“I know a few things to be true. I do not know where I am going, where I have come from is disappearing, I am unwelcome and my beauty is not beauty here. My body is burning with the shame of not belonging, my body is longing. I am the sin of memory and the absence of memory. I watch the news and my mouth becomes a sink full of blood. The lines, the forms, the people at the desks, the calling cards, the immigration officers, the looks on the street, the cold settling deep into my bones, the English classes at night, the distance I am from home. But Alhamdulilah all of this is better than the scent of a woman completely on fire, or a truckload of men, who look like my father pulling out my teeth and nails, or fourteen men between my legs, or a gun, or a promise, or a lie, or his name, or his manhood in my mouth.”
~ Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
The news is awash just now with tales of those fleeing war-torn countries in hopes of a better life. Some, of course, never make it. And some survive amidst the ravages of a society gone mad, in places once peaceful and safe. Our televisions, newspapers, facebook and twitter feeds, phones and tablets stream an endless supply of stories and images.
It’s an awful reality.
For empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) especially, this barrage of information can be cripplingly overwhelming. Our filters aren’t as strong as most people’s. We feel everything so acutely. What do you do if you are an empath or an HSP who can’t bear to watch one more story while still feeling compelled to help, and unable to turn away from the refugees’ plight?
I have a few suggestions:
- Turn off the news feed and stop clicking on the images and stories. It’s not helpful to the refugees and those still in war zones. It is not helpful to you. Instead, find ways to take action to alleviate distress rather than adding to it.
- Recognise that you alone are powerless to fix all of this. You are just one person. Still, you ARE one person, with a voice and hands and a heart, and perhaps even some money. Know that in your own way you can find a way to provide meaningful support.
- Add your voice to the collective if this is something that appeals to you. Write to your government. Write to your politicians. Write letters and emails on behalf of current campaigns. Organisations such as Amnesty International can help you to find targeted ways that your voice can make a difference.
- Donate money to the aid organisations that are on the ground in conflict zones and refugee camps. They know what is needed and can get your aid dollar there to provide food, shelter and medical care. This article lists several organisations that you could support.
- Find out about refugee support services in your local area. Perhaps they need donations of food, clothing, furniture or skills. There are also many groups set up to introduce newly arrived refugees to local residents to foster friendship and social engagement, and to help with language skills.
- Tonglen meditation is a simple technique you can use to send love, energy and positive intention to lighten the burden and suffering of another. It costs nothing and you don’t need any special skills – anyone can do this easy energetic practice.
You feel your oneness deeply – you know that we are all human, and part of one big family. Caring and being this sensitive is not a weakness but a beautiful gift. Don’t ever wish to be less sensitive, or to stop caring. We need you to keep being you, and to hold a space of oneness for all of humanity. Look after your sensitive nature by learning how to protect yourself from overwhelm, and to take actions that ease your feeling of helplessness.
Thinking of you and sending much love, Nicole <3 xx
9 thoughts on “HSPs, Empaths, War and Refugees”
Reblogged this on lífþrasir and commented:
This. So much. I’m already doing a bunch of the suggestions, like turning off the newsfeed, joining the collective to put my voice out there, and trying to realise getting overly upset over the injustice of it all isn’t helpful to the people who live with me. Trying to be mindful and put action to where it can be helpful. Hopefully reading this helps other empaths and HSPs.
Thank you so much for this post. Yesterday evening while having dinner with my Family I was thinking: What if families like mine would invite a refugees Family to have dinner once a week? This is something I could do. And it may not be a lot but I think it would mean a lot to everybody around the table.
I was only thinking to myself the other day I wish I could just ‘turn it off’ I felt guilty for even thinking it, but I was feeling particularly exhausted and very down because of the state of the world that we live in and that I’m trying to raise my children in. I just wanted to stop feeling. Stop caring for just a bit. Sometimes i feel so jealous of people that don’t seem to care. It all just rolls off them. Surely they must be happier people? This post came at just the right time Nicole. Nothing seems to really work to protect myself from the onslaught, but just opening FB and seeing your post today was enough. Thank you so much Xx
I feel for these people but I am so over seeing things about them on the news so much so that I just turn the sound down or change the channel now
I am glad you included the idea of sending love and light through meditation. I do not practice the meditation you mention but believe that opening the heart chakra in compassion and love is a powerful way of changing the vibration of the planet.
Beautiful Nicole xx
I’m very interested in the Tonglen meditation ~ the link goes through to the list of aid organisations <3
Just fixed it. Thanks for letting me know!
This bought tears Nicole. x Lovely gently reminder of who I am. The last paragraph really spoke to my heart.
Love and Gratitude
This means a lot to me. You are amazing! Thank you so much Nicole Xx