In recent months, I have come to learn a very important truth about myself: that I possess many of the qualities of a highly sensitive human being. Perhaps not in the way in which most others would assume about this quality- weak, shy, inept to face the difficult challenges of life- but rather, in an open-hearted and fully accepting manner. What exactly is a highly sensitive being, then? Elena Herdieckerhoff explains it beautifully in her TEDxIHEParis talk, The Gentle Power of Highly Sensitive People.
Now, I acknowledge that I may not be a highly sensitive being in many ways- I thankfully do not have to deal with endless racing thoughts or insomnia, I cannot resist a great horror film, and I am very laid-back and easygoing in most aspects of my life (In fact, my family and friends would argue that, at times, I actually lack attention to and care for details)! However, my aim today is to put an end to the stigma that exists in society today towards those who are highly sensitive people, and to claim that to a certain extent, I can relate to that experience as well…especially when it comes to my spiritual journey.
For the longest time, I would resist this characteristic in myself because I saw it as a flaw and a weakness- I wanted to be strong and for others to see me that way as well. And then, slowly over time, I realized just how much being a highly sensitive person embodies true strength and can only be perceived as a flaw if what is insensitive is the societal norm. Sensitivity comes with the ability to deeply connect with others, allow yourself to be guided by intuition, and for me personally, it is what allows me to look deeply within myself to see which layers I need to shed in order to always return back to myself no matter what.
True strength lies in the ability to be open and vulnerable and feel every emotion as deeply as it comes.
In fact, as I began to delve back into meditation and mindfulness, I became increasingly aware of each thought, emotion, reaction and sensation I experienced both internally and outwardly. I now have a newfound respect for those who identify as highly sensitive beings, and I proudly accept and embrace those qualities in myself which regard myself as a fairly sensitive human being as I bask in the depth of truth that each experience brings me through…and I welcome them all with open arms.