Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., coined this term with her publishing of The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You in 1996. Turns out, being highly sensitive is a trait that about 20% of us carry. From what I've observed in myself and others, it seems to express itself differently and to different degrees in each one of us, based on how we were brought up and have lived.
- Are you highly sensitive? Take this Sensitivity Self Test to find out!
My hunch is that many of us, myself included, didn't feel like there was space for us and our sensitivity in this very sensationalized, hyped-up and power-heavy world. So we tried our best to bury it, to disconnect, or isolate ourselves in order to cope and carry on. Many of us have even managed to fit ourselves into mainstream boxes, but often wind up feeling drained, disenchanted or depressed.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hiding out, of feeling like I have to choose between sacrificing my health, energy and sanity or sacrificing my social life, career ambitions and dreams. I'm tired of wondering what is WRONG with me.
Like Dr. Aron, I'm on a mission to turn our judgments and experiences of being sensitive around. What if it was no longer a weakness, a burden, a thing that got in the way?
What if you could lean into your innate sensitivity as a heightened experience, a gift... a SUPERPOWER?
How much better would that be? Like any Superpower, it will require awareness, choices, and care to cultivate its optimal expression. Like Superman, we all have weaknesses that will trigger us to break down. We need to know ourselves and our power intimately so that we can use it, love it, honor it, master it.
What I know for sure is that Luke Skywalker didn't master the Force by ignoring his feelings and stuffing his face with almond butter and cookies ... like I've tried. (Didn't work so well for me either, by the way.)
Can you see what a gift being sensitive can be? I decided to make a list of my Superpowers to get in touch with what I can start loving more about this part of me... It's a work in progress. What do you think?
So... Isn't the next question obvious? What are yours??