Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Am A Highly Sensitive Man

I Am A Highly Sensitive Man, The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
This blog post was inspired by Rick Beldon in an article he wrote for the Good Men Project.  Like this blog post, his article was titled "I Am A Highly Sensitive Man".  While I have written somewhat on this subject, I think it is one that never gets enough attention.  I liked what Rick wrote on his article, and I thought I could pay no greater respect than writing about it myself.  Thank you Rick for opening up your life and sharing this because I can see from the comments, it has helped many people.

For most of my life, I knew I was a very sensitive person.  From the time I was a young boy until now, I always knew that I got emotional at the drop of a pin.  Unfortunately I grew up in a home and a society where this was not welcomed.  As a boy, I was whipped for crying and told to grow up and be a man.  Yet, my little eyes witnessed some horrific acts that were hard for me to not feel sensitive about in my life.

From the little animals I saw killed, crushed, or mutilated to how I saw other people treated, I felt their pain.  At the time I don't' think I realized just how much pain I picked up, but I do know that I would go to bed at night and cry into my pillow.  You dare didn't let anyone see you cry because that was just inviting trouble and probing questions that did not end well.

I still remember the times I would be separated from my mom to go to church camp.  I can still feel the pit in my stomach now thinking about this.  The entire week was difficult and even though there was much to do and many people my age were there, I missed my mom.  It was all I could do to make it through the week.  When they would pick me up, I would be bawling my eyes out and hugging her like there was no tomorrow.  If anyone understood me, it was my mom.

As I got older, I soon realized that the world was a vicious place and people were not the least bit open to my sensitivity.  In fact, to show my sensitive side often meant that someone was going to walk all over me or take advantage of me.  There was no middle ground here and I experienced these things so many times, I can't remember them all.  It taught me to hide my sensitive side as a man.

Throughout my life, I picked up far more than I even realized.  I actually felt pain when someone felt pain.  I could see through the words that someone spoke and feel the emotions they were hiding or suppressing.  I could sense the mood of the environment around me, whether it was close by or a greater distance away.  However, I did not realize at the time that I was picking all this up, even though I felt aware of it.

Throughout my life, I have always sensed energy and various other things in this world that most people never see.  It isn't something you talk about because all too often there is not a receptive audience for these things.  I felt I was crazy for a long time until I met some like-minded people and one of the things they shared with me was that I needed to remove the label of "crazy" from my vocabulary.

It helped hearing from someone I really trust and admire that they too were a highly sensitive person.  In fact, I just thought it was a curse up until that point.  Then I read a book called The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron and I realized that was not alone.  There were many others like me out there and no longer did I have to look at myself as if I was diseased.  It was great as well now to see Rick Beldon talk about this in his blog post "I Am A Highly Sensitive Man".  From the comments in his blog post, we are definitely not alone.

While I'm learning to accept this part of me and adjust to it, this is not an easy road.  So often in our world, especially the one we now live in, sensitivity seems like a foriegn language to most people.  There is too much visciousness, name calling, attacking and overall insensitivity.  Too many people in our society stuff their feelings deep inside, rather than owning up to them or honoring those that do.  It is not an easy world to naviagate and I find the news too horrific to watch most days.  It seems to be designed to just focus on the horrors in life, because that is what our human population seems to thrive on.

I know that my sensitivity helps me take people into a different healing realm than most people, but sometimes it gets so intense for me that I struggle to find balance.  I am learning and growing in this area where I can go deep into that healing space with someone without becoming overwhelmed by all their baggage in life.  When I can do this, it is a powerful moment and when I can't do it, I am exahusted and sickened for days.

Being sensitive means that I hear, feel, see, and experience so many things that too many people don't ever become aware of in everyday life.  At some points in my day, it is very overwhelming and it feels like trying to take a drink from a fire hose.  I'm still learning how to deal with this in my life and accept it as a part of who I am in a way I can celebrate and honor my life.  Our world needs highly sensitive people in it because if we were not here, civilization would be so far out of balance.  We bring the hope back into humanity and we bring the emotion of awareness back into life so that we can all grow in greater consciousness in the world.

If you would like to read more of what I have written on this subject, the following search of "highly sensitive person" on this blog will result in several blog posts.  This blog post is just my way of saying thank you to Rick Beldon and to honor all those others that are searching and struggling with this same topic.

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