it's complicated and i'm probably going to sprinkle the following self-diagnosis with a little "christianese" so i beg your pardon if i lose some of my non-believing readers along the way. first my dad always cautioned me against going to therapists because "they only will blame your family". all well and good so long as the family has no blood on it's hands. i think my family was, is and always will be really awesome. we are flawed people and when you have children, when you relate to any other person in the entire universe who is not YOU people are going to clash and conflict. whatever mess was made, it is forgiven. so let's get that sort of thinking off the table.
what i really think it is, and im foolishly, kinda sorta uncomfortable talking about to certain groups of people is that i think i've got certain gifts that predispose me to high internal stress. for brevity ill just link you to a wiki page on discernment - specifically i am strong in discerning people's intentions. i liken this sort of supernatural "stuff" to a mother's six sense when her child is born. you cannot explain how you know things but you do, in your bones you know these things. it is the same in matters like this. i am not claiming that i can see people's deep darkness plainly, though i have had incidents where i have crossed paths with people and felt such a curtain of darkness and attack around them that i had to remove myself from them. in the grocery store ill pass a person and just know that they struggle with pornography or lusting after children, that they have an addiction problem, that they beat up their girlfriend. but almost always it is just a perception of intense sadness or depression, a feeling that this person feels hopeless or angry. these are hard things to feel to say the least. for years the continual prayer on my lips was WHY? why do i know these things? what am i supposed to DO with this knowledge? and until this year i had a spirit of unwillingness, maybe even a healthy level of fear that i might be asked to do something! haha. when the kingdom comes into your life, you'd better believe it isn't going to be farting rainbows in your direction folks. but you've got to be willing to push past yourself and engage. so anyways several months ago a girl at my small group was talking about this exact thing, in a third person sort of way, and she said that it wasn't God always telling you to do this or that and GET IT DONE in some harsh manner but it is very possible that it is one way He just dialogs with me. He is having a conversation with me about the world. that opened my eyes a lot!
so there's that. there i'm out of the closet & no i can't read your mind but sometimes i can feel a presence of a sin and that weighs very heavily on me. i mean sin is awful to bear - even second hand.
ok so the the kicker is something my good ol' buddy lauren turned me onto the psychological term "the highly sensitive person". oh hai, me to a T.
* This trait is normal--it is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and indeed the same percentage seems to be present in all higher animals.
* Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener although they may be (mine DEFINITELY are). But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.
* Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed.
* This trait is not something new I discovered--it has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited.
* The reason for these negative misnomers and general lack of research on the subject is that in this culture being tough and outgoing is the preferred or ideal personality--not high sensitivity. (Therefore in the past the research focus has been on sensitivity's potential negative impact on sociability and boldness, not the phenomenon itself or its purpose.) This cultural bias affects HSPs as much as their trait affects them, as I am sure you realize. Even those who loved you probably told you, "don't be so sensitive," making you feel abnormal when in fact you could do nothing about it and it is not abnormal at all.
i mean this self test is just utterly & ridiculously me. i used to think i was just prone to being a sleepy person but now i realize that relaxing in a dark, quiet room was my favorite coping mechanism for dealing with stress. there are restaurants that i avoid like the plague because they are too stimulating, am beyond rattled by violent scenes in movies. i feel my stress levels going up every single time i put perfume on because of the constant sensory involvement. like why can't i just listen to moody music on my ipod laying in a dark room? that would be the perfect day for me (as long as i had a bag of doritos). the only way which i am a large departure from the site is that 70% "highly sensitive people" are introverted and if you've met me you know im a jabber jaw.
ok so highly sensitive person + stressful spiritual gifting = KAPOW!
i feel blessed to have such a tenderheart but it gets me into trouble. i am defenseless to cruel people. a tiny prick on their part and i carry a wound home for weeks. i still maintain that it is a gift, i'd not choose another way to be for again, i feel it is God dialoging with me about my world, His creations, but oh a stiff wind a' blows and i'm in that dark room, ipod on to my pensive mix, on my knees.
& i must say i find this one of the most wholly satisfying videos ive seen in a long time. thank you for the link emily
i don't know why i just told you all of that.