more introspective and to myself. I sensed things that were not visible to everyone but I did not understand where those feelings were coming from, which inevitably caused me to feel a lot of fear and anxiety.

As I grew older I started having more fun with my intuition and instead of fearing it I started to trust it and play around with it more. I would observe a feeling I would have and I would acknowledge it, but I would also let myself be surprised with where it would lead me. At this time instead of keeping to myself I engaged with the world and brashly called people out on what I knew was the truth. I thought my honesty was endearing, however, I realized later on that not everyone appreciated it all that much. Consequently, this taught me the art of diplomacy.

Later still I found myself again strongly affected by my sensitivity to the world around me. In my quest to be diplomatic it seemed that I also started stifling my true feelings. I didn't want to offend and as a result I started to suppress. My awareness of people, their thoughts, and hidden feelings and my attempts to keep that to myself caused me to feel like I was bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders. I couldn't decipher between others' feelings and my own anymore as I appeared to take on emotions and anxieties of those around me. My empathy seemed like a far cry from a gift and all I wanted to do was make it stop.

When the student is ready the teacher will come....

I started seeking out different spiritual and energetic specialists to help me get a handle on what I was feeling, why I was feeling it, and how I could change it. I met with a plethora of experts in the intuitive, holistic, and spiritual fields and each of them seemed to concur: I was an empath. Finally, I had an explanation and from that explanation I could finally figure out a way to transform my anxiety into a gift.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, I believe there are many of us out there who are not living up to our true potential out of fear and a misunderstanding of our gifts. Too many of us look at what we have and decide that it's some sort of misfortune or curse that we want to get rid of instead of trying to see if there is something of value there to be honed. For me I had anxiety caused by empathy and so I needed to learn how to turn my sensitivity into an asset. For others it might be that they've been told they are too emotional, too high-strung, too quiet, too loud, too scattered, too focused, too artistic, too disorganized, too honest, too shy, and so on.

I think it's time we stop fighting ourselves. I think it's time that we each embrace ourselves as we are, and instead of shaming ourselves for our attributes we need to figure out a way to turn those attributes into gifts meant not only to elevate our own lives but also the lives of those around us. I turned my empathy into a valued skill that helps me help others in an impactful way. I turned my hyper-awareness into an ability to help myself know which path to take that is most aligned with my passion and purpose. I transformed my anxiety into self-empowerment, which is something I take with me everywhere I go. And I now use my knack for honesty to help people figure out their own personal truth in order to affect positive change in their own lives in an efficient manner.

So what are you running away from that could possibly be one of your greatest assets and allies in your life?

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