Being An Empath

I had my heart bruised last night. Not broken. Just really badly bruised. So, riding a roller coaster today. It coasts along at a semi-conversating state, then dips a little into the emotionless dead air zone, before diving headlong into the tears-that-just-won’t-stop drop that leaves you feeling like your heart wasn’t able to handle the speed and just got left back on the tracts somewhere.

As with a several fellow Empaths I’ve met, when we hurt, it changes the way we receive the emotions of others. Some temporarily lose their ability to feel others emotions because their own are too strong. Other’s still feel them, but can’t discern them well or find their origins. Usually I am of the former variety. But today, I experienced something new. I felt more. My own pain left me wide open to feel others pain, or happiness, or cruelty, or kindness… I felt like I was feeding off of them.

Also, I became extremely aware how different it must be to not be an Empath. Almost no one noticed that I was struggling. And I’m not a great actress. Not that I needed or wanted to be noticed or acknowledged, but it amazed me the lack of … awareness, that people have for the emotional states of others.

I’m an INFJ, we’re naturally Empathic, and generally fall into the “HSP” (highly sensitive person”) category as well. Meaning our nervous systems are often wired in such a way that we react more strongly to things and feel things more intensely than is “normal”. We tend to have low pain tolerance, to dislike temperature, sound, light, or people extremes, (too hot, too loud, too bright, too crowded, etc). For example, I hate florescent lighting. It just grates on my every nerve. I work in a building with almost entirely florescent lighting, so I often sit in the dark without lights when I can. Drives my coworkers crazy. Sudden noises make me jump even when I see them coming. Also, emotions are strong. There’s no such thing as half-way for me. I either like you, or I don’t (required to love all people because Jesus does, but I don’t have to LIKE you), I trust you, or I don’t (though I will discern at times what degrees of trust should be allotted and trust people with certain things but not  others).  The words “I love you” are weighty to me. Very strong. Very important. Difficult for me to use with many. But once I’ve said them, it’s set in stone. Yes, I’m required to love everyone. But love is a verb. When you find someone who you also love with your emotions as well as your actions, it is so much more intense and binding and… wonderful. And painful. And terrifying. And incredible.

I know, this is random and disjointed and makes no sense. Welcome to my world, as it is for now. Pray for me. I have a deep ache in my heart and I’m confused and I need comfort and understanding.

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Four Days

Not going to explain my title. You can just wonder your little heart out. It’s a mystery! (Oooh!)

I have spent more time devoted to pray in these last 3 1/2 days than I have in years. Also, I’ve spent more time in my bible per day than I ever have. I’ve done some reading during breakfast, while on lunch break, and right before bed. I’ve spent more time seeking counsel from people whom I trust to be solid believers that I have in…. literally forever.

And I have my answer. It’s firm, it’s supported by my mentors, my family, and most importantly, by scripture. My heart is a peace with this answer, totally. Every time I pray, every time I seek Him, every time I read (and I’m not selectively reading what I think will support my desires, trust me), I become more and more assured of what God wants for me. I’ve gone on walks and prayed out loud to God and been reassured. I’ve prayed in my head while I’m working up patients and been reassured. I’ve sang worship songs in the shower and been overwhelmingly reassured and comforted and wrapped up in God’s love.

I am not anxious, or worried, or fearful. I’ve never been so sure about something in my entire life.

However, I’m not the only human mind in this decision. So, I am restless. God has been so good to me, He has blessed me with frequent encouragers, kind coworkers, and good sleep (a very important gift!) as I have been fighting this restlessness. So ready for the conclusion. As encouraged and reassured as I have been about the outcome, I still won’t be totally at rest until I see it for myself. *sigh* Faith is hard. Leaning on God is hard. Not because of Him, but because of me. He’s proved me wrong in my worrying every single time in my life up until now, why I can’t just leap off the cliff and trust Him to catch me, I may never know… I guess thats a part of being human.

I’m running out of edge though. I’m slowly sliding off that cliff. He will catch me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get an adrenaline rush on my way down.

It’s not over yet.

Heard this song on the radio for the first time about two weeks ago. Absolutely love it. I’m surprised I haven’t busted my cars speakers with this one.

God is doing some fantastic things in my life. I’m officially a member of my church, which is something I’ve never done or wanted to do until now. I’m making new friends, trying new things, expanding my world tenfold, and loving it. It’s scary, but so worth it.

Work is stressing me out some. I sometimes miss having a job that didn’t require studying and certifications. But, I am still enjoying my work, so that is a huge blessing.

Anyway, there is a quick update for you. Maybe more later. I have to get ready for bed, and decide which of three books I have to read will actually be read tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

 

~TQG

 

Comfortable Silence

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I love people who can hold their own in a conversation. Who can fill in the gaps that I so often leave. Who can gently draw me out, even when I’m not actively trying to participate. Conversely, I love when those same people can just sit quietly with me and not insist on filling the silence. Knowing when something is worth breaking silence for and when it can just go unsaid. It’s a skill few people possess. Most feel extremely uncomfortable with silence.

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After writing the above portion of this post, I went and had thanksgiving “dinner” (it was lunch, but whatever) with some good friends of ours, then went and walked about 2 miles on a local dam, came home and did some housework while listening to music from an app that recently appeared on my Android after an update, it’s called “Milk Music”. Pretty neat little app. It lead to the discovery of a song called “One” by Ed Sheeran.

“And all my friends have gone to find
Another place to let their hearts collide
Just promise me, you’ll always be a friend
‘Cause you are the only one.”

The whole song is quite good, but those lyrics particularly spoke to the way I feel sometimes. Like I have to ask for assurance from the people I truly call friends. Assurance that they aren’t going to find a reason to leave me behind. I guess there is no way to truly guarantee it, but love is worth that risk.

On another note, this Sunday I have my interview to become a member at my church. So thrilled to have found a church family that I want to become apart of. That I enjoy actively being apart of. Such a blessing. God is good.

Happy Thanksgiving, from TQG 🙂

Learning to be Lovely

Just a quick note, God is doing SO MUCH in my life through my church and the Young Professionals group, working on my heart attitudes. Especially on my opinion of myself. He’s using others to help me appreciate who He created me to be. Showing me what it looks like to let your inner beauty show, and how to like what I see in the mirror. I’m learning to love myself for the first time in so long I can’t even remember. And you can’t properly love others until you learn to truly love yourself, seeing yourself as God sees you: perfect and breathtakingly beautiful. Loving the journey He’s taking me on.

Legacy of Bliss

After church on Sunday, my dad and I went to lunch with a lovely couple that we’ve known for quite a while. True, honest, real friends. Their last name is Bliss, and it’s the perfect name, they exude a joy and playfulness far beyond what you get from most married couples in their late 60’s.

Mrs. Bliss is a fantastic painter, her art fills me with awe whenever I get to see it. Stunningly beautiful portraits and scenes that look like memories stretched out on a canvas. And every bit of beauty from those paintings shines in her eyes and her youthful smile. She’s a classy, amazing, gorgeous lady. One of few people I truly admire and look up to. Though I’ve never told her this, and haven’t gotten to spend much time around her.

After we had lunch, she and I were talking, and she looked at me straight in the eye and said to me, “Now, I’m not just saying this, I really mean it! You know, I’ve known you for a while, and I’ve seen you growing up, and I have to say, you have just gotten more and more beautiful as you grow older. I mean it! You’ve matured into a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I’m just amazed by you.” And she did mean it, I could see it in her eyes that she meant every word with complete sincerity and honestly was amazed by me. 

I’m… really at a loss for words. I feel completely unworthy of that level of compliment, I’m humbled by it. I pray that I may be the kind of woman who will someday speak that level of loving encouragement into the life of younger women around me.

Attractions

As I think back over the recent months, I am struck by the superficial nature of our attractions today. In many ways some adults reflect the same level of understanding about relationships as the kids I worked with. The girls are impressed by the boy’s athletic abilities or looks or car, the guys by her physical appearance, her hair or body and all of them seem to value a sarcastic or perverse “wit” or rebellious attitude. As I was thinking back on this Proverbs 31:29-31 came to mind;

“Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

This led to other passages;

Proverbs 11:16 A kind hearted woman gains honor, a ruthless man only wealth

Proverbs 31:31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gates

What struck me was how off kilter we are when evaluating others as men and women, friends and potential spouses and how these verses need to be applied from both the male and female perspectives.

Too often we see the surface appearance, the facade. What we should be looking at is the person on the inside. The beauty will fade, the body will change, gravity will take its toll and age will add lines of character where there was once smooth skin. What will be the same, indeed what will grow is who we are on the inside.

Ladies and gentlemen will you still be happy when you are left with an aging shell of the person you once “loved” and find yourself the focus of the sarcasm you found so amusing when it was aimed at others.

Guys, that girl you think is so hot, is she beautiful on the inside? That guy who is so cool, will his heart be warm and tender to you when your beauty fades and his six pack turns into a keg? If they were struck by debilitating disease or scarred by fire or accident would you still love them? I like this bit of advice given to a young man though I don’t know its origin;

“Marry the most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you”

Good advice but I think it needs a second half, it should continue – Then spend the rest of your life running after Christ so you are able to lead and care for her as Christ loves and cares for us.

Guys spend your time examining the young ladies around you for their inner qualities, kindness, patience, gentleness, tenderness of spirit, a Christ centered heart. One day when you see a woman who possesses these you will be amazed. You’ll blink and when your eyes open you’ll see her for the true beauty that she is, a pearl of great price for which you would give all that you have.

Ladies look to the inside, for a heart that seeks to follow Jesus, a forgiving spirit, a servant’s heart. That strength never fades, it grows.

Fall in love with the inner beauty, the kind and noble heart that follows after God and you will be blessed for life, not just satisfied for a season.

~My Dad 🙂

He wrote this as a post on his Facebook, and it hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention. I see plenty of “hot” guys, and I’m frequently asked why I don’t “go after” them. I’ve even been told “Y’know, if you really wanted a boyfriend it wouldn’t be that hard for you to get one, you’re just too picky.” Well you know what? A guy that is spiritually “hot” will last a lifetime. Being on fire for Christ truly is the sexiest quality a person can have. I’m willing to wait for that.

About a week ago, I brought an apple to work with me. I love apples, and this one was a HUGE, organic, fuji apple. One of my favorites. I was sitting in a park near my work when I took my first bite. I nearly threw up. Though it was bright and firm and gorgeous on the outside, the core had rotted, and the flesh was bitter and blackened. Any thoughts of the sweetness the exterior had implied were totally gone, and all I wanted to do was find something to get the horrible taste out of my mouth.

Why would I seek to marry and become one flesh with someone who’s rotten on the inside? Of the few men that I’ve actually been interested in, rarely was I struck with their looks when I first met them, but their gentleness, kindness,  strength, and desire for God. Their looks grew more and more appealing the longer I knew them, the deeper my knowledge of their faith, until I could see nothing but who they are in their features. And it was beautiful.

And the guys that have caught my eye with their looks, most have shown to be hollow on the inside. Consumed with themselves and their wants….

Not to say all attractive people are selfish, but that looks should be a secondary qualification when evaluating if they’re someone you want to pursue a relationship with. I have indeed met a good number of extremely attractive men who were also awesome, Godly men. But sadly for my sake they’ve so far all been married. ^_^

Anyway… that’s my little mini rant of the evening. It’s 12am and I’m dead tired and very sore, so I’ll be off now. TTFN! 🙂

~TQG

Crazy little thing called Life

Today, classic Moriah moment, I have used my day off to take my dog to the vet, go grocery shopping (yay, sushi!) and watch old episodes of a show that I mainly like because one of the male characters has really amazing eyes. Okay, that’s not literally the main reason I like it, but it’s definitely a perk.

Quick movie recommendation for you though! Last night I went to see “Old Fashioned”. Despite the fact that this movie is perfect for conservative people who love love stories and desire to honor God with their entertainment choices, it’s suffered from an extreme case of under-advertizment, so few have heard of it. But it’s definitely a movie you should spend your time and money on.

Cons: Obviously low budget, starts off a bit cheesy, the actors are a bit wooden with their lines at first and you’ll probably find that there’s a lot of awkwardness that you can’t quite place.

 

Pros: I figured out the cause of this, however. In most movies and TV shows, the lines are delivered so perfectly, spaced so evenly, that there is literally none of what you actually get in real life human interactions. Such as pausing for thought, deciding what to say, missing a word or just saying something that doesn’t really come out smoothly. And any “awkward” silences are often filled with some sort of subtle background music or distraction to draw attention away from the moment of silence. This movie is not like that. The more I thought about it, I realized that this movie felt awkward because you never spend 2 hours just watching people talk, without also thinking about how to contribute to the conversation. This movie was literally like watching real people have real conversations. All the awkwardness of actual human interaction still intact and untampered with. And it made me smile. It made me feel more human.
Also, super adorable love story. Free spirited girl learns what it’s like to be truly loved and respected, uptight man learns to accept forgiveness from his past, and to open himself up to experiencing life at it’s fullest (without compromising his desire to honor God).

So yeah, go see the movie. Get a whole group together to go see the movie! Take your whole church to see the movie. Something like that. 🙂

On a totally unrelated note, I learned a valuable lesson this week. You cannot be everyones friend. Oh, how I’ve tried. But no matter what lengths you go to, some people cannot accept real friendship.

Real friendship isn’t just going out for coffee and having fun together. Sometimes it’s calling them up in the middle of the night crying and needing prayer. Sometimes it’s confronting them about something they’re doing that’s damaging to themselves or others, telling them a truth they’d rather not hear about themselves. In a true friendship, you soften each others rough edges, bear one another’s burdens, and lean on one another as you journey through this wild ride called life. Being in a friendship with someone should make you a better person. It should make you more like Christ.

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And not everyone will let you be a friend. Some people are happy to have fun with you, bear (some) of your burdens with you, call you up crying and needing advice, even correct you when you need it. But the moment you see a genuine problem and try to do the same, even in a loving manner, they throw up their arms and claim you aren’t really a true friend because you aren’t “accepting them for who they are”.

We all have that tendency, it’s part of being human. Odds are we will all have that reaction from time to time. But when that reaction is the only response you get, there is a serious problem. One sided friendship is not friendship. And it is damaging to remain in a that kind of relationship long term.

That’s something I’ve always struggled with, and until recently I’ve never been able to make that decision to finally let go and move on. And even though it’s sad, it’s also freeing. You don’t realize how much the negativity of others brings you down until that negativity is gone. It’s a kind of maturity that I’m so glad God is creating within me. Honestly, with everything I’ve been through in the last 6 months, I’m finding it easier to open myself up to God and let him unshackle me from the things that have been holding me back. Pain has a way of doing that to a person, if you let it.

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Anyway, I’m about to head out for a long walk, and my laptop is telling me it’s got %12 battery remaining. But that’s what’s going on with me. 🙂

~TQG

This is where the title goes if you’ve thought of one

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 48th birthday. Nearly three months since she went home, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Or maybe it does. It feels like it’s been forever, but at the same time, it still feels fresh, like it was only yesterday.

I find myself being hit with things sometimes quite suddenly… Not long ago I went with a friend of mine to David’s Bridal to pick up her wedding dress. While we were there she saw a thermos that said “Mother of The Bride”, and exclaimed “Oh! I love that! Definitely getting one of those for mom!” Moments like that just ache. I found myself looking around at all the dresses that night, seeing glowing young brides trying them on and their mom’s giving them advice, “Hmm.. I like that one, but I liked the lace better on the other one.” and thinking to myself “I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to do this without crying…” My mom’s opinion on those things means more to me than anyones. My mom’s opinion on men, her approval, means so much to me.

Yesterday I decided to change my name on Twitter and Instagram, so instead of having my first and last name, it has just the first and middle. Because my mom’s name, Elizabeth, is also my middle name. I’ve always liked it, but in honor of her I’m sporting it even more proudly. Moriah means “The Lord is my Teacher” and Elizabeth means “Pledged to God”. I think that’s a pretty powerful combination.

The Lord is my Teacher,  I am pledged to Him.

Since November, I’ve definitely noticed changes in myself. Good changes, I’d say. Improvements. Ignoring the grief driven first month of eating whatever was in front of me, I’ve made my health a top priority. Doing some form of exercise almost daily and eating much more purposefully than I was previously. I’ve gotten more relaxed around people, become more outgoing, and a little bit better about answering my phone when it rings (It’s a serious problem, haha). I’m less concerned about peoples opinions and I (mostly) stopped hiding from people with cameras, mainly because I wish there had been more pictures of mom. She never liked having pictures taken, so there aren’t many recent ones of her. I’ve also made it a point to do at least one social thing a week. As in spend time with people on purpose not just go to starbucks and sit near people. (Guilty of calling that social time… yup.) Which has helped me immensely, because time around coworkers needs to be counterbalanced with time around those who encourage me with their speech and actions.

I’m trying (still) to find a place to take vocal lessons, but I’m coming up empty on that. Also looking into yoga classes (a pastime I miss terribly, one of my favorite forms of exercise) and still exploring the realm of college classes, trying to decide what to spend my precious few moneys on (I’m aware that moneys is not a word). At 21 I’ve pretty much given up on finding a “career” that I want to pursue, I will argue with anyone who claims that it’s somehow an incomplete view of life to just want to be a wife and mother. Not saying I won’t work, just that what kind of work I do is irrelevant to my dreams. I do love children’s ministry, but in all honesty, I’ve known far too many youth ministers (including my parents) to think for even a moment that you can earn a living that way. It’s a fabulous thing to do, whether you volunteer or do it part-time, but it’s not a career you can live on, in my experience. I’m hoping eventually I can arrange my work schedule in a way that will allow me to do that on the side, because that would really make my heart happy. Kids are such bright stars of life.

Anyway, I’ve been off work today, and gotten almost nothing done except catch up on some missed sleep, wash a few dishes and talk to my dog. He got stung by something yesterday, his ear is very swollen and painful… I keep telling him he’s kind of a dork for managing to get stung by something in 30 degree weather. But he doesn’t seem to understand… Then again, I don’t think clearly when I’m on benadryl either so I can’t really blame him.

Until next time!

~TQG

 

Flowers

“A wallflower in a world of social butterflies.”

The tagline for my blog has been the same since the day I started this blog, but I don’t believe I’ve ever truly explained it’s origin or it’s personal meaning to me. So I’ve decided that today is the day!

Dictionary.com defines “wallflower” as “a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance.” Though I do tend to be less myself in a group setting and thus mingle on the sidelines a lot, that isn’t my definition of wallflower.

A flower is simple, yet stunningly beautiful. Clothed in more splendor than Solomon!

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. ~Luke 12:27

A flower does not seek attention, nor crave it. Flowers are sought out because of their beauty and pleasant aroma, as a way of showing love, affection and good intentions to others. Sympathy, because they bring color and life, a peace offering, because they’re tender and gentle. Butterflies seek out flowers to sustain life, they come and visit the flower for a short time to refuel, and then travel on to the next flower, resting for a moment on the petals sometimes as they drink.

Maybe I’m reaching a bit, but aren’t we as Believers supposed to be like flowers in a world of lost butterflies? Letting them drink deep of Christ’s love through us if they so choose, and being available to them when they need us, but not fluttering about in their faces, trying to get them to come look at US and how pretty WE are and how amazing WE are. Allowing the aroma of Christ to draw them to us in a way that show’s His glory, not ours.

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” ~2 Corinthians 2:15

I see very few, if any, examples of Jesus trying to gain more followers. I see a lot of examples of Jesus being a pleasant aroma of love and forgiveness, letting people come to Him when they’ve finally decided their way wasn’t working so well. Jesus is attractive, in the sense that His character is welcoming, loving, but also strong, and a little bit wild.

Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

“He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”

~C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

I see so much raw, wild beauty in being a follower of Christ. His aroma is on us, running through our veins. If we just take the time to tap into it and let it flow freely, people will notice. Like a single wildflower in a dried up prairie, the little lost butterflies will seek us out when they need something that can sustain them on their journey. And even when they fly away from us, the nourishment Christ provided through us will stay with them as a constant reminder.

How amazing is that? That is why I strive to be a wallflower in a world of social butterflies. Maybe one day I’ll be a wildflower, but then again, maybe there are butterflies who wouldn’t be able to find me if I were in the middle of the crowd. Ya never know. Either way, God is awesome, and His wild beauty is beyond words.

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