I read an article today entitled “6 Sweet Survival Tips for Super Sensitive Souls”(http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/05/06/6-sweet-survival-tips-for-super-sensitive-souls/) that inspired me to put my thoughts and perception of hypersensitivity to the written word. I’d like to begin by saying that, from my point of view, the tips given in “said” article to presumably “help relieve” the person “afflicted” by a hypersensitive soul are actually very good and right on target.
On the other hand, I find the descriptions given therein as to who and what makes up a super-sensitive soul to be terribly superficial, because the heart and soul of a truly sensitive person go well beyond emotional responsiveness. In fact, the author’s examples of things like “the ethereal beauty of a beautiful dandelion, the shift of a season, the climax of a song, or the scent of a certain fragrance” that can move the hypersensitive soul to tears, do not even begin to do justice to the makings of a truly sensitive soul. So what exactly are the characteristics of this unique and particular individual that apparently makes up 20% of human population according to the researcher Elaine Aaron?
In my opening paragraph, I use a particular word to describe hyper sensitivity, and purposefully so, the word being “afflicted”. Indeed, for as long as I can remember, I have looked upon my own profound sensitivity as an affliction. In fact, this perception was not of my own making. It began way back at the start of elementary school when certain other children would make fun of me for being too “smart”, too “chubby”, “four-eyes”, “teacher’s pet” or what have you. I would come home on a regular basis with a tear-washed face complaining to my mother about these hurtful insults. Each time, I was blessed with the same response, “Oh honey, kids are mean, and you’re just being overly sensitive”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my mother dearly and think she’s probably one of the best moms on earth (of course my point of view is biased), but the reality was that her responses, while made in an attempt to “thicken my skin” and “make me stronger”, actually contributed to the beginnings of disliking my own sensitive nature.
I have witnessed these same kinds of reactions toward my hyper sensitivity throughout my life. With regards to examples, I have many: my father yelling out for help from my mother when I would break into tears over this or that comment that he made, friends lecturing me to be “strong in the face of adversity”, my husband who often tells me not to “take everything so personally”, and my teenage boys who will insult me on random occasion just to get a “rise out of me” and show their new-found independence. All of these little instances, and others as well, have contributed yet another brick into the wall that makes up this terrible affliction that I have always had known as “super sensitivity”.
So, is this affliction limited to emotional responsiveness to beauty, sound, and scent? Hardly! I will admit that I’m a sucker for a soppy, sad ending movie. I have been even known to cry for an over hour over a tragic tale. Soulful songs of unrequited love can equally lead me down the path of weeping, not to mention a beautiful sunrise, sunset, or even a tremendously happy and joyous story that gives hope and inspiration. Yet these are petty examples of the truly sensitive soul.
A hypersensitive individual will go out of his/her way to help others. Worrying about the cry of an unknown baby, holding the hand of a lost child and leading him/her to safety, donating money, clothes, time, and energy to the less fortunate, sharing the wealth of knowledge with others, giving support and guidance to the lost, lonely, hurt, and sick – these are but a handful of things that a truly sensitive person would do. At this point, I am reminded of one of my very favorite quotes that appears at the foot of the Statue of Liberty on Staten Island:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
To me, these words are the perfect example of the thoughts and feelings of a super-sensitive soul. This unique individual is unafraid to take on the fatigue, poverty, pain, fear, and suffering of those who are truly in need. Contrary to popular belief, the hyper-sensitive soul is not at all weak in the face of adversity. He or she will fight until martyrdom if necessary for all that is “good”, “righteous”, “true”, and “just”, for the bettering of all humanity. This person thinks “outside the box”, truly driven toward the desire for what is best for others before what is best for the Self. Is it any wonder that Jesus, Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale and other great healers looked outside of themselves toward the agony of others? I think not. Although I never knew any of them personally, I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that they were all part of this unique population of human beings.
After reaching this point in my life, knowing a thing or two about rejection, hurt, despair, depression, pain, illness, and death, I look back upon my “affliction” and think that maybe, just maybe, my legacy of warmth, love, and deep sensitivity will spill upon others who have known, loved, and cared for me. And maybe, just maybe, if the same can happen with that other 20% of the human population known as “super-sensitive”, then the world can truly be a better place.