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Healing for Lonely Abandoned Hearts

This short story was written by a highly sensitive person at one of our Deep Emotional Healing Retreats.

I discovered that I was highly sensitive in early 2019. It was a great relief to learn that my tendency for deep thinking and being highly emotional were both quite normal.

In July 2019 I felt an increasing sense of separation and isolation from people, even at my church. I felt like no one really understood what it was like to want to be deep and emotional.

I had often felt isolated when I was younger, and I thought that I had finally accepted it, but the loneliness came back.

At the same time, I wanted very much to be vulnerable with my emotions, but I was very insecure about doing that. I thought doing so would make me stand out, and standing out was often very stressful for me.

I craved deep relationships, but I didn’t know how to find them.

I searched for resources about how to live as a highly sensitive Christian and found Benita Esposito’s book, The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert, in August 2019.

Two of Benita’s stories particularly resonated with me in a way no other book has. 
 
The first was about how her father punished her when she was a young child. I also had a similar experience with my mother when I was young, which I’ll talk about below.

The second was about a time when Benita was on a retreat and didn’t feel like socializing but just wanted to let herself be sad and cry. I felt like that so often, but I usually didn’t dare to show it.

I wanted so much to feel free to be my emotional self.
 
A couple of the exercises in her book seemed strange to me, and I was skeptical they would do anything for me. One was the “Sacred Inner Beloved” dialogs where I was supposed to write a dialog between God and myself. The other was the reparenting exercise where I was to write a reconciliation dialog between my mother and myself.

Mysteriously, within a few days of reading about each of those exercises, I found my mind was doing the exercise as I awoke in the morning. I jumped out of bed and started writing and the words just flowed.

The Sacred Inner Beloved speaks.

In my Sacred Inner Beloved exercise, Jesus told me how precious I was to Him, and how He longed to spend time with me in nature. He urged me to accept His love. I had an image of embracing Him and crying on His shoulder. I cried as I was writing, too. I felt Him say, “Don’t be afraid to cry. Your tears are an anointing to me. I am honored to receive this from you, like I received the tears from the woman who washed My feet with her tears.”

Jesus continued to speak loving, affirming words to me about how precious I was to Him. He promised to heal me.

One surprising promise was that I would be a healer of hearts. That’s something I wanted, but I wasn’t sure if I was hearing Him clearly.

Trauma and Re-parenting Myself

While I was meditating a couple of months ago, I recalled a traumatic memory. Here is the historical version as best as I can remember.

When I was about 5 years old, we were having a party at our house, and my mother asked me to open a bottle of soda for the guests. When I put the bottle on the table and twisted the cap, the foam overflowed onto the table. My mom saw what happened and scolded me in an angry voice, “You must have shaken the bottle.”

I was very hurt. I ran to my room, lay down on my bed facing the wall and sobbed. My mom came in later and tried to comfort me by saying, “If I scold you, all you need to do is scold back at me.” But it felt disrespectful to do that. I hurt too much to even say anything.

During my meditation, the following altered vision of the event came to my mind.

After the soda overflowed, my mom saw what happened, and instead of scolding, she grabbed two rags and ran over to the table. She put the soda cap back on, handed me one of the rags, and said, “Quick, let’s get this cleaned up together.” I didn’t feel shunned and ashamed any more. Then I said (still as a child in my mind), “Are you ok, Mom? Are you stressed or sad? Is something bothering you?” It’s as though I could see past my pain, and could show compassion instead.

Then my thoughts were taken to a scene that might happen soon in my present-day reality. I saw myself saying to my mom, “Were you stressed or sad when I was young?” (I think the answer would be yes.) I said, “I think I can forgive you now,” and hugged her with tears moistening my eyes.

But that was only a vision. Afterward, I felt like it would take a long time to be able to forgive my mom in reality.

Private Breathwork Practice

Benita explained the breathwork procedure so I could practice by myself before I attended her Deep Emotional Healing Retreat.

During a couple of these sessions, I became very sad and felt like God was abandoning me. Once the feeling became so intense that I said aloud, “Don’t leave me!” I felt like I was in a dark place even though the sun was shining brightly outside. Later, I felt God saying that He was with me. I felt that I would start coming out of the darkness soon by going to Benita’s retreat.

Traveling to the Retreat (October 4, 2019)

I didn’t know what I would gain from the retreat, but I felt a very strong sense that this is what I had to do for myself. As I was driving to the retreat, I saw the mountains in the distance and started to weep. I remember saying to myself with a deep yearning, “I’m going to get help.” I really felt God calling me to this beautiful place for healing and that He would meet me in a special way.

Trust-building at the Retreat (October 5-6, 2019)

I found myself quickly trusting the other retreat members. I think it was because I knew we were all there to find healing and that many (if not all) were highly sensitive like myself. I was very ready to remove my mask because I felt that if anyone could understand me, it would be these people.

During those two days, I wept more than I ever had in the presence of other people. It was incredibly freeing to finally express my emotional self and not feel like people were staring at me for being strange or different.

Retreat first day: Breathwork (October 5, 2019)

We did a group breathwork session for more than an hour on the first day. For me, breathwork is similar to a waking dream where my emotional self is freer to explore deep emotions, desires, and unresolved wounds from my past. I also connect with God. Some of the thoughts and images made sense, and others were more mysterious and symbolic.

Early in the session, I felt like I was lost in a dark unfamiliar place. I remember being afraid and wondering, “Where am I?” Then I felt like I was being rescued from drowning and was coughing up water.

After some time, I felt the presence of Jesus. A sense of peace came over me. The music changed to something that sounded like a choir, and I had a vision of angels standing with Jesus. I felt so loved and sensed Him saying to me, “I will move heaven and earth for you. My legions of angels will be with you and help you.”

Almost immediately I sensed the pain among the other members, and I thought, “I’ll take that pain upon myself.” But an inner voice told me, “You need to ask Jesus to take their pain.” I imagined bringing each member to the embrace of Jesus so He could bear their pain. I embraced them from behind so I could be an added comfort to them. It felt good to comfort a hurting person.

Some time passed, and I had an image of myself as a baby in the hospital. (When I was younger, my parents had told me that when I was a baby, I had a bad fever and had to stay in the hospital.) I felt really alone and abandoned. I also had an image of my parents watching me with concern, but not being able to come near me. I believe that this experience was the true source of my feelings of abandonment that I experienced during my private breathwork sessions.

Later, I felt my stomach tensing up. I don’t let people touch my stomach. If they do, I wince and get tense in that area. Benita came over and placed her hand on my stomach and also on my chest, and I relaxed a little. Her touch felt safe, and I didn’t feel any need to tense up defensively. I felt a healing power through her hands. As I kept on breathing deeply, I felt the urge to exhale violently as though I needed to expel something really dark and evil. At one point I even wiped my mouth in disgust and told the evil to leave me. After I felt like the evil was sufficiently gone, I relaxed.

Retreat second day: Reparenting (October 6, 2019) 

During the group reparenting exercise, one member took the role of the stern version of my mom and another member took the role of the compassionate version.

I was able to express to my stern mother how hurt and crushed and shamed I felt by her scolding during the soda incident. I was shouting, “How could you do that to me? I’m your son!”

When the compassionate mother was comforting me, I recalled all the reparenting work I had already done. I said to the stern mother, “I know that I didn’t come with instructions. I know you had your own problems at the time.”

Then I had the chance to play the role of the compassionate father for another retreat member. I placed my hands on her shoulders as she expressed her pain about being neglected by her father. I felt a deep sadness. When she started to cry, I was overcome with emotion and I wept, too. Then I knelt down face-to-face with her. I held her hands and talked to her as her compassionate father. I was still crying, and I couldn’t speak very loudly.

Benita guided me in what to say, such as, “I do love you, my daughter.”

I wanted so much to make the client feel loved, and I had so many affirming words in my heart that I wanted to express. I said, “I’m so sorry,” and went on to say all the different ways she was precious and the activities we would do together.

After a few minutes, the stern father also approached, facing her and standing behind me. He began to speak affirming words. I felt like I needed to allow them to reconcile more fully, so I moved to the side so I was no longer between them. Then I took her (the client’s) hands and joined them with the stern father’s, and I put my hands on top of both their hands, while the stern father continued to affirm her. We stayed that way until he was finished with his healing words.

That experience was one of the most fulfilling that I ever remember. Jesus said comforting words to me in my Sacred Inner Beloved dialogs, and now His love and affirmation were flowing through me to help others.

Post Retreat Debrief (October 7, 2019)

Benita and I had a private session after the retreat. I told her that I didn’t think I was ready to tell my mom that I forgave her. Benita encouraged me to be more intentional about writing reparenting dialogs, and I agreed to do that a few times before our next meeting.

An Unexpected Conversation with my Mother (October 8, 2019)

When I got home after the retreat, I felt a strong desire to ask my mom about the details of the time I was sick as a baby. I told her that at the retreat I recalled a feeling of being abandoned in that incident, even though I have no conscious memory of the event because I was a baby.

She told me that I had a serious infection which required me to stay in the hospital for several days. The doctors had to try two kinds of antibiotics to stop the infection. My mom went back and forth between home and hospital to keep checking on me. The nurses didn’t allow her to hold me because that might disturb the IVs I was hooked up to, so she could only caress me with her hand. But she was so adamant about holding me that she did it anyway when the nurses weren’t looking. She knew I needed that comfort.

For several days after I was released from the hospital, I cried and fussed whenever my mom wasn’t carrying me. Apparently, I was so traumatized that I needed to feel safe in her arms. My mom barely slept for a week because she walked around with me in a sling or I wouldn’t fall asleep.

After hearing this, I realized it was getting late, so I went back to my apartment to sleep. (I live in the same building as my parents.) My soul was so moved with admiration by what my mom did for me that I felt I needed to tell her. I remembered a story that I read in Benita’s book when she saw a beautiful ski jacket. She said, “My inner voice told me to share my joy because expressing my joy as well as my pain was part of being true to my Authentic Self.”

I went back to my parents’ apartment. I didn’t have words, so I just opened my arms to hug my mom and started to cry. She thought it was because I was still feeling the abandonment as a baby. But I said it was more than that, and that we could about it talk later. She wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say right then.

I told her about the soda incident and my “revised version” where we cleaned up the mess together, and where I asked if she was stressed.

She said that was very mature of me to think that way, and remarked how much the retreat must have done for me. She told me that she was stressed when I was young because of family tensions and mistreatment. I knew about some of this mistreatment, and now she was confirming what my intuition had told me. The mistreatment was likely the cause of her outburst at me when the soda overflowed.

After a few moments, I felt a strong desire to reconnect with her, and I reached out for her hand. She gave me her hand but also hugged me, and I cried again, and she cried a little, too. Then I told her that I was ready to forgive her. I now understood that her harshness was due to her own problems at the time.

We talked about some of our recent conflicts. One was where she made a comment that I was neglectful for not putting away the leftovers. (I couldn’t do it right away because I was occupied with something.) Her comment had really triggered me and after stewing on it, I had told her it wasn’t ok to attack me for being irresponsible.

When recounting this incident, my mom said that she often says things in an off-handed way just to make conversation because she feels like silence is “stuffy.” She suggested that I just “argue back” in a friendly way when she says offensive things because she feels better when doing that. But I told her that I feel worse when I need to confront people and that my feelings are easily hurt. I told her I prefer nonverbal communication, so instead of filling the silence with banter, how about just a hug?

The amazing thing is that I realized this “nonverbal” preference of mine during a private session with Benita, and now I had the knowledge to express that to my mom.

We hugged one last time before I went off to bed. I didn’t cry this time but felt very much at peace. When getting ready for bed, I had a song playing in the background. Before the retreat, this song would bring up a sad yearning feeling, as in “I don’t like where I am now, but I know somehow it’s going to get better.” But listening to the song now felt very different, as in “I’m in a good place. I feel ready to spread my wings and soar!”

This was an absolutely miraculous outcome … one I didn’t expect to happen so soon.

So many different things that I experienced while working with Benita came together at once: reading her book, the private reparenting, the group reparenting, the breathwork visions, the one-on-one sessions, being with kindred spirits at the retreat, remembering Benita’s jacket story.

I feel that God brought everything together. Each piece was necessary for this transformation.

Now my mom and I have made a habit of embracing almost every day.

Final Closure (October 10, 2019)

I woke up feeling very loved by God. He said to me, “Though you are lost, I will go to the ends of the earth to find you and bring you to Myself.”

God had one more thing to teach me about my past trauma.

Up to this point, I had two versions of the soda incident when I was five years old: the historical one that originally traumatized me and the one where my mom was perfectly reasonable and we cleaned up the spill together.

A third version came to mind.

Mom scolds me, and I start to cry, but then she immediately says, “I’m sorry for saying that. Come here.” She embraces me until I feel accepted again. She says again, “I’m so sorry I said those hurtful things. You’ll always be my precious baby.” I hold her tight and feel her warmth until I feel entirely comforted. When she feels that and notices that I loosen my embrace, she looks into my eyes and says, “Ok now? I’ll hold you as long as you want.” I say, “I’m OK now.” Then she grabs two cloths, hands me one and says, “Let’s clean this up together.”

I realize now that it’s important not to completely cover over a traumatic memory with an idealized version, or to hold the traumatic one and the ideal one as separate versions.

Loved ones will hurt us sometimes. That’s the reality of this fallen world. But God provides means of reconciliation and understanding and healing. When that happens, in God’s time, we become free to merge the hurt and the love into the beautiful tapestry where both darkness and light play their part. The light appears so much brighter when seen against the backdrop of darkness.

~ The End. ~   Lovingly shared by “KL”

Did you find this story compelling? If you are interested in attending a Highly Sensitive Person Retreat or a Deep Emotional Healing Retreat, please click here for the retreat schedule in Georgia, USA.

Click here for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see if you are a good fit for these retreats. Make your plans well ahead of time because you will need to fulfill prerequisites.

Complete the contact page and Benita Esposito will do her best to reach out to you within 48 hours.

Credentials: Retreat Facilitator, Benita A. Esposito, MA

How I Healed Chronic Pain Without Drugs

Most physicians are not trained to deal with suffering as a doorway or as a catalyst for transformation. ~ Dean Ornish, MD

 

Written by a client who wishes to remain anonymous.

This story is for people who have symptoms of chronic pain and who are miserable. They’ve tried everything traditional medicine has to offer and it isn’t helping.

If you are ready to give up because you have chronic pain, I believe there is hope for you because I was once in your situation.

I had moderate to excruciating facial pain for five years. I took all the drugs my doctors recommended and nothing helped. Medicine can be an extremely useful tool, but sometimes it doesn’t stop the pain, plus there can be undesirable side effects.

I found a way to eliminate the horrible facial pain without drugs. How? There is a powerful connection between our body, mind, spirit and emotions. You will see this in the following story.

Description of My Pain

For five years my facial pain was never lower than a four on a scale where ten is high. I had a constant dull grinding ache on good days. The pain would reach level ten at least once a week, sometimes more.

At level ten, the pain was like biting down on a live electric wire.
Hot, electric, sharp zaps. It felt like my teeth would melt out of my head. I constantly feared the next pain episode.

When compared to childbirth, it would be hard to say which one was more intense. Childbirth may be slightly more painful, but I knew it was not going to last forever. That helped me tolerate the pain. With the facial pain, I had no idea when it was going to stop. I wondered if one day I would start hurting and it would never stop. It was terrifying.

The Pain History

I felt the facial pain for the first time in 2013 when we were traveling to Florida to visit my husband’s family. About halfway through a 12-hour drive, I started getting what I thought was a toothache. I spent that whole week nursing this toothache with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications with no relief.

When we came back home, I went to a local walk-in clinic where I was treated for a sinus infection. There wasn’t any evidence of a sinus infection, but they said that is what it must be given the symptoms. I took a round of antibiotics but still was getting random face pains.

I went back to the walk-in clinic where they once again treated me for a sinus infection. I finished another round of antibiotics. When they didn’t help for the second time, I gave up and tried to live my life around the pain. The pain was periodic at this point.

I became pregnant with my second child in 2014. During this time I didn’t have much facial pain. When I did, it didn’t last very long. They were ten to 15-minute episodes. By the time my second daughter was born in October 2014, the pain was gone. I had almost forgotten about it.

In early 2015 it was brought to my attention by some family members that I seemed withdrawn, and they felt I had some sort of social anxiety. Not being social didn’t feel abnormal to me because I’m fairly introverted, but I took the observation to heart and saw a local general practitioner (GP).

The GP agreed that not wanting to be around people could be social anxiety and prescribed Lexapro. I promised my mother, husband, and in-laws that I would give it a try.

After a few weeks, I was a different person on the outside at least. But for the first few months, I struggled on the inside. I became even more of a people-pleaser than I had been. I couldn’t say “no” even when I was screaming “no” on the inside. I disliked social gatherings, traveling, and socializing with people I didn’t know. I said “yes” because I knew that’s what everyone wanted me to do.

I have always struggled with standing up for what I wanted because I care about how other people feel. This wasn’t new. What was new was that Lexapro made it so easy for me to do what others wanted me to do.

It took a few months, but once the screaming inside subsided, I could make everyone happy with ease. Everybody liked this version of me. It was around this time that the face pain returned. I wasn’t that worried at first. I had experienced it before and while it was excruciating, I knew it wouldn’t last forever.

Over several months, I tried carbamazepine, topiramate, oxcarbazepine, gabapentin, and phenytoin. Each was prescribed individually at various doses and then combined with two or more at a time at different doses. There were medication-free months in between the changes in medications. None of them reduced my pain. They caused brain fog, forgetfulness, and some of them made me extremely tired all day long.

I went back to the GP that prescribed the Lexapro. I described my pain to her and asked her if Lexapro could cause this type of pain. She told me “no” and prescribed an antibiotic for a sinus infection. She said, “If this doesn’t help, I want you to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.”

I took a 15-day prescription and then returned to the GP. I told her it wasn’t helping, and at this point, the pain was almost constant. She prescribed some pain medication, more antibiotics, and scheduled me to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

I had to wait for several weeks for my appointment. During this time, I realized that the pain meds didn’t work at all. Not even a little. The only thing that would relieve my pain was a hot shower. The relief was temporary, but at least I knew what to do when the pain was too much to handle.

I finally got to see the ear, nose, and throat doctor. He told me that he didn’t think it was sinus-related and ordered a CT scan. When the scan results came back, he said there was zero chance this pain was caused by a sinus infection. He asked me if I had ever heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and referred me to a neurologist.

After another CT scan, I was officially diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. It is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. Even mild stimulation of your face — such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup — may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain. The doctor could not explain what caused it.

For almost a year I worked with the neurologist and the GP trying to find something that would help the pain. Nothing worked. I focused on raising my two little girls and figuring out how to live my life around the pain.

I stopped getting invited to every little social gathering my family had. Less was expected of me since I was living with chronic pain. The pain decreased in frequency, and when it did come, it was for short episodes. The pain was manageable.

I started getting invited to social gatherings again, which I turned down most of the time. I still had bad pain days. Once again, I accepted that my life revolved around the pain. I knew how bad it could be, and I was thankful it wasn’t constant intense pain.

In 2018 it was once again brought to my attention that I seemed withdrawn. They said, “Your medicine must not be working anymore.” I went to the GP and she more than doubled my dosage of Lexapro. After a few weeks, my “yes woman” returned.

Not long after that, the pain became constant again. 

I reached my breaking point in December 2018.

There were no more medications to try. There was no clear nerve compression indicated on the CT scan. The doctor said that surgery was an option, but it was purely exploratory and very expensive and risky.

I felt I was at a dead end. I didn’t know how much longer I could live with the excruciating pain. I felt like I was letting my kids down because I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be. I had tried so hard not to give up, but it was grueling. I had nothing left to give. The pain was always there or right around the corner. I was exhausted.

The Turning Point

I knew I had to talk to someone. I called my mom and she came over to my house. She called my GP and told her that I was at a breaking point. The chronic pain and depression was more than I could bear.

My mother asked the GP if there was anything she could do. The doctor said, “I can’t help you. Go to the emergency room.”

We went to the closest emergency clinic. The doctor talked to me about living with chronic pain and how it can be difficult. She wanted me to stay on the Lexapro and she added another antidepressant.

I left there feeling more defeated than when I went in. My mom suggested spiritual counseling until I could find something to reduce the pain.

My first thought was, “That’s for crazy people.” My second thought was my own mom would rather pay someone to talk to me than actually talk to me herself.

Thankfully, my third thought was to find someone and give it a try. What did I have to lose? My only other option was exploratory brain surgery that had little to no chance of successfully helping my pain.

In January 2019, I started sessions with Benita Esposito.

After my first session, two things happened.

1. I realized I was dealing with a lot more than just physical pain. I had a lot of emotional pain, too.

2. The frequency and the duration of my facial pain reduced by nearly half.

Benita had intuitively sensed that I tensed up my jaw muscles when I was emotionally upset. That stimulated the pain pathway. I was dumbfounded to learn how emotional pain and stress could have an effect on my physical body.

After one month with Benita Esposito, the pain was almost gone. When the pain did return, I knew how to get rid of it quickly by using the relaxation and meditation skills that Benita had taught me.

After one year of working with Benita, I have learned the following:

1. Meditation and relaxation skills can combat pain, stress, and anxiety.
2. When I feel intense emotions, my body tenses up, especially my jaw muscles.
3. I am a Highly Sensitive Person. I feel emotions much more deeply than most people.
4. Twenty percent of the population is highly sensitive. I’m not the only one. I am not alone.
5. I no longer feel ashamed for being so sensitive.
6. I understand how to process difficult emotions.
7. I can stand up for myself with more confidence instead of being a “yes woman.”
8. I know my thoughts affect my physical health.
9. Self-compassion has begun to replace self-criticism.

Pain no longer runs my life.

I hope that more medical practitioners will refer their patients for spiritual counseling and therapy to reduce physical and emotional pain.

What else did Benita help me with?

I have always had difficulty articulating what I am thinking or feeling, especially when I am speaking. Instead of judging me, Benita Esposito patiently deciphers what I mean to say. Somehow, she knows how to find just the right words. I feel safe to share my feelings because Benita expresses a beautiful balance of strength, understanding, professionalism, and calmness. She helps me understand negative patterns that are causing problems, where they come from, and how to break free from them. We work through my struggles and we celebrate my wins.

Conclusion

I am still on my personal growth journey. Meditation, learning to love myself and listening to my body and to my Authentic Self have become every-day treasures. I can actually live a fulfilling life now. I don’t have to fear the pain anymore. I know what causes it. I know when it is coming and what to do to calm it.

Working with Benita has given me my life back.

If you suffer from chronic pain, don’t give up. I hope my story encourages you to let go of the stigma of asking for help. Keep looking until you find a practitioner who is a good fit for you. I’m so grateful that I did, and I pray that you will find one, too.

 

Contact Information
Benita A. Esposito, MA provides life coaching and spiritual counseling worldwide via videoconferences. If you would like a complimentary 10-minute get-acquainted chat to see if you are a good match for her services, please complete the Contact Page.

If you would like to get to know Benita A. Esposito, read her bestselling book, a memoir and teaching stories available on Amazon.com. The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.

If you are interested in an intensive retreat, click here for the retreat schedule.

 

Curing is when the physical disease gets measurably better. Healing is a process of becoming whole. Returning healing to medicine is like returning justice to law. ~ Dean Ornish, MD

My Journey Toward Wholeness

Remaining a Square in a Triangle World

How I Recovered My Authentic Self

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This story was written by a participant in the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat and the Highly Sensitive Person Retreat.

Even though I am a very capable person and I dearly love God, I have battled feelings of worthlessness and shame my entire life. No one would ever guess this by looking at me. I can remember as far back as preschool that I didn’t like myself.

It’s been a little over a year since my last retreat with Benita A. Esposito. I’ve attended two breathwork retreats with her about a year apart along with a handful of individual sessions.

Read more

Webinar: Assertiveness Training for Highly Sensitive People

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

• Why is it so difficult to stand up for my self?
• Why do I let people treat me so poorly?
• Is it selfish to ask for what I want when others don’t like it?
• How do I assert myself without hurting people’s feelings? Read more

Webinar: How Highly Sensitive People Can Find Peace in an Angry Storm

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

How do you feel when your family grumbles at you because your sensitive feelings have surfaced once again?

How does your body react when a friend rants at you? You know the feeling. You can’t understand what they are saying because your nervous system is overwhelmed. It’s hard to think clearly. It’s like a valve shuts off in your brain.

What do you do when a family member blasts you because you confronted him for kicking the dog?

Welcome to the highly sensitive person’s Achilles heel: criticism and anger.

Highly sensitive people often feel intimidated in the face of anger. We try to be understanding. But when people dump on us, we feel flooded. Our nervous systems freeze up or we explode.

Neither is a position of empowerment. Nor is it the highest expression of love for others or self-love.

But we have a conscience, and we feel bad when we don’t behave in healthy ways. Our pain motivates us to learn a better way.

In this webinar, we’ll explore how to:

• stop cowering or exploding
• remain centered when someone is angry with us
• identify what we’re feeling and manage our intense reactions
• help our loved ones understand us
• ask for other’s support to help us
• stop feeling rejected when people dump their frustration on us
• energetically protect ourselves
• assert ourselves, e.g., respect others and respect ourselves equally
• build our self-esteem
• identify and strengthen our HSP gifts.

WHO’S INVITED: Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and their loved ones who want to understand them better.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 8, 2019. 6:30-8pm Eastern

FORMAT: lecturettes, life coaching and spiritual counseling based on participants’ questions.

RECORDING: You may purchase a recording of the webinar for $39.00. Complete the Contact Page and ask me to email the recording link for this webinar. Specify the webinar title.

Make your $39 payment on PayPal.com to Payments@EspositoInstitute.com.

Facilitator

Benita A. Esposito, MABenita-A.-Esposito,-MA,-Licensed-Professional-CounselorI’m also a life coach, an ordained minister with AIWP and a spiritual counselor.

Want a preview? Watch my book video: The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self. Click here.

Smart HSP High Achievers Meetup Group

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) often feel “different,” and in this case “different” means inferior. That’s a terrible feeling, and I want to help you change that experience.

How many questions can you answer “yes” to?

1) Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP) who feels stressed when there’s too much to do?

2) Are you a smart high achiever who has struggled with anxiety or depression?

3) Do you feel compelled to do your best? When someone criticizes you, does it sting?

4) Have people said, “You’re too sensitive. Just let it go.”

5) Do you find yourself wanting to please people to avoid conflicts?

6) Do noisy crowds, time pressures and brash people stress you?

7) Are you an empath? When others are angry or sad, do you have trouble remaining centered?

8) Do you tend to lose yourself in relationships?

9) Have people taken advantage of your compassion without returning your kindness?

10) Does your heart ache when your loved ones won’t emotionally connect with you?

11) Have emotionally abusive relationships left you exhausted?

12) Is it difficult to take time for daily meditation, exercise and to prepare healthy food?

If you see yourself in these questions, you are not alone.

Attend this Meetup group and get acquainted with other like-minded HSP’s who understand you.

Who’s Invited: All highly sensitive people.

Myers Briggs profiles INFJs, ENFJs, INFPs, ENFPs, introverts and extroverts.

When: 2nd Wednesday of the month. 6:30pm-8pm. Attend one or all meetings.

Arrive 6:00 – 6:15pm to allow time for the registration process and to mingle.

1) Wed., March 13, 2019. HSP Strengths and Struggles. RSVP by 3/8/2019.

2) Wed., April 10, 2019. How to set energetic boundaries to protect our empathic nature. RSVP by 4/5/2019.

3) Wed., May 8, 2019. RSVP for Meetup #3 by 5/3/2019.

Mark your calendar now. There will be no refunds after the RSVP date.

If you attend a meeting, you’ll get to vote on the next topic. Choose from …

• Manage your strong emotional reactions.

• Create a self-care program for work-life balance.

• Develop assertiveness so conflicts don’t overwhelm you.

• Identify and stop codependent relationships.

• Set boundaries so you don’t take on other’s emotions.

• Discuss the components of healthy emotional intimacy.

• Meditate to reduce anxiety and increase spiritual intimacy.

• Cultivate inner dialogues to develop self-compassion.

• Design a fulfilling career and a peaceful home.

Where: My office. 5885 Glenridge Drive, Suite 130. Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328.

If you travel south on Glenridge Drive from the intersection of Hammond Drive, turn left at the first driveway past the tennis courts at Hammond Park. Look for the sign: 

Plaza 400 Office Park. Drive to the building in the very back of the complex. Our entrance is next to GA 400.

Tuition: $39 per meeting

Registration. Space is limited to 8 people.

• Make a PayPal payment for $39.00 to Benita@EspositoInstitute.com.

• RSVP and payment are required no later than 5:00p.m. the Friday before the Meetup.

If you would like to attend this “Smart HSP High Achiever” Meetup, complete the Contact Form at SensitiveIntrovert.com, and I’ll get back to you. If you don’t hear from me within 48 hours, call me. There may be a glitch in the system.

If a meeting is full, you’ll be added to the waiting list or you may request a full refund. Or you may apply your fee to a future meeting.

Suggested books available on Amazon:The-Gifted-Highly-Sensitive-Introvert-Book

1) The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert

Author: Benita A. Esposito, Licensed Professional Counselor

2) The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine Aron

 

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA. Click here for credentials.

Benita has passed an exam by Dr. Elaine Aron to counsel and provide life coaching for HSP’s.

Click here to watch my Book Video at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com.

Atlanta (Sandy Springs) & Blairsville, GA

Got questions?

Please complete the Contact form.

Counseling & Life Coaching for the Highly Sensitive Person, Atlanta and Blairsville, GA

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you have a romantic relationship, I pray blessings over your bond that it may blossom in joy and vitality.

If you don’t have a romantic relationship, I pray blessings over the loving relationship with yourself. It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship without this.

Here’s my Valentine’s wish for you.

I know life is not always easy. You have plenty of growing pains and challenges.

I bless you with the ability to feel how special you are, whether you are in a relationship or not. May you feel connected to your spiritual heart. I bless you with the ability to see your relationships from the highest perspective. May you feel so filled by God’s love that it’s easy to let go and forgive. May the boulders be removed from your path. May all your wounds be healed.

Remember when you were a child?

There are 35.6 million children in prekindergarten through 8th grade in the United States. Many of them will be giving Valentines to their families, classmates and teachers today. That is a wonderful tradition, don’t you think?

Take a moment and send a Valentine to your friends and family, just like you did in grade school. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Their hearts will open and so will yours.

You could write a simple message of appreciation like this:
• I love the way your eyes sparkle when you laugh.
• When you giggle like a teenager, it tickles my funny bone.
• You are such a good listener. I feel known and loved by you.
• You’re one of my best cheerleaders. Thanks for encouraging me to shoot for the stars.
• You open my eyes in gentle ways to help me see my blind spots.
• You always want the best for people. You help me stretch when I feel tempted to settle for less.
• You are a dedicated provider. Thank you for helping take care of our material needs.

Reach out to single people. They may feel lonely.

Guess how many singles there are in the U.S.?

In the last U.S. census (2016), of all the citizens who were age 18 years and older:
• 110.6 million people were unmarried.
• This group comprised 45.2 percent of all U.S. residents. 53.2% were women. 46.8% were men.
• 63.5% had never been married. Another 23.1 percent were divorced and 13.4 percent were widowed.

Think of one more person who needs your love and compassion today. Write to them.

Help the light shine even more brightly on this Valentine’s Day.

Love and blessings to you,
Benita A. Esposito

CONTACT INFO

If you would like to strengthen your relationship(s) or the loving relationship with yourself, I’m here to help. I offer individual and couples spiritual counseling and life coaching in the office or via phone or videoconference from the convenience of your home. Complete the Contact Page.

Credentials for Benita A Esposito, MA

Highly Sensitive Introverts’ Strengths and Struggles

This is chapter 3 from the book by Benita A. Esposito, MA:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert:

Wisdom for Emotional Healing and

Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self Read more

Book Introduction. The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert

Wisdom for Emotional Healing and
Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self

.

“The hardest battle you are ever going to have to fight is the battle to be just you.”
–Leo F. Buscaglia

This book will appeal to all highly sensitive people, but if you are a smart sensitive introvert who has struggled with anxiety, depression, trauma or relationships, you’ll especially relate to my memoir and teaching stories about the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self. Read more

How I Discovered I Am an Intuitive Empath

This is chapter 5 in my book, The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.

Search for my ebook and paperback book on Amazon and click the “Look Inside” button to read the first several pages of the book. You can buy it on Amazon.

“The trademark of an empath is feeling and absorbing other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms because of their high sensitivities. These people filter the world through their intuition. Empaths are big-hearted people and try to relieve the pain of others … suddenly they’re the one feeling drained or upset when they felt fine before.” ~ Dr. Judith Orloff is a New York Times bestselling author and a member of the UCLA psychiatric clinical faculty. Read more