An HSP can become an emotional martyr and unknowingly participate in building the bedrock for addiction to suffering.
Alternative descriptors that I’ve used to describe the HSP trait is: wide spectrum or large bandwidth. As highly sensitive people we take in so much information most of the time that our system can throttle and slow down significantly.
Every moment holds a gigabyte of information.
We somehow tap into different colours and textures. Different sensations. Energetic downloads.
It’s common to hold all information as important. That everything must be seen, heard, understood, acknowledge, processed and dealt with.
This constant availability for emotional debris can be destructive.
To let ourselves go on someone else’s emotional ride means that we are creating very specific chemical cocktails in our brains and in our bodies.
Potent and addictive chemicals and hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, etc., are instantly generated the same way we heavily salivate at the thought of a juicy lemon.
Whatever we constantly expose ourselves to becomes the norm. It becomes the new baseline.
Feeling with and for everyone just because we can is a dangerous game.
We become a very specific amalgamation of all the people we spend the most amount of time with. Notice if they are mostly upbeat? Is there one person that manages to manifest drama regularly? Is there another person that is less than supportive generally? Is there a person in our environment that is perpetually needy?
These are important things to consider because when such people are not in our immediate presence, then we can most likely become unconscious about our craving for the specific chemical mix our interaction with this person creates.
Eventually, we might notice ourselves wanting to pick a fight with someone, procrastinating on a project, indulging in negative self talk or acting impulsively in order to get a ‘hit’.
Once our brain receptors are in place and the cells have ‘wired’ together they will do everything to stay alive and active. Anything different than a specific ‘feeling’ is rather uncomfortable, until that too becomes the new normal.
Feeling everything for and with people is running the high risk of blowing out our own nervous system.
We run the risk of sabotaging the nourishing and beneficial experiences to the point that they can start to feel foreign and undesirable.
An emotional martyr serves no one and ends up misusing their ‘superpowers’. It weakens us and corrodes our nervous system. It reprograms our chemistry, alters our views and colours our opinions.
The art of noticing and personal self reflection are deeply valuable in these circumstances.
Whom and why do I have certain people in my life? Is this a good time for them and I to be so close? It is wise to be disconnected from this person for a while? Is it even allowed to shrewdly curate who may or may not have access to our lives and to our hearts?
Exposure to other people’s feelings is not dissimilar to the practice of ingesting food.
We cautiously inspect the ingredients, how they fit into the balance of our own bodies and whether or not the food is sustainable in his harvest or in its selling price.
What is the cost of our feelings? What is the cost/opportunity ratio in our relationships? What internal ecosystem are we creating for ourselves?
An artist readily creates under very specific conditions. A comedian saves their jokes for the stage. An athlete is judicious when taking on any kind of physical activity that is not official training. A healthy body is defined by a very clear list as to what foods are to be eaten and when.
Our energy and our internal bandwidth is no different. Our internal fuel and the self-generated chemical cocktails are to be monitored and protected at all costs. Goodness begets more goodness. Celebration spurs on more festivities. Support creates more capacity. Encouragement fuels action. Reciprocity solidifies trust.
When we feel good, all the neurons and synapses relating to endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine are created and solidified. Their increased presence will prompt us to rise to higher vibrations, to feel lighter and basically upgrade our whole internal software to new heights.
In the presence of stress hormones, feeling better feels like a faraway mythical land.
Stress affects our decision making process, our perception of opportunities and our relationship building skills… basically becoming a downward spiral.
When stress neurons are wired into our minds and bodies feeling good is deeply foreign and jarring, almost dissuading us from the impulse to feeling good inside.
Like the pruning of an overgrown garden, we have the permission and responsibility to begin trimming. To begin removing any dead leaves. Uprooting any weeds. Feeding the soil. Protecting it from pests and of course, adding the plants that are in line with our desires and needs.
As an HSP, have you noticed that perhaps feeling for others can become overwhelming? Have you ever felt energetically hijacked? How did you deal with it? What measures did you put in place and what new choices did you make for yourself? If so, how do you feel now that some important relationship decluttering has taken place?