Dear Highly Sensitive People, You Don’t Need To Change.

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Highly Sensitive Person” or “HSP” it refers to about 15-20% of the population which possess a unique sensory processing trait which allows them to pick up more on subtleties in the environment, resulting in deeper processing and often being easily overwhelmed with stimuli. Most people exist on a spectrum of sensitivity. Take the self-test here.

Many Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) were told — either consciously or unconsciously — to “toughen up” to survive this world.

Unfortunately, you probably got this message when you were very, very young.  And it stayed with you.

You learn you had to camouflage and hide your sensitivity – and thus hide who you are at your core.

Here’s an alternative:

I recently read the story about this remarkable sheep.

photo credit: Alessandro Deriu

She left her farm and spent 6 years wandering in the mountains.

During this time, she grew 60 lbs of wool. It protected her from the elements.

But more importantly, it protected her from the wolves who tried to eat her.

Their teeth couldn’t get through her thick, soft coat.

Your sensitivity – your softness – can be what protects you.

Yes, you will need some extra armor and protection to thrive in this chaotic, overwhelming world.

Especially if you interact with people who don’t honor or embrace your deep-feeling nature.

But this armor doesn’t have to be cold, tough, or unforgiving.

It can be soft, gentle, yet firm.

(Think: Boundaries. Self-care. Self-advocacy. Self-compassion.)

Your protection doesn’t have to be something different than who you are, but a sturdy extension of your caring, deep-hearted nature.

So, my dear HSPs,

Let’s not change who we are.

Let’s grow. 🌱

Here to support you during this difficult time.
Reach out to schedule your free new client consultation.

Change is Like an Earthquake: A Therapist’s Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Growing up in Alaska, earthquakes were as common as a cloudy sky.

We learned how to do earthquake drills as soon as we entered grade school. A light flashes, siren blare, and the drill starts.

The protocol goes like this: Get under a desk, table, or chair. Cover your head and neck with your arms. No table? Get in a doorway. Brace yourself between two sturdy beams if you can’t find cover.  

Then, hold on. Just wait. Continue reading “Change is Like an Earthquake: A Therapist’s Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic”