One of the most common questions that I get from people is why they are psychic or sensitive.

When I first began looking at my own sensitivities I found that most of the material out there was for people who wanted to be psychic or wanted to be more sensitive. Most of the movies and television shows that are on television presented psychic abilities and sensitives as people who could solve crimes, tap into the wonders of the universe, and created an understanding in every-day “normal” society that having these abilities would be wonderful. This created a whole slew of psychic schools, books, and workshops for the millions of people out there who were not (or were minimally) psychic or sensitive to learn how to increase their sensitivities and become psychic in 6 easy steps. Today, this is still a million dollar industry and is still 99 percent of material that is out there on psychic abilities.

For people who are naturally psychic or sensitive their abilities often feel like a curse rather than a gift. They do not want to be psychic in 6 easy steps… they already are psychic and sensitive and it is causing issues in their lives. They do not understand their abilities, what is happening to them, or why they are the way they are. It is common for psychics and sensitives to be unable to find an appropriate teacher or information since the vast majority of information is for the not-so-sensitive to become sensitive, and the teachers of many psychic schools are simply graduates of said schools who may have little understanding of how actual, natural psychic abilities manifest or the appropriate tools to create boundaries and control already manifested abilities.

A few words before I go on… I think that it is wonderful if people want to become more sensitive, more aware of their surroundings and themselves. Books, schools, workshops that cater to this group allow for you to do so. However, in my years of helping people with natural psychic abilities the isolation, physical issues, fears, and strong nature of the spiritual experiences they are going through do not fit with the material produced by the “develop your psychic abilities” crowd and can actually be harmful to people with natural abilities. People with natural abilities do not need to become more sensitive- they need boundaries, safety, understanding, and tools to work with the abilities and sensitivities they already have.

So let us get on with the reason why you are reading this post… There are four reasons that people are naturally psychic and sensitive:

1. It is hereditary.
These are typically people who manifest the strongest abilities. Basically, someone or several people in your family history have psychic abilities. Some people have knowledge of this, but in many family histories the person with psychic abilities is relegated to the strange aunt that nobody talks about. It is typical for people who I talk to dealing with strong, hereditary based psychic abilities to have several generations of family members who were psychic, all of whom may or may not want to admit or know how to deal with their abilities. Sometimes people are quite lucky and have a grandmother or other family member who can teach them how to work with their abilities. This is ideal, because psychic abilities present very differently person to person, but manifest rather similarly in family members.

2. It is a result of traumaOur childhoods have a huge impact on how we see the world. People who have endured severe or moderate childhood abuse and trauma are more sensitive. This is because of basic biological imperative. When you were a child you had to notice more, see more, hear more, feel more… because it allowed for you to survive a difficult situation that you could not get out of. When we are under periods of stress, our nervous systems activate as well, creating the ability to become more sensitive to the world around us. Others in this category include some with enduring trauma over a long period of time (war, for example)  but most in this category were from early childhood, where we are developing our base understandings and way of being in the world. Occasionally sudden trauma, such as from a Near-Death experience, or other experience with a sudden expansion of understanding, can be in this category as well.

3. It was meant to happen
This can be a difficult category to talk about. Some people were meant to be more sensitive or psychic for whatever reason this lifetime. This category is less prevalent than the first two, but is something that I have run across. For many this is seemingly for the job they were destined to do- meaning that there are sensitives that are great dancers, writers, painters, teachers, healers, social workers, etc. who are meant to bring their abilities to a certain portion of the world at a specific time.

4. Other/Ancestors/Mixed
It is quite common for someone to have a mixture of the above categories. Someone who has natural psychic abilities in their family line suffers in early childhood because their father who has empathic abilities and did not know how to work with all of the emotions coming in decided to get angry or drink, for example. There are rare examples of past lives creating psychic abilities, although this can usually be traced to one of the other categories. There are also (much like a mixture of the trauma and natural abilities category) many examples of severe trauma happening somewhere in the ancestral line starting psychic abilities and sensitivities. Descendants of wars, genocides, and from countries that are repeatedly torn apart from politics and other upheavals can have an original trigger of nervous system activation, and sensitivities that were created to keep the original ancestor in a state of alertness and readiness to respond appropriately to difficult situations being passed through generations can actually be quite common.

The last reason that people develop psychic abilities is that they are going through a spiritual awakening. Psychic abilities naturally begin to get stronger the more you are awake, and more abilities awaken the closer you are towards being fully awake. It is part of the path, and traditionally people strived for siddhis (or essentially psychic abilities or tricks that could show people how spiritual you were) to amass followers and show how far down the spiritual path they were. It is not the end of the path, though, and is easy for people to get wrapped up in developing psychic abilities or allow for these abilities to feed the ego rather than go further to a truly awakened state.

If you would like to understand and know how to work with your psychic abilities, I suggest my book, Managing Psychic Abilities  (by Mary Mueller Shutan)