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Daisies in the Desert

I am an HSP - a "highly sensitive person" - and sometimes I feel like a daisy in the desert. Sometimes there seems to be such a dearth of positivity and encouragement in this world. You create and work on self-improvement and purge and clean and strive and all those things, and - nothing. Nada. So then what?

Daisies are not cactus. Sensitive humans are not made to survive in hot, dry places without a drop of rain-praise or a morning dew of encouragement. We tend to wither and die. The first death is emotional. The second death is creative. The third death is spiritual.

Sensitives murder their emotions first, because surely it must be ME that is wrong, ME that is inferior, ME that is not good enough. We have help in the homicide, for sure. "Grow up!" Nonsensitives tell us. "You take everything too personally!" "You should know I didn't mean it that way!"

"You're just too sensitive!"

Friends, family, teachers, coworkers - the list is as endless as is their coldly hurtful comments. Oh, they don't mean to hurt a sensitive. From a nonsensitive's perspective, we ARE "too sensitive."

The problem is - sensitives are not trying to be high-maintenance, hothouse flower that the rest of society has to tend carefully or tread upon without mercy. We sensitives don't wake up each morning and say to ourselves, "hmmm . . . how can I be sensitive today?"

We don't "BE" sensitive. We ARE sensitive. Birds fly. Cats pounce. Sensitives feel. We FEEL - at an extreme level. We don't THINK about feeling. We don't TRY to feel. We just FEEL.

It's too bad we don't include one's sensitivity on a photo ID, so anyone who checks it can verify your level of sensitivity. "Blue eyes - check. Strawberry blonde hair - check. Highly sensitive - check."

To cope with the overwhelming feelings coming at us constantly, (we absorb emotions empathically like human sponges) as well as the barrage of "you're too sensitive" messages the nonsensitive world tosses at us regularly, most sensitives cope via self-destructive behavior, such as overeating, addiction, and the like. We don't want to harm others, but harming OURSELF? You betcha. No problem. Let me literally stuff my own pain down with cookies and ice cream, so you don't have to deal with the fact that you're handling this sensitive employee like a bull in a china shop. Then, once I've gained fifty pounds, I can redirect all my emotional pain into guilt and self-loathing, and you don't have to feel a thing. Trust me, I'm feeling more than enough for both of us. Let's get ice cream.

The second death is creative. Sensitives, by their very nature, are highly creative individuals. Some write. Some invent. Some act, dance, or sing. But if a sensitive finds herself in a situation with ongoing stress, the creative energy gets completely bogged down. As in, slows to a sludge, and then corks up completely. The creative process continues, but, without an outlet, it forms a huge logjam inside a sensitive's brain and spirit, a creative cauldron with no spigot that can become overwhelming.

The third death for a sensitive trying to cope is a spiritual death. Like a daisy in the desert, the sensitive's spirit withers and begins to slowly dry up and stop functioning. This is easy to spot and horrifically painful to see. Just look in the eyes of a chronically overstressed sensitive and you will see the listless, numb soul, going through the motions of life, while no longer living at all.

I am a highly sensitive person. I have died these deaths.

Resurrection is possible. Because a sensitive IS sensitive, the slightest bit of positive energy will serve as a lifeline to the dying spirit of a sensitive. It could be a moment in nature, when the quiet stirring of the wind touches the sensitive's face. It could be a bit of music, as the steady rhythm syncs with the sensitive's beating heart. Perhaps a painting catches the sensitive's eye and the image blows fresh inspiration on the embers of the sensitive's soul.

It could even be a kind word. A smile. A bit of encouragement. I see you. I know you. I am like you - a fellow sensitive - and I understand what stress can do to those like us. Come with me and play. PLAY - just for a moment.

And thus the lifeline is offered, and a sensitive slowly, carefully, starts to revive her soul, her creativity, and her emotional balance.

Sensitives comprise about 20% of the world's population. We are few and far between, thus the world is not geared towards us. And yet, we are finding each other, and finding our collective voice. Sensitives understand compassion tempers power, gratitude is the water of life, and kindness is holiness itself.

I am a daisy. I live in a desert. Yet I have discovered a source of spiritual sustenance, deep within. And I am following my path . . .

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