I had a question recently on Instagram about my journey to uncovering that I was a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and as it is quite in-depth I felt writing an article was in need.

As a Kid – I didn’t know

As a Teenager – I didn’t know

As an Adult in my 20’s and 30’s – I didn’t know

HSP

What I did know through all of these transition periods of my life was that I was overly emotional, too sensitive and suffered with severe anxiety.  I guess you could say all of these things should of led me to know that I was a “HSP”, but you know what it didn’t, all it did was made me feel different, unworthy, unlikeable and a difficult daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.

I worked as hard as I could throughout my life to mask and to hide my true feelings, my true emotions and my true self, because life had taught me that person was a problem, that person was not good enough and frankly that person was kind of annoying.

It really wasn’t until I started to experience physical ailments that I had to start to take a hard look at my life and how I was living it and what I was accepting.  At the time I was working in a demanding job where I needed to be available 24/7 and when I went to see my doctor I remember him clearly saying you can’t do this anymore, your body can not handle it.  He even shared his own personal experience with me when he was an on-call doctor in a busy emergency department and he too had to quit and move on.

HSP

My hair was falling out (I have thin hair anyway, so not helpful), I was experiencing migraines that were affecting my vision, my energy levels were depleted, I was exhausted all of the time.  After having all the medical tests nothing showed up to explain my physical ailments and it was at that time that I truly started to understand the cost of not living for myself, but for other people.

I had been living for others my whole life, doing exactly what they wanted me to do, even at my own detriment.  As a kid I was always the good girl, doing whatever I could to please my parents and teachers alike.  Trying to get my siblings to like me, to want to play with me, doing things for them and the same in friendships.

As I write about this now it makes so much sense as to why my body was like okay enough is enough, we are not doing this anymore, we can’t take anymore, we are done.  I have noticed this with my private clients as well, our bodies know exactly what they need to do, to either stop us in our tracks or get us to finally pay attention.

This all started for me 2012, I left my job and I felt quite lost, I didn’t know what to do, I still needed to work but what was next for me.  At the time I had no idea it was the start of my spiritual awakening and I know now that if my body hadn’t given me signals I couldn’t ignore, I would probably still be living my life for others.

The first thing I did was I enrolled in a course I had been wanting to do for quite some time and that was “Angel Card Reading with Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine”, I had always loved angels and now I had the time to learn more about how I could connect with them.

I definitely got a lot more than I bargained for, on the surface it was learning about using angel oracle cards, which was so much fun.  Even deeper than that it was a journey of learning to trust myself, and for someone who had been a people pleaser for so long, starting to trust myself, who by the way I didn’t even know at that point was a big task.

So I began starting to peel back the layers to start to understand who I was, why I felt the way that I did, why I seemed different to everyone else in my life.  That is when I came across the concept of HSP and Empath and it was like a light bulb moment, one that explained so much of my life experience.  Other HSP’s had also been told their whole life “they were too sensitive or too overly emotional or cried too much”, yes I always cried at the drop of a hat and I still do.

If you are wondering whether you too are a HSP or Empath, I have another article that lists 27 traits that can help you to see if it fits for you too.

As I started to learn more about a “HSP” I could finally start to understand myself at such a deep level and even more than that, I could stop explaining away my sensitive nature.  There was no more “I am sorry I am too emotional” or “I am sorry I am crying again”, it shifted into my emotions are my guide and my tears are cleansing.

I can now say with no shame at all, “Yes I am emotional, Yes I am sensitive, Yes I cry – It is an amazing Super Power!”

I hope this article gives you some insight into my journey of finding out that I was a HSP, I would love to hear about your journey – comment below.

Nicole Ivens | Empath Counsellor

I love my work supporting women and female adolescents in accepting and understanding their true self, if my story resonates with you and you would like to start to embrace your sensitive nature, then I am your girl!  You can book your online appointment here.

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2 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Nicole. I have really started to allow myself to feel all my emotions instead of hiding from them so this really resonates.

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