I found out that I’m gifted at a quite unfortunate time. It was right after I had moved to the U.S. last year.
The reason that I consider this unfortunate is not just because I missed out on a decade of potential gifted education and a lifetime of understanding myself better.
It’s because moving to the States was already hard enough.
When my husband’s request for a residency permit in my home country of the Netherlands was denied, we had about a month left on his tourist visa. Even in this very little time to overthink the concept of emigration I never thought moving to his country would be a big deal. I had traveled to “dangerous” countries by myself plenty of times and considered myself quite the world citizen. I thought it’d be easy.
Turns out that moving somewhere is a completely different trip than traveling around. Getting settled, not being able to work at first due to visa drama, and getting by on a tiny tighty budget SUCKED. But worse than that was trying to meet new people as a sensitive introvert.
Simply knowing that socializing doesn’t come easy would have been enough to prohibit me from ever making friends. Finding out about giftedness made it almost impossible.
Why? In an instant all of my lifelong doubts and insecurities were confirmed: yes — you are more intense than most people. Yes — you do go extraordinarily fast. Yes — you are perceived as too much. Yes — you do intimidate people in a conversation if you don’t hold back. Yes — you are way more sensitive, and yes — you are emotionally all over the place. Congrats, you’re gifted, you’re now statistically significantly different from other people.
As if I wasn’t already socially awkward enough.
Of course at first it felt like a relief to “finally understand myself”. But that didn’t last long, and the label quickly made me very insecure at an already vulnerable time in my life.
It all started to make even less sense when I gradually* dove deeper into my spiritual studies.
In yoga tradition we’re believed to have 5 layers around our atman, or soul. These layers are the physical body, the energetic body, the mind-stuff (thoughts and emotions) body, the intellectual body and the bliss body. None of these are the real You, they’re just sheaths or coverings. Identifying with these layers, or koshas, as they’re called, is the illusion of the dualistic world.
The journey of self-realization is to realize that our true Self is not one of these layers, but the atman within.
So in other words, why care about the specifics of the intellectual body? Sure, knowing about it helps, just as knowing about a certain strength or weakness of the physical body helps you navigate life better.
But to identify with being gifted is just as much an illusion as to identify with being the body, or with being our emotions.
I guide people on this journey of breaking through the illusions and working towards identifying with atman. Slowly we break down old conditioning and open our hearts to step closer to being our true selves as pure consciousness. So what good does it do to focus on giftedness?
I’ve also realized that the undertaking of this quest for spiritual growth is nothing only gifted or higher educated people tend to do. Not at all. Currently the whole world is in a movement of awakening and I work with a huge variety of individuals. Whatever their path looks like and whatever their issues underway, they’re all looking for the same thing: lasting inner peace, and all are working towards the same personal and global enlightenment.
We’re all searching for what we are beyond our neuroses, diagnoses, our labels and our identifications. So continuing to focus on it in my coaching, my writing, or my online courses, felt like trying to point at the moon with an adorable puppy:
You’ll end up looking at the wrong thing.
So do I wish I never found out about my giftedness? Of course not. Not only do I understand that part of myself much better now, I’ll also be forever grateful for the amazing people I’ve met through InterGifted.
I also still very much welcome gifted clients, because I love their willingness to go deep and I know from experience how beneficial it it to have a coach who understands your intensity. But the focus isn’t giftedness itself, the goal is living up to their highest potential, finding their mission in life, and creating a life of freedom for themselves. I hope to inspire anyone to work towards higher levels of consciousness, cultivate a mindset love and surrender, and encourage a deep understanding of how we’re at our core all the same being, gifted or not.
*Just kidding. Gifted people don’t dive “gradually”, we plunge headfirst at full speed.
→ read more about giftedness here: The Good, the Bad, and the Balance of Giftedness.