Monday, May 29

Self Portrait Challenge ~ Introduce Yourself #5

boho, canon digital rebel xt

Alas...the finale of this month's Self Portrait Challenge introductions, also known as "easy breezy boho bits" for this neck of the bloggie woods. The month of June our challenge is to experiment with Pop Art if we choose to accept it. I accept...big time!

But we're still in May. So here goes...

A few introductions back, I shared that I was an empath. I received some emails inquiring and I haven't yet responded (my apologies), so I thought I'd do it today.

Up until this past year I didn't know that I had this gift. I had an idea that I felt very different than most around me but I attributed it to just being "hyper sensitive" in every sense of the word. It wasn't until I had an enlightening conversation with another empath who picked up on my gift and she shared her experience with me that I found myself saying...YES, that is me...I get it! After I did my research, the puzzles of my life came together and it all made sense. It had a name. I am not a freak. I am actually special??? Well, we're all special...but you know what I mean.

I could go on and on about this but basically, in a nutshell, I can feel others emotions that are near me. Most times I actually take them on myself and have a difficult time deciphering whether or not they are my emotions or that of another. Every day, wherever I go, I absorb, absorb, absorb so that by the end of the day I am so entirely drained by all the voices, the feelings, the burdens I have picked up while walking by people. You can see how it is both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because I am able to resonate with people and this helps me never to be judgmental. A blessing because being that I absorb their emotions, I take a little bit away from them, lightening their load. A blessing because I have a heightened sense of awareness and feel completely alive. A blessing because it inspires much creativity in me. A blessing because it helps me be a more kind and loving person.

A curse because I haven't yet learned how to channel this. A curse because I can walk by a person and feel darkness and evil while chills travel up my spine and then walk by another and feel grief and insecurity, then another and feel extremely wild joy. It goes on and on. I feel my emotions inflate and deflate within seconds and I leave feeling terribly drained. I am learning certain ways not to absorb. The woman I spoke with offered me a few tips and they have helped but I have much to learn.

I am not freaked out by it. I am actually really thrilled. For so long I didn't understand why I was the way I was. I thought something was "wrong" with me. Now that I can connect all of these feelings to something, I feel more whole. I feel gifted and I want to use this gift to help others.

We all have special gifts. Perhaps some that you might keep to yourself, like I did for so many years. I'd love to hear of your gifts so that together we can acknowledge and embrace them!


Blogger The Silent K said...

that is neat. i wonder if i am an empath too...

your picture reminds m of dorothy from the wizard of oz. i don't know why. funny isn't it?

May 29, 2006 at 8:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Darling, beautiful, gorgeous you!

I love those curls and the tilt of your head is so gentle.....just like you.

Love you to bits

May 29, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger liz elayne lamoreux said...

this in incredible...thank you for sharing this piece of who you are...i can feel that balance of the positives and the negatives of this gift. how trying it would be for you at times and at other times it would add such beauty to your life.

you are gorgeous my friend. i love your curls and the slight smile. beautiful.

May 29, 2006 at 9:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger ::Bek Geach:: said...

Angel. Exactly.
I think this is part the reason why I adore you as I do... and I think my little sis is an Empath also. I call her my SSS sister... Sweet Sensitive Soul Sister.
She is adorable.
Just as you are.

May 29, 2006 at 9:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger julie said...

I love this picture - you look like an old movie star.

May 29, 2006 at 11:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lita said...

your very brave...I have yet to take the plunge and be free with my secrets...your taking me down that path! And I love you for that, for your honesty, your kind words. You lighten up my soul!

May 30, 2006 at 12:57:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your latest self-portrait, very sultry! and your take on the 'easey peasey' intro option ... nice to have a 'safe' option before the pop-art fun don't you think!

May 30, 2006 at 2:00:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

it makes complete and total sense to me that you have this gift, little one. you're even electronically empathic, through emails and your blog :-). i have a gift too - but i'm not quite ready to share it with the world - i'll email you some beans....

and you are BEAUTIFUL in that photgraph - oh my, yes you are :-)

May 30, 2006 at 2:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

you don't just have a gift, you are a gift! this reminds me of the water experiment described in the movie "what the bleep do we know?" http://www.whatthebleep.com/crystals/

i've been told i have the ability to really "see" people... even without knowing them too well, i can get what's going on for them right then... maybe this is a bit related to being an empath?

thanks for providing a forum for this.

May 30, 2006 at 3:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger kristen said...

I've never heard of an empath but it makes a lot of sense. Your self-portrait is lovely; I love the slight hint of color, it looks like an old, hand-colored photo from the 40's.

May 30, 2006 at 4:05:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Andy said...

I was once told I was an empath too. But the more I thought about the more I realised we are all empathic. Emphathy is easy as knowing when someone is upset without them saying a word. I think some of us are just a little more tuned than others into the subtle signs and emanations a person may give. I don't believe it's a gift - I believe it's a universal human trait that ought to be fostered and encouraged.

May 30, 2006 at 4:14:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god...there is an article about something like this in this month's oprah mag called "being spongy". check it out!

May 30, 2006 at 5:36:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I think we all at some point wish we had some sort of 6th sense, but I can honestly tell you I would have no idea what to do with it. I mean, do you take it a step farther and USE this gift to help people, and lets be honest, face some possible disbelief or worse?.. And let me tell you if a "dark" person walked by me, I would go hide in my room with the doors locked and windows closed!

May 30, 2006 at 5:36:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Sarah e.Smith said...

Beuatiful you :) Those curls are are just gorgeous!

May 30, 2006 at 6:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Amy said...

You are a gift, Denise. So sensitive and caring to the world around you - which is something that I strive for.

And that photo is stunning. Beautiful you!

May 30, 2006 at 7:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful photo. I love how you kept your big brown eyes.
Perfect ending to this months SPT challenge.

May 30, 2006 at 8:36:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those curls! Your sensitive soul! Your beautiful self continues to reveal itself to all of us. I am so grateful that I get to know such a tender and powerful soul. love to you.

May 30, 2006 at 9:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger LeS said...

And a simply gorgeous empath at that.

Remember to surround yourself with white light and then a coat of blue light over that before you walk out the door each day :)

May 30, 2006 at 9:49:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must be missing you "extra" today. Your picture filled my screen and tears streamed down my face. (Is that beautiful woman MY sister?)

I'm so proud of you for sharing your gift (out loud) to the world. I know what a source of frustration it was to you for many years.

(I'm still blowing my nose)I love you sooo very much~ it hurts.

Have peace my love...have peace

*hug* *nuzzle* Dar

May 30, 2006 at 10:39:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a gift! Reading it made me really think. This has happened to me before!! Only a few times - but I have actually known exactly what someone was feeling and what it felt like. Before I was ever pregnant I was watching a pregnant woman in the airport and for just a second I KNEW what she felt like. I knew exactly what she was feeling, being pregnant and all. I really enjoyed it but I wasn't sure how to feel it again. Is that the same? I'm not sure. You'll have to tell me.

We all have so many gifts, unique to us only (in a certain way). It's discovering them that's so much fun and comes with age I think. I have other ones but I'm still working on them and trying to figure them out. Maybe someday I'll have the courage to blog about it.


May 30, 2006 at 10:59:00 AM PDT  
Blogger nina beana said...

this post just made my day. it's exactly what me and my friend were talking about recently- i need to send him a link to this post. you really nailed being an empath with your words.

May 30, 2006 at 11:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

yes. we need to talk. xoxo p

May 30, 2006 at 1:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger M said...

What a gorgeous picture! You are truly amazing and so gifted in so many ways. I have really enjoyed these introduce yourself posts!

May 30, 2006 at 3:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I didn't know what an empath was, but I did feel you had special empathy with people. It shows in your writing; in your sensitivity to others; in how you pay attention to details. Thank you for sharing your story and your special gifts. Great photo, too!

May 30, 2006 at 4:00:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Misty Mawn said...

OMG...that picture is just too cool! LOVE the contrast and the brown eyes! BEAUTIFUL!!!

May 30, 2006 at 5:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Maddy said...

dorothy from oz with cinnamon
eyes - great photo!

May 30, 2006 at 7:22:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Suburban Princess said...

Empath? I have never heard of this. How amazing! The photo's great, too...! So different from the one you use on your profile.

How overwhelming to be an empath. really, interesting. I hope you find a way to take your super hero power to the masses, kiddo. We need more people who know emotions in the world.

May 30, 2006 at 10:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

maybe that's why everyone loves you--they can feel part of themselves in you...

May 31, 2006 at 8:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Daibh said...

Great portrait; the colorization really works with it!

I'm an empath, too -- I soak up vibes like a sponge, which can be terrible if I'm around a bad vibe person, or a crazy person. It impacts me physically.

May 31, 2006 at 10:51:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it's cool. what a special gift. i can see how exhausting it can be. nice portrait, AGAIN!

May 31, 2006 at 1:11:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Teri said...

Wow...honored to know this about you! It reminds me of The Green Mile - the big gentle black man who could take away others' suffering. That character really touched my heart.

Great portrait!

May 31, 2006 at 7:06:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how wonderful that you have found some peace with who you are; I have no doubt you will find a way to use your gift as a way to better the lives of others. Gorgeous self-portrait... I just love the mesmerizing brown eyes!

June 3, 2006 at 10:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Intrepidflame said...

Please let me know about any future Self-portrait challenges. I am not sure what they are, but I would love to take part.

July 4, 2006 at 3:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger christianne said...

Hi Denise,

I'm new to your blog, just coming here within the past month or so through a series of connections (maybe through Jen Gray's or Kelly Rae's blog?). "Meeting you" here has really impacted me in so many good ways. I figured it's been time to introduce myself and say "hi" (waving) from my corner of the blogosphere, but when I went to find your contact information to send you a personal e-mail, your e-mail address was nowhere to be found on your blog or your photography website (at least as far as I could discern).

The last couple nights I've been unable to sleep, so I've started making my way through your blog archives. (I realize it must be weird to have someone tell you that. All that history, written so long ago, being read like it's brand-new news to someone else.) I haven't found a post that has felt like the appropriate place to say hello until this one, where you describe what it means to be an empath. This is the right one for me, as it's what I am, too. Such a blessing and a curse sometimes! You describe it so well.

By the way, when I went looking for your e-mail address today, the first place I stopped was your Blogger profile. Hadn't ever checked that out before, but it was absolutely AMAZING to me to see your list of favorite movies. I've seen every single one of the movies on your list (except Sideways), and each of them multiple times, and I would count almost every single one of them among my favorites, too. Weird. Even among my most treasured friends, I've never found a profile list of favorite movies that so closely corresponded to my own. Can I say it again -- weird!! :)

One final note: I made mention of you on my most recent blog post, so you may be receiving some new traffic from a source you didn't even know you had! Be blessed.

Oops, one more note (see -- this is why I wanted to send you an e-mail!): I read along the way somewhere your story about growing up in the church and growing away from it eventually because you wanted to explore other expressions of the divine in the world. I totally get this. I haven't moved away from the church myself, but I've certainly embraced a brand of Christianity that is anything but my original, traditional understanding of it that I had for most of my life until about 7-10 years ago. Thanks for sharing that story. I love finding soul sisters. Also, you quoted "Love Song for a Savior" by Jars of Clay at the end of that post, a song I haven't heard in years but have also loved dearly. Reading the lyrics, I could hear the song so clearly in my mind. It made tears spring into my eyes. Took me back to a good place of childlikeness in my faith that I try to remember to embrace even still.

October 30, 2007 at 11:09:00 PM PDT  

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