Highly sensitive

This morning, on my way to work I get reminded of my special quality. That I feel things a little stronger. The sun is coming up and the sky is so beautiful that it hurts a little. I listen to Veronica Maggio on Spotify and sing along. Loudly. Yes. My driving definitely improves with loud music in the speakers. I feel so much stronger. 

The lyrics affect me strongly and injects directly into my heart. For a second my throat feels thick and my eyes tear up, and then transforms into pure happiness. Emotional rush.

On my walk from the car towards the office, I feel the scent of autumn and I can see the exploding colors of the maple tree. Bright yellow. One of the most amazing trees I know of. And I say to myself that tomorrow when I have the day off, I will take a long walk in the woods and smell the autumn. I need to hurry up to experience the colors of the trees before all the leafs are gone. Because I know it makes me whole and heals me on the inside.

I feel a lot, and it is both fantastic and exhausting at the same time. One day strong and driven, standing on the barricades full of ideas. For the next day not wanting to even put my nose outside of the door. My brain is flooded and I need time to sort and reflect on what’s been said and done.

Sometimes when all energy is gone and I thing that I can’t or have the strength to do anything, I tend to accelerate even more. Push myself a little extra, perform just one more thing, or trying to take care of one more person. Instead of taking care of myself for a while.

Limitless. Like an overtired child.

Highly sensitive. Or fragile-strong as the two authors Maggan Hägglund and Doris Dahlin describe it in their book: ”Both strong and powerful, full of ideas and opinions, creative and intelligent with strong energy to explore the world, well-formulated and enterprising with a great deal of entrepreneur and explorer at heart. And so sensitive right on the border of skinlessness, with a mind that registers nuances that others don’t even see, that reacts massively of stimuli and with a brain programmed to process all impressions on a deeper level than most”.

I can read the atmosphere when entering a room, and rather quickly get a feeling of it being safe or unsettled. Not only for myself, but also for the other persons in there. It might arise a particular tone that will occupy me and that I can’t wrap my head around for a long time. If ever. Some situations alert me easier that other; like for instance when I feel excluded or if the communication is too quiet. It makes me insecure. It can also occur when a sense a conflict in the air, even if I’m not myself a part of it.

This can definitely be of service in my daily life, but as you can see it also takes up a lot of energy. I haven’t always been this broad-minded about this sensitivity. It was for a very long time my largest issue. I used to hide my feelings and tried to be more like others. I thought it was a defect that I needed to fix, and just shake off the insecurity and the itchy feeling. I longed to be alone many times but I didn't know how to politely decline company. I still struggle with that. It has consumed enormous amounts of energy and created a great deal of stress and anxiety through the years. 

There are naturally quite a few tips and tricks to avoid this brain flooding and exhaustion. Perhaps boring but wise routines for recovery and rest. To find your tribe of equally minded. And most of all to accept who you are - highly sensitive or not. There are a lot of things to learn in this hopefully long life of ours. It’s a pity that some lessons learned take closer to forty years to find out, but if it makes you love your multi-colored mind, it is totally worth it.

As of today my sensitivity is my best quality. It might not fit in everywhere, but you know, I can’t be without it either. Without the highs there will be no lows. And without the low’s I will not be who I am.

A sensitive artist.