A letter to my younger, highly sensitive self
Today, I did something that I should have done a long time ago. I wrote a letter to my younger, highly sensitive self.
My dear, sweet, 7-year-old highly sensitive self. Your caring, nurturing and empathic character is what defines you and makes you who you are. Don't let anybody tell you anything else. You will now start your school carreer and it will be tough.
The thing is, the school system in 1999 was not made for the sensitive, for the free thinkers, for the creative ones, for the shy ones. Therefore, you will start doubting yourself as soon as you enter the school building. It won't take long before you will feel the pressure from society to be perfect. The pressure to be the best in order to be worthy will follow you into adulthood. Sadly, due to your sensitive nature, you will absorb all this input and slowly it will become part of your personality. What society does not understand, is that 7-year-olds like you should be told that a kind heart, a compassionate attitude and an open mind are as equally important as being good at something like mathemathics or languages.
Those first years in school have shaped you into a perfectionist with an intense fear of failure. You will do everything to not make mistakes, because mistakes make you less worthy. At least this is what your past experiences have made you believe. Now it is time for you to understand that mistakes are perfectly fine and every. single. human. on. this. planet. makes. them. The messed up thing about our society is that we all seem to have these walls up which only showcase the perfection of life. The perfect outfit, the perfect job, the perfect relationship. What it doesn't show, are bad hair days, that time one got laid off or the bad divorce. It is all fake, but you don't understand this yet at your age. I promise that you will get there in the future.
Not only the perfection that society strives for in relation to school and work will touch your life and personality. There is something else that will hit you ten times harder, both in good and bad ways. That thing is called love. You will have to go through a couple of bad ones before you eventually meet the one who fulfills your purpose in life. Those bad ones will destroy you physically and mentally and hurt you in every way you can imagine. But then there is that good one. Oh dear, THAT one. The one who touches your broken heart, puts the pieces back in place, kisses you on your forehead and supports you through the toughest of times. And you will support your partner just as much, because you love right back with all your heart and soul. That love, my dear, you will hold onto for the rest of your life.
In life, you will encounter manipulators, narcissists and egoists. These people will do everything in their power to make you doubt yourself about the most crazy and unreasonable things. They are hurt people who most likely have been through rough times in life which shaped them to become this way. There is one lesson that I would like to tell you; protect yourself from people that do you no good. Your sensitive and caring nature is like a magnet for energy vampires and you need to do everything in your power to protect yourself from those type of people. It does not mean that you should exclude them from your life and never speak to them again. It simply means that you need to find coping strategies to discover this kind of destructive behavior in time and accordingly shield your energy field for their destruction. Do not take anything that they say or do personally. I repeat: do. not. take. it. personally.
It will take years for you to realize this, but there are people just like you out there. People who have their heart on their tongue and who care just as deeply and intensely about everything as you do. These people, my dear, are your tribe. Please do everything in your power to find your tribe, because you will thrive when being around them. Your tribe will bring out the best in you and you will bring out the best in them. And not ever will they tell you that you are not good enough, that you should toughen up and be less sensitive. They will accept you just the way you are, because the way you are is you and you are light!
You might wonder why I shared such a personal letter. Here is the answer: When I was younger, there was not enough information for sensitive people like me on the internet yet. For a majority of my life, I felt weird, different and not good enough. Until I discovered that I am highly sensitive and that there are millions of people like me out there! The knowledge that I am highly sensitive helped me to finally understand every decision I made, every coping-mechanism that I use and all the (past) relationships with the people around me. Accordingly, I was able to turn my life towards the better. I am not quite there yet, but I surely am further than I was when I was 7 years old, 17 years old or 22 years old. Back then, I would have loved to read a letter like this one, and therefore, I decided to share it with the world. Maybe one of you will find it helpful. The lessons I talk about in my letter certainly helped me.
What would YOU write to your younger, highly sensitive self?