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HSP

Mixed-up middle

I haven’t written in so long. Maybe a month. I hate not writing for a month. As with anything, the longer I don’t write, the harder it is to sit down and write. I can’t think of the perfect post. The words won’t come. I have nothing to say, even though I have everything to say.

So why not just start right here, somewhere in the mixed-up middle of words and ideas?

Like: I’m puzzling over the little details I’m noticing about myself. I’m thinking so much about my cravings to be busy at work, and my difficulty with free time. I’m trying to gently figure out what each means and be observant without being judgmental.

Like: Some days a sunset brings me to tears that yet another day is over already. Other days a sunset brings a sigh of relief, that a new day will dawn soon.

Like: I don’t fit either early-bird or night-owl. My energy has been shifting and I can’t quite make out the pattern of when I am most energized and why.

Like: My hyper-sensitivity is off the charts lately. Today: my heart hurting when I stepped on tree roots, fearful that I was hurting them. (Notice, don’t judge, I remind myself. I am who I am.)

Like:  “The world is unsafe” feeling is big. I find myself unable to read about, or think about, the events around the world because it’s just too big for my soul to hold right now.

Like: Books have been my saving grace ever since I was a little girl, and the comfort I find from knowing I can spend 10 minutes, an hour, or a day reading, is akin to what a child gets from clutching their blankie.

That’s it. That’s what I’ve got for now.

It’s a start, perhaps. A foot in the door at writing again. And this quiet period will end, as it always does, and at some point my fingers will frantically start typing the words again. But for now, we wait.

When Filters Fade

Sometimes words happen, and sometimes they don’t.

Today, they did.


I’m over at Some Talk of You and Me, writing about how raw I have felt lately.

p.s. There is no reason for me to link to Some Talk, other than I highly respect their community and feel grateful to them as they continuously honor, respect, and embrace me as a writer. Check them out, read what they have to say, and consider writing yourself. I can’t even tell you how empowering it is.

Follow-up

I feel the need to follow-up, to clarify, about yesterday’s post. After the post published on Facebook, I got a bunch of texts and messages asking if I was okay. And at first, I didn’t totally understand that. Why would people think I’m not okay? I thought. But then I re-read the post and tried to see it from someone else’s perspective. Someone who doesn’t live a hyper-sensitive life, who doesn’t feel with every molecule of their being.

I can understand how, if something isn’t a part of you, or you don’t know that it exists, you don’t know what it’s like. In a simple example: I don’t live with hearing loss. So I might know people with hearing loss, hear stories about it, imagine what it’s like, but I can’t KNOW what it’s like. I don’t live it. And maybe the same thing is with this sensitive soul that I have. The interesting thing is that a few texts and messages that I got were from people who are wired in a similar fashion, who do live a hyper-sensitive life. And their comments were less panicky (Are you okay?!) and more empathetic (Ohhh, I so get that.) Which again, makes sense. If you live it, you get it. If you don’t, it’s foreign, and it’s confusing. 

A few clarifications for those who don’t live it: a raw, porous day is not the same as depression. I do not have depression. I have days where I feel every molecule of the universe inside of me and that fills me up a lot and makes me heavy. But that’s not the same as clinical depression. A raw, porous day Now is not a return to Then. A day like that doesn’t destroy or ruin me. Because it’s a part of me, because sometimes I feel it all, I DO ride it out, even when it feels consuming. I write and I talk and I might cry and I might go out to get some dairy-free, coconut-based ice cream and then it lifts and I get my outer coverings of skin back and I breathe a little easier. So – despite how it might seem, or how I might convey it, it truly isn’t permanently all-consuming. Again, it’s like the weather. The tides. The season. Coming and going. Stronger and weaker. Colder and warmer. Windier and calmer. And it doesn’t really bother me, though in the moment it may be unpleasant. Because again, I live it, so it’s familiar, and not scary. Does that make sense at all???

Also. Sometimes a day like that has nothing to do with feelings at all. Sometimes when the colors are crisp and the temperature is just right and the birds are chirping and the grass is so green and the air is so intense, it’s the visual and auditory sensations that fill me up. Which, again, is why this is not a mental health, depression thing. And sometimes I get filled up from happy things. Because any feeling, no matter what it is, can overtake if it’s felt So Much. A cup is going to run over no matter if it’s filled with water or soda or chocolate milk. The content doesn’t matter, it’s the capacity that does.

I think that’s all the rambles I have for 6:00 in the morning. But I would love to hear thoughts. 

Do you get this? Do you Live It, or do you not understand because it’s not innately a part of you? What do you think?

Sensitive soul

Today I feel sad.

Maybe it’s due to boredom and feelings of I-am-doing-nothing-with-these-days-and-letting-time-slip-away, which inevitably leads to guilt, and more sadness. Maybe it’s because it’s been 10 days of relaxing over winter vacation, and due to a big storm, work was cancelled for today and tomorrow also. And I’m home on my own, which would usually be appealing and inviting, but after many days of being home, sitting on the couch watching t.v. and even reading don’t seem so appealing. 

Maybe it’s because I’m feeling raw, and I have been since yesterday — where I have no filter and every thought, emotion, feeling, worry, whether mine or someone else’s, whether real or perceived or imagined, are permeating my soul and all I can do is let all that energy swirl around inside of me and ride it out.

And I know, it doesn’t totally matter why. It’s not hugely purposeful or successful to think about why I feel sad, especially when the reasons are likely tenfold and indescribable. But it’s hard to just accept it and ride it out.

Introvert + Highly-Sensitive

I told you that I have been reading lately. And asked if it would be okay if I tried to write about it, without it being perfect. And from the “likes” I got, I’m assuming that’s okay. And that you won’t judge me. Even though I’m a stranger and mean nothing to any of you!

I read the book Quiet by Susan Cain. It’s all about introverts. About what an introvert truly is. About how “introvert” and “shy” are not synonymous. nor are “introvert” and “loner” or “introvert” and “no friends.” About how the world is built for extroverts and how introverts end up withdrawing into themselves, or forcing themselves to act extroverted when they’re not. And it all resonated with me. Especially when Cain tied introversion to the “highly-sensitive” trait. I’ve known forever that I’m highly-sensitive, and have written about it and talked about it, and everyone knows it. Having the two tied together, having proof that they go together and that it’s a real THING, not just “I’m the only one like this” thing is incredible.

And I’m overwhelmed with organizing my thoughts into writing. So, to start, my most favorite quotes from Quiet. I hope they resonate with you, or are enlightening, or at least just interesting. And thanks for bearing with me.


“Many introverts are also ‘highly sensitive,’ which sounds poetic, but is actually a technical term in psychology. If you are a sensitive sort, than you’re more apt than the average person to feel pleasantly overwhelmed by Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” or a well-turned phrase or an act of extraordinary kindness. You may be quicker than others to feel sickened by violence and ugliness, and you likely have a very strong conscience. When you were a child, you were probably called “shy,” and to this day feel nervous when you’re being evaluated, for example when giving a speech or on a first date……(No one knows exactly how many introverts are highly sensitive, but we know that 70 percent of sensitives are introverts, and the other 30 percent tend to report needing a lot of “down time.”)

“Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships in to the real world.”

“What scientists haven’t realized until recently is that these risk factors have an upside. In other words, the sensitivities and the strengths are a package deal. High-reactive kids who enjoy good parenting, child care, and a stable home environment tend to have fewer emotional problems and more social skills than their lower-reactive peers, studies show. Often they’re exceedingly empathic, caring, and cooperative. They work well with others. They are kind, conscientious, and easily disturbed by cruelty, injustice, and irresponsibility. They’re successful at the things that matter to them.”

“The highly sensitive tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive…..They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions — sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments — both physical and emotional — unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss — another person’s shift in mood, say, or a light bulb burning a touch too brightly.”

“The other thing Aron found about sensitive people is that sometimes they’re highly empathic. It’s as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people’s emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world. They tend to have unusually strong consciences. They avoid violent movies and TV shows; they’re acutely aware of the consequences of a lapse in their own behavior. In social settings they often focus on subjects like personal problems, which others consider “too heavy.”

“A Free Trait Agreement” acknowledges that we’ll each act out of character some of the time — in exchange for being ourselves the rest of the time. It’s a Free Trait Agreement when a wife who wants to go out every Saturday night and a husband who wants to relax by the fire work out a schedule: half the time we’ll go out, and half the time we’ll stay home. It’s a Free Trait Agreement when you attend your extroverted best friend’s wedding shower, engagement celebration, and bachelorette party, but she understands when you skip out on the three days’ worth of group activities leading up to the wedding itself.

“When your conscientiousness impels you to take on more than you can handle, you begin to lose interest, even in tasks that normally engage you. You also risk your physical health. “Emotional labor,” which is the effort we make to control and change our own emotions, is associated with stress, burnout, and even physical symptoms like an increase in cardiovascular disease. Professor Little believes that prolonged acting out of character may also increase autonomic nervous system activity, which can, in turn, compromise immune functioning.”

 

Reading

I’ve been reading lately. Two books. One, about quantum medicine, quantum physics, quantum healing. Another, about introverts.

My soul feels like it’s going to explode with all of the knowledge I’m learning, all of the pieces that are zooming together, making this elaborate, beautiful puzzle of understanding, and I want to scream it out lout and explain it to all of you, and everyone in my life, and everyone in the world. But that’s overwhelming, so I shut down, because I don’t know where to start. I want to write about it and tell you about it and make the connections and paint the picture, and help shed that light that is being shed for me, both personally and professionally. But where do I start?

You know I often don’t write if I don’t think I can write something worthwhile. I feel this way now. I feel that I have one good shot to draw you in, make you understand, try to explain, and if I miss it, poof, that’s it, there goes your interest, there goes my attempt. I hope this isn’t so.

I want to start soon. Maybe with some excerpts. Maybe with the names of the books. Maybe with a few thoughts, however disjointed they may be.

Would you stick around if I did that?

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