I recently sat in a room with 25 women who identified as HSP. It felt extraordinary. Literally, outside the ordinary.
Only 20% of the population carries the trait of high sensitivity. I was sitting in a room full of women of difference.
Each woman carried in her own experience of living with high sensitivity. Experiences covering territory from enjoyment and appreciation to extreme discomfort.
As I listened to the stories of discomfort, I felt an echoing tremor in my bones.
Sensory Processing Sensitivity is a complex gift to live with.
On one hand, we experience beauty intensely. In our marrow intensely. It can be breathtaking. We are also uniquely tuned to be exceptional leaders and changemakers. The world needs this aspect of our trait so much at this point in history.
On the other hand, in certain situations we can feel like our nerve endings are being sandpapered. Like there's nowhere we can find relief. Exhausted and utterly out of place. The discomfort is visceral. Sometimes relentless.
Eighty percent of the world doesn't get the experiences we have. It's not malicious. They literally cannot understand what we are feeling, sensing, or experiencing. Frankly, we weird them out a bit.
So, to participate in our families, workplaces, and communities we're put in the position of choosing to do the emotional labor of educating skeptical people, or hiding our perceptions, squelching our insights, and trying to fit in.
Community where we are seen - like the room full of 25 women - becomes essential. In community, with support, we can discover ways to resource ourselves and develop greater resilience.
And, remember, community doesn't just mean human community. HSP's are especially responsive to time spent with more-than-human community. So, hug a tree. For real. And find some women of difference to spend time with.