As I sit inside my house on an otherwise beautiful June day writing this blog post, my lungs are burning and I have a sore throat and headache from the Canadian wildfire smoke that has made its way here to southeastern Michigan. I am wondering how many of you, my fellow HSPs, are feeling these same symptoms. It devastates me to see the millions of acres of pristine wilderness burning in our neighbor to the north, and to know that huge wildfires like these are happening all over the world at any given time. It devastates me even more to know that the intensity, duration and incidents of these wildfires has increased dramatically over the past decades because of climate change. I know it devastates you too.
Because empathy is your superpower, you feel for the trees who once provided oxygen and removed carbon dioxide, but who are now charred skeletons. You feel for the animals whose lives have been taken or homes destroyed. You feel for the people whose health is suffering because they cannot breathe clean air. You feel for the planet because you can see the consequences of humanity’s actions–even when others cannot. You have been seeing these consequences for decades, and begging people to do something. To care as much as you do. To care for each other, to care for all living things, to understand that we are all connected. And, like me, you have been heartbroken year after year to see that nobody else cares as much as you do. Nobody else sees what you see.
In her book Untamed, our current Yoga Book Club selection, Glennon Doyle writes about her daughter’s sensitivity, and how distraught she was learning about the plight of the polar bears. Glennon explains that in many cultures people like her daughter (like you and me) are identified early, and set apart as shamans, medicine people, poets and clergy because they see and feel things that others don’t. In our culture, she says, it’s easier to call us ‘broken’ than to consider that we’re responding appropriately to a broken world. She called her daughter ‘a prophet.’ I wept when I read those words.
While the world experiences catastrophe after catastrophe, you just continue doing what you can, all the while carrying this grief for the planet and its inhabitants. You keep caring, and fighting the good fight. You know the world needs you, even if they don’t know it yet.
I want you to know that I see you, fellow sensitives, and I honor your empathy and compassion. You are not alone. You matter. We matter. Keep sharing your sensitive gifts.
“You were born to be among the advisors and thinkers, the spiritual and moral leaders for your society. There is every reason for pride.” –Dr. Elaine Aron
If you have not already joined my HSP Sensitive Empowerment Group in Ann Arbor, MI, I warmly welcome you to connect to this nurturing and supportive community. We meet quarterly to honor our sensitivity, validate our experiences, improve our wellbeing and encourage one another to share our sensitive gifts with the world. To find out if you have the HSP trait, I highly recommend taking this quiz.
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