A few nights ago, as I was drifting off to sleep and in that place where consciousness has relaxed and sleep is taking over, I saw the title of this post “highly sensitive = strength” in my mind. This doesn’t often happen for me, though I do have vivid dreams. I knew immediately that this phrase was meant to go on my newly designed web site’s home page. Beyond that I began thinking, “how does highly sensitive equal strength?” Yes, I have written a good deal about resilience and the highly sensitive person and believed personally that HSPs are some of the strongest individuals I know. What I didn’t know, or perhaps appreciate well enough, is being highly sensitive, can and should be distilled down to this phrase because for too many HSPs being highly sensitive is seen and felt as a weakness or challenge more than a strength.
What am I implying by the word strength? What does it mean when we say “strong?” Usually we’re implying concepts like unyielding, impassive, unmovable, or forceful. I think there’s more to it than those simplistic ideals. Strength can be thought of in many ways: emotional, social, intellectual, even passion, but my instinct tells me that the compact phrase that appeared in my dream suggested more. Yes, it was inclusive of the above, but it was also pure spiritually and full of humility and altruism. It is for all of us, highly sensitive or not, because HSPs do not exist in a vacuum. We are an integral part of the human species who happen to have a marginally rare personality trait evolved to enable the survival and flourishing of the species.
Our strength lies in knowing how others are feeling at any moment, being willing and able to heal our tribe/community/family as individuals react to the stresses of the world. Our strength lies in embodying what it means to be deep-thinking and deep-feeling individuals who have a gift for envisioning connections between concepts, plans, and ideas and in making new plans that take into account long-range considerations and opportunities. Our strength lies in imagination and creativity, expressing the beauty of life and the darkness. We are the heart on the sleeve for everyone too timid or lost to express it themselves. We are also the passionate ones who fight with heart and conviction when wrongs are being draped over us by evil people who have lost their way and who seem to have forgotten that humanity, and all of life, is interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent. We are the voice for the voiceless. Our strength lies in embodying what it means to be fully human, fully alive, and fully awake.
Highly sensitive = strength is now emblazoned in my mind as a rallying call to know ourselves, to adapt our lives in ways that facilitate wholeness and balance, while enabling us to turn our focus onto the world in a thousand ways that heal, inform, educate, and promote enlightenment of the human spirit in a time when it seems to be flickering and doubting itself as to its worth.