Just a few short weeks ago, I felt like I could take on the world. My spirituality had been renewed. My creativity was flowing. I was eager for new and exciting challenges, and I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do.
For my entire life all I have ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Active. Social. Productive.
But I am not like everyone else. And this morning, as my world feels like it is crashing down around me… I am forced to face the realities of who I truly am, and what I do and more importantly, what I don’t, have to offer the world.
I dedicated a page on this website to H.S.P’s…. Highly Sensitive People, of which I am one. Dr. Elaine Aron has dedicated her life’s work to informing and educating the world about the 15% or so of the population who are born with this distinctive personality trait. I read Elaine’s first book several years ago and it described me to a tee. But there was still a deep seated need in me to be like everyone else, and so I just forgot about it, and went on trying to fit in. Recently a dear friend reminded me of the H.S.P personality type and once again it struck a cord. But in only a matter of a few weeks, I yet again tried to put that aside and be like the people I admired most in this world. The people who were making a difference.
Driven by my own insatiable desire to change the world, I took on all kinds of commitments and projects…. determined to make my own mark. It started off OK. Exhilarating even. Every new request for my help or my participation, was met with a resounding “yes”. I was even coming up with my own new and exciting projects to help others and utilise my skills. I was on fire.
Until the fire burned out.
I could feel myself getting wore out.
My excitement for new commitments was slowly turning into resentment for yet one more thing on my “to do” list. My health started to suffer. My self esteem plummeted. I knew I was getting burnt out. What surprised me, was just how fast this all went down hill. Confusion set in… as once again I began to question my place in the Universe. What was I supposed to do? What was my contribution supposed to be? How was I going to balance doing the things I loved, with doing the things I felt that I should be doing?
I was trying to be all things to all people…. and in the process I forgot to be ME.
I forgot that as a H.S.P, I have very specific needs. Needs for silence. Needs for alone time. Needs to pace myself just that little bit slower than most others. I forgot that after I have been out in the world of stimulus, I need time for my nervous system to process and assimilate the overwhelming amounts of data that it takes on as a H.S.P. The way my schedule had become, I had no spare time. Even prayer and meditation time had turned into just another thing on my calendar.. just another commitment I had to fulfil. I was feeling completely lost.
So what now?
Now, I take my power back. Now I learn the age old art of saying “no”, to somethings. Now I go back to making me and my health and mental stability, a priority. I wish with all that I am that I could be a high flyer. That I could be out there in the world making a difference, inspiring people, and affecting great change. I can’t even describe in words what that would mean to me. But it’s not who I am. It’s not what I was sent here to do. And as painful as that is for me to accept…. accept it I must.
I can’t be all things to all people. But I can be true to myself. True to God, and the truth of my being. And maybe in the end, that’s all any of us can really do. Changing the world, might be as simple as changing ourselves… from what we think the world needs us to be… to what we already are inside.