Thursday, August 21, 2014

HSPs and Finding Meaning

Always feeling can become a bad habit. Swimming in the sea of sensations, caught up in the rip-tide of emotions, it's easy to lose sight of the reality of a shore, a solid ground that can hold us just as well as the never-ending ocean. 

Looking back, there was a time in my life when I was practical, aware of what was happening around me, aware of how the people around affected me. 

Then, there were also the many years when I felt as if I was thrashing around in the water, getting swept up by feelings, out of control, reacting. 

Now, I think that over-identifying with any part of us unbalances us. Emotions are very important, but if we don't think and make sense of them, they can carry us like the wind. 

On the other hand, if we run away into our minds, cutting off from any feeling, we are subject to a never-ending churning of the same thoughts over and over again or we get addicted to fantasies. 

Maybe one way to think of ourselves could be as amphibians. 

Being an HSP doesn't mean that we always have to swim in the sea of emotions. How can we be of any use if all we are doing is always feeling? Shifting to thinking gives us objectivity and the practicality to see what will help us and what won't. 

Lately, I have been thinking about how to stay with polarities, how to explore them both, instead of swinging from one extreme to the other. There are advantages to left-brained planning, just as there are advantages to right-brained creating. 

There are times when I need to think to support myself and move forward. There are times when my thinking is clouded because I don't let myself feel the real feeling underneath. Is it anger that I am feeling, or sadness? What information does that give me? 

And then there is my body, the most neglected of my three parts. 

As HSPs, sometimes, we can pride ourselves on being above the mundane, almost turning our identities towards our minds or our emotions. We neglect the sense of homecoming that our bodies can give us. 

It is in our bodies that our emotions and our minds live and inter-penetrate. 

When I think now about making meaning of my life, I think of summoning up all my resources and accessing all the parts that had gotten submerged in over-feeling. There is a part that can strategize. There is a part that can be logical. There is a part that is self-protective. 

When I can balance all these parts, use all these parts, I can make something cohesive. Otherwise, I am left scattered, pointless. 

Have you confined yourself to a narrow definition of who you are? Have you boxed yourself in one aspect? Maybe, like me, you would like to let that over-simplification go, and start using your thinking, objective, planning side. 

To me, it feels like a life of meaning is on the other side of this divide - of mind and body, of thinking and emotion, of being and doing. And the task for us all is to keep experimenting, to keep correcting our course till little by little that life emerges and we broaden our own capacity for receiving.      

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