Thursday, January 20, 2011

Living As A Highly Sensitive Person

Often times, it is not easy being a highly sensitive person. I am one of those people! You know, the HSP - highly sensitive persons. At one time I just thought it was a curse but now I'm learning that it does have a positive side.

When I talk about being sensitive, I mean really SENSITIVE and EMOTIONAL about things that may seem little and insignificant to most are like floods of input to me. There are many examples of just how sensitive I get. It may range from feeling like something such as a pet rock or plant is just as alive and full of emotion as a human to picking up the emotions of people I know or meet or walk past in the store. It does include my sensitivity to things around me that most cannot see like the angelic or spirit world. It is much more than that of course because the little things that seem insignificant and go unnoticed in a day are big things to me.

Some days I pick up so much that it can get overwhelming. When it gets overwhelming, I am like a turtle that just wants to crawl back into its shell and hide for the next thousand eons. When that happens, I want nothing to do with anyone except my cats and other inanimate objects or nature. Anyone that pushes me to be with them or to function in their world is just driving me deeper into my turtle shell.

Fortunately though, I am learning more how to deal with these things. I've learned that I can release the little things that build up within me through my practice of the Unified Therapy techniques I have learned. Also, I know more how to manage myself by taking time away and just spending time in nature. Nature is one of my renewal techniques that seems to put everything back into perspective and balance. It realigns me in ways that so much other stuff cannot. The sunshine is a wonderful companion to me and energizing in so many ways.

I remember growing up where it would get so overwhelming and I would run into my room crying that no one cared about me and no one loved me. It was moments where I could take no more and my sensitivity was at an all time high. I remember my mom coming in and holding me and just letting me know she loved me. Of course, my father would try to act sensitive but then after my experiences on a daily basis with him, he seemed inauthentic. Other members of my family were like foreign monsters to me at times because the world I lived in was completely different than the world they lived in.

For others around me, I'm sure it is difficult to live with me because when the sensitive side begins to take over, I'm done until I emerge back into a normal life. Some understand it more than others but in those times, I just need to know that others love and care about me but allow me to just be in that moment. Normally I pull through these rough moments but they do get intense.

While I really hated this side of me for a long time, I began to learn in life that it has positive aspects. In one way, I use this to help me in my healing work that I do because I truly sense and pick up some very deep things in people just as if they may be experiencing them in the moment. It also helps me in my creative work because I am a highly creative person in writing such as this blog, my book, music and just my approach to life. It also helps me to see a different side of the world where people who are busy screaming and looking out for themselves do not usually see. If there weren't people like us highly sensitive people in the world, the earth would tip off of its axis and fall into space.

According to Elaine Aron who wrote the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, 15-20% of the population is considered to be a highly sensitive person. She states that in the book that it is a normal trait for those of us who are HSP (Highly Sensitive Persons) and that it is biological. A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is more aware of subtleties (just like I was sharing about myself) and is more easily overwhelmed.

So if you are one of these people that others may look at and think you are just way too sensitive, fear not, for you are normal. Learning about the trait and learning how to embrace it, live with it and deal with it can be a challenge. However, the more you learn to embrace it, the more it provides for you in many aspects of your life. Often a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is misunderstood but just know that you are normal and you're not the only one out there! At one time, I would never have admitted this either but I'm at a point now in my life where I'm not ashamed to say that I am a HSP!

If you know you are a highly sensitive person or you know someone that is, I urge you to read the following book, The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron.

For Further Reading
1) Blog Post on Highly Sensitive People And Angels
2) The Highly Sensitive Person
3) Importance Of Introverts

Blog Post & Images (c) 1/19/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only


  1. Whoo Hoo!
    I have the 'Highly Sensitive Person In Love'.
    I feel it is both a blessing and a curse, but the blessings far outway the curses.The thing that i can not like, is the fact that i often feel SO misunderstood. That can be a truly lonely place.

  2. Yes, I am also a Highly Sensitive Person. While a young woman, I also thought this was a curse, than one day driving to my work I heard an author who had written (maybe another book) Highly Sensitive Person and I was sooo happy to hear that someone was acknowledging people who are HSP and in a positive light. I remember that day dearly, and it had meant the world to me. Due to not many people being HSP, I felt that people assumed that I was naive,and/or gullible, but in reality I was very intelligent and always gave people benefit of the doubt..Today, being a sensitive spiritual person..I realize that people who are Highly Sensitive are that way, because they have more elevated spirits, they can feel more, because they have experienced more..not just in this life but in many past lives..However, it is very important to acknowledge this and not beat upon your own self..One needs to see it as a positive element to one's being and not a curse, no matter what others say (as others are often wrong, and usually practicing what they were thought). Somethings are a blessing in disguise, and the HSP's bring a lot of love, emotion and outside the box thinking to this world. Yes, it can feel very lonely, but, we just have to meet others who are functioning at the same level of love and compassion. It is better to have one great friend than to have hundred who may not be as aware as we are. Blessings come in many packages, including being a Highly Sensitive Person, who can feel more than what the human eyes see.. (p.s. if you look back to our childhoods, the HSP's were probably also very sensitive children,with soft and accepting hearts, who always wanted to help others, because we have experienced so much..and know how it feels..)

  3. You both are cool... Glad to have met you. I'm learning more and more on being sensitive and glad you both are sharing your experiences. For a long time, I didn't even know it was a possibility and thought I was just needed to grow up as I was led to believe as a kid. Boys aren't supposed to be this sensitive and so I really always felt out of place. It took a big emotional toll on me for a long time as well before Dr. Canali finally told me one day that being a Highly Sensitive Person could be a good thing. That shocked the daylights out of me at the time. I'm learning.. and growing though and trying to understand it better.

  4. Hmm, I do not know what I am. I have been acing through my studies like I was made for it. For long I never knew how sensitive I actually was, not until I got my Bachelors Degree. I had very few friends and used to talk philosophies to their parents even at that age. I always had an air of success and intelligence around me even though I was awfully shy in social gatherings. I never regretted the way I was since I also got a girlfriend whom I liked and of course I chose her because she was the cutest and quietest person in that batch. The world tumbled down my feet when she had to leave me whilst I was facing troubles in my job. I was strangled. But I always had a way. Most of my friends would still be amazed how I recovered from such a sabotage. But till date I refrain from talking to women in person. I refrained from parties since the first party I attended, I could still feel the euphoria existed in my mind at that time, every single face I saw and the sweat from dancing. I just feel it too heavy even to think of another party any sooner. I often feel that all my cups are full and never have a need to fill them. But, why does others donot understand this and keep on imposing that I have no life!!! while I have a great stock of senses which I would play in my mind to sample a bit of what I had when ever I wish.....






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