Can you imagine sensitivity not being painful?
A recent experiment I have undertaken is to care less. Now, as highly sensitives, we have been told to care less, all of our lives. Yes, I did succumb to some of that poking and prodding, but when I actually tried it, and really tried it, can you believe that it worked? I am still sensitive. I still feel a lot and think a lot, but it’s significantly LESS painful. Can you imagine that, sensitivity not being painful? It sure as heck surprised me.
Now, how did I even do it? To put it simply, I have instituted a mantra. It’s more of a feeling than a set of repeated words I say daily, but if I was to put it into words, it would go something like this:
“I accept this level of sensitivity. I accept that it is out of the norm of those around me. I accept that I find it overwhelming and tough to deal with at times. I also accept that my sensitivity does not define me. I can still choose to be me and react in the manner I think is correct, despite my sensitivity. Last, but not least, now that I have accepted my sensitive reaction to this event, thought about it for only a minute, I can now let it go and let my reaction go. I will not harbor this feeling inside of myself for hours or days. If it is important enough, it will come back and I will find a time to think through it thoroughly, but right now, I have finished experiencing this event and my sensitive reaction to it will now end.”
My, that was longer than I expected. Nonetheless, it does describe my current practice. The entire paragraph of “mantra” takes not even a full minute for me to experience because of my previous work with yoga and meditation. Those two practices have allowed me to practice clearing my mind and becoming accustomed to a calm mind. Not an unfeeling or less sensitive mind, but one that isn’t constantly screaming and processing.
I never intended to implement this practice. My goal was never to diminish my sensitivity per se. It arose from necessity. I was often overwhelmed at work because there was already so much going on in my mind. With my regular practice of yoga and meditation, I can handle many different experiences at work with much more poise and cleverness. My mind, while still always computing, is more calm and peaceful. This gives me more freedom to spend time on the things I care about, things that make me feel good and improve myself.
I’d actually, very much like to add a side note in here. Being able to leave work and have a fulfilling life separate has been extremely comforting. Whether one person, or ten people read my post or twitter, I am glad I have this blog. I do receive comments of heartfelt appreciation for the work that I put into these articles and this site every few months or so. Finding something that is solely mine, that I feel has meaning and connects to me on a deeper level has been more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. I recommend it to everyone.
That is actually the sole reason I am writing this complicated post. I hope to share my experiences of attempting to live as a highly sensitive person in a world which adores non-sensitive people. My experiment of healthily muting my sensitivity has been an encouraging and positive one. I think I have been largely successful because of the hard work I put into taking care of myself after work. I schedule recharge time in the forms of yoga and meditation, and self-love and self-care time in the forms of working on this blog and exercising. Both actions I choose to do for myself and to create the kind of life I desire. Separate from the demands of others at my day job.
I’d love to hear your stories about how you cope with your sensitivities while at stimulating jobs. Comment below or email me on my contact me page.