I’m not very good at handling criticisms. They easily bother me.
I’m not able to easily let hurtful comments slide off my back — like it’s nothing.
I take to heart whatever is being said about me. I digest it. Process it. Think deeply about it.
When I realize that there’s no validity to the claim, only then am I able to release it. Letting it go is, in itself, a whole other process!
Such is one of the challenges of being a Highly Sensitive.
Not taking things personally is so much easier said than done for us.
To be sensitive in an insensitive world is a struggle! It’s a pain.
I was finally able to watch Elaine Aron’s documentary, “Sensitive: The Untold Story.” Thanks to Winging With Whitehawk‘s recent post. The docu was available for free streaming for 48 hours at the Gaia website. You can still view it with your Gaia membership or at the film’s site here.
Here’s the trailer:
The documentary came at the perfect time. (Doesn’t everything?) It reminded me of my highly sensitive trait.
I was comforted and validated, for the nth time, that there isn’t anything wrong with me and my heightened sensitivity.
Fellow Sensitive Aleya’s latest post, “this blog’s about me…but aren’t i you?” also served as another timely reminder.
Aleya shared how a recent comment on one of her posts prompted her to revisit her motivations in blogging and sharing. The commenter alleged that Aleya’s “blog and whatever else gives me online attention, is feeding my ego and stimulating unnatural dopamine production.”
I can very much relate to and resonate with all that Aleya shared — her feelings about the comment and her thought process that led her to re-examine why she’s blogging and sharing.
Like Aleya, and like what I wrote in my response to her post, I too, have had very few nasty comments, thankfully!
I know that disrespectful comments are a reflection of the commenter more than the one being criticized. Yet critical comments dampen my spirits — still — immediately and deeply! In typical Highly Sensitive fashion.
Who is fearful? Who is courageous?
Recently, someone left a comment on one of my posts saying that I “live in so much fear and dramatize things very much.”
Oh, you cannot imagine how that felt like a dagger that pierced my chest and slowly being pulled out! Seriously.
I so wanted to lash back at him and ask, “Well, who do you think between the two of us might be so full of fear? Me, who is baring her heart and soul on my site, for all the world to see, risking being criticized, misunderstood, judged, and dishonored? Or you who hide behind anonymity? Who is fearful? Who is courageous, eh?”
Was I triggered? Oh yeah. I don’t deny that.
Triggered or not, though, moments and comments like this sadden me, making me wish that people can be more respectful and compassionate towards others — especially those who are going through a challenge.
It’s bad enough that the person is dealing with chaos. To be made to feel wrong and inadequate for being in such turmoil is heartless and cruel!
He went on criticizing spiritual people in general, saying “these spiritual people should stop all the babbling about nothing and get on with living their lives. A lot of them seem like the spiritually insane….not the in touch like they claim.”
At that point, I knew it wasn’t worth engaging. No point adding fuel to their fire.
Rather than externalize right away what was going on internally — and regretting it — I spent some time sitting with the “discomfort of my initial emotional reaction.”
The thought of just deleting the comment crossed my mind. After much processing and self-introspection — as a Sensitive is wont to do — and after holding my tongue, I replied with,
“What you shared is your opinion, observation, perception, and interpretation. I can only respect that. We all are, after all, entitled to one. To each his own.
If what you find here doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t resonate with it, you are more than welcome to visit and engage elsewhere. There are countless other sites in cyberspace where I’m sure you can be more turned on, tuned in, and more aligned with their content and site terms and conditions. May you be led to them!”
Practice what you preach.
I can probably cut some slack those who are not committed to their growth and aren’t self-aware.
What is much harder for me to let slide off my back is when it is the so-called ‘spiritual people’ who express their opinions in a most condescending, preachy tone! Argh!!!
I admit that there are times that I find myself judging them.
How can they claim to be so ‘spiritual’ but not show respect and compassion? Where’s the kindness when another is going through a difficulty? Where’s the celebration of another’s success?
What I find interesting is these folks can be so bold in telling others what they intuit are the lessons and gifts behind other people’s struggles but are quite stingy in sharing on their sites about their personal journeys, pains, and challenges.
That’s their choice, of course, which I can only respect.
But because they are so ‘generous’ with their wisdom yet not with sharing their personal experiences and real identity, I often wonder how much of what they preach do they follow and embody.
Walk the talk. Live by example. Be the example. Be the change you wish to see. Give advice and suggestions only when asked.
It is so tempting for me to tell them all that — and to tell them off. So tempting to just say, “Go away!”
The Power of Words
Writing is therapeutic. Even when it is for one’s eyes only, it can be cathartic.
But when we share our writing with others, healing takes a deeper level.
Then when another resonates with what we share, an even much more profound healing takes place.
Often, all it takes is to know we’re not alone in our struggle and the pain dissipates. At times, hearing “I hear you…” “I feel you…” “I’m so sorry for what you’re going through…” is enough.
Such is the power of words.
(At times, a ‘like’ suffices. I like — pun intended — and so appreciate Aleya’s truthfulness when she wrote, “I like ‘likes.’” #Metoo Who doesn’t?)
When expressed with the intention of honoring the other, words can be a most potent soothing balm for a weary soul.
Otherwise, highly sensitive or not,
When I encounter ‘attacking energies,’ it may hurt me and take a while to process and before I release them. I want to make sure that I arrive at the space of Gratefulness for them for being my teachers, for giving me the opportunities to strengthen my self-confidence and self-trust and master the skill of self-assertion and boundary-setting.
These episodes find me taking a step back, getting clarity, and asking myself,
Why do I blog and share? What do I get out of it? Why don’t I just get out of it?
Over the years, time and again, I would share on this site how my blogging experience is such a transformative journey for me.
It is most healing! It keeps me in good company as I go through my transitions. It keeps me going as I navigate through the uncertainties.
And despite the occasional hurtful comments, blogging and sharing give me fulfillment and joy. And that is what matters.
Freedom of Speech. Right Speech
Freedom of speech, especially in social networking sites, has been gravely and widely abused and misused.
Be it online or in the ‘real’ world, may we balance this freedom with the practice of ‘Right Speech’ of the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism.
🕉 🙏🕉 🙏🕉