It is entirely understandable that we have a tendency, behavior and drive to deny and resist our sensitivity. I have been there, too.
There are many misunderstandings about sensitivity– what it is, how it is useful, who is allowed to live it and who is not. Importantly, there has been a marginalization over many centuries of sensitive people in our dominant cultures. Sensitivity is so marginalized that we don’t even notice that we do it, we resist it, we minimize it, we put ourselves and sometimes others down for having reactions to events in life.
Yet, the truth is that sensitivity is a gift box.
It is full of hidden talents, beautiful ways of being, powerful, intuitive knowing and an ability to ‘get’ life at a very, very deep level. So we live in this polarity, between our struggle and denial of being sensitive and the pull toward opening that gift box and unleashing the deeper treasures and powers within it. Taking that step which allows us to live life in a way that we are truly meant to. A way that is meaningful, satisfying and deeply intimate with nature, ourselves and life itself.
Here are some understandable reasons we find ourselves resisting sensitivity:
- As sensitives, we are often very aware of the pain and heartbreak of those around us and of the world itself. We have not been supported to stay clear and free in our sensitivity so we can tend to believe it is our role as sensitives to take on and absorb the pain of the world around us.
- Sensitive people, when they see suffering, think that they have to take it on and process it for the other person. To help others is a beautiful calling. However, to help others by absorbing their pain, is an exhausting misunderstanding of how to serve with your beautiful gift. Learning how to nuance your gift, learning where you can be of profound support, learning to relieve other people of their pain and not take any of it on yourself, is a sustainable way of using the gift that you have. (One of the gifts of being sensitive is the ability to track the pain of others. This allows many of us to become supporters and healers of others. It is one of your sacred powers.)
- We do not openly understand that sensitivity is a beautiful, important and powerful positive trait. We have failed to receive good guidance and eldership from our communities and our family systems around being sensitive. Very few of us have had guidance or elders who support and encourage our sensitive nature.
- As sensitive people, we often haven’t had the training to develop a strong auric boundary and the energetic system that protects it, therefore we experience energetic suffering. We pick up the energies of others. We absorb the energies of our environments. We get affected by the unconscious processes around us and all of this can lead us to feel overwhelmed, unwell and frustrated. A strong auric boundary is important because it gives us a container for our sensitivity. It allows us to be safe, and highly functional and serves us as an inner guidance system.
- Because of centuries of a dominant culture that values a ‘stoic’, ‘level-headed’, ‘steady’ style of facing life, sensitivity has been hushed, or hidden, forbidden and even punished. People have been hurt and shamed about being sensitive so we keep it on the down low, or stay away and try to deny it as best we can, in order to protect this important part of our nature. We cannot not be sensitive. We have a nervous system, a limbic system, we are emotional beings. We are impacted by the world around us. Sensitivity is a channel of witnessing, of experience and communication, imagining we don’t have it is, and has been, harmful for generations.
- We often lack the language for speaking of our sensitivity as well as the permission to develop and use the language of sensitivity and give it a voice. We are aware that our sensitivity can disrupt the mainstream, so we hesitate to shake the status quo and therefore draw attention to ourselves.
- This is a complicated and challenging time on planet earth. Many sensitive people find that being sensitive means being hurt by the pain of the world around them and because we lack the support of our energetic boundaries our empathy might not be functioning in a healthy way. Our empathic awareness of other’s pain can then become a difficult experience to turn off. It can feel impossible. We might adopt a more detached attitude or approach.
- We all love to belong. We love to be seen, understood and welcomed. When we find, and are in our tribes we feel well. In the mainstream, sensitivity makes us stand out – our big feelings, knowings and deep perspectives on life can differentiate us. If this sensitivity is not received as the bounty that it is, we can feel like outsiders or actively be treated as outsiders. This hurts. We long for what we know is natural, to be accepted and honored for our sensitive nature. We want to belong and contribute. We want to participate in our social systems and culture, our groups and our family systems. We can have a painful polarity in us between what we know is meaningful about being sensitive and our desire to be accepted and fully participate in a culture that does not always recognize who we are.
It is possible to resolve all of these conflicts about being a highly sensitive person, about being a carrier of such gifts and powers, to stand in, and contribute to the world as your true self. It is possible to be healthy, well, resilient, safe, protected and thriving as a highly sensitive person. With the right guidance and tools, you can resolve these struggles and finally begin to thoroughly and fully enjoy life.
Not only joyfully feeling into who you are as a sensitive person, but engaging in the meaningful experience of sharing your sensitive gifts in the world in all the ways you imagine, not just for you but for others.
I know this because I have struggled in walking this path myself and have found many tools and solutions. It has become my journey, my purpose in sensitivity to share them with you.
Join me in my upcoming Sacred Sensitivity program and jump into my free event where I map for you the Seven Sources of Being a Highly Sensitive Person, so you can build on your own success story as a highly sensitive person.