Model Christine McGuinness’ recent TV programme on being autistic was very brave, honest and moving.
It showed the power of finally making sense of life. Of having an explanation for emotions, experiences and challenges. Because it’s hard to live with what you don’t understand.
At one point in the programme, Christine was with a group of other mums. They all had autistic children and were themselves autistic.
They were sharing their difficulties, challenges and how they avoided certain situations. One of the women made a comment – “What if you don’t turn up for your own life?”.
Wow! What a question. And what a thought – that you might not turn up for what the poet Mary Oliver described as ‘this one precious life‘.
And yet, that – not turning up – is what can happen when you feel different and don’t know why. And when who and what you are doesn’t seem welcome or ‘normal’ (whatever that is).
The mum asking the question was relating it to living scared of, and apologetic about, being autistic. It could equally apply to being a Highly Sensitive Person. Or any other form of difference.
As an HSP, I know I wasn’t turning up for my own life when I couldn’t make sense of my experience. I was hiding – because I thought I was ‘flawed’ and that my sensitivity was my shame.
I tried to keep under the radar … not all that successfully because I wear my heart on my sleeve.
As a counsellor, I watched countless HSP clients fight the same battle with themselves – trying not to be their highly sensitive selves. Living smaller than they were.
Discovering or acknowledging that you’re an HSP automatically makes it easier to turn up for your life. Because it connects you with yourself and your potential. And because understanding dissolves shame.
Turning up for your own highly sensitive life is the ultimate gift to yourself. Whereas, not turning up would be the ultimate sorrow.
Which are you doing?
I really hope you’re turning up or that you decide to do that now. Because so much more is possible than you think.