The Power of Hypersensitivity
Written by: Sabine Roggermeier
Society as a whole, and we as individuals, often judge things to be a weakness, when in reality they are strengths.
For me one of those things was my being sensitive. I hadn’t recognized it as such for a long time in my life, probably due to naturally having a lot of energy, being an extrovert and also expecting this was how everyone else operated, too.
My sensitivity has many aspects, and some aren’t necessarily a constant, but change over time: E.g. feeling deeply not only my own emotions, but other people’s. Being very intuitive combined with having a desire to figure things out, asking “Why?” a lot. Feeling deeply sorry for my inadequacies and mistakes, but feeling just as deeply the gifts I’ve been given and an immense gratitude for them. Having a very open awareness that makes me perceive things many people don’t, which in return may cause overthinking and bodily tension. Caring greatly for the welfare of others and sensing when their old wounds stand in the way of their happiness. Crying easily, because I am easily moved but also as a means to process.
I didn’t always feel positive about this trait. So to this day there are moments when I feel very Adrian Monk-ish: “It’s a gift and a curse!” But all of those thoughts don’t make my sensitivity a weakness. It doesn’t mean I am not strong enough or thin-skinned or that I finally need to toughen up.
It takes great strength to have such an open awareness in today’s world. There is a learning curve to figure out how to deal with it in order not to become worn out or ill. Things such as eating the right foods that make my body thrive, not taking in violence, whether fictional or real, caring for myself first, recognizing when I am feeling other people’s emotions and leaving them in charge of them, taking proper care of my personal boundaries etc. become an important part of self care.
That is a price well worth paying in order to be the strong sensitive self I truly am. For being sensitive also amplifies feeling joy, being able to help other people see themselves for who they really are and live that, seeing the beauty of God’s creation, having a deep connection to other human beings, sensing and feeling and knowing there is meaning to our lives and so much more. I feel positive emotions just as deeply.
In this time and age of social media we are constantly bombarded with images and messages of what is cool, hip, perfect, desirable, strong, trendy, worthwhile and so on. It takes effort and positivity to look at things as they truly are instead.
This week’s homework:
Which trait of yours turns from weakness into strength with a little positivity and a different perspective?