Why Highly Sensitives Can Feel Okay About Being Misunderstood
A few moments pass as I watch and wait as my friend looks at the picture.
We’re sitting side by side and I’ve just handed them a picture I created. They’re staring at it in their hands, giving it their full attention.
I know I’m going to get an honest reaction and I’m curious to know what the reaction will be.
Finally they say, “It’s beautiful…” as they look up from the picture and look at me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Their look is surprised and at the same time… uplifted. The look says, “I see your Soul, and it’s beautiful, and I also see a piece of my Soul now too”.
For a moment I’m frozen. I wasn’t expecting this reaction.
I’m not sure what reaction I was expecting but now I’m stunned and slightly embarrassed, so I cover it up by thanking them quickly and clumsily begin showing them some other pieces.
I do this because I feel awkward and am not sure how to respond in a way that won’t make me feel even more awkward and won’t cause them to feel awkward.
I also do it to buy myself some time to process this reaction, both theirs and mine. They seem confused by my reaction to their reaction.
And this is what it’s like for me. I live in a messy mind and am often misunderstood.
But I know why now. I have the HSP Trait and am also HSS (High Sensation Seeking). Knowing this has helped me gain new and better understandings of myself and also given me the opportunity to learn tools that help me work with the unique challenges presented to those who have the HSP Trait.
The majority of HSPs are highly creative. Some know they have the trait and some don’t. I didn’t know it until a few years ago. It was while I was exploring my creativity that I learned I had the HSP Trait.
Since then I’ve continued exploring my creativity as a vehicle to understand myself.
Scott Kaufman says,
“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.”
I’ve begun exploring my creativity because it allows me to make other connections, other than the most obvious ones.
It allows me to connect with subtler meanings, and often meanings that are more complex and paradoxical in nature.
I create to understand while being okay with sitting in the midst of not understanding. I allow myself the space and freedom to not be understood.
To give myself this gift, because there are aspects of myself that aren’t easy to understand and aspects about both myself and life that aren’t necessary for me to understand.
Which is why creativity is a helpful tool for me. It allows me the space to grow into myself without any expectations. I create to see and understand the paradoxes “out there” as well as “within” and to be okay with not understanding.
That’s what creativity is for me. In the midst of change it’s a vehicle for growth, new understandings, and to flex my ability to adapt to new insights.
I create to feed my Soul. It’s why I write and why I like exploring different ways to understand myself and the world I live in, a world that’s multi-faceted.
It’s a world filled with colour, sounds, textures, smells, energy, vibrations – some of them seen and some of them unseen. It’s both a complex world, yet at the same time it’s simple.
And I now know why I experience the world or reality the way I do. It’s in my genes. The HSP Trait is a genetic trait you’re born with.
So I can no less “be” myself any more than someone can change the colour of their eyes or grow taller. It’s something I’m only asked to accept, embrace, be thankful for, learn to work with, and utilise to the best of my ability.
Embracing my creativity has been one of the keys to this. So I’m okay now if my silence is misinterpreted by others.
I’m okay with the fact that I;
- am observant,
- work in a way that works for me,
- take whatever time I want or need to be alone,
- seek out new experiences,
- fail up,
- ask uncomfortable questions,
- live my life in a way that isn’t “usual”,
- am okay with shaking things up,
- need to practise meditation daily,
- and, need time to reflect.
This means I won’t be understood by many people—why would I be, when I struggle to understand myself?
Which is why creating space and allowing myself to “be” creative resonates with me. Because the way I feel when I’m creating is what resonates for me.
It’s when I freely give myself permission to; process, explore, understand, experience, find connections and express myself on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level all at the same time, without a timeline or an expectation.
In this way I allow myself to process information in a way that isn’t structured, that’s messy, and it’s okay to be messy, the world is a messy place.
How about you? Do you use creativity to help you with your HSP Trait? If so, what do you do?