Labels can hurt. They can also be a light in a world that you never understood. They can let you know that you are like 15-20% of the population. They allow you to understand your sensitivities and why you notice so much more than others. Why you lay awake often pulsing with layers of that feeling stuff that is crammed inside of you, trying to work itself out.
I went to school with almost 2,ooo people and can assume that at least half of them were a HSP, just like me. We were given a course book on HSP and for many it was the first time they understood themselves.
Highly Sensitive Person
- Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
- Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
- Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
- Do you 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?
- Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
- Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
- Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
- When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?
These are just a few markers of a HSP. When you start to connect the dots in your life and truly take time to understand who you are, the Universe presents ways for you to honor yourself. Making adjustments to our lifestyles as highly sensitive people is the key to going from overwhelm into a life of flow and allowing.
The adjustments are ongoing. They don't happen once. I have three kids and the overwhelm of that is a daily reality for my senses. Noise levels and often exhaustion make a perfect stew for me to snap and want to retreat, run and hide.
As a person who struggles to find a pair of underwear that feels right on my skin and don't get me started on socks, there are every day adjustments (like remember to get rid of those underwear that don't feel right before you put them on again) to the big stuff, like needing to retreat often to restore energy.
Many highly sensitive people think that we are introverts, which may be true, but often we are just the ones that need to ease into a new situation. We need time and comfort and many more moments of observation of what is around us to feel right. We treasure quiet. Being alone doesn't feel like alone, it feels relaxing and sacred.
Often we are plagued by anxiety, but understanding the highly sensitive person's make up allows us to see that we are overstimulated and living in a world that takes us into situations that cause stress. We worry about being inside of those places and situations before they happen. Anxiety.
Because we are sensitive and can feel and intuit in a special and delicate fashion, we often are coaches of some sort. We can feel before we get to where we are going, we learn to adjust the sensitivities into our gifts. Over time we learn how to allow our energy to stay within our body while we are holding space for others, by taking lots and lots of time for ourselves to just be. To explore soft space. To chop vegetables or sit with a cup of tea and watch our kids play.
For those who are like me, and need your clothes to feel just right or find yourselves needing extra time with yourself to recover from overwhelm, hello. You are not alone.
Honor your gifts. Sensitive comes with a beautiful purpose in this world.