Are you anxious, sensitive or just really aware? By Vanessa Finnigan
Did you know that some people seem to pick up on everything around them more acutely than others? If you’ve ever experienced this even for a few moments it can feel quite overwhelming before you discover what’s really going on.
From a really young age I would know what was going on in people’s emotional worlds without them having to say too much. Some people would call this being an ‘empath’ or ‘highly sensitive’. While these sorts of labels help to acknowledge what you’re experiencing, they can also be restrictive on another level.
American Psychologist, Elaine Aron is a well known author and researcher on the topic of being ‘highly sensitive’. She says being sensitive is actually a ‘normal trait’ found in about 15-20% of the population and also found in most animals in nature.
An outsider might think you’re shy or anxious but being sensitive means you can pick up on a zillion things from the environment as well as thoughts, feelings and emotions of others in all directions (someone who’s had an argument, someone who has a headache…you get the idea). It can also be a great asset to be so aware and it doesn’t mean you need to be restricted or miss out on anything in life either.
It’s only recently that I’ve admitted to myself how aware I am and that of course means that I have to face the truth about being quite different. It doesn’t mean I can see dead people although who knows what else will unfold….just to know how much I’m picking up around me that’s not mine and doesn’t belong to me, makes the road seem easier to walk on.
Although, being intuitive, reflective or aware are not necessarily qualities that are highly valued in our society. It’s not like being a football celebrity or a rock star, so as a result, you hide your gifts and abilities to fit in and to emphasise ‘sameness’…. but the more you do this, the less you really feel at ease and you have barriers up to yourself and others.
What if those times of ‘intensity’ can be doorways to experience your true nature even more fully where the barriers start to dissolve?
More and more I know my true nature is stillness, spontaneous joy, creativity, wisdom (which includes knowing what to say in the moment and sometimes this is not about being ‘nice’) and giving and receiving love, just to name a few qualities.
When will the time come when the ‘different’ people acknowledge their gifts without ‘annihilating’ themselves and their uniqueness? When will the time come where we embrace ‘difference’ and in doing so, realise we are all the same at the core?