What are you feeling? Is it anxiety? Is it a gift? No, wait … is this a curse?
Are you psychic? Do you always have to overanalyze everything? And, my favorite question of all time that I have been asked … Are you crazy?
What if I told you I can walk into a room and read the minds of the people in it? I see truth in unspoken body language, and I actually experience what others are thinking and feeling, sometimes to where it feels like I am them and can feel what is running through their heads. I have the uncanny ability to tell stories that can help people embrace their emotions. With wisdom and insight, I can break down people’s thoughts and explain the exact issue(s) they need to address.
Have you ever felt this way?
Do you ever feel immensely drained after conversations with certain people or when you’re in large groups? Have you always felt like you pick up on energy in an instant and read people right away—almost as soon as you come into contact with them? If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are you have the gift of discernment. People who can take a thought and break it down into a concept that is easy to grasp and explain to others have this “gift.” They experience things without actually being in the same circumstances themselves. It's like being a psychic of sorts (without predicting the future) but with more emphasis on experiencing others’ emotions.
Before I knew I had been given the gift to read other people’s emotions and could clearly recognize and distinguish between the influences of love, hate, and pain, and before I came to learn about all the tools and practices that help me feel balanced and taken care of on a daily basis, I used to feel like I was going insane!
I had lost it, and I thought I was the only person in the world who was this screwed up!
How was it that I could feel so deeply and so much at once when everyone else thought I was crazy, yet they didn’t even know what they were feeling? Well, under the pressure to be like them and try to have fun and party, starting at the age of 20 (when my sensitivity began to heighten), I had learned to hide myself by then and started using marijuana to self-medicate. The fact is, I didn't want to feel so much; I wanted to be numb and just chill out! I wanted to be like everyone else and “think” nothing of what everyone was saying. I wanted to be normal. I wanted this “thing”—whatever it was—to stop and leave my mind so I could take back control of my thoughts. The pot worked … for a while.
Until one day, about 10 years later, self-medicating simply stopped making a difference. So I grew up and began looking for answers through self-help avenues. I started forging a new, better path. Initially, I stopped smoking pot every day and allowed myself to feel what was in the floodgates and let out the feelings I had suppressed for so many years. Everything flowed out at once, making an already larger-than-life personality change even more challenging. But eventually I discovered who I was and began to explore my past for further clarity. Learning that what I had was a gift was a surprise to me, and it changed my life forever. I know myself now. I love myself. Most of all, I understand how profoundly useful my abilities can be in helping others heal, transform, and grow.
I often wonder how many people, in any given moment, are struggling with their own gift of discernment, unaware God made them this way and that their unique capacity to connect with the world is His way of healing it. Here are a few life-changing practices and tools that have made all the difference to my well-being as an individual blessed with the gift of discernment.
But before you stop taking your medication, please have enough sense to call your doctor because we all know I do not have a PhD and only a cosmetology degree.
Love yourself first, next to loving God.
You should always be your own favorite project. How well you take care of yourself is how successful, happy, and confident you will be every day. This is a game changer because on every level you must accept feeling other people’s emotions as a blessing in your life. There are plenty of options. There's no one-size-fits-all method. But the baseline routine is striving to accept who you are and allowing yourself some control. Moderation and balance are key to self-discovery.
Let’s face it, you cannot always read everyone, and it’s not your job to change the world. Take it from an old pro who has dreamt all of her grandparents’ deaths three days before their departure. Self-care should never feel like stress or anxiety. It should be fun, creative, helpful, and support the lifestyle you live.
Meditate … Pray … Journal … Pray!
Get into you, so you can get into GOD! Even if you've never meditated before, there's no better time to start than right now. For so long, my empathy for others made me want to take care of everyone else first. I thought that as long as the people around me were happy and taken care of, I'd feel that way too. I found it unbearable to be alone—being by myself with my thoughts wasn't even an option. They ate me alive inside.
Literally, your thoughts can be the death of you. Talk about hell on Earth … don’t go there.
Think of meditation, prayer, and journaling as you time. It is a catalyst for clearing out everything in your head that is not yours and strengthening your connection to God. It's training time for your abilities and provides a space in which you can release the energy you may have absorbed during the day. Whatever you do, commit to one or all of these practices. This is your time to refuel and nourish yourself after you've given a lot of yourself away.
Give yourself some magic and start writing words of affirmation, placing them all around you.
As soon as I become frustrated with my own emotions or those of others I am carrying around with me, I take them from my head to my hand and begin to write inspirations.
For example, I have a client who sits in my chair shoulder shrugged, chin down, nerves shot, and while I can clearly see she has been browbeaten and left fragile, rather than throw my advice at her as though I understand what’s she feeling, I ask her, “What’s wrong?” By doing this, I’m acknowledging her body language and trusting in the gift I display. I let her know I see her pain. But I also allow her the freedom to choose whether or not she wants to share with me what’s troubling her. I may begin her service by allowing her the freedom to get to know me and build trust through our lighthearted conversation till she openly wants to confide in me, or I sense she has a wall up and leave the conversation for later. This process is known as “the art of giving and receiving” and is best practiced by those with the gift of discernment. I learn, plus the other person learns, and it helps to remove negative thinking from the mind, especially when getting comfortable with this practice. Now, you have the ability to take rubbage and transform it into your own words of affirmation, and learn from another person’s past. Set a timer for 30 minutes, get comfortable in a seated position, and start to write all you learned from the shared conversation.
This step takes the trash out and recycles the mind.
Get in touch with your own feelings so you can discern between you and everyone else.
This is how you do that. You start by asking yourself (as often as possible but especially in social situations), How am I feeling right now? How is this situation affecting me? How are the people around me interacting with me? Do I feel nourished? Do I feel drained?
This simple practice will strengthen your connection to yourself and to your intuition. From here, you can start to separate your own emotions from everyone else’s while also determining whether the people you’re associating with are nourishing you or draining you. 5. Cleanse your environment of anything toxic—draining relationships, addictions, and friendships. What brings you down? Who makes you feel this way? As I became more aware of my gift, I noticed that I attracted energy vampires—people who are really victims themselves. And these people do exist. You know them. They tempt you in order to retrieve something they have lost. In other words, they don’t know how to express their own emotions so you tell them how they should feel and they allow you to do all the “feeling” for them. Identify them and erase them from your life. As a believer in life you will not be able to process their lies. In the Bible 2 John 1:10 says, “Don’t allow them in your house.”
Being able to reject the things that don't align with your spirit is crucial to developing the gift of discernment and learning to live with it. So, anything—and I mean anything—that doesn’t comfort your soul has to go!
I've deeply connected with the beauty of my gift, this gift of discernment God blessed me with, to help protect me from harm but also allow me to help others. When I reflect on all I've accomplished over the past 15 years, my life has been a journey full of ups and downs but now I know … I never was crazy.
About the blogger
Stacy Snapp-Killian is an entrepreneur, author, hairstylist, and public speaker. She holds an impressive resume as a recognized member of The Women’s Leadership Movement. She is the personal stylist for Women That Soar Media, providing services to celebrities and talent for events and televised award shows. Stacy has volunteered thousands of hours mentoring adult survivors of sexual abuse suppression, and she has empowered hundreds of men and women to share their story of sexual abuse. Through this process, she has authored two books, Be Beautiful Being You, and her most recent release, The Ten Character Commitments. She is a columnist for two magazines including The One Bride Guide and her “Sit Down with StacyK” advice column is featured in the award-winning GC Magazine. Her columns inspire adults to live their truth through her Ten Character Commitments. To find out more about Stacy, visit www.justuslove.org