Best Tips or Stories for/of Self Discovery?
That sounds like a good retreat!
This year has been one of self-discovery for me, too...
Some of my experiences:
Growing up I really enjoyed being alone, and I thought everyone loved it as much as me, but then sometimes my sister would feel rejected when I took time alone because I wasn't spending it with her. So I felt guilty about that, and tried to be more like everyone else.
But I gradually discovered that not everyone experienced the world the way I did, and I couldn't escape the feeling that I was somehow "different" from everyone else, in a way that didn't make sense to me. It was something about my depth of consciousness and sensitivity - I had such a high awareness of others and their feelings and even thoughts. Once in awhile someone noticed that I was different, but they only seemed to notice certain specific attributes, and then they seemed to forget about those things later on.
When I heard about highly sensitive people, I felt like I had the answer! Almost every one of the traits of highly sensitive people rang true for me... but.. it didn't feel like enough. It didn't explain how I was so affected by other people, how I understood their intentions so well, how I could figure out what they wanted and how to give it to them.. or how I became absorbed with making other people happy, so that I could be happy, too.
I felt guilty for so many things growing up. Since I have such a huge database of information about my family members particularly I felt guilty especially when I did something that someone didn't like, even though lots of my understanding is in my subconscious mind.
For example, one Christmas my grandma gave me a gift but said not to open it until she was there to watch me open it. I remember this day as if it happened last year practically. I forgot what she has said, and I opened it without her. Then when she came back I thanked her for the dress and told her I loved it, but she said "I told you to wait until I got back." It was very cold, like a shot to the heart.
There were very few times when I felt like I had really disappointed my grandma like that -, since I was so clever with not making mistakes and we had such a good relationship, but that only made the experience hurt worse somehow... In the end, though, it remains one of the clearest memories I have that show me I've been empathic at least most of my life.