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The Beauty of High Sensitivity

15% of people are considered to be "highly sensitive people (HSP-ers)." This group has a genetic disposition to higher sensitivity to subtle things, deeper thought processes, more overstimulation, and more emotional reactivity. In other words, this group of people is more sensitive as a whole. More sensitive to subtle clues, more sensitive to the emotions of others, and more sensitive to things like the news, feelings of animals, but even to weather changes or other external or chemical changes. The result is that HSP-ers tend to struggle more than others with emotional burnout or feelings of overwhelm.

High sensitivity is not a weakness

It becomes harder when society does not understand sensitivity. Sensitive people are often categorized as weaker people. This is entirely unjustified. The fact that you carry more burdens doesn't mean you are weaker... just that you carry more. In fact, many Highly Sensitive People have stretched out hearts that are capable of loving wider. They have stronger shoulders because they are used to carrying heavier loads.

The Bible

The prophet Jeremiah is often categorized as a Highly Sensitive Person. This is because he seems to deeply internalize the situation of his people and the judgment of God on them. He cared, and he cared very deeply. We cannot say that Jeremiah was an HSP-er by genetics and make assumptions that the Bible doesn't give a direct warrant. I believe that the Holy Spirit causes a great and deep concern for the lives and the salvation of people in our hearts, and that Jeremiah had the Spirit of God in him. This Spirit sensitized him greatly. Yet Jeremiah felt this internalized grief more deeply than many other prophets. Listen to this:

My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!

Oh the walls of my heart!

My heart is beating wildly;

I cannot keep silent (Jer 4:19)

My joy is gone; grief is upon me;

my heart is sick within me. (Jer 18:18)

Oh that my head were waters,

and my eyes a fountain of tears,

that I might weep day and night

for the slain of the daughter of my people! (Jer 9:1)

For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded;

I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me. (Jer 18:21)

Jesus wept too when he saw the grief of his friends. Jesus had a sensitivity that, again, originated with the Spirit of God, a Spirit that does not allow for callus, hardness, and insensitivity. Jesus was Highly Sensitive because the Spirit of God was fully manifested in him.

High Sensitivity is not a weakness that requires toughening up. It is a beauty to be retained and protected. High Sensitivity is... the ability to notice, to understand, and to care on a deeper level than most others.

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