archives, wisdom

Freedom from Your Tiny Little Cage.


Dear intense and gifted grown-ups,

Perhaps at some point in your life, you have learned that to be safe, you have to hide and shrink into a tiny little cage.

In this tiny little cage, you have stifled your feelings, blunted your ambitions, and silenced your voice.

Perhaps the adults in your life have condemned you for saying too much, asking too much, feeling too much.

Perhaps you were told by your teacher to be still, be quiet so to not disturb anything, or to outshine anyone.

Perhaps you have been threatened by your competitive siblings, and it was never okay to just be yourself.

Perhaps others in your life have discharged or projected their psychic shadows onto you, accusing you of the very negative traits that they denied in themselves.

Perhaps your family has assigned to you a sick role, so you become the carrier of all woes.

Perhaps you were so burdened by having to be the little grown-up, the confidant, the counselor of everyone around you that you have forgotten how to play, to be, or to express yourself spontaneously.

Even as we physically and geographically move out of our childhood environment, we continue to live in a metaphorical prison in our mind. The ways this holds us back could be so insidious that we do not even recognize them.

On the surface, it may look like it has all come from you. It shows up as self-sabotage, intense self-criticism, or imposter syndrome — the feeling that you were a fraud despite worldly recognition.

It also shows up as an unconscious upper limit problem: Perhaps just when you are about to play big, be successful, something terrible will mysteriously happen — somehow you get in an accident, break your leg, over-drink, lash out, get sick.

Dear intense and gifted grown-ups,

you no longer have to play small to be safe.

Look around you, look carefully and lucidly at your current reality.

Feel how firmly your feet are rooted to the ground and the tremendous resilience in your roots.

It is now safe to stand up for yourself and to stand in your full glory.

If anyone passive-aggressively attacks you, gaslights you, or manipulates the situation, you can see it so clearly that you are immune to such manoeuvres.

If anyone put you down, spread rumors about you, you can trust that your true self and integrity will eventually shine through the smokescreen.

If anyone questions, “Who do you think you are?” you say, “A humble soul who dares to be real.”

The false authorities of your past no longer have power over you.

You are free from the tyranny of toxic envy or competition.

You are no longer haunted by the threat of abandonment or rejection.

You no longer have to play the black-sheep role they gave you.

You no longer need to use false humility, self-denigration, your inner critic, self-sabotage, to protect yourself from your light.

Look around you, most of us are too busy enjoying the love, kindness, creativity you have to offer than to judge you.

The world is ready to celebrate your beauty, your success, your glory.



Imi Lo is an award-winning mental health professional, a psychotherapist, art therapist, coach, and author of the book Emotional Intensity and Sensitivity. Her mission is to inspire intense, sensitive and gifted individuals to rise from being the ‘misfits’ to being the leaders of the world. She was granted the Endeavour Award by the Australian Government for her clinical and academic excellence, and later the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) for her commitment to social change. Imi has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, the USA and the UK. She has been a suicide counselor, social worker, artist, mindfulness teacher, Yoga instructor, holistic healer, art therapist, psychotherapy trainer, and lecturer. She founded Eggshell Therapy and Coaching, where she works with intense people across the world.


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