Who Is Highly Sensitive? What Does That Mean?


Sunshine.jpegThe following is a fascinating interview by Douglas Eby of another expert on highly-sensitive persons, life coach Jenna Forrest.


Douglas Eby: According to Elaine Aron, author of “The Highly Sensitive Person,” about 15 to 20 percent of people have this trait, which includes being highly aware of both the environment and inner experience. What are some of the main defining qualities of high sensitivity?

Jenna Forrest: People with high sensitivity are very intelligent, intuitive, perceptive, and creative. They’re very diligent about caring for others and wanting things to be at peace. Where the difficulty lies is that the world isn’t always at peace.

Challenges begin in childhood, when as toddlers and pre-schoolers they pick up subtle signals, thoughts, moods and other sensory energy from home, in the neighborhood, from TV or school, or from their playmates — and they don’t know what to do with it.

In a short time, the world’s problems become their own. Millions of highly sensitive people right at this moment are carrying a heavier burden than the rest of society just because they’re perceptive of the world’s discord, which is coming at them every day from a laundry list of sources.

This is where many sensitive kids and adults are right now, thinking that all these energies going on inside them are because something’s wrong with them.

Douglas Eby: And you’re saying that is not really true.

Jenna Forrest: Highly sensitive people have a beautiful ability to turn these burdens into art, inventions, writing, acting and other expressions that speak to the hearts of humanity.

They also have powerful, healing intuition that when developed, can be used to nullify the suffering that’s been endured by themselves and others.

People who want to heal from unhappiness, disease, trauma and other unwanted circumstances, can progress fast if they work with another sensitive person – like a therapist or teacher — who has already transcended his or her sensitivity by turning it into empowered awareness.

Douglas Eby: Many of us have had hurtful and dysfunctional family histories; how does being highly sensitive impact or determine our future personal growth?

Jenna Forrest: I know you’ve covered a lot of A New Earth, and Eckhart Tolle states that highly sensitive children are particularly affected by their parent’s pain and also by the collective pain of humanity.

If those children whose pain and whose parent’s pain are not healed through awareness and presence to transmute that pain, the adult child can live out his or her adulthood holding onto an unbearable accumulation of pain.

When this pain is no longer bearable, it can become an intense motivator for some type of breakthrough.

This is when the path of personal growth opens up, and where our consciousness is awakened.

Originally published on Beyond Blue at Beliefnet.com

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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