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Stories From People Chapter I

Dear Ones:

“Stories from People” is a meaningful project that involves gathering stories from people who navigate the depths of emotional intensity across the globe.

The response to this endeavor has been overwhelming, and I find myself deeply touched by the generosity you’ve shown in sharing your experiences. Your willingness to embrace vulnerability, the profound emotions conveyed in your stories, and the eloquence of your words have left a lasting impact on me.

I sincerely hope that as you explore the collection of narratives and recommendations from fellow travelers on this platform, you will discover moments of resonance and find encouragement along your own journey through life.

Warm regards,




AMY, 25, USA

As I let the water run, I look into the sunlight and I start giving thanks to the universe for giving me life. When I start speaking I also give thanks to the tree for hosting me in it’s space, and as I do that, I always get a response from the universe.’

My Name: Amy Romero

Who am I:

I am from a small town in Illinois. I am currently 25 years old and I was partially raised in Mexico but later moved to the US. I really enjoy listening to music, buying books, eating good food, and sharing my passions with people. I currently work as a manager at a movie theatre. What matters to me? uplifting women in a world where they have been told that they are not good enough. I think that women are such powerful and resilient beings that deserve everything that’s good in the world.

My story:

I grew up in mexico with a strong sense of curiosity for the world. I have very vivid and detailed memories of my childhood when my life was the happiest but also when it was the most tragic. I grew up feeling a sense of detachment from people but felt very in tuned with nature. I think that I have a very good sense of becoming close to people and because of that I have suffered greatly. I always knew that I could feel things with such intensity but I never knew or understood why.

My inspirations:

I love watching music based films such as: Whiplash, the temptations, La bamba.
I love reading books about adventure and romance: Pride and prejudice, Howls moving castle, the house on mango street.
Music is my escape: anything from frederic chopin, trevor hall, mon laferte. I love sound so my most favorite sounds come from tabla drums, digeridoos, wind chimes, tall grass rustling in the wind, the ticking of a clock.

People who have influenced me:

There are a few people who have helped me along my journey: My aunt who helped raising me, my third grade bilingual teacher, my HS psych teacher, and a few friends who have really helped me evolve over the years. These people have helped me find myself through their kindness and acceptance when everyone else made me feel invisible.

Some written words:

Whenever I am feeling sad I like to take a shower with warm water and while I do that I open a small window that we have to let the sunlight in, through that small window you can see the sky, the sunlight, and a huge tree with all of its levees that sits right in front of my house. 

I like to believe that I have a special connection with that tree.

As I let the water run, I look into the sunlight and I start giving thanks to the universe for giving me life. When I start speaking I also give thanks to the tree for hosting me in it’s space, and as I do that, I always get a response from the universe. A small breeze enters through the small window and the leaves begin to move.

I like to think that the universe is connecting with me at that very moment.

A life advice:

Always be honest with the people that you love, remind them how much they mean to you, share your emotions with people, let them know how they make you feel. It’s those little reminders that remind us that we are meaningful to somebody. It feels so good to know that people notice our little moments of happiness.

In my own words:

Please be gentle with yourself, don’t close yourself off from the world because you can’t bare the pain that hardships make you feel. When you become sad, you become bitter and that leads to anger, you detach yourself emotionally from people, you forget how to feel your own emotions, crying becomes physically painful, everything feels cold and isolated. Don’t let the pain consume you, feel everything to it’s fullest capacity, it’s okay to cry and feel pain, it’s okay to smile and feel loved. You are deserving of love no matter how much believe it to not be true.



‘I love anything that takes me to a higher place, sporting/business success, sex, drink, music, art, theatre, a beautiful view or visiting a new country.’

My name: Gabriel Clare

Who am I:

I am a 59 year old man. I was born and brought up on the South Coast of England, before leaving at age 18 for University. I pursued a career in finance based in London before returning to retire in my home county. I enjoy travel, art, literature and Mediterranean cuisine. I am a lifelong sailor and feel happiest went I am on or near the sea.

I was brought up as one of three children in a stable, loving home. I had a very sheltered upbringing centred on the family. My mother was a full time housewife while my father worked long hours. My family was financially comfortable. My parents had very traditional values and gender roles. My parents worked hard and saved their money. They did not socialise and rarely took a holiday. I was always a sensitive child. I was very shy and blushed easily when embarrassed. My parents set great store by academic and sporting achievement.

I struggled to learn to read and have always been poor at spelling. Looking back I think I might have been slightly dyslexic. I was also quite poor at maths. However I passed my 11plus and went to grammar school. During my teens I was successful at athletics and competitive sailing. I found my single sex Grammar School a struggle academically and I was not able to make many friends. I felt socially isolated both at school and home. While my mother thrived bringing up young children she was unable to help me develop from puberty onwards. Standards of strict traditional Christian temperance and morality were assumed as a given leaving nothing left for discussion. From age 11 onwards I felt emotionally alone and confused. I lacked a sense of personal identity. I was groomed and sexually abused by a male family friend for a short period. This is something I was never able to tell anyone until I had some professional counselling two years ago.

However with a great deal of effort and hard work I passed my O and A levels.I did not know what I wanted to do in life and so I went to University. While my parents were proud of me being offered a place at University they also found it difficult to accept that I was leaving home and becoming an independent adult. I was left to find my own way to university with just some small change in my pocket.

I found university life a shock to the system. I felt insecure and socially inept particular with regard to members of the opposite sex with whom I had never socialised with before. My initial reaction was that I was some sort of imposter who was total unqualified to be at University and that at any moment I would be discovered as a fraud. However despite periods of depression and existential angst I did make friends and really enjoyed my time at university. I discovered that alcohol could dull my sensitivity and help overcome my natural shyness and embarrassment. I continue to use alcohol in this way to the present day. Much to my surprise I even enjoyed the academic side of University and achieved a good Honours Degree.

I left university and went to London to work in financial services. I worked in a high pressure environment with targets and deadlines to meet. I had to pass numerous professional exams. I worked in an environment which had a heavy drinking culture. I suffered from work-related stress, bouts of depression and anger management issues. I self-medicated with alcohol. I was lonely and married an unsuitable partner so as not to be on my own.  I strived to make the marriage work but grew more and more depressed. After a sort of mini breakdown I left my wife and son and set up home on my own. I suffered an acrimonious divorce.  However my self-esteem improved and my career flourished. I ended up in a senior role in an international bank.

I took early retirement and remarried. While I had an active social life and plenty of hobbies my early retirement put a stain on my personal relationship and I continued to suffer with mood swings and bouts of depression. I had a mini breakdown and for the first time in my life took some professional counselling. I found the counselling process difficult at first but ultimately it set me on a voyage of personal discovery. I searched the internet for the cause of my problems. I seemed to fit a BPD profile and it was while researching that disorder I came across Imi’s Eggshell therapy website. Imi’s analysis of HSPs seemed to fit me perfectly. I was excited to learn that she was writing a book and I ordered it the day it was released. I read it in one sitting with tears in my eyes. Imi might as well have written my life story.

My Story:

Mood swings. I enjoy the ecstasy of being on a high and feel desolation during the lows. I love anything that takes me to a higher place, sporting/business success, sex, drink, music, art, theatre, a beautiful view or visiting a new country.

When I suffer disappointment, a setback or a personal argument, I lack mental resilience and can quickly find myself psychologically in a bad place.

Lack of self-esteem. I constantly criticise my own performance and think I am not good enough.

I feel other people’s pain and get upset if others are upset or suffering.

My mind won’t stop thinking and analysing. I have a severe internal critic.

I want to be loved. I have a passionate nature I seek unconditional love and yet can never find it. I have a tendency to feel rejected in relationships and withdraw emotionally as a result.

I fall in love to quickly and attribute (unthinkingly) all the qualities I seek in an ideal partner to the person concerned.

Blank and white thinking. It’s either all good or all bad.

I have had the same recurring nightmare all my life. In my dream I wake up on the day of an important exam only to realise I have not revised and feel I am doomed to fail.

I am a driven individual and have succeed in many aspects of life but my personal sensitivity has made everything I have done so much harder that it should have been. Everything I do or accomplish seems an emotional struggle. Both my siblings have experienced mental health issues.

My Inspirations:


Graham Greene, Brighton Rock

George Orwell Homage to Catalonia, 1984

E M Forster A Passage to India.

Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

J P Sartre, The Roads to Freedom

J D Salinger A Cater in the Rye

Matt Haig, Reasons to stay alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet, Humans

Michael Lewis, Liars Poker, The Big Short. The Undoing Project

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow,

Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly effective People

Artists; Picasso, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Giovanni Bellini

Online Resources

Eggshell Therapy


People who have influenced my way of thinking or being

Karl Marx

J P Sartre and the existentialists


Stephen Covey

Imi Lo

Matt Haig

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky

Written words that have resonated with me:

The poems of Emily Dickenson

I taste a liquor never brewed – 

From Tankards scooped in Pearl – 

Not all the Frankfort Berries

Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I – 

And Debauchee of Dew – 

Reeling – thro’ endless summer days – 

From inns of molten Blue – 

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee

Out of the Foxglove’s door – 

When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” – 

I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats – 

And Saints – to windows run – 

To see the little Tippler

Leaning against the – Sun!

A life advice:

Ensure a (thinking) gap between a stimulus and your response. You will always secure better outcomes if you pause to think (if only for a short while) before you make your response to a given situation.

Begin with the end in mind. Before you say or start something imagine where you want to (or are likely!) to end up!

Get out and experience the natural world.

My words to you:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”Mark Twain

Don’t keep doing the same thing expecting (or hoping for) a different outcome.

Remember the definition of true friendship is someone who would do something for you when it’s not in their personal self-interest to do so. 

Talk about your feelings, but to the right person. Not everyone understands. Limit your use of social media. Meet people face to face. Listen more than you talk.

Seek to understand others before being understood. The secret to getting on with people and making friends is to first show a genuine interest in them.

Ask open questions, who, why, what, when, where to show interest and to keep conversations alive.

“Computers are useless, they only give you the answers.” Picasso

Read books. They can provide so much insight, learning wisdom and enjoyment. Travel (as opposed to holiday).The experience of other cultures is life affirming. Exercise/sport…but do it outdoors. It vital to feel nature and the environment on your skin.


Giannia, 22, USA

‘sure I got angry quick and it was a true fury, and when I’d get sad it could last for a while and thoughts of self harm did enter my mind, but I also knew how happy I could get and how amazing my “positive” emotions could feel.’

My Name: Giannia Leese

Who am I:

I’m from the midwest, around 22. I’ve lived all over my state, longest place I’ve ever lived somewhere was 6 years. I love being around the people I consider family, people I’ve tried to explain how I FEEL about things to, music is integral I always love listening to music. Making a difference, specifically, making the world a better place, having a positive, lasting impact and being happy, and taking care of my family.

My story:

It was only last year almost exactly that I started looking on the internet, searching for answers as to why I felt so much, why I could go from one emotion to another so quickly, why they were so intense and engulfing I would feel like I was drowning. When I finally identified with what I was reading I can’t tell you how relieved and excited I was, I could finally get some answers. I had been through a lot just as a young kid, I was around lots of sex, drugs, crime and was overly socialized as a child. Wasn’t all bad, when I was younger I remember happy times, but most of it is marred. I was in foster care with my youngest sibling and I still had bad things happen there as well, but soon we were adopted. I remember going to therapy, which was a requirement for me, and consistently being told I was angry, that I had anger issues, I had depression, being put on BC because they helped with my mood swings, with a strong case being that I cried at the littlest things. I always thought that they never knew what they were talking about, sure I got angry quick and it was a true fury, and when I’d get sad it could last for a while and thoughts of self harm did enter my mind, but I also knew how happy I could get and how amazing my “positive” emotions could feel. But, I was just 7 I’d been through a lot, or I may be 15 but I was still young, sure I was 18 but that didn’t make me an adult. There was always a reason other people knew better than I did, but the BC helped a little so I let them tell me what I needed. I always thought other people thought of me as clingy, sensitive or too emotional, I can see that, it doesn’t even take a particularly perceptive person to be able to know what people are thinking general unfunded people aren’t too great at hiding their emotions or thoughts. But I mean why else would several professionals agree that I had depression and anger issues. So, I let it get inside my head, and I believed them for a while, I mean I really had thoughts of suicide over things other people would be over in a day so why not just try their way? As I’ve said I only recently found out what this is, so after I was 18 I stopped taking BC and started letting my emotions do as they pleased.
When I was 14ish I met two people that I consider family and my soulmates, I love my family but my love for them was there from either my siblings birth or the meeting of my parents, I do hold them in my soul and there is no question I was lucky to have had one of my soulmates born in to the same bloodline but loving them was not a choice I just do. With these two people I chose to love them, I had to tell them not only the things my family already knew, like my messed up childhood and awful experiences, but also the things I’d never told anyone else. I think of soulmate(s) as a person(s) that is a part of you, the same soul, and your soul will recognize them when you meet them, so obviously I feel strongly about them haha. Anyway, we shared eerily similar traumatizing experiences and were still trying to cope with them, so we bonded quickly. As our friendship went on I started to be more and more candid and open with my emotions, because I was told by my own father that I was getting angry or sad incorrectly, and was made to feel like there was something wrong with me I had tried to keep the true scope of my emotions dulled to appear healthy. I had done this for a while and many people would say they thought I was mean, because I didn’t seem to smile or show emotion when I was around them, a side effect of trying to keep my “negative” emotions in check I suppose. Because I was being more open with my emotions my two friends started to talk to me about why I would be fine and then something they might find mildly irritating, I seemed to blow up about, if we got into a fight I would be so scared that our friendship would end I would try to be proactive and end it myself. I would cry myself to sleep just thinking about it, and start to be swallowed up by sadness and naturally I am someone who can dwell on a single idea for ages. I’m also talkative, I can discuss one subject for absolute hours, just mulling everything over, I can start on one subject and end on a completely other planet in a matter of 30 minutes. I enjoy thoroughly fleshing out an idea or concept, it helps me fully grasp things, talking to myself is the only way I can do this and actually end my musings, talking to others only “ends” because I can tell they are bored or uninterested, so I find the most compatible discussion partner is myself. This idea might lend itself to why I don’t find much value in a romantic relationship, for whatever reason any sexual encounter has ended with me perfectly content to never see or hear from that person again, maybe in the future, but I just know trying to find someone willing to understand might be more trouble than it’s worth. Because of this tendency to just turn to myself, I use this as a way of getting out my emotions without letting them lead me down a radical path, so if we have a fight over the phone I can simultaneously get out my emotions with someone who truly understands them (me) and talk to them in a meaningful way so I don’t go off the deep end.

They are starting to understand a little bit more, and I’ve accepted who I am as well, I know what I need, I have no issue telling people how much I care and how much I want them in my life, so now I can tell them that I need to hear the same in return, I’ve never been and can never be someone who is content with knowing that they love me, I have to be told every once in a while. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t told when I was younger by my bio family, that my foster family literally asked to adopt my sibling and not me, that my father has said he would “send me back”, I think they all contributed to an already sensitive person needing to hear people articulate their affection. I’m not a mushy person, but I do know that with the people I love most, I have to hear it every so often, I love people but I don’t need someone in Greece telling me they love me lol.

Still, even with my siblings and parents I do get lonely, I can explain until the cows come home, but I can tell they still don’t truly get it, I’ve told them I have felt anger from when I wake up to when I go to sleep, that I switch to sadness so quickly I don’t even know what happened and they try to help but it doesn’t alleviate the rollercoaster I’m on. I have felt happiness in way I don’t think I could ever describe in a million years, I get sad off of other people being sad and have to hide it so they don’t think I’m trying to be overdramtic, it’s not actually happening to me so they don’t understand why I would be crying harder than they are sometimes. They don’t understand why if someone disrespects them I get angrier and more offended, its personal. I can get angry about things going on in the world and feel personally responsible for all the bad things happening, its a crushing burden, feeling like you can do something great, that you want to help and effect change and then something terrible happens and honestly feeling like it’s your fault and yours alone because you haven’t gotten to the point where you can help, so you’re just standing by and letting these things happen?! Seeing what’s happening on the news and just crying and crying and feeling so bogged down my the negativity, it’s so consuming that you contemplate suicide. And it sounds so crazy because you are one person in 7 billion, so why do you care, what can you do, why does it matter? And just irrational I know it must be because I over think everything and it’s not really my responsibility but I can’t help it, I feel those emotions that are not only my own but strangers as well on such a large scale that I have had to try to numb myself. It doesn’t help that I’m actually interested is politics, global warming, that I have been raped and sexually assaulted, that I am a mixed raced person, that I identify as LGBTQ+ everything affects me and even if it doesn’t I find myself crying for those it does affect. I can’t watch news everyday, I can’t keep up with everything I’m interested in because anger, frustration and sadness just wash over me and hold me down to the point that I can’t breathe, I can’t think rationally and yes I go to dark thoughts. I try to switch it off I try to stop feeling so much but if I do that then all my emotions get dulled, and going back to how I used to cope after I’ve accepted myself, feeling so numb that it can’t stand it. The only other way to escape my emotions is to try to sleep, but when I do that people think I’m depressed when really I just needed a break and stop telling me I’m coping wrong if you can’t even begin to understand. Heck, I can’t even watch certain movies or listen to certain songs unless I have fully prepared myself, I’ll get so upset and sad I wasn’t a young adult in the late 80s that I just cry and take about 2 days to regulate until I’ve reached my equilibrium again.

Yes, all my experiences have added to the effects of being hyper sensitive, intense and perceptive. What with over thinking, feeling unreasonably responsible, slightly (lol) paranoid, and everything else it can be so hard being this way, but I’ve come a long way. I don’t “get angry wrong” just because I couldn’t control an emotion society looks at as “bad” when I was younger, doesn’t mean I had anger issues, same with sadness, God forbid you cry and show sadness, nobody will take you seriously, well crying helps me work through my emotions rather than avoid them. It may not affect you but avoiding my emotions only delays and intensifies the inevitable, and I’m not depressed just because it’s another “bad” emotion you can’t seem to cope with. These all drain me yes, but on the flip side I can’t imagine doing my favorite things or seeing my favorite people and not feeling happy or ecstatic or even calm and peace to the extent that I do, and I still haven’t found the end, each time it keeps going further and further, more blissful than the last. And even positive emotions can be draining, it’s like being used up in a way that leaves you relaxed and content. Its better than any drug I’ve ever had and I believe any I consider taking in the future I’ve found nothing more intoxicating and dizzying than doing something I truly love with people I truly love. So yes it can seem like a double-edged sword, but I couldn’t ever bring myself to even wish it away.

My inspirations:

I listen to all kinds of music and all kinds of movies, anytime I want to feel inspired or upbeat I listen to music that makes me think of my dream future. I also love the west coast, specifically Port Angeles, Seattle and Oregon, when visiting my family have gone in a RV and I remember taking a nap on the floor with my head in between the driver and passenger seats and waking up looking up at tree-lined mountains and a blue cloudy sky or when we were driving back from a national park in Washington and seeing the sun set throwing orange and purples and yellow towards the darkening sky with the moon in place and the trees creating the perfect frame. Or even when we took a ferry and again the setting sun made Seattle’s windows and metal shine and dance and look like crazy close stars that just couldn’t stop shining. All these experiences I had I associate with music that make me think of the warm light on the cold water, like Love$ick remix by Mura Masa, never forget you by Zara Larsson, Lean on and Get Free by Major Lazer to name a few. I also love aliens, the thought of something else out there makes me feel small, which some might dislike but when you feel responsible for things you can’t control and like like you’re filling up with too much emotion feeling small helps me use perspective to think this isn’t all there is, there could be so much more. But I also find the desert mesmerizing so I obviously associate aliens with Nevada, New Mexico and corn fields, but songs and movies that inspire me here are The Host, Avatar, Arrival, and close encounters of the third kind, I enjoy other alien classics but they don’t inspire me lol, songs that make me think of aliens (down ask my why ) the summer or the desert are Talking body Tove Lo, I’m in control AlunaGeorge, I got you Bebe Rexha, wild things and stay Alessia Cara the less I know the better tame impala.

I also want to be financially stable and I use that to inspire me to work hard for everything, but it’s hard to get inspired when you get bogged down by the things going wrong in your life, so for me I use Pinterest, I save ideas for big houses, nice apartments, and I find pictures of things that help me think of the amazing times I had on vacation, planes in the clouds, beautiful Washington pictures and I also look at pictures I want to go so different locations and really anything that makes me feel good. That’s where I go for art as well, people make amusing things and beautiful photos or drawings can make me cry, especially if they depict bio-luminescence.

People who have influenced me:

I kind of have people all over the place that influence me, Anne Boleyn for being an ambitious woman and getting the last laugh when her daughter became England’s greatest monarch, my parents as well, my younger sibling much more innocent and pure, reminds me it’s okay to just enjoy things and take break. My two people, they teach me a lot about accepting that people are different and they can totally understand without feeling the same way. Dr. MLK, unnerving belief, Rosa Parks, Malcom X, Selena, Michelle Obama, Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Ruth B. Ginsberg so many people mainly their strengths of morals, character and how they speak even when people tell them tojust shut up, never buckle just because they yell loudest.

Some written words:

I love what a lot of people say my tattoo list is insane but one speech comes to mind it’s tailored and it might fit me better than it might fit you but Peter Dinklage gave a speech that you can find on YouTube shown by goalcast, 2:50, everytime I’m close to giving up on an anything I think back to this speech, and I find a way to push on, to light up the night.

A life advice:

I believe that people are mostly good and that the few does not and will not dictate my drive to help the many, that because something terrible happened does not mean everyone is like that. Just because what you may want seems far fetched to others do not, DO NOT let them be the reason you never try, succeed or even fail. You can be ambitious and still giving, you can want to provide for your family and create wealth and still be charitable, you can look out for others and yourself, you can put yourself first and still be selfless, you can teach without being condensing, you can stand by your beliefs and still respect others and reach your dreams taking many different paths, please don’t give up.

In my own words:

You have to look and find what works for you, how can you regulate your emotions, what works best for channeling them into useful actions find that out because everyone is different, and everyone needs different things. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for what you need, but you should never have to beg someone for anything, especially love. Not only are you not alone but you are special, people experience this at varying degrees, you’ve found people who identify with you while still being unique. Don’t let the exhausting part of this get you down, you have an amazing capacity for every emotion, explore them and realize like everything else this coin has two sides. Some people will never know your pain or anguish but they’ll also never know your ecstasy or bliss, you may wish to do without but this is only one part of you and you can learn to control this however you please.



‘ Living life more intensely sure has its lows, but the little things I draw strength from bring me so much joy and power and make this all seem worth it.’

My Name: Grace

Who am I:

I am a teenager living in the US, and I am very driven by faith. My natural talents lie in art, and I suppose I have always just found peace in it from a young age. I also feel moved by nature, beautiful historical places, many other things, and enjoying listening to music, as most do, but it means something very deep down in my soul. I guess I’m still figuring out who I am.

My story:

I am still young, and know that there is still so much for me to learn about myself, yet I can’t help but completely relate to what Imi has been writing. I’ve been skeptical about how I feel for so long, but for even longer, I felt that I’ve always just sort of known that something was different about me, something didn’t quite add up.

I even made the brave choice to speak to my parents about how I am feeling, and started seeing a doctor for three years for therapy. It didn’t work. I tried a new therapist who I felt I had a bit more of a soul connection to, but they too labeled me as dysthymia, etc. I’ve tried two different types of medicine, and nothing has eased how I feel.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all of the help and resources I’ve been given, but it seems no one knows how I feel. I mean literally no one. Until I stumbled on an article in Psychology Today where Ms. Lo shared what it meant to feel this way. As I have done many times before, I felt… everything. Finally, it felt like there was this light at the end of the tunnel. All of my days alone wondering why no one and no source recognized my uniquely intense emotions were not in vain. The ups, the downs – the article has been the one source I can relate to.

I’m still trying to figure everything out, but I do not regret who I am and how I feel. How could I? Living life more intensely sure has its lows, but the little things I draw strength from bring me so much joy and power and make this all seem worth it. In the moment at least.

I need this to work, and I believe now that it is recognized and I am still quite young, I can begin to free myself of my condition’s restrictions, and yet utilize them at the same time.


My inspirations:

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” -Stephen Chbosky
My strong beliefs
My childhood
And though I’m a serious kind of girl, I still feel entirely moved by some good music

People who have influenced me:

My mother, and really just most of my family
Pope Francis
Jesus – who says it’s okay to love
The Virgin Mary, Michelle Obama, and many other strong women

Some written words:

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

I know I write a lot about joy, but so far, I find it more interesting to dwell on than my more terrible and immense feelings.

A life advice:

My goal is to live by the idea that in the end, you are stuck with yourself, and are the only one who can bring strong peace and happiness. I’m not quite there yet, and maybe I never will be, but I believe it is a good way to go about life.

In my own words:

Well as someone who is young and emotionally intense, my firsthand advice is that though you are unique, one in a million, different.. you still have a place in the world and there are people out there who can relate to your story and be moved by it. Simply, this is so hard, but you are a fighter if you’ve made it this far. You can do this. You really really can.



‘I was supposed to conform and tried to at times but it didn’t feel honest. I thought I ‘knew’ many things and that sense kept me going, but if I spoke them out, was told I was wrong.’

My Name: Linda

Who am I:

I’m actually 70 years old but look younger, (which is a wonder!) and feel about 23yrs! I was born in New Zealand and have lived here all my life – a country of immense privilege and beauty but which, in my experience, suffers from materialism and embarrassment around non-physical realities. Authenticity matters to me, sincerity and honesty, also respect for resources (i.e. not wasting things), and respect for the planet.

My story:

Many families have dysfunction. Feeling no connection with either of my parents, I craved to feel loved. I think I dumbed myself down in my childhood and thought I was hated. As I got older, I was controlled and forbidden what should have been healthy things. I married a good man but who had little grasp of anything non-physical. All my life I was told I was ‘too intense’, ‘too sensitive’. I was supposed to conform and tried to at times but it didn’t feel honest. I thought I ‘knew’ many things and that sense kept me going, but if I spoke them out, was told I was wrong.
Fast-forward many years and I find, after much searching, the answers.
Three things in particular are transforming my life.
1. 25 years ago – finding the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church (and I stress – the Traditional one, not modern or ‘progressive’ but the one formed by Christ 2000 years ago).

2. The Enneagram.    This is a personality theory that helped me a lot after I did a weekend course.    It is a very old method of the dividing of people into nine types.   For some of us who feel so unique, I must say it is a surprise to find we are one of the nine and are often performing along a particular pre-determined line!    The Enneagram gave me hope as it made more sense of who I am, how I’ve developed and in some ways, ‘why’, and how I could understand myself better.   But it also showed me how others may be and how everyone has various issues, strengths and weaknesses to struggle with.   My bewilderment at how others behave and view the world became more understandable which was a good thing for me.  There are many and varied books on this and plenty of info on the Internet.

3. Neuro-emotional Technique (NET) Through this, I have been able to see that the perceptions formed by me in life, have caused people around me to react and that I can change within by this Technique and then how I am treated may change and there is less pain in life. That is good, because for most of my life I have felt deeply traumatised and I really should look very elderly!! But I think that continually forgiving (once I had worked through the hurt of not being understood) has helped me, actually. BTW, I am still married, after nearly 50 years, to the same man! This may be the greatest achievement of my whole life.

My inspirations:

The main spiritual reading I have done is a huge Work by an Italian mystic, Maria Valtorta, (a bed-ridden invalid who never travelled to the Holy Land). It contains over 600 visions of the lives of Jesus and Mary. The account of the Passion of Christ is more graphic and distressing than Mel Gibson’s film….which I didn’t see…being warned by friends who knew I would not manage it. Maria’s books, written in Italian are now published in English and other languages in 10 volumes named “The Gospel as revealed to me”.
I also read the Bible and writings of the saints. Real food for the soul. You Tube has many good clips that educate – particularly, ‘Sensus Fidelium’ is one I enjoy, about the Traditional Catholic Faith. You Tube also has plenty of NET clips which inspire and give hope for change within or with physical issues (which may stem from what is within.)
Imi Lo’s book gave me the words to celebrate my sensitivity etc, as a gift and to look more on the positive side of the contribution I can make (albeit often an unseen one.) My deep feeling of compassion for anyone, no matter what they are experiencing of distress, causes me to pray for people who may never know that I do……and I often cry for others when I pray, and this is a wonderful way to ‘use’ such deep feelings, believing I am giving something, knowing the One who reads hearts and knows my intent, can use it.

People who have influenced me:

Jesus the Christ, the Apostles, many of the saints. Holy priests. My dear friends who love me and help me to feel valued.

Some written words:

“Late have I loved thee, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved thee!
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me: I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst no more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

– The Confessions of St. Augustine of Hippo, 4th Century.

A life advice: The words of Jesus the Christ, Saviour of the world, Son of the Living God:

“Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”

Also, common-sense advice I have found in clips by Gary Daniels – he has such a positive vibe, and some things he says can make it possible to pick up a better outlook.

In your own words:

The same as the words above, and I would add that I would love that they would be able to feel and believe, even in their head before they really know it, if possible, that they are loved by the Creator of the Universe, unique and of great value!


MARIAN, 36, Belgium; coach and clinical psychologist

‘there are people in the world who are like you, although you don’t have met them yet.’

My Name: Marian

Who am I:

I’m from Belgium. I’m coach and clinical psychologist.
My biggest passion is writing. In September I published my first book. It’s a book for teenagers. I hope it will inspire them and give them hope when times are rough.  I like being alone and being creative. I like being in nature. I like reading. I like drawing and making music.  I’m also the mother of two children. The third child is on his way. I love to be a mum and be with the children. Sometimes the practical things of the household and the care for the children are hard for me because I need so much time alone and don’t feel good when I don’t have this time.

My story:

I had a very very difficult time from when I was 15 till 23 years old. When I look back afterwards I think I was really depressed. I felt and thought very black. I didn’t felt connected with the people around me. I felt very very lonely. My parents didn’t understand or help me. They let me go my way while I needed support, boundaries, love and care.
Now I’m 36 years old and I’m feeling much better. I have learned to love myself in the way I am and to choose for the things that I love and to stop being a person who I am not. I’m feeling more and more on my way and enjoying life and my creativity. It’s still difficult to find a job that I love enough or to make money with the things that I love. Also difficult that I lose a lot of energy in the daily world around me.

My inspirations:

– Etty Hillesum
– Dawson’s Creek (character of Joey)
– Living with intensity – Pchiekowski
– Personality shaping – Dabrowski
– Women who run with the wolves
– Film: the lady in the water!
– Rainforest mind
– website Tolan Stephanie

People who have influenced me:  Jesus, Etty Hillesum

Written words that have resonated with me:

When we seek daily spiritual guidance, we are guided toward the next step forward for our art. Sometimes the step is very small. Sometimes the step is, ‘Wait. Not now.’ Sometimes the step is, ‘Work on something else for a while.’ When we are open to Divine Guidance, we will receive it. It will come to us as timely conversations with others. It will come to us in many ways – but it will come.
– Julia Cameron

My words to you:

Try to believe in yourself. Know that times will get different. Know that there are people in the world who are like you, although you don’t have met them yet. You are not alone. You are beautiful. Try to choose for what you really love and don’t try to be like everyone who you see around you. Being emotionally intense is sometimes difficult, but in the end it is a gift, for yourself, for everyone around you and for the world.



‘I can ‘sense’ people’s emotions, I can be very sensitive to smells, I feel things so intensely that my body doesn’t know how to react.’

My Name: Jessica

Who am I:

I am a 21 year old female from Kent. I’ve lived there all my life. I am a student studying psychology, however I am currently on a placement year working in a clinical setting.

The most important things in my life are my family and boyfriend. They are my support and I don’t know where I’d be without them.

My aim in life is to be happy and content.

My story:

My story starts when I was 16. I was abused by a guy I liked. I hid it because I was embarrassed and ashamed. My mental health started declining when I was 17. I was a straight ‘A’ student before, but suddenly my grades dropped and I refused to go to school on most days. I would stay in bed, forget to eat, never live the house. I would seep and watch TV. I started having panic attacks when I needed to leave the house to go to the doctors. My mum eventually got me to see a doctor, only for me to be told that there was nothing wrong with me and that I just needed to spend more time with friends.

I went to the doctors a second time. This time, I was recommended to start a course of counselling and was prescribed medication. This didn’t really help the situation. The next year was spent trying different antidepressants, and attending various counselling and CBT sessions. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression by the GP.

Aged 18, nothing had changed. I was more angry, I cried over the smallest things. I would rip up my bed sheets, rip my clothes and destroy my personal possessions. I was referred to the local Younger Adults CMHT and diagnosed with EUPD.

From then on, people seemed to understand me more, but there is a stigma within the healthcare system with people with BPD. People seem to believe that people like me are difficult to work with. But we aren’t. We just need the right treatment, and for the clinicians to understand our struggles. 

It’s hard. I struggle to find the words to describe how I feel. I’ve known about my diagnosis for years, yet my parents and friends still don’t fully understand it. I can ‘sense’ people’s emotions, I can be very sensitive to smells, I feel things so intensely that my body doesn’t know how to react. But that’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. And it’s also difficult when there’s very little awareness in the public media about BPD/EUPD.

My inspirations:

The song ‘How to Save a Life’ was a really inspirational song for me. I reminds me that I need to live.

Imi’s book on emotional sensitivity was another inspiration for me. It showed me that although i struggle, there is still positive in my disorder, and that I need to use that to my advantage.

The Mighty website has been a big help, the sense of community reminds me that I’m not alone in this.

People who have influenced me:

For me, my boyfriend has influenced me. Before, my relationships were always intense and unstable and never lasted very long. I have been with my boyfriend for almost two years now, and he has stayed by me though everything.

He has been by my side through everything, even coming with me to doctors appointments, and has helped my confidence grow and grow. When he’s with me, the world doesn’t seem so scary.

He has this amazing view of the world. He is calm and relaxed about everything. His aim is to be happy, and now that is my aim too. I don’t need to get a 1st at uni to be happy. I don’t need a big fancy house and lots of money. He makes me happy and thats all I need.

Some written words:

‘People with BPD are like people with 3rd degree burns over 90% of their body. They feel agony at the slightest touch o movement’

‘You may have to climb the mountain, but the view from the top is worth it’

‘It’s a disorder, not a decision’



‘There are many, many people who have come before us (me) who have suffered and struggled. I’ll never know their names but I can feel them, you know? Especially the women whose names don’t even come down to us. ‘

My Name: Patricia

Who am I:

I am now sixty-two years old. I grew up in New York City and have lived in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain regions of New York State for the past thirty plus years. I have been an artist and writer since childhood but I have held many job descriptions over the years.

My story:

I don’t remember ever categorizing myself as “sensitive” as a child but I know now that I was. I did always know that I was different than the other members of my family and friends.
I came along fairly late in life for my parents and my siblings were all much older than me. When I was two years old, my oldest sister died suddenly at eighteen of an undiagnosed heart condition. My family essentially fell apart at that moment and never regrouped.
I sometimes say that I was born just in time to sweep up and turn off the lights.
I don’t know if my parents blamed each other for Ann’s death but when they weren’t arguing and fighting, the tension was thick enough to cut with a knife. I don’t believe that they ever dealt with their grief. After her death, her name was rarely mentioned in my family so I never got to know her even through second-hand histories.
My father was raised in a monastery orphanage and God only knows what he might have experienced there but he was a very angry and exacting man. He was hard on my brother who wound up leaving the family very young and marrying a woman who came from dysfunction as well. Their children suffered greatly as a result of that union.
My remaining sister who is mentally, emotionally and physically disabled was a constant emotional drain on my parents and they often fought about how she was being “handled.” She was difficult and there were no societal options for people like her in those days. No compassion or support. Just “try to look as normal as possible…”
There wasn’t much room for me to have any needs as things were forever in chaos and my role became pretty clear pretty early on: Disappear until we need a peacemaker.
I remember long walks with my mom when she’d leave the house during an argument. During those walks, I would counsel her on her marriage! I was six or seven years old! To say I was emotionally parentiified is an understatement and my mother’s emotions became my responsibility in my mind.
When I was nine, my father died. He was forty-seven and had suffered numerous heart attacks beginning in his thirties.
He died in his sleep sometime on a school day morning. I had some kind of premonition that morning and I refused to go to school which was strange because I loved school – it was my escape. I had just been skipped from third grade to fifth and so happy to be challenged.
I don’t know how long he was dead before I reached out and touched his arm to find that it was ice cold. I have no memory of what happened after that until my mom came home from work hours later.
wound up in bed for two solid weeks after that trauma. I was never taken to a doctor or a psychologist or even talked to about it. That’s how things were done in those days. Like my sister, my father was rarely mentioned again.
My life after that became pretty much trying to shield my mother from further emotional stressors. She became extremely anxious and sometimes even paranoid. I became the go-between when she and my sister were fighting. Alcohol became a constant coping mechanism for both of them.
I never had the luxury of focusing on myself or my sensitivities. My focus was always outward – waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

Despite passing all my high school classes with mid to high eighties even though I rarely attended in my senior year, I never went to college. I had to get a job and start contributing to the household. In those days, it wasn’t thought that women really “needed” a college education. It was optional at best. That failure is to this day my biggest regret.
During childhood, I spent most of my time in my room reading, drawing and writing stories. As I got older, my friends became my “real” family and I found myself almost living two lives. I sometimes say I got in as much trouble as I could before getting home at eleven so my mother wouldn’t worry.
Like many women before me, I saw “Husband #1” as my ticket out only to find myself in a deeper mess. Looking back, I was so out of touch with who I was and what I needed that I just kept digging deeper!
Now I have been married for thirty years with a daughter, two step children and grandchildren that I’m very proud of. Despite having now entered my sixties I’m doing everything I can to give voice to myself and my inner child through my art and writing. My biggest challenges have been self esteem and caretaking issues. I am a card-carrying member of Adult Children of Alcoholics and Other Dysfunctions which has probably saved my life.

My inspirations:

Despite how hard life was for me growing up, I have always felt that I have been “protected” by unseen forces. I don’t subscribe to any religion but I have had some profoundly deep spiritual experiences throughout my life. In many ways that has drawn me to more esoteric things. I feel that we are much greater than these bodies and these roles that we play in the production we call “life.”
Off the top of my head and in no particular order: I love Shakespeare and Jung. I love Robert Moss and his dreamwork. I love Raymond Moody and his books about Near Death Experiences, I love anything by Marianne Williamson, I love Rumi. I love Wayne Dyer and John Bradshaw. I loved the Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. Thomas Campbell – My Big Toe. I loved the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and so many more. I actually do a lot of reading to “escape” and then I’m drawn to Medieval Mysteries (don’t ask me why!)
I tend to like “escape” movies too but one I really related to was What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? I could really relate to Johnny Depp’s character in that movie.
Art is my salvation and has been since I was an infant and mother put a pencil in hand to stop me crying and waking the whole house up in the middle of the night!

People who have influenced me:

There are many, many people who have come before us (me) who have suffered and struggled. I’ll never know their names but I can feel them, you know? Especially the women whose names don’t even come down to us. Despite the damage done to me by her neediness, my mother definitely comes to mind as a hero. She survived so much and somehow she kept going. In the best way she knew how she did what she could for me. She worked in factories. She scrubbed floors. Her father was tough and her husband was even tougher. Even though her heart was terminally broken, she loved me and I know that.
I guess people like Gandhi and Mother Teresa come to mind for their selflessness and that’s obvious, but I always feel that for each person like that – whose names we know – there have been hundreds of thousands like them that we don’t. I try to honor them all in my heart. I think of those people – living through war, living through famine, living through disease and oppression and heartbreak and surviving to pass on their genes. They’re humanity – ordinary people – they’re all heroes to me.

Some written words:

I love quotes and poetry. Here are a couple that resonate with me.

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it” – Rabindranath Tagore


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


A life advice:

Many, many things that I still need to remind myself of on a regular basis! Perhaps the simplest is to get out of your head sometimes and simply follow your heart. Be child like. It’s okay to be that because we are that. Someone once said to me: “Of course the child you were still lives within you! Did you bury your six year old self? Did you have a funeral for your twelve year old self? That child is alive and that child needs you to parent her.
Attach to the things that bring you joy! Do more of those! Give yourself that gift because those things are telling you who you really are!

In my own words:

Make it your life’s mission to love yourself. Strive for the day you can look in the mirror and smile and say “I love you” and really mean it without shame and embarrassment. Strive for that.
Another thing I would say is to connect with your body. All the emotions, all the pain plays out in these bodies but most of us have learned to be in our heads so much that we are cut off from them. This has helped me so much especially when I’m in an emotional flashback. Notice the sensations in your body without intellectualizing or labeling them. Just notice and breathe into the sensation. Don’t try to attach the sensation to the “story” in your head. Let it just be and don’t attach to it. You will see that after a few minutes the sensation will lift off you and you’ll feel better. I always picture a big tree with a flock of birds that come and sit on the branches for a few minutes and then take off in unison.
Another thing I would say is that you can’t “solve” your childhood. It’s over. There’s nothing to solve any more. You will have to find a gentle and compassionate way to unlearn some things and learn some other things – that’s all it is. If you can do this with love and forgiveness, then you won’t just have survived, you will come out of it with gifts for yourself and others.

My offering: A piece of artwork titled Gentle

Rebecca G., 46, Australia

’Sometimes I feel like I am not really from here and I long to go home. I have come to understand home as my spiritual being, my higher self.’

Your Name: Rebecca Garnett

Who are you:

My name is Bec, I am 46 and I live in Australia. I am lucky enough to live very near to the beach. The things that matter the most to me are my children, social justice, the environment, books, learning, music and my spirituality. I love being at the beach, the sand and sun restore my energy and the ocean washes everything away. I am so grateful when I am in the water, the vastness of the ocean and the way the sun reflects across the surface of the water makes me feel alive and grateful to be here.
I work in an early intervention program for children who are at risk of developing poor mental health but I am considering taking a break for a while to focus on my own healing and well-being.

Your story:

Finding this site has been amazing. I feel like I have found my tribe.
I have always felt like a square peg in a round hole. Being perceptive and sensitive has felt like a blessing and a curse most of my life. While understanding the undercurrents of a situation can sometimes be helpful often it isn’t. This has made me question myself a lot and doubt whether what I feel in my heart is true. The older I get though, the more I trust my own judgement. When I have listened to that quiet still voice within, I have found that it tends to be a lot more reliable than my rational mind or listening to other people.

I cry a lot, everything I feel, I feel intensely. Even as a child I would cry when my feelings were hurt over things that didn’t seem to bother other children.
A friend who has known me since I was very young told me that she remembers me as being a very serious child. That’s not how I remember it though, I remember liking make believe and getting lost in my imagination. When I was a child, I believed that the world was a beautiful place. I still do, or at least I believe it can be and should be and seeing any seeing any kind of injustice really disturbs me.

I have felt lonely and misunderstood my whole life. I don’t seem to be able to paddle around in the shallow end, I am always diving deep – looking for meaning, trying to synthesise my feelings, thoughts and ideas to gain a deeper understanding of myself, others and my world.
Sometimes I feel like I am not really from here and I long to go home. I have come to understand home as my spiritual being, my higher self.

I get attached to people deeply and still feel sad about people who are no longer in my life. I don’t seem to be able to move on and let go the way others can as I connect deeply with people’s souls. I long for connection but fear abandonment.
I feel overwhelmed easily and need time alone but when I feel joy and gratitude I feel that intensely too.
Like lots of people on here, I am an empath, an introvert, personality type INFJ. According to the Riso-Hudson Enneagram which is another type of personality framework which I personally prefer, I’m a five with four wing (Investigator with Individualist wing). If you are interested in checking out the book, ‘The Wisdom of The Enneagram’, I found it to give me a good understanding of my personality type and what I need for psychological and spiritual growth.

Your inspirations:

I love the app Insight Timer. Sarah Blondin is my favourite teacher but there are lots of amazing spiritual teachers on this app that help to remind me that I am human and that the pain I feel so deeply is part of my growth as a human being. Astrid Brinck also has some beautiful guided meditations that help remind me of my connection and get bak in touch with my soul and Destiny Marie Love has a beautiful poem called ‘When triggers arise’ which is definitely worth listening to.

I love the work of Khalil Gibran and Rumi’s poetry. 
In terms of music, I love Trevor Hall, especially the song ‘You can’t rush your healing’ and Xavier Rudd, ‘Follow the Sun’ and ‘Bundagen.’

People who have influenced you:

I have been inspired by Uncle Bob Randall who is amazing Aboriginal Leader (you can find his talks on u-tube), Deepak Chopra, Rebecca Campbell who writes about unleashing the wild woman within, Brene Brown’s work on shame, Nelson and David Richo who changed the way I related to my shadow side to name a few.

Some written words:

Letter to myself

I understand your sadness
And how you’ve locked yourself away
But you no longer need to be alone
Not tomorrow, nor today

I promise to treat you tenderly
To hold you when you’re scared
To give you all the love you need
Make sure that you feel heard

I’ll be there in your darkest hours
And never leave your side
I promise that from this time on
You’ll never have to hide

I’ll give you everything my dear
I’ll understand your pain
For you are worthy of my love
I won’t let you down again

Rebecca Garnett 2nd February 2017

‘I don’t know what it’s like to not have deep emotions, even when I feel nothing, I feel it completely.’ AR Asher

‘We are all learning how to work in kindness and compassion with ourselves during the ragged, tender moments when life catches us off guard and brings us to our knees.’ Jessica Schaffer

‘Your pain is the breaking of your shell that encloses your understanding’ Khalil Gibran

A life advice:

The light can’t exist without the shadows….darknesss and light are part of one another.. Love yourself in the dark corridors of your being, when you are down, you deserve more love …. not less. In the darkness you are being taught how to love …. Give yourself permission to be in all the places you are’ Sarah Blondin

In your own words:

Believe in yourself, you are more than ok just as you are. Learn to see your emotional intensity as a gift but guard it wisely. You have so much to give but there are many people who will not understand you or who will feel threatened by you. Avoid giving of yourself to those that don’t nourish you emotionally and spiritually and help you grow; they will deplete your energy. Surround yourself with people who can nurture your sensitive soul.


Anonymous, 46, UK; Landscape artist


Who are you

I am 46. I have lived, studied and worked in London, Oxford and Bath.
I am a contemporary landscape artist where I paint, draw and sculpt as part of my practice my path hasn’t been a straight forward or easy one. I also teach art. My passion is Fine Art Painting/Sculpture but also love anything creative. I love music especially Jazz.. I love contemporary dance, reading and poetry and cooking etc. I adore animals and seems to have a special connection with them. I love walking and could walk for miles. I feel intensely when I am standing in the middle of a great art exhibition or listing to music. Nature also moves me especially the elements. I love walking in the rain with my beautiful dog. I love walking by a wild sea.

What matters to me: I have strong concerns about social injustice, those with disabilities and animal welfare. I have strong values about how people should treat each other. I am emotionally intense, highly sensitive, highly creative, consider myself kind and giving and extremely determined and passionate about causes. I love giving too, I am very understanding and compassionate. I naturally think the best of people,

My Story:

I was a happy child up until I was 6 years. I have strong memories of happy days learning to ride my bike with gusto and determination. I remember wearing my red 1970s tracksuit and was proud to wear my swimming badges which were earned at my Saturday morning classes. I adored the movement of playing on the swing and remember the paddling pool vividly and of mum putting me on the blanket under the buddleia tree. I remember how the blanket smelt and the light shining through the foliage. I loved my formative years at playgroup where I was a prize winner in a county art competition. And at primary school, I had a lovely first teacher, where I remember adoring story-time at the end of the day. I’ve always loved learning and creating. I had pets and learnt early on that nurturing my pets and my cuddly toys gave me great joy. I had lots of friends, was a chatty, smiley, a happy child. I was a tomboy always playing outside, climbing trees and having gang meetings in the shed at the bottom of the garden. I have very strong visual and sensory memories of my childhood. 

For many reasons which I won’t go into life got more difficult after that time. I have often felt lonely all through my adult years, crying has been central to my life I think because so many things have been overwhelming. However I don’t feel a lone cause I love people. I love life. There is so much to do, to achieve, to love. I discovered my abilities relatively early on in my teens but have felt for a long time that I have not reached my potential even at 46. My studies, learning and creating gives me great joy and feel this is my safe space. However I as an emotionally sensitive and intense person I have felt great guilt about enjoying my inner world and moving forward with my abilities.

Yes, it is extremely tough being sensitive and intense. It’s only been the last couple of years that I have been finding out more about neurodiversity and was first introduced to it when someone said that I was and empath. I read lots and from there I discovered Elaine Aron’s work in America. From there I found Imi who is giving my so much with her wonderful book.

Throughout my life I have met some lovely beautiful people and some of those have been the ones who have supported my sensitivity and creativity. There are others more often than not that have hurt and challenged me whether it be in work, family and partners. This consequently has been detrimental effect on my esteem and confidence. I have lost count on how many painful comments have been made over the years. I am not ashamed to say that I have had 2 episodes of reactive depression when life’s dealings has brought me to a very low ebb. I have always had great faith in human nature and have held on to the fact that love prevails but I also believe that you need to keep learning about yourself and to change some things so that you can become a stronger and more resilient person. I believe that love is the light of the world. You have to be courageous too.

I have recently had to accept the painful painful truth of when the person you love, your trusted partner attacks your very soul for being emotional, sensitive and passionate about life in all its shapes and forms. To regain strength I am now looking at myself more intensely than ever and analysing the relationship patterns I kept repeating.
That’s where self esteem comes into it I think. You must believe you are beautiful, you must believe you deserve to be loved cause you do. I am embarking on a journey of learning to heal and love myself. Lots of work I know but I’m starting by surrounding myself with everything I love doing, being with lovely people and embarking on an inner spiritual journey. I have recently been to an introduction to meditation course which I am hoping to go further with.

I am realizing that as a emotionally sensitive and intense soul you deserve a huge sized piece of love. Don’t accept anything less than the love you give. Surround yourself with kind people. I think learning to love yourself will give you stability and the beautiful building block to be the best person you can be and shine through with your gifts. Putting yourself first (I don’t mean this in a selfish way) it will also help you make the right decisions in finding a supportive and loving partner. I am also learning a lot right now about boundaries and values and I think that’s this very important for sensitive souls.

My inspirations:

Natural World, Earth Pilgrim DVD – Satish Kumar – A Spiritual Journey into the Landscape of Dartmoor with Satish Kumar (such a beautiful dvd)
Father Christopher Jamison – Finding Sanctuary: Monastic steps for Everyday Life 
Elaine Aron – The Highly Sensitive Person
Ben Okri, Author – The Famished Road
Italo Calvino – Mr Palomar
Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic, Creative living beyond fear.

People who have influenced me:

I have meet many people on my journey who have influenced me but I am ultimately drawn to kind and talented people.
Through my work I am inspired by creativity especially artists whether it be painters,ceramicists , sculptors, poets, composers and writers. I am inspired by those people who have a voice and I use this as a guiding light however lonely I sometimes feel.

Some written words:

Be Strong, Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Kind. You are Beautiful.
Although it can be extremely tough being sensitive and emotionally intense keep loving the world and those beautiful things it holds and those beautiful things which are inside of you.

Ben Okri – Author
The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.
Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.
Don’t despair too much if you see beautiful things destroyed, if you see them perish. Because the best things are always growing in secret.
The higher the artist, the fewer the gestures. The fewer the tools, the greater the imagination. The greater the will, the greater the secret failure.

A life advice : My friend Martin once said to me, there is nothing wrong with you, all you need is stability. I have been searching for this for a long time but now I realise that this comment is so valuable in so many ways. Stability can be created by you. It will help if you have a supportive partner who helps with life’s ups and downs but ultimately stability can come from within. What you do, what you feel, your spiritual journey, the friends and people you chose to have around you all serve stability. At 46 I still have much to work on but I am figuring it out.

My words to you: Find things you love and find the things you love doing. Focus on you, work on everything you love doing. Study well whether its creative or academic, or both. I totally believe that education is your path to help strengthen you in the world. Don’t worry, be who you want to be. Write down your thoughts and feelings and get out there in the world, don’t shy away. Build a network of people around you who value you and your beautiful gifts and nature. Build on your gifts, we need them.


DANA, Georgia

“I can see the trees and feel their life.”

My Name: Dana Ashley

Who am I: Georgia, USA
I enjoy being in nature, I love wild plants and animals.
I work at a bank but I am going to nursing school.
My children. The earth. Giving other people peace.

My story:

It has been very difficult and confusing at times and it has been very powerful and comforting at times. I have grown to embrace who I am and enjoy being different. It has made me strong.

My inspirations:

Honestly nothing has helped me more than this website. It made me realize that this is real and I’m not a freak.

People who have influenced me:

I have an Aunt that I was very close to. She was different as well. She was a drug addict and ended up losing her life to liver cancer. In her last days I sat with her and she began to tell me about being different and how she could feel and see things and looked at me and told me she knew I had it too. It was a very rough time losing her but I decided I wasn’t going to try and make myself normal anymore.

Some written words that have resonated with me:

A sensitive soul, a heart of wild you grew up thinking you were a cursed child. Embrace your blessing it’s not a curse for you have been kissed by the universe. Author unknown

A life advice:

I realize know I’m lucky. I’m lucky because I can see it. I can see the trees and feel their life, I love wild animals and experiencing their energy. I know when someone needs me and I can help them no matter how I’m feeling. I have this whole world living inside of me that is so complex. I don’t share this with many people. I feel like it’s my secret super power.

My words to you:

You will find your way but you have to first realize you aren’t a freak. Far from it. You are special. A warrior. Different from the rest. You were chosen this path for a reason. The sooner you accept it the more good you will spread in this cold world.


DIANN, 62, Los Angeles, Coach and Speaker

‘it is simply who and what I am – a seeker, a life long learner, someone who needs to be stimulated and challenged to keep climbing the mountain.

I really can’t stop. And I don’t want to.’

My Name: Diann Wingert

Who am I:

I am a 62 year old Caucasian woman who lives in a Los Angeles suburb. I have lived all over LA, but have yet to leave for good. That being said, I finally began traveling in my 40s and have now explored India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and a number of US states, including Alaska (my most recent trip). I have changed careers several times – starting out in the fitness industry, then medical sales, became a social worker, then a psychotherapist, neurofeedback practitioner and now I am a coach and speaker. My next reinvention will be adding published author to the mix. What is most important to me is continuous personal evolution, growth, change and expansion. It has taken me this long to finally embrace that it is simply who and what I am – a seeker, a life long learner, someone who needs to be stimulated and challenged to keep climbing the mountain. I really can’t stop. And I don’t want to.

My story:

I have known that I was different from a very early age, but it took me decades to fully understand the nature and the extent of these differences. I was identified as gifted in the 4th grade and many years later, found to be ADHD as well. My intuitive awareness combined with my intellectual abilities and communication style ( direct, insightful, introspective and extremely articulate ) has made me the subject of considerable misunderstanding my entire life. Comments from school teachers as far back as the second grade still ring in my ears. For many years I felt hurt by being told I was “intimidating” or”threatening”. It made no sense to me that directness, honesty, intelligence and humor would make me an outcast. I connect with people very easily, but as the years have gone by, I have started to retreat. I am tired of outgrowing people and needing to move on without them or suffer the intolerable Death by Boredom. Only another gifted person would understand that admitting that doesn’t make me antisocial or narcissistic.

My inspirations:

Because I have taken the entrepreneurial path, I am inspired by the work of Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell and James Altucher. They are brilliant, humble and generous in sharing what they have learned. There are too many creatives to count as influencers, but a movie I saw recently that delighted me was “The Shape of Water.” Not only was it a visual feast, but it very creatively shared the experience of isolation as a result of being different that others and how powerful it is when you find someone who understands.

People who have influenced me:

Most of my influencers have been authors, because I have never found the real life mentors that I was seeking. In all honesty, I didn’t even know what I needed until recently when I “came out” as twice exceptional (gifted & ADHD) and stopped looking for heroes in all the wrong places. My greatest regret in life is that I wasted so much of it trying to be “normal” and convince myself to live on what satisfied others. I now think of this as emotional anorexia. I denied my intellectual, emotional and physical intensities and forced myself to make do with who and what was around me. Naturally this lead to episodes of existential (and sometimes clinical ) depression over time. I choose to believe it is never too late to discover who you really are and to find others who are like you. As a Baby Boomer, I may not be very tech savvy, but I am incredibly grateful to be living in the digital age. My chances of finding my tribe have never been better.

Some written words:

The most impactful quote for me is captured in the Serenity Prayer. I was a Christian believer for about twenty years and eventually became Buddhist, but the wisdom contained in these words is the best manifesto for daily living I know: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I now repeat a secular version of it to myself as a daily mantra.

A life advice: It is never too late to have a happy childhood.

Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are right.

The prison door can only be opened from the inside.

In your own words:

Accept and embrace your uniqueness. Craft, create and curate a life that respects your gifts. Protect your sensitivities and honor your vulnerabilities. The world will not understand you, but you must understand yourself. Never apologize for who you are, never seek permission or approval to be you. They cannot and will not give it to you. You are here for a reason. You are not broken. And you are not alone.

My Offering to you:

I am currently coaching creatives and entrepreneurs who struggle to fully express their brilliance. Many of them have ADHD challenges ( procrastination, perfectionism, people pleasing, distractibility, disorganization, etc). I am passionate about helping others release their gifts into the world and fulfill their true potential.


EFFIE, 40, Toronto; high school teacher

‘there are no rules, go your own way.’

My Name: Effie Chan

Who am I:

I am from Toronto, Canada. I am 40 years old. I was born in Canada, but my parents are from Indonesia. They traveled much before i was born and lived in many asian countries, hence they speak Indonesian, Cantonese and Mandarin. Being born here, i speak English firstly and broken Cantonese. I am a mother of two children aged 8 (boy) and 10 (girl). I am in a heterosexual marriage with my husband but I am also bisexual with a girlfriend whom I have found to be my twin flame. All parties are aware of each other as i have been blessed with partners whom are beautifully open and expansive minded.

I have been a high school teacher for 17 years: 15 years teaching math and the past 2 years and currently teaching health and physical education. I enjoy teaching young people, but as with most jobs i have good days and bad days. In recent years as i have reflected more upon my abilities and challenges in this profession, i have come to understand that i am an INFJ HSP empath:) Yes, all of that. As you may understand, being in a profession where I am constantly immersed in the swirling energies of others can deplete me and cause those ‘bad days’ that drain me. I have recently been trying to protect myself and give myself that downtime and withdraw from people when I get a chance to. This recharges me (to be certain) but somehow i’m still missing something in the equation as I have found these windows of solitude to be helpful but not enough. Band-aids help, but I know there are other more effective ways to heal. I’m on a path to seek those ways.

A huge part of who I am is my fighter self. I have competed in muay thai fighting on the amateur level. I have been doing this for 7 years, competing for the last 4 years. I have taken a year off from the competition due to a traumatic incident that happened to me last year that has required that I put my fragile and sensitive mental health first. I am still active in training, but due to this big event that happened, i feel like I’m starting back at square one and re-learning about the new me in this sport that I love and excel in. This sport was my salvation when i experienced some heavy relationship issues, but it too has had it’s depleting moments. Once again, fighting in front of hundreds of people can do something to an INFJ HSP empath…something I’m working towards wrt to reconciling my nature with my passion.

Aside from athletics, i am also an artist. I draw and paint. I see images and visions easily, especially after heightened emotional moments spent with my amazing girlfriend, whom is also an INFJ HSP empath. Because of who I am these visions have been both beautiful and bright, as well as terrifying and depressing.

What matters to me is living an authentic life: to do what i feel my gifts in this life are. I believe I am meant to connect others to their respective strengths of which they may not see (a teacher is a very fitting profession for this), but also to live what my heart desires despite what others think and say. It matters to me very much to a be light in this world, both for myself and others. It matters to me to be true to who you are.

My story:

I have a few experiences i’d like to share. I will start with a personal statement, a very honest, non-second guessed, response followed by something brief to clarify.

1) I’ve felt very alone.

I’ve been called a cry baby growing up because I was hurt easily by comments made to me which were not intended to hurt but merely to correct. My grade 1 teacher telling my corner to simply shhhhh was enough to send me to tears. Growing up, I often wondered to myself ‘what the heck is wrong with me? why do I cry about everything? No one else does.’

2) I have felt like I don’t belong here, that there’s something wrong with me.

Feeling alienated and isolated, I always felt i was..’off’ and that i have some genetic mistakes in me but will keep quiet about it bc I’m ashamed of my weakness. I have felt like i’m intellectually slower than others because others focused on the content and I was hung up on the feeings.

3) I have found solace in doing activities that involve just me. I’ve always gravitated towards sports that are individual (badminton, cycling, rock climbing, fighting, etc). I have found my home in being alone, going inward and getting to know my Higher Self.

4) I have hated myself.

I have had much self loathing because I have been so easily effected by life events, causing me to get pulled into a negative vortex/energy, while others are immune to it (it seems). I end up feeling a lot of pain and hurt, not always mine, but I tend to get sucked in easily while others move on. I often hate that i am so swayable.

5) I have seen my sensitive nature as a strength for connecting with my students.

Despite what i said in 4), I do recognize that my sensitive nature can be a strength as i can understand my students well and connect superbly with them.

6) It has been tiring.

Many times i just want to turn myself off and stop being so aware of all the energies around me. I’m currently working on trying to find ways of managing my wave of emotions which can be threatening and very negatively powerful.

My inspirations: Books on trauma. Books on resilience. Books on stones and crystals, meditation and mindfulness.

People who have influenced me:

Buddhism. Eckart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Esther Hicks and other people of the like. My own intuition though, has been the best guide. I have truly listened to my heart in order to make it so far:) Sometimes things get muddled in there, and when they do i tend to turn to meditation, my Higher Self and Buddhism to help me find a way out. Recently I have been blessed and lucky enough to find my kindred soul spirit, so my dear girlfriend Leila has been a huge salvation in my many dark moments.

Some written words that have resonated with me:

Words that have resonated with me from various sources…

go your own way

its okay to withdraw

you are right, too

protect yourself

love yourself

don’t give a fuck about others

there are no rules

The best life advice that I have been given, read, heard, or internalised: there are no rules, go your own way

What would I say to a young emotionally intense person who is finding their way in the world:

choose to stay

be strong

go your own way

…a few words among many others i’d say (both to myself and others)

My Offerings to you: Three paintings from my Chakra series:

Fee, 33, Milton Keyes; Clinical Researcher

‘I find I am either in rapture or despair. If I’m ever somewhere in between, it hardly registers in my nervous system.

I can see all points of view, yet at some point I have to choose where I stand, knowing I’ll antagonise someone.’

My Name: Fee

Who am I:

I am 33. I live in the UK. From Gloucestershire originally, now living in Milton Keynes.

I work for the National Health Service, helping to establish clinical research opportunities for patients across various therapeutic areas. This work means a lot to me. I’ve always worked in a research environment. Research is how we develop best practice and answer the unknown. I work for a wonderful team and find meaning in helping to present patients with opportunities to access new treatments, and helping researchers answer important questions about best treatments and patient quality of life.

The search for new knowledge drives me in all aspects of my life. I want to know something about everything. I think this has been partly driven by feeling like I need to keep my needs and feelings dampened and concealed – if I couldn’t expand my heart and soul, at least I could expand my mind.

I worked as a scientist for many years, completing a Masters degree and PhD in geochemistry. Science was dependable, something concrete to grasp and believe it. My pursuit of pure knowledge has softened over the years, with a greater concern as to how knowledge can help others, rather than seeking it for the sake of knowing. I lost a few years in the latter frame of mind, and it left me with a distinct sense of unease and something wanting. It took my a while to know myself enough to realise what the problem was. Discovering that I am an INFJ helped a lot with this, but the main driver was being in the wrong environment for too long. With new self-knowledge, change became inevitable.

My story:

I find I am either in rapture or despair. If I’m ever somewhere in between, it hardly registers in my nervous system. I’ve always struggled with my memories of events, and I wonder if this is why. 

I’m always on the fence. I can see everything from every perspective. This sometimes makes it hard to know what my true values are, hampered by having no belief in myself and my abilities. I am a people pleaser, never wanting to upset or offend anyone, and this makes seeing every angle really difficult – I can see all points of view, yet at some point I have to choose where I stand, knowing I’ll antagonise someone.

Because of the above, I’ve always been frustrated by small mindedness, and people who just go with what’s established and seem to lack empathy. I was confronted with sexist attitudes while at a college open day, when I expressed my desire to consider astronomy as a degree option. It was met with a sneering face and a drawling “Why?”. This memory (and that look in particular) sticks with me. “Why?” I think, “Why the hell not?!” I don’t understand people who express anything other than “Wow, good for you!” in response to someone expressing their hopes and dreams and aspirations. Those kind of negative responses shake me deeply, more so for having lacked the courage to speak out against them for a long time. I like to think I would now. 

When I was a child I was scared of a lot of things that seemed strange. I had many phobias. I knew it was unusual to react in fearful ways to these things and I was always curious as to why. Such fears were usually met with ridicule, derision, bafflement. I was left frustrated because I knew there must be a reason for my fears – my brain was made of the same stuff as others’ brains, surely – but I was consumed with feelings of inadequacy, and had no one to explore these fears with.

I’ve experienced chronic emptiness and an urgency, like there’s something I should be doing but I don’t know what, for so many years. I’ve realised this has resulted from ignoring my core, or my true self, and focusing on the outer skin that says “I can look after myself. I don’t need anyone or anything”. Through therapy I have been learning about my unmet needs and, most importantly, learning that it’s okay to have needs, no matter where they originate or what triggers them; viewing my need as neither good or bad, but simply as my needs. Going through this process has led me back to creative pursuits I enjoyed as a child – playing music, drawing and writing. With these things, I suddenly feel full. 

The emptiness can still appear at times when I’m ignoring my needs, leading me to act impulsively to feel better, leading me to try and satisfy those needs in the wrong ways, while my conscious, “self-aware” and “knowledgeable” mind is criticising me for my actions. To confront this, I imagine myself trying to merge my inner and outer selves – the inner, true, spontaneous self with the one who feel inadequate and has therefore abandoned the true self. While I was in a very low place last year, I would often imagine I could see another me, split off from me, usually walking a way ahead of me. As I began to heal, she would walk alongside me, and occasionally merge into me, with time becoming more teasing and playful. Eventually, we became friends and merged completely. While I am full, I cannot imagine I see her at all, no matter how hard I try.

I form attachments to things easily. I used to call them obsessions. They still happen occasionally, but have diminished in frequency and intensity over time. I wonder now if they resulted to fill in the empty feeling. The attachments could be anything – a person, a place, a book, film, characters, any topic. The object of my attachment would be all-consuming. I’d want to know everything about it, and show to everyone that it was the most important thing in the world to me.

Attachments to fictional things or places have usually be pleasurable and inspired creativity. Attachments to people have been more difficult to bear. Usually starting as pleasant for both, and inspiring creativity, then ending in disappointment and heartache. I can recall a few people in my life whom I have developed a strong attachment to and sense of connection with, but these friendships have never lasted. The most recent was the most devastating to me, and has led me to my lowest point, and what I hope will be my highest – and the search for healing led me here, for which I am incredibly grateful.

I have a keen sense of awareness about where people are physically in relation to me.
It’s hard to ignore. So much so that I find myself exhausted by moving around others all the time, but it’s hard not to. I also know what people are going to say before they say it – when they are talking I feel like I’m a few steps ahead of them and can start to feel impatient. I also become easily frustrated in meetings when it seems that everyone must have their say for the sake of saying something, and the meeting lasts an hour when it could have been done in half that time.

I look for meaning in everything. The realisation that we decide the meaning of things has been both a blessing and a curse. I can choose, and yet what’s the point? Everything is so beautiful, yet it’s all in the process of decaying. These types of thoughts accompany me wherever I go. Everything seems beautiful and sad. The pain of this is both enthralling/inspiring, and devastating/crushing. 

My mind feels like a constant stream of images, thoughts, and imagined conversations. It is never still. 

The most important point I would like to get across is that, until very recently, everything I have mentioned above I saw only in a negative light. I could not appreciate a single thing about any of it. It was all evidence of me being odd or defective in some way. For example, even being interested in a lot of things or being able to see things from other points of view, I took to mean that I must be fickle and weak. Now, I try and see this as a positive thing – I am curious and empathic.

With access to incredible resources like this website, books, and therapy, I have been able to slowly change my perspective, gradually let certain aspects of myself become free, and (most incredibly) observe those aspects and feel admiration and even pride for them.

My inspirations:

Nature is my main resource. It allows a connection, a true connection, which is what I have always been searching for. The connection is as much with myself as with the universe, as I come to truly love myself for the pleasure I find there, pleased that I am who I am in that moment. Being in nature has been the easiest way for me to be me.

Music in combination with nature is most powerful. I can listen to music to match my mood, or counteract my mood with the opposite music. I currently enjoy listening to the album “Sleep” by Max Richter. 8 hours long and composed to accompany a full night’s sleep, it has the ability to lull my mind as I walk, so that I can be completely present with whatever I’m feeling.

It’s rare for me to go on a walk and not cry at some point.

I also find a lot of comfort in books. Sometimes while at work I get so excited at thoughts of the book I will read that evening.

Some of the books/authors I have found most inspiring and helpful:

Imi Lo – “Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity”, and
Irvin D. Yalom
Frank Tallis
Alain de Botton
Ernest Becker
Susan Anderson
Margaret Paul
Eric Fromm
Sheldon Soloman et al., – “The Worm At The Core”
Daniel Goleman – “Emotional Intelligence”.
James Hollis – “Living an Examined Life”
Elaine Aron – “The Highly Sensitive Person”
Lisa A. Romano – “The Road Back to Me”
Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga – “The Courage To Be Disliked”.
Eckhart Tolle – “The Power of Now”.
M. Scott Peck – “The Road Less Travelled”
Alice Miller – “The Drama of Being a Child”
Lena Andersson – “Wilful Disregard”
Rachel Reiland – “Get Me Out Of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder”.
Marcus Aurelis – “Meditations”.
Derren Brown: Happy
Paul Kalanithi – “When Breath Becomes Air”.
Atul Gawande – “Being Mortal”.
Miriam Toews – “All My Puny Sorrows”.
Philip Pullman – “His Dark Materials”.
Stephen Grosz – “The Examine Life”.

Due to my near-lifelong dislike of having feelings, I’ve always been particularly captivated by art that shows people experience or succumbing to emotions. The painting ‘Beata Beatrix’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is one such painting. It reminds me that emotions can both inspire beauty and be interpreted at beautiful, and not met with disdain by all.

It has been so wonderful to discover Imi and her work, and to read everyone’s stories on here. So lonely I have felt that, once I discovered this ‘Tell Your Story’ project and read them all, I couldn’t wait to contribute my own. How wonderful to have so much in common with so many people! I hope that my writing can contribute to this body of comfort.

People who have influenced me:

I’ve always been inspired by females who exhibit strong will, determination, courage, and humility.

One fictional role model of mine since I was a child is Lyra Belacqua from the ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy by Philip Pullman. Not only is Lyra incredibly strong when it comes to difficult decisions, she is also assertive and completely herself. From the beginning you know she knows her values and what she stands for, and she doesn’t waver. On reflection it seems I may have been drawn to her strong sense of self as much as the adventure on which she finds herself.

Some written words:

A stanza from the poem ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, by Lord Byron (particularly the final 2 lines):

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar;
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”

“How often does nature thus become an involuntary interpreter between us and our feelings!” – Melmoth the Wanderer, by Charles Maturin.

I would like to share something I wrote while in the grips of an attachment to someone; something I said to him; something I was trying to work towards. “Freedom, for me, is knowing that I can feel my feelings and not become a slave to them. I choose how I act, so I am free. There’s strength in that I think, and freedom to do anything.”

A life advice:

“Our life begins twice: the day we are born and the day we accept the radical existential fact that our life, for all its delimiting factors, is essentially ours to choose” – James Hollis, “Living An Examined Life”.

“Something within us always knows and always registers its opinion” – James Hollis, Living an Examined Life.

In your my words:

The most important thing that has happened to be over the last 12 months is that I’ve become my own friend. It has taken a lot of help and perseverance to find the courage to begin exposing elements of my true self (I also had to rediscover them first), but becoming reacquainted with them and learning to love them has led me to feel less alone.

Be who you are. Don’t debate and intellectualise the reasons why you feel certain things and relate in certain ways. Don’t judge yourself for your needs. Just explore them. Accept them, no matter where they originated. Acceptance exposes the impact of repressed feelings on your actions, reducing their power, allowing you to show up in the world in the present, and to new opportunities.

That you don’t want to just fit in for the sake of it will eventually be seen as your strength rather than stubbornness or rebellion or indifference. Becoming your own best friend provides wonderful company.


flamingflower, wa, military female

‘in the end acceptance of positive and negative energies is inevitable.’

Who am I:

US military female in WA USA .
What matters most to me is finding my Authentic Self.
I enjoy martial arts.

My story:

For me being positively sensitive ias a good thing versus negatively sensitive to negative feelings is not.Perhaps in the journey of finding Authentic Self yin/yang works as a mirror to self. But in the end acceptance of positive and negative energies is inevitable.

My inspirations: History books and holy bible.

People who have influenced me: My Sensei in martial arts…and my dad whom I lost in 2017…but His love goes beyond the grave.

A life advice: 

“It all starts w/ a thought or intent which when mixed with emotion becomes a powerful creative force.”

-Excerpt from Explore Meditation.

My words to you :

Accept who you are and work your way into building your true authentic self.


Ian, 34, England

‘I wish to love, care for and support people around me, but keep finding that social norms only permit men to love and care for their romantic partners and their children.’

My Name: Ian

Who am I:

I am a 34 year old who has lived in various parts of England. My main ambitions are to have a positive impact on the world, loving and caring for and supporting people around me, and hopefully making innovative contributions of some kind to the wider world, making good use of my combination of intelligence, intensity and sensitivity.

My story:

I had quite a positive childhood, but it has been difficult since adolescence, as these traits have often been perceived as emotionally immature, in a society which expects men to keep a stiff upper lip, even to the point of being treated as a discipline issue. I am very used to the message that my feelings and perceptions are questionable, that apart from the way I see things, everything is fine.

I have always thrived within emotionally deep friendships, preferably relying on several people for emotional depth and intimacy rather than just one, but have always felt “up against it” in a society that expects men to depend on a romantic partner for all types of intimacy and stigmatises emotional bonding and intimacy in men’s friendships (with both men and women). Similarly, I wish to love, care for and support people around me, but keep finding that social norms only permit men to love and care for their romantic partners and their children. Forming strong emotional connections with friends, only for these connections to be invalidated by people around me, is often very hard. As I have never aspired to be a “family man”, preferring to focus on contributing to wider communities, I often get a sense of there being no place for me in this society.

On the other hand, it feels very satisfying on the occasions that I do form deep connections with people and get opportunities to support them and enrich their lives, and I find it rewarding to express them through a range of creative outlets including writing and listening to music.

My inspirations:

Various online sources of information on giftedness, sensory processing sensitivity and emotional intensity have been helpful, including several of the articles on this site. The 2002 film Equilibrium also sticks out due to its subject matter, with its portrayal of a very emotion-phobic society where people who felt emotions were executed as “Sense Offenders”.

People who have influenced me:

Mahatma Gandhi (social reformer) and Albert Einstein (scientific innovator) are two that particularly stick out, as I can strongly relate to a lot of their traits and their struggles, and they went on to have a large positive impact on the wider world. The observation that these traits can contribute positively towards both scientific advances and social reform is very empowering.
Motorsport’s Jean Alesi (referred to as “the mercurial French-Sicilian” by commentator Murray Walker) had a large impact in my childhood due to his struggles with being a very openly emotional man operating within a sport increasingly dominated by “stiff upper lip professionalism”, and the positive recognition he got as one of the sport’s big characters even though he only won one Grand Prix.

Some written words:

 “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” – George Bernard Shaw.

“When you grow up you, tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs

“Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.” – Albert Einstein


Consultant and Author at Eggshell Therapy and Coaching | Website

Imi Lo is a consultant and published author with extensive and international experience in mental health and psychotherapy. Her books Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity and The Gift of Intensity are available worldwide and in multiple languages. Imi has two Master’s degrees; one in Mental Health and one in Buddhist Studies. She works holistically, combining psychological insights with Eastern and Western philosophies such as Buddhism and Stoicism.