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Loving Yourself by Cherishing Your High Sensitivity

By Dr. Margaret Paul
August 08, 2017

If you are a highly sensitive person, or if you are partnered with a highly sensitive person, it's vitally important to understand this essence gift.

Loving yourselfMany of us, when we were growing up, frequently heard, “Don’t be so sensitive,” or “You are too sensitive.”

When I heard this – over and over – I assumed it meant that there was something wrong with me. Because most other people didn’t seem to have my level of sensitivity, I thought I was an alien.

Reading Elaine Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person, was life changing for me. If you haven’t read her book, I strongly recommend that you do, or at least take the free HSP test at http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/.

While being highly sensitive is a gift, it isn’t an easy gift, because only 15-20% of the population are born with a highly sensitive nervous system. This means that 80-85% of people experience life differently than you do, which can lead highly sensitive children to feel very different than other kids and to assume, as I did, that there is something wrong with them.

I’m writing this article because the vast majority of people who find their way to Inner Bonding are highly sensitive people, and many of them believe that there is something wrong with them for their sensitivity.

The more you read about and come to understand your high sensitivity, the easier it will be for you to cherish this gift. You might want to join the Highly Sensitive People group on Facebook to learn more about it.


Loving Yourself With High Sensitivity Means…

Loving yourself with high sensitivity means that you learn to deeply value your ability to perceive subtle energies – both positive and negative. It means that you deeply value your perception of people’s feelings and moods. It means that you deeply value your rich inner life, and how profoundly you are affected by art or music, and by the environment you are in.

You also need to learn to value how easily you can become overwhelmed, and make sure you set up your life in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Highly sensitive people can become easily frazzled when too much is going on at the same time, or you have too many things to do at once, or people are making too many demands on you at the same time. One of the reasons I’m a list-maker is that knowing exactly what I need to do at any given moment of a workday keeps me relaxed rather than overwhelmed. People around me know that they can’t throw too much at me at once, and they respect this – because I respect it.

One of the other things I do is I don’t watch violent movies or the news. I glean news from others, but watching the news can scare me and keep me up at night. My nervous system can’t manage the violence that is generally part of the daily news, nor can I handle hearing about people’s meanness to each other.

One of the reasons I started my Facebook group, “The Loving Action Revolution,” is that I love watching the little videos people put up of loving actions. I’m so moved by these loving actions that I almost always cry watching these short videos. I’m very grateful that people take the time to find these videos of loving actions. I’d far rather be inspired by watching these than agitated by watching the news.

I’m deeply grateful for my high sensitivity because it enables me to do the work with others that I do. While I used to wish I could just let things roll off my back like so many others can, I now fully accept that not being able to do this is part of the package of high sensitivity, and I fully accept this as intrinsic to who I am.

Loving yourself means cherishing all aspects of your essence, including your high sensitivity. I hope, if you are a highly sensitive person, that you learn to value this gift in yourself, and if you are not a highly sensitive person, I hope you learn to value this quality in others – particularly if you are partnered with a highly sensitive person.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.

Photo by Allef Vinicius


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