Creating Harmony: When Not To Try And Make It Work

Maria HillPersonal Development, Social Smarts15 Comments

I like harmony. I suspect that many HSPs do. Harmony to me is important because at its best it tells us that we are making effective choices. At its worst, we are keeping a destructive peace. Which is operating in your life? Why Is Harmony So Elusive? I have often wondered why harmony is so elusive. As a young girl, there was so much acrimony around me that I would scratch my head until it bled. I found it so upsetting. All the conflict and misery also seemed very unnecessary. I did not get it. My parents grew up during the depression and World War II, so perhaps that explains some of it. If you grow up during a war, war can become your reality and it certainly seemed that war was their reality. But I ended up thinking that their childhood spent in war was not the total answer. Sensitivity And Conflict I pick up on conflict easily. I also find it uncomfortable since often what causes conflict are unresolved past issues, denial, expectations – in other words, the issues and problems people do not want to see or engage about. Like many HSPs, I can absorb the unhappiness around me, and it brings me down. I often do not know what to do with my awareness but know I do not want to cause harm. That is important to me. However, if I encounter a conflict or unresolved problem and say nothing then I have a problem with myself. At the end of the day I have to be able to feel that I have made good choices to be square with myself. Being sensitive sometimes means that I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I live in the spaces between thoughts and actions, intentions … Read More

Overcoming The Desire To Take The Easy Way Out

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress3 Comments

Do you sometimes take the easy way out? We all do. Have you ever wondered why that is? Have you ever wondered what to do about it? Why Do We Take The Easy Way Out So here’s the deal. We humans all like pleasure. There is nothing wrong with that. When we take the easy way out, it is to feel good. That’s it. When we are taking the easy way out, it means that we are usually harming ourselves in order to get the good feeling we are seeking. The example of someone who has a bad experience and then gets drunk or overeats are classic examples of this. But taking the easy way out does not necessarily have to be this obvious. When Feeling Good Is Taking The Easy Way Out There is nothing wrong with feeling good. There are some important positives to feeling good. One positive is that it can be an indication that we are healthy. Feeling good can tell us when we are doing good work. However, feeling good has a downside: we are conditioned to seek pleasure outside of ourselves. We live in a world of rewards and punishments that engage us even if we do not want them. We have to interact with the world and its existing structure just by being alive. For highly sensitive people, dealing with the challenge around the rewards and punishments we live with can be daunting because they were not designed for us. One of the observable differences between HSPs and non-HSPs is how HSPs have a more internal locus of control whereas non-HSPs are more apt to seek outside rewards. This situation makes feeling good and interacting with the cultural rewards structure difficult for HSPs. When HSPs Take The Easy Way Out Even if we … Read More

Do You Suffer From Emergency Mind?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress4 Comments

When we afraid everything around us looms large and chaotic. Lately though it seems that fear has become the norm and we are living in a perpetual state of emergency. Perhaps it has always been this way but I am noticing something else at work that needs questioning. Emergencies Are Not Innocent Emergencies have become a way of life for many of us. Notice our entertainment. They are mostly about emergencies. Whether depicting our health care system, focusing on national security, or relationships, many of our movies and television entertainments are based on the idea that life is an emergency. Of course, we have some emergencies – some of the time. However, I think we need to ask why emergencies have become the norm for our lives. It seems to me that we have been suffering from emergency creep for a long time, and now emergencies have reached a critical mass to the point that we may not recognize life without them. Emergencies are not innocent. They take huge amounts of energy and resources. When they occur, they replace any other priorities. A continual state of emergency is a great way to control the social and even political agenda of a family, community and society. The Consequences Of Emergencies When an emergency is over we are often poorer for it. If we have a hospital emergency we certainly understand the enormity of the bill, even if paid by our insurer. When we have major storms, it is obvious how much damage is done to the physical plant of a community but also how disruptive of the ives of the people affected it is. It takes no imagination to grasp the horrendous losses created by wars. Occasional major emergencies create small disruptions. Large and continuous emergencies do much more: they make … Read More

Why Impatience Is SO Bad For You

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress8 Comments

Impatience is so bad for you. It is one of the most seductive emotional states. It is a great way to make life more difficult and relationships challenging. Impatience is like playing a child’s game of bumper cars with real life and adult consequences. Worshipping At The Altar Of Speed I find the adoration of speed in our culture to be curious. When I am going fast, I stop thinking. Speed demands focus on the task at hand and so it cannot be a time to contemplate what you are doing. To be truly effective at warp speed, you need to have contemplated, evaluated and assessed your intended actions before you engage in them, Does our cultural speedfest really allow for that? In my opinion, no. Speed For Conquest When the speed of daily life is ramped up, there are consequences. One of them is what happens with our attention and intention. When we function at a slower pace, we spend time contemplating what we are doing, what we want to do,  and what we need to do. We think about the implications of our actions, the alternative courses of action and the possibilities that our choices present. We can own our intention. When we have to go faster something has to give. What gives is usually the way we direct our attention. A high speed life makes us more task oriented and more focused on the short-term. That means that we delegate the long term to others. In doing so we disempower ourselves. Faster living means that we have been made one down almost like objects or parts on a conveyor belt. We are the wheels on the bumper cars and someone else is doing the driving. Our attention has to be elevated but we have lost our intention … Read More

Is Independence Real?

Maria HillCulture And Sensitive People, Emotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

Independence and autonomy are cherished goals in many people’s lives. I am all for standing on one’s own two feet. However, I notice more and more how autonomy and independence can become distorted. Is Independence Real? Here in the US we are all about independence. So much so that we have little in the way of safety nets for the inevitable down side of life. Independence is virtually a mandate, a matter of character rather than development. Independence can also have many meanings. It can interpreted as independence from want, the realities of life, aging, mistakes and failures. Independence often suggests an idyllic experience of life, free from pain or any other concern. Under the character definition of independence. the more pain in your life, the greater your failure. It is personal, you know. But it is not a real independence. None of can escape mistakes, aging, ups and downs that are always a part of life. Why is it a sign of personal failure if we cannot? The Failure Of The Independence Model Independence can become an obsession. If any dependency is a fault, then revealing that you are not entirely self-contained can be a serious exposure of yourself and to yourself. In a world where perception has consequences, being perceived as needy or needing can cost you the respect of others. It is one thing, however, to challenge excessive neediness and the lack of independence underneath it and another to base ideas about independence on false ideas about what it is. Yes, There Are Limits Our Western view of independence suggests that limits do not apply to us and that they should not. I guess limits are for other people. Perhaps for highly sensitive ones. The denial of limits has serious consequences that actually limit our independence. When we deny reality we limit our choices which results … Read More

Walls Do Not Make Us Safe

Maria HillCulture And Sensitive People, Emotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

The walls are up in our society. All sorts of walls: brick, stone, identity, geographical, ideological, and economic. There there are social barriers of race, sex and physical abilities. Roles and social affiliations are other forms of demarcation. So are rules. We can’t live with them and we cannot live without them. Why We Have Walls Walls are not intrinsically a problem. However, after thousands of years of creating barriers to protect ourselves, we are now drowning in them. Rules, roles, customs, conventions, expressed expectations, unexpressed expectations. There are a lot of ways to create protections. We humans have been very creative about it. And of course, we all have our personal walls including our habits and personalities. Many of our barriers came into being when we needed them when our species was younger and more defenseless. They became a part of our reality out of necessity. Now with 7 billion people on the planet, they are being questioned in a more serious way than ever before. Walls are meant to protect us when we need protecting. They are not meant to just keep others out. There is a distinction. Walls are a closed and fixed structure; boundaries are more open and flexible. The Limitations Of Walls Sometimes barriers are contrived and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they help and sometimes they do not. There is a reason why, however, at this particular point in time we are in need of a rethink about all kinds of barriers more so than others: 7 billion people all with their own walls is unwieldy. we have always needed to cooperate. However, the complexity of our current human systems and the demands on them require a more skillful interdependency. our problems are bigger. There are too many of us for the resources on the planet. Our walls are making … Read More