Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Confessions of a Highly Sensitive Person

I am so EFFing angry.

Almost a year ago, a young girl who lived with us and helped us with the kids left abruptly with no warning. She broke my son's heart. She broke my trust. She broke me.

And the effect her actions had on me, and still have on me, makes me angry. Do you get what I'm trying to say? The fact that I was affected by her behaviour makes me angry, more so than what she did. Why do I feel things so deeply, so completely and so excruciatingly? 

I am so EFFing sensitive. 

I have this tendency to take things too much at heart and to feel, oh to feel everything with exacerbated emotions. I often think of my inner thought life as a thin piece of glass. It doesn't take much to break it. And broken glass can never be fixed perfectly ever again, however hard you may try. 

I am like a reconstituted piece of glass. A MOSAIC.

Oh so happy. Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 2015.

But you know what? I am so EFFing thankful!

I am a precious mosaic. Yes, I've lost count of how many times I've been broken, but every time I put myself back together, a new mosaic emerges, sometimes pretty dull, dark or ugly, and sometimes magnificent and colourful. Fragile though. Oh so fragile.

That's okay. That is who I am. Yeah, I often feel angry about my inability to build a wall around me, but I'm also so thankful to be a Highly Sensitive Person. Yep, there is an official name for it. It's a cool thing to be, most of the time. If you:
  • are easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby,
  • get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time,
  • make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows,
  • need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation,
  • make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations,
  • notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art,
  • have a rich and complex inner life,
  • were seen as sensitive or shy by your parents and teachers when you were a child*,
then there's a good chance you are one too. And that is cool! Or maybe your child is, or your partner. I know my daughter is very probably a HSP. 

Here's the deal. I experience everything that surrounds me with more sensitivity, I'm more empathetic, I feel joy and excitement to the depth of my being. And I love my friends and family with a faithfulness of heart that is often overwhelming.

Spend enough time putting yourself out there in the world -
your sensitivity is not something to be feared.” 
― Elaine N. AronThe Highly Sensitive Person

So, just for you, here are 11 survival tips I've put together if you too are a pretty special HSP. I hope they help you in some way, and I'd love to hear from you if you have some to share too. We're all in this together!

*Questions asked by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in The Highly Sensitive Person.


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