I can remember playing charades at school camp in Year 8 and one boy got up and pretended to cry – the room instantly guessed he was imitating me. I was 12 years old.
I would continue to cry throughout high school. My friends and teachers knew all about my crying. I was a highly-emotional, perfectionist who tried very hard to do the right thing. Surprisingly though, I wasn’t a social misfit. I had friends from diverse groups across the student body, I did relatively well with my grades (except maths which was always my torment) and by my senior year, I was Secretary of the Student Council and lead in the school musical (fortunately the role involved more acting than singing that year).
I was also bullied quite badly in year 8 and over the following years, I indulged in procrastination and self-sabotage leading to even more stress with my schoolwork, and despite appearances, I had low self-esteem and was highly anxious. Trying something new, like learning the clarinet (which I wanted to do), led to such heightened anxiety that I cried repeatedly and had to give up the lessons.
My Mum got me what help she could but no one seemed to have the answers.
By the time I reached my early 20s, I was on anti-depressants and it wasn’t until my early 30s that I began to work out what was happening and found non-medical ways to manage my anxiety.
There were a lot of things going on for me as a young person but one significantly influencing factor is starkly clear to me now – I was a highly-sensitive person struggling to thrive because I did not understand my sensitivity, how to manage it or use it to help me in my life.
Instead, my sensitivity was something that left me feeling overwhelmed, ashamed and wondering why I couldn’t get it together like other young people. In many ways, I was my own worst enemy and couldn’t seem to get it right.
When I look back now, I think so much of that confusion and pain was unnecessary. I just needed someone who could help me understand what was going on.
Over the past few years through my mentoring programs, I’ve helped a lot of adults to understand, manage and channel their sensitivity in healthy ways in their lives.
But this year, something has shifted – parents have begun bringing me their young people for guidance. From the ages of 12 and up, boys and girls, are doing sessions with me to understand themselves and their sensitivity more easily.
I never imagined I would work with young people who are often a lot like I was at their age. I also can’t fully describe the joy I feel when I help these young people to understand there is nothing wrong with them.
When I say the words, “Your sensitivity is your super power” young people inevitably look surprised and yes, a bit hopeful, as they lean in and ask, “What do you mean? How?”
With that one statement and the work that follows, they feel empowered and strong not ashamed or weak. To give them that gift of knowledge feels indescribably wonderful to me. And when they move on with the rest of their lives I know they will have a collection of new skills and strategies to help them feel more confident and self-reliant. Most importantly, they will understand their sensitivity is a gift in this world, not a curse.
We need to empower our sensitive young people so they can feel more connected to themselves and others. We need them to understand their sensitivity so they can manage it for themselves in healthy ways. We need sensitive young people to feel understood, heard and seen for the beautiful humans they are.
Above all, we need them to know their sensitivity is their super power; they just need some help to learn how to manage it.
If you would like to learn more about the work I do with sensitive young people, please send me a message on Facebook, Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Image from Jamie, 12 years old, who completed my Power of 3 Program (3 x 1 hour sessions over 3 weeks, plus homework including meditations, journaling practices, and practical strategies to apply at home/at school and in the world generally). Jamie’s words are used with kind permission from him and his mother.
You have a choice about how you want to be in the world, what you do, where you go, how you respond. This has nothing to do with anyone else.
Others might have convinced you that you don’t have a choice. But this is a story you have been taught and it is untrue. It is based on someone else’s beliefs and experiences, not yours.
Sometimes we need help to make different choices because the stories are so deeply embedded and have become so normal to our minds that we can’t break the habit of believing the story.
But we must break it if we are to grow, expand and change ourselves, our lives and our planet. There is no other way, no special shortcut.
It starts with you alone, taking one action, asking for help, then taking another action, then asking for help, over and over again. Believing that you’re alone in this challenge you face is the worst lie of all. You are never alone. There are millions of souls also here on the planet with you, some with similar challenges to you. Imagine if none of you asked for help, talked openly about your problems or decided to take a different action – nothing would ever change for you, for them, for anyone.
And that would be a wasteful travesty.
But who can you ask?
That is for you to decide. Trust yourself. Ask yourself the question, “Who can help me?” then listen to the answer and follow that lead. Each time you get stuck, ask yourself again, “Who can help me?”
Keep asking and answering and acting on those answers. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to that old story tellingh you there is no other choice. Because that is just another lie.
There is another choice for you. Keep making it.
Lucretia is an author and guide for those who have lost their way. You can read her advice about love, sex, relationships, anxiety, choices and working out life on DearLucretia.com
I’ve been thinking about love today. This is unsurprising because I’ve been working on my next play and of course, like most of my writing, it is about love and all that goes with it – the good, the bad and the ugly.
The question of whole-heartededly showing up for love in a partnership is coming up and I wonder if many people still believe in that concept.
I see so many relationships that are not based on whole-hearted love. Instead they rely on obligation, financial security, fear of being alone, convenience, public image and even that old deluded adage about staying together for the children’s sake. Why people are still using that last excuse is beyond me – isn’t it abundantly clear that when people stay together for the wrong reasons they sentence their children to an adulthood where they will repeat and then try to break those negative relationship habits modelled by their parents?
But I digress. Back to whole-hearted love.
Whole-hearted love to me, means showing up openly and vulnerably. It means coming together with one other person and connecting in a way that is sacred to you both.
My play explores this concept of whole-hearted love and more controversially, love in open relationships. I have to say, when it comes to whole-hearted love, I find the open and polyamorous dynamic problematic.
To be clear, have sex with whoever you want, with however many people you want and of whatever gender you desire. As long as it’s between two consenting adults – who cares. It is certainly none of my business or anyone else’s for that matter.
But it’s the whole-hearted piece that plays on my mind.
Whole-heartedly loving someone else, to me at least, means showing up for one person and proudly too. It’s not about giving a bit here then giving a bit over there and then returning back here. That isn’t whole-hearted love.
And before you say, but it’s just sex and only a physical act, I have to say no – that’s not all it is.
You can’t get any closer to someone energetically than when you have sex – there is a merging of your energetic fields and when you detach, part of that other person’s energy stays on you. Then you take it with you when you return to your other lover. Then you end up with someone else’s energy in your bed with both of you.
Is that whole-hearted love – to carry energy from one to the next and contaminate the sacred space between you?
I can’t believe that it is.
This brings me to my next question – do we not desire whole-hearted love anymore? Is it considered a mute point in society? Is it redundant and perhaps unneeded? Is it old-fashioned?
I can hear that song playing in my head by Iva Davies when he sings,
“I don’t know where to be begin
Don’t want to hear it again
I don’t believe anymore
This is all I know
I know I’ve heard it before.”
Have we simply stopped believing that whole-hearted love is possible?
Now, I’m not saying I believe whole-hearted love is easily found or easily kept. Sometimes it arrives for a limited period of time then disappears as quickly as it came. I’ve lived long enough in the world to understand that whole-hearted love doesn’t guarantee longevity.
But I do believe it demands through its very nature, exclusivity.
Part of me wonders if some people have given up on it altogether because they don’t believe they deserve it in the first place. If you don’t believe you deserve something then why would you expect it? Certainly, from my own personal observations and conversations, it’s clear that some people agree to polyamorous partnerships because their partner convinces them it is necessary for their relationship to survive. So one gives in to the other because they fear losing them altogether.
I even read an horrendous article recently that gave instructions on how to convince your “unwilling partner” to change their mind – it read like a narcissist’s handbook by encouraging the person to persistently undermine their unwilling partner’s values and beliefs until they finally gave in. I found this horrifying and deeply disturbing.
Now I’m definitely not suggesting this is how all people approach polyamory with their partners. But I have noticed people who give in or are pressured to be in these types of relationships because they fear losing their partners are devastated as a result. The impacts on their self-esteem, feelings of self-worth and being deserving of love can be emotionally catastrophic.
Sex is an amazing and wonderful thing. It can be liberating, fun, stress-relieving and great exercise. It can also be a divinely intimate and sacred act between two people who are showing up whole-heartedly for each other and that connection.
I can’t help but feel sex in a polyamorous dynamic, can’t co-exist easily or at all with whole-hearted love.
But perhaps it doesn’t need to.
I’m sifting through the interviews for my book on partnership and as I read the thoughts of men and women of all ages, the overwhelming desire is for connection. Whether in marriage, dating, polyamory or choosing to be single because you can’t face another brush with rejection, we all want connection.
Our reasons may differ but our desire is the same.
There is a beautiful vulnerability in people when they talk openly about partnership with me. The anonymity of being able to share their story entices them to reveal their innermost thoughts, beliefs, perceived failures, joys and love, so much love. There is pain there too. Of course there is. My primary motivation for beginning this work was to relieve my own pain; pain born from a decade littered with men who had little to give and me, a woman who wanted to give everything. I wanted to know how to do it better; how to create something that was more positive, sustainable, supportive, embracing and loving for myself. So I began talking to others, seeking answers.
My only question has been, what does partnership mean to you? And then I have simply followed the conversation wherever it has led me organically. Men, women, gay, straight, single, not single, young, retiring, so many interviews and so many perspectives. The magic of their thoughts touches me when I read them through. We’ve talked about divorce, parental disapproval, trust, having children, losing children, managing ourselves better, sex and sexual dysfunction, working out our previous traumas, choosing to isolate, choosing monogamy and choosing others to fill emotional holes that can’t be filled within a current partnership.
Every person is different. Even when I have been privileged to interview both people in a partnership, their answers have been different; sometimes their views are in complete opposition from ‘being on the same page’ to ‘ marriage is bi-polar’. Yet, for them it works.
And every single person has allowed me, for a few precious minutes or sometimes an hour, to glimpse inside their Soul and see what is truly important to them. What a treasured gift they have given me, all of them.
As I now edit and begin tying their stories together I wonder, “Can I do their stories justice? Can I honour the trust they have endowed on me?” I hope so.
Have I worked out what partnership means to me yet? I don’t know. They are all so clear but I, I feel like I am still seeking the answer. It’s as if it is still hiding within my Soul, waiting to rise to the surface when the right person should ask.
Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash
I’ve been coming up against fear lately. I’m not talking about feeling a little anxious or concerned. I’m actually talking about pure terror and it’s not for a reason that may make sense to you.
You see, I’m not usually a fearful person. Many people who know me well would probably tell you I’m one of the least fearful people they’ve ever met. I’m the one out there on the edge, taking risks. But I’m not talking about physical risks like base jumping. I’m talking about emotional and personal risks that put myself out there; pushing my personal boundaries and jumping in where angels fear to tiptoe, that sort of thing. You see, being completely and wholly myself is incredibly important to me but the downside (for want of a better word) is that I am often left exposed emotionally and quite vulnerable. I feel compelled to ‘go there’, move forward and expand who I am but in order to do so, I often have to prise my own fingertips from the window ledge and allow myself to freefall, not knowing where I will land.
Recently the Universe has been pushing me to go to the edges of my comfort zone again and it’s been bringing up fear, big time. From being asked to perform in my Latin dance class in front of other dancers (and in the future, public audiences), to really going for it in my business and some other challenges, I’ve been feeling incredibly exposed.
How can dancing in front of my class make me feel terrified when I can confidently get up in front of a more than 100 people and present (and enjoy it!)? I know it doesn’t make sense. But it’s true. As I said to one of my classmates, “I’m not talking about something rational.” Fear is never rational.
When I shared my fears with my sister she suggested I need to do the things I’m terrified of and there’s a reason the Universe is sending these things my way.
The irony of her comments did not escape me as it’s the kind of advice I usually give to other people.
One of the most interesting things about my fear is observing how I respond when it comes up. In short, every part of me goes into resistance and a range of emotions riot at the surface. The anger, resentment and sometimes tearfulness I feel at being pushed to do something every part of me is resisting is extreme. I want to run from the room immediately, yell or nail my feet to the floor so they can’t move me.
It’s such an over-the-top reaction that it would be amusing, if I wasn’t experiencing it. I also know that such a radical response definitely warrants further investigation because it is blocking my progress forward in some way. In my experience, this type of response usually covers something that needs to come to the surface and be released.
Everyone has fears and you don’t have to do the thing you’re scared of. I’m certainly not going to commit to dancing in front of others just yet. But I am committed to closely looking at the fear it brings up and then taking steps to resolve it.
Perhaps you may see me in a public dance performance yet.
Lucretia is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who helps women move past their fears and connect to their inner truth. Her personalised intuitive mentoring programs help women reclaim their Intuitive Power and Live Their Soul’s Mission. Contact Lucretia at email@example.com for more information. You can also find more of her work on Facebook and Instagram
In the back of my first book The Men I’ve Almost Dated, I included some poems from my next book, The Madness of Love. The poetry collection is best described as an enticing concoction of reality, fantasy and other-worldly insight. It asks the reader to find the line between madness and love. I’m now curating those poems for publication. Here is another one entitled Egg on Her Face. Can you relate?
Focus on the feelings you felt, she said
Not the man you know who gave them
But when I did all I could do
Is think of the man who raised them
I realised then
The drama created
Was always derived from me
My expectations of being trampled on
Let my fear run away with me.
All I wished for now it seemed
Was his stillness and his light
The feeling that all was well
Of calmness with no strife
His air, just present
His eyes so kind
And frequently warmly smiling
While making me laugh
I’ve never felt so torn
As I do now
When I think back
And realise what I’ve done
I helped create the current stance
In fact, I loaded the gun
He had played his part
He had driven it home
But I, oh God
I couldn’t believe
Just what my fear had done
All was well
Until I lost
My way and all perspective
And then all he and I could do
Was drown in the invective
As we rocked from side to side
Carried on unsteady waves
Of fear, anxiety, never confidence
I behaved just like a babe
He had called me so naïve
Was that for trusting him
But perhaps my real issue
Was actually me, not him
He had turned away from me
Because I did not stand
I had not yet put myself first
Fear had the upper hand
I did not stand in my power
I was quite simply
Just all over the place
The thought that I had caused him pain
Simply left me with egg on my face.