“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel things so very deeply.” ~ Annonymous
This quotation is one that couldn’t be more true for those of us who identify with being Highly Sensitive People. We feel things deeply. And sometimes that’s the best thing in the world . . . and sometimes we’d rather not feel anything at all.
A lot of the time, it’s so easy for us to be overwhelmed by the “curse” aspect of feeling things deeply that we completely forget about the blessing that comes along with that. We forget that being sensitive can have some incredibly good benefits too.
When you look at the self-test on the HSP website, many of the items in that checklist focus on the negative things, like feeling frazzled or overwhelmed by too much going on or by loud noises, crowds, etc. But there are also items that relate to the positive things too, like “I am deeply moved by the arts or music” or “I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works or art.”
If we weren’t so overwhelmed loud noises, we might not be quite so wonderfully overwhelmed by beauty either. A couple of other quotations I love that capture the essence of this aspect of being an HSP are these:
“If you are a sensitive sort, then you’re more apt than the average person to feel pleasantly overwhelmed by Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ or a well-turned phrase or an act of extraordinary kindness.” ~ From Quiet
“Like most sensitive souls, you already know you’re sensitive. You soak up others’ moods and desires like a sponge. You absorb sensation the way a paintbrush grasps each color it touches on a palette. The ethereal beauty of a dandelion, the shift of a season, the climax of a song or a certain stirring scent can awaken such wonder they’ll become your very breath itself – moving through you as fuel does to fire and wind does to waves.” ~ Victoria Erickson
This time of year as we transition from summer into autumn is a great time to focus on enjoying all the sensory details that our heightened sensitivity can allow us to notice. We can allow ourselves to fully become absorbed in the experience of reveling in the colors, the scents, and the feelings that are unique to this time of year such as these:
- The rustle of leaves beneath your feet
- The chill in the air and shimmering frost in the morning
- Hot apple cider and a cozy blanket
- Reading a good book by the fireplace
- Mesmerizing shades of crimson and gold leaves
- The smoky scent of wood stoves and the sweetness of fallen leaves
- Cider donuts and pumpkin spice muffins
- Cozy sweaters and boots
- The way the slanting sunlight sets the trees on fire in the afternoon
Paying attention and enjoying the beauty around us is one way that we HSPs can use our natural tendency to notice subtle details to our advantage. While we may still find ourselves being negatively affected by the overwhelming “too muchness” that is part of our daily lives, we can use our intense appreciation of beauty as a way to restore and energize us and to feed our souls in a way that will balance out some of the unavoidable stresses that we encounter.
(P.S. I started a new “Autumn Harvest” board on Pinterest recently to collect pictures of all the things I love best about fall to help me to recreate this vivid autumn experience. You can check out that board here:)