Recently, I re-read Elaine Aron’s groundbreaking book The Highly Sensitive Person. Many of you will recognize themselves as being in that category. You are easily overwhelmed by loud noises, strong smells and crowds of expressive people. You have been labeled as too sensitive as a child, are easily hurt by the negative energy of others, and you need a lot of quiet downtime. Since you might have been the only one in your family like that, you always thought, or were even told, that there is something profoundly wrong with you.
Don’t be such a cry-baby
You are fine
Get over it
It doesn’t bother me
Come back when you feel better
What’s the matter with you?
These are some of the phrases you might be familiar with.
I want to point out some of the tremendous gifts that go with being Highly sensitive:
1. Sensory awareness
You choose clothes just by their colors (I do), you love heavenly scents like essential oils, your heart is often carried away by music even if it is in an elevator, and you like to touch everything and people you like. You also love nature, the arts, and beauty in all forms. This openness enriches your life immensely.
2. Feeling the energy of people and places
Yes, this can be stressful, but it also brings so much richness and depth to your life. You can feel a burst of instant pleasure when you walk into a place that feels good to you. You are able to connect at the spur of a moment to people just because you like them “for no good reason.” And you can trust your intuition to get information others just don’t get.
3. Emotional awareness
Some (maybe many) people don’t seem to know the first thing about themselves or others. Can you imagine? Not really, because you roam in your inner worlds, have empathy with others, you often just know what’s going on, and when you don’t, you delve deeper to find out. It is exciting, it is fun, and it opens your heart. If you do dumb things (and we do, naturally), you learn from them. Ahhhh.
This does not need much explanation. To be creative in any field, you have to go beyond the proper and universally agreed upon, and play with things that make you happy. Yes, happy.
5. Spiritual awareness
There is religion, and there is spirituality, and highly sensitive people are usually more drawn to the latter. You have access to realms that others cannot even dream of, you are adventurous, conscious, and all your discoveries give your life purpose and meaning.
Now, who right in their mind would want to give all that up for living in a boring comfort zone?