My mom told me I was one of those rare kids who loved the idea of working side by side with her in the small gardens we always had growing up. Just the idea.
I can picture myself helping gather the needed tools, choosing seeds or bulbs, and excited to get outside. I’m an organizer since day one.
We would drag all of these things out and I would spend a few minutes with my hands in the dirt before I realized the dirt was sticking to my hands and I needed to wash them. I was done faster than all the prep work to get started. Needless to say, as an adult I’ve gardened little more than a few herbs from my kitchen window.
As a teenager I discovered a sensitivity to smells. There isn’t necessarily rhyme or reason to what affects me or when it might bother me, but the gag reflexes are strong with this one.
Living alone into my thirties created the illusion in my own head that I was normal and part of being “normal” is that you don’t complain about many things. Well, marriage blew that one right out of the water! This cute little blindspot I had kept mostly tucked away was now under the limelight and completely killed my buzz of being an easy-going, laid back person.
Marriage is great at helping you create a list of self-improvement areas to work on.
Brooks was the catalyst to helping me understand what I was doing as I voiced my sensitivities, which sound like complaints to anyone outside my head. His feedback pointed me to the path which brought greater understanding of who I am and how to be a better person.
Discovering and accepting your ingrained habits or personality traits isn’t a license to behave badly. In fact, once you’re aware of something you’re on the hook for making sure it gets taken care of. You can remove it, you can correct it, or redirect it. It’s up to you, but you had better do something with it.
Therapy is awesome and our marriage therapist recommended a book for both of us to read to help understand my sensitivities and provide language to be able to work through it. The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., shed light on why I do and feel what I do and removed the weirdness of wondering if something was wrong with me.
This book is not about emotions. When you see “Highly Sensitive”, think of the five senses.
Sensitivity to some sensory exposure is in my DNA. I can’t help it that I’m not a fan of walking barefoot in the sand(I know, that’s awful!) or that the beeping of the toaster oven drives me batty. It’s the way I’ve always been, so it’s totally normal to me. It’s being able to explain to those closest to me what’s going on when my “crazy” creeps out and that it has nothing to do with them that has been the lifesaver.
I’m always on a journey of self-improvement. Awareness is a big factor in being able to grow, so I have gratitude toward the people who speak into my life and point me in the right direction. Living in relationship and community is the fastest and cheapest method of finding every. single. way. in which you need to grow. When you choose to live in honest relationships, people will let you know when you’re crazy.
Showing a little bit of crazy doesn’t bother me. I stay humble knowing I have plenty of imperfections that I couldn’t hide even if I wanted to.
Own every bit of who you are, work on the parts that need it, and never settle for where you are. Keep moving forward, even if it seems like an inch at a time.
Oh yeah, and feel free to remind me whenever you see my crazy hanging out.