‘Why are things so hard sometimes?’ I asked the silence in the room.
It was 3 a.m. and I’d been awake for an hour. My racing heartbeat had woken me up from my already-fitful sleep. My mind was running laps around the same problem, over and over and over. I had a big day ahead of me and now I was going to be exhausted for it. I felt myself edge toward panic again. I breathed in deeply and squeezed an acupressure point on my hand. I so desperately wanted to relax.
Rest, Alissa. Leave it to me. I heard God say to me suddenly.
I didn’t question the message. I knew it was what I needed to hear. After an hour of laying awake, hearing that message soothed me. I surrendered, closed my eyes, and fell asleep. The next time I checked my phone, it was 7 a.m.
“Fear is a sign that you’re relying on your own strength. Freedom is a sign that you’re relying on the Universe.” -Gabby Bernstein
I often hear God speak to me in my darkest hours. When I’m on my knees, begging to be free of anxiety. When I’m scared and desperate and feeling alone. But, Spirit also speaks to me in times of joy, delight, and gratitude. Let me just say, I never used to talk to God. I didn’t pray unless I was just begging for something bad not to happen. I didn’t really have any sort of connection to a higher power. Honestly, I always wondered if people were making it up when they said they talked to God. Like, yeah, okay, how do you do that?
But things changed for me as my meditation practice became a consistent part of my life. I began talking to God, too.
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My connection to a higher power started on my meditation pillow
I started meditating a few years ago because my anxiety was really bad and I was aching for relief. Little did I know, meditation was going to give me a lot more than just anxiety relief. The more time I spent on my meditation pillow, the more connected I felt to a power greater than me. Sometimes I’d meditate and think about my to-do list the entire time. I’d complete the meditation feeling slightly calmer, but slightly annoyed with myself. Other times, my whole body would feel like it was melting away as if I was just a soul floating in the air. And still, other times my hands would get tingly or my chest would feel warm. These sensations didn’t happen all the time, but once I knew they were possible, I looked forward to them happening again.
I started getting intuitive hits in my meditation. Clear answers to issues I’d been mulling over for a long time would come to me. I started leaving all of my life decisions for my intuition; it always seemed to work out better than when I relied strictly on my logic. For me, these messages from God often feel like a knowing; like I just feel and know that it’s right.
Over time, I started initiating conversations with God instead of just waiting for them to happen during my meditation. I’d pray on my car ride home from work or say ‘thank you, Spirit!’ when something good happened for me. Often times I’ll hear a response back — whether it’s an answer that pops into my head, repeating numbers as a sign that I’m not alone, or a call from just the person who can help me.
Spirit works in mysteriously magical ways and I started to really trust in this relationship that I couldn’t see or quantify. This was a relationship I could only feel and it was changing my life. As a highly sensitive person, my spiritual connection has kept me feeling supported and safe more times than I can count.
Why spirituality is important for many highly sensitive people
Highly sensitive people are often more prone to anxiety and overwhelm because we’re taking in more sensory output from moment to moment than non-sensitive people. This causes our nervous systems to go into overdrive, resulting in us feeling burnt out, anxious, and frustrated. If you’re an empath as well, you’re also unconsciously taking on other people’s emotions and energy. It can get heavy.
As an empath and highly sensitive person myself, I often find myself bogged down with many emotions and worries. I have a tendency to be anxiety-prone and high strung at times. Thankfully, I have the tools to deal with it now. But, before I had my spiritual connection, I used to think I had to carry it all myself. I always thought life was just going to feel a little heavier and harder for me.
When I began opening up the lines of communication with a higher power, I started to release some of that heaviness I’d been carrying. For the first time in my life, I understood what people meant when they said they talked to God. I started to understand what it meant to surrender my worries. Over time, I realized I was never truly alone. I was always being guided.
When I started trusting God, I began to feel more okay with the fact that I can’t control everything that happens to me. It actually started to bring me peace. I can’t control what outcomes will happen or what the future holds. I can’t change what the people around me do. I can only control the way I react and respond to what happens to me. The rest is up to God. I’ve found solace in that! It takes the pressure off of me.
Strengthen your spiritual connection by noticing little miracles
One of the most fun ways I started to feel more spiritually connected was to notice the little miracles occurring all around me. For instance, if a friend called me just as I’d been thinking of her, I marveled at the synchronicity. ‘It was meant to be!’ I’d say.
If I see repeating numbers, I get excited about it. 11:11? 3:33? I take note of it. I look up the meaning. If I see a randomly beautiful bird; if I get stung by a bee; if I have an interesting dream — I look into the meaning of it. I find the message in it. This helps me feel more spiritually connected because I’ve trained myself to look for tiny miracles and believe in the meaning behind everything.
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. -Albert Einstein
I’d rather live as if there are no coincidences; only things that were meant to be. I choose to trust in a higher power because it opens me up to miracles, support, and guidance. It brings peace to me in life’s most difficult moments.