Don’t let being highly sensitive limit you.
I try to not write posts about myself. This blog is a resources for others, something that I wished I had found when I needed it. But this story, this lesson, is one I will step out of my comfort zone to share with all of you. Here goes nothing.
I used to be one of those people who always said, “I’ll always be this way. I can’t change.”
I used to wear this belief like a badge of honor. “I’m highly sensitive”, I would say. I will always get upset a lot, be negative, and unhappy. It comes with seeing too much about the world around me and being too sensitive to other’s energies (hint: this is different than being an empth).
So whenever a loved one would tel me ai was taking something too seriously or too painfully, I would say, “I’m highly sensitive! This is who I am!” and BAM. I limited myself.
See I just wanted someone to understand me, take me seriously, validate my beliefs. Instead, the way I acted showed people that I had more going on in my head than they could handle and they slowly backed away.
What I didn’t realize is the secret I am about to tell you all,
The beliefs you have of yourself shape your whole entire life.
There was nothing wrong with being highly sensitive and telling people. But I chose to use it as a way to distance myself and to justify living in a negative space. This was toxic. It was the wrong thing to do. I let being highly sensitive control me instead of deciding to take charge of my life. Choose happiness and positivity and do whatever I needed to do in order to feel better about myself abd the world.
Once I chose positivity everything changed. The days were easier. I was still sensitive. But I could see things and feel things without it ruining my entire day or my mood. People noticed the change and enjoyed spending time with me. As things improved, I finallly got to a point where I didn’t need to tell people I was highly sensitive because my sensitivities were obvious and the people around me appreciated them.
When I really began working on my business and trying to help other people change their mindset, I made another startling discovery that im infinitely excited to share with you all. (Brace yourself for this one...)
I'm done with calling myself a highly sensitive.
Now I am comfortable with the word (it is a scientific aspect of a person's personality like eye color or height via Dr. Elaine Aron) but what I am not comfortable with is reminding myself that I am "highly" anything.
I am more sensitive to my surroundings; light, color, sound.
I am more sensitive to other people; energy, feelings, voices.
What I am NOT is
too much to handle.
I am the way that I am. And when I tell people that I am highly sensitive, they say, "Is that a condition? Can you get treated? Can I get treated?"
AHHH NO YOU CANNOT.
I'm so sorry to yell fellow sensitives, but I get asked these questions even by people who call themselves highly sensitive!
You cannot change your biology, more so, you have NO reason to change it. You biology makes up the brilliant person that you are and there is so many parts of you. Why focus on the details you can't change?
You can change being negative. You can change being unhappy. You can even change what you want to do everyday (gasp). So why focus on changing you hands, your face, your butt!
Could you imagine if we focused on the things that could actually improve how we feel every day and not just how we look?
But I digress.
I love being a highly sensitive person. I do. (most of the time, hey, I'm still human). But that doesn't mean that I want to constantly remind myself that I am so different from the "average" or the "norm". I've already spent a lot of energy undoing society's programming. I do not want it affect how I feel about my sensitivity any more. When I tell other people I'm sensitive, they say, "Yeah I knew that," or, "Well yeah, you can always see things that I can't." Once I took the word highly from my conversations with people, being sensitive wasn't so scary. It wasn't so surprising.
Yes, we need to get the world on board with the immense power of highly sensitive people [hint, join my sensitive is power positivity facebook group!] But change takes time. For now, it's amazing having people appreciate the gifts my sensitivity brings without bringing silly things like word connotations into the picture.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine that went something like this:
Me: I think you're highly sensitive.
Friend: I don't think so, why would you say that?
Me: See if this sounds like you; are you sensitive to sounds or light? Do you seem to take in more information than others? Were you labeled shy and quiet in school, usually while you were taking in information and processing it? Did you need more time to process that others?
Friend: Well, yes; that's me.
Me; So you are highly sensitive.
Friend: Oh, I'm not highly sensitive.
Me: Well you agreed with what I said right?
Friend: Yes, but I've always been sensitive, it's just me, I don't see anything wrong with it. I wouldn't call myself highly sensitive at all.
Has this conversation happened to you or anyone that you know?
Since then, I've had this conversation a handful of times. It seems that the people who are flourishing with their sensitivities do not bother to call themselves highly sensitives. Some never even sought out an explanation for the sensitive side of their personality. They simply accepted it and learned to use it. Just like any other part of their personality.
This is my goal for all sensitives, highly, not highly, highly but don't know it :p.
Our sensitivities are a part of us. They do not need to be changed or medicated because there is nothing wrong with it. It is simply a facet of our lives that we figure out how to live with, love, and appreciate.
(Dramatic examples coming up woohooo).
If famous painters like Da Vinci or Rembrandt spent their lives hating their passionate artistic side, would they have ever created art that is world renowned? If scientists and philosophists did not embrace who they were would they have ever made an impact on the world? Would their unique brilliances have been lost forever? Think of what the world would have been like without your hero. Now what if that was you? What if you made that kind of impact on someone else? Even if you are not world renowned. Accepting that you are sensitive stops you from fighting your innate nature. I want you to feel proud of who you are.
So, recap. I am not saying I am not highly sensitive. Nor am I saying that highly sensitive is a bad term.
What I am saying is that we sensitive people have talents and gifts whether you are highly sensitive or just kind of sensitive. I think if we all focused on being a bit more sensitive towards one another the world would be a lot better place. Don’t you think?
Use whatever term you wish, of course. For me, being sensitive just rolls off the tongue and always makes me smile.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.