Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Staying True to What Matters (Part I)
Let me explain. I have been a thorough part of it, and I have learned much about the world from it. And I'd go so far as to suggest that it has definite value in the world, especially for those who are feeling fragile after being brought face-to-face with questions about the meaning of their life after some kind of massive personal crisis and meltdown. Seriously? Such are times when we can use some hand holding, affirmation, hugs and validation... and maybe sitting around saying "I'm worthy!" over and over while smelling rose essences helps lead us through the darkness.
I believe it's also an excellent "entry point" for those who are just starting to examine self-exploration and personal growth. Let's face it, when we're poking at "new territory," we probably don't want to hear someone say "Stop whining, it doesn't matter, you don't matter, get over yourself!" At least it would discourage many-- especially HSPs with easily hurt feelings-- from seeking deeper and more meaningful answers.
In the long run, though, it's my opinion that a "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" approach sells us a bag of goods, on the greater scale of self-development. Why? Because of a myopic tendency to take serious life problems and window dress them with pink chiffon, delicate flowers, dancing unicorns and positive affirmations... after which people "leave the scene" with the impression they are "healed," even while the original wounds fester below, unaddressed.
Over the years, a large segment of the HSP "community" has developed an unfortunate tendency to get mired down in toothless "happy making" (there are exceptions) as the path to personal growth-- but I don't feel like it serves us well. Or maybe it serves us marginally and temporarily, but without helping us make real and permanent positive changes in our lives.
In a sense, we're choosing to substitute "validation" for "healing."
Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the underlying premise: HSPs most often arrive into adult life feeling marginalized, unheard, unseen, judged and put upon (goodness knows, I did!) by a world that not only doesn't seem to "get" them, but doesn't seem to want to get them. As a result, the knee-jerk therapeutic ("helping") response swings the pendulum in the extreme opposite direction with a "Let's validate everything you say, support all your psychoses as 'normal' and heal you through never disagreeing with you" approach.
Not so good.
Instead of healing the wounds resulting from marginalization and low self-esteem, they are glossed over while we create a new set of wounds centered around a false sense of "OK-ness" that results in hurt feelings every time something doesn't turn out the way we "think it should."
Newsflash: Life doesn't turn out that way for ANYone. Rarely, anyway.
Maybe I'm pissing you off, with these words. That's OK... really, it is. I write this because I am a "concerned citizen" of the HSP community. As the year turned and it became 2010, I realized that it is my 13th year of playing this gig; my 13th year since I learned there was a neuroscientific label for the stranger aspects of "being me."
Why am I concerned?
Because it saddens me to see fellow HSPs "get stuck" in their lives. Get stuck, because they allow themselves to use a blanket "because I'm an HSP" excuse to avoid facing a myriad situations that could actually lead to a richer more fulfilling life. And... especially... situations that involve looking at some dirty, nasty and unpleasant insight and personal growth issues.
Franky? We deserve better!
HSPs are all about authenticity, and about finding deeper meaning in life. As such, we owe it to the world, and to ourselves, to stay True to what really matters to us... and as long as gloss over our deeper natures with platitudes, niceties and excessively affirmational therapies we will tend to stray from that course.
And if you think about it... usually we learn the most from those who tell us things we really would rather not hear.
More to come, on the topic of HSPs and "Staying True to What Matters."
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