There's a myth that being sensitive is being weak. The beauty of myths is that the truth is usually the opposite of that which we assume to be real. In the case of the highly sensitive person, this holds true. I was born a highly sensitive person and am far from weak; my life path isn't for the faint of heart, but much of the world affects me in a different way than it would most people.
Since I was a little girl, I've had a fierceness that runs through me, fueled by an acute awareness that we need a world that works — that the current one is broken. But since I didn't have the tools to understand why I was so angry, I had trouble managing my sensitivities to the world around me, and my fiery personality would manifest and misdirect itself in my relationships.
Like the rest of the highly sensitive population (approximately 10%) I feel things more than others. Highly sensitive people are empathic; they feel and absorb the energy and emotions of others in a sometimes visceral way. Highly intuitive, they have a level of compassion and awareness that drives them to want to help others and be of service in the world. The saying, "I feel your pain" is very real to them.
Thanks to the social conditioning, disconnect and numbing that often stigmatize feelings and emotions, we "sensitive" folks become fearful of having any at all. But without the awareness of our feelings, we're disconnected from our inner GPS, and are therefore cut off from knowing what's best for us, affecting everything from the choices we make with our food, relationships, to what job we should take. The highly sensitive person has no choice but to feel.
My body, senses and perceptions are heightened in such a way that what an average American eats, medicates with, and consumes for entertainment through television, movies and the fear-based media all put me on the fast-track to serious imbalances, both physically and emotionally.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I moved to New York City to start my job in publishing. I stepped into a high-stress work environment with a lifestyle that had me eating out at every meal. I hit rock bottom in every area of my life, which affected my health, relationships and overall happiness.
For those who are more sensitive to the energy around them and even the foods they're eating, it's bittersweet because it's challenging being in the world with the current status quo. But it's also a true gift, because they're tuned in and tapped in to when their bodies reject things that aren't actually good for anyone, preventing much more serious conditions that can manifest after years of being at the job or eating the junk.
Working with my clients who are all, for the most part, in the highly sensitive person category (many times without being aware of it), I see those who have been guided to eat cleaner diets, consume more positive uplifting forms of entertainment, create gentle nourishing relationships and a work environment that serves the greater good. They've done this as a response to the harsh health options that are part of the reality for mainstream America, which wreak havoc on their health and happiness.
The truth is that being highly sensitive is being highly evolved, so there's no reason at all to feel weak!
Photo Credit: Jennifer Kass