You are bothered by the negativity of others. You feel their struggle. Or you’re confused: they say they’re fine, nothing to worry about. But you feel something completely different. And it bothers you. You are easily overstimulated, tired, or drained. You say you have ‘thin skin’. On the other hand, there are also people with elephant skin; people who don’t seem to notice anything and who are mainly focused on themselves. They thunder through other people’s china shops and have no idea what damage they are doing. They seem insensitive to criticism or to the feelings of others.
This is the second part of three articles on themes related to the metallic element. That element is connected with setting boundaries, your immune system, with letting go and allowing, with skin, lungs, large intestine, and your breathing (space).
Hypersensitive to energies of others
If you are hypersensitive to the energies of others, everything just comes in. How did that happen? What do you actually want and what do you not want to let in? How do you close yourself off from negative influences? If everything and everyone just enters your house, there are a few solutions:
- You make sure that you are at home, so that burglary is less likely to occur.
- You don’t leave all the doors open.
To make sure you are at home means to inhabit your body. To feel, to be present. Getting to know yourself in who you are, in what belongs to you, what nourishes and serves you, and what does not. Learn to say no.
Closing doors means learning to say ‘no’. Recognize what is harmful to you and keep it out. The latter is also a function of the immune system. People who are hypersensitive have to train their immune system on a mental level. That means learning to be clear, resilient, and assertive, not from a victim feeling, but from a developed awareness. This is often a life mission. There is no pill and no simple trick.
In Chinese medicine, the skin and immune system belonging to the metallic element. The metal element is ‘the sword of discretion’, the core of the immune system that serves to protect you against external influences that are unhealthy for you. The lungs, colon, and skin are the organs of the metallic element.
The skin, sensitivity, and your immune system
The outside world literally enters your lungs. The inner world and the outer world also meet in the skin. Your skin is the most literal boundary between your inner world and the outer world. It is on the skin where we can literally be ‘touched’‘. To put it in proverbs: someone can be too close to us.
That creates subcutaneous tension. What do you do with that? Do you notice? Are you doing something about it? Or do you (unconsciously) suffer and endure it, hoping that things will get better later? When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you naturally take better care of your limits. You guard your own space and avoid as much as possible those people or influences that burden you.
1. Getting into your body well; inhabiting your ‘house’ by means of, for example:
- Martial arts self-defense course
- Hypnotherapy and/or massage
- Body work, yoga, chi kung, tai chi.
2. Getting to know yourself better and developing your sensitivity to an instrument.
- Coaching by a coach aimed at working with highly sensitive people.
- School for intuitive development: learning to make a quality of your sensitivity, to limit yourself, to guard your energy, et cetera.
3. Practice the inner sun regularly. This is an exercise by Conny Coppen that she makes available to you on her website. She helps you to fill and protect yourself.
Questions to ask yourself
- Is the other person too close to me?
- Does this contact give me subcutaneous tension or can I relax and be who I am?
- How can I help myself to guard my space/free time?
- Where are my limits?
- What tensions or fears I might still be carrying under the skin? And how can I support myself in this?
- Am I holding my breath for fear that someone else will judge me? Or in other words: does what the other person says or does just ‘get under my skin’? Or do I now know myself, do I value myself, and do I limit myself from there?
- May it be pleasant and nourishing for me or am I primarily there to take care of the well-being of the other? (That is often a very deep feeling that has already arisen as a child)
A healthy metal element
When the metallic element is healthy, you are aware of your own identity and self-worth in connection with the environment, living in a relationship with the greater whole. You are able to adapt without losing your identity and your integrity. You know yourself in connection with an outside world where there is a lot of value and what gives you a reason to exist.
You also trust your skin; the feeling that tells you what is nourishing and when it is better to leave, arm yourself, or shut down. And when life asks you to let go, you do it with full confidence that something new will come after that. Just as the inhalation can only come after the exhalation.