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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Satisfaction of a List.”

too sensitive

Is this you?

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Taken from: http://hsperson.com by Dr. Elaine Aron; See the rest of the article there

Many of the people who use the word “sensitive” to describe something, or someone, say it with disgust and a lack of patience.  Yet, if it weren’t for the sensitive people, who would respond to those in need? Who would cry at a piece of music? Who could look through a camera and see a masterpiece where others see nothing? Music and art reach deeper into our hearts; lyrics and words have the power to raise our awareness.

Cynicism and a lack of sensitivity are rampant. Messages are impersonal and we seek out the notes with the briefest amount of words.

A highly sensitive person processes the world around her in a layered way; smells are stronger, colors are brighter, sunlight alters mood, and soft and warm translates into cozy and waiting for touch. By the same token, scratchy fabrics irritate us. We need just the right fabrics in cotton or bamboo for a soothing night’s rest.

Sharp and pungent spices are not always satisfactory to a highly sensitive person. They can be off-putting because of the combination of scent and taste. Personally, curry and cumin are too strong for me on both counts.

We cry a lot. People make jokes or suggest you find medication for “happy” pills. There are no pills to cure a sensitivity to the tragedies in the world or news of someone’s death. Tears don’t mean that we are necessarily depressed, but we do feel and process emotions deeply. Goodbyes can be very hard. Sad songs and movies do make me cry, but my mind picks out the lyrics. In movies, I am sensitive to the sounds of accents, great acting, and cinematography. Sometimes, I have to turn off the news or the violent shows. It does not do my sensitive system any good to fill it up with anxiety or nervousness. Soothing sounds or softer lighting add to our wellness. Not all of us are artists, but there are many highly sensitive people who are indeed quite creative.

Sounds that are too loud are harsh to me. I can enjoy everything, but, sometimes, I need to turn down the volume. In a crowded or noisy party, it is helpful to get some fresh air when there are too many wild and crazy revelers. We are sensitive on behalf of others as well. We fight for the underdogs and don’t bully. We don’t tolerate someone else’s bad behavior because we know how it feels to absorb that toxic pain and negativity. Highly sensitive people, like empaths, are experts at nuance in many picayune ways. Details are noticed and appreciated like a finely set table, a beautifully wrapped gift, and fresh flowers. A good cup of coffee, or a freshly baked loaf of bread, can bring pleasure..

Our senses fuel our experiences and aid in our learning about the people and world around us. We don’t always feel like laughing, but when we do, the extroverts among us enjoy a good hearty laugh. We seem to need some scheduled alone time to recalibrate our senses and personal rhythms. No entertainment need be supplied as we enjoy time alone or with a good book. Intelligence and deep discussion are always preferable to the superficial. We can feed our souls with honest and vulnerable conversation. It does not use up our emotional strength because we have more than enough to go around. However, there are people who are toxic and narcissistic. We see through them right away and they suck out the oxygen in our sails when we spend too much time in their company.

An idea, like a sensitivity, can encompass a universe of empathy.  Seeing things through someone else’s eyes can help you to explore your own feelings.  In the silence, we absorb emotions, unspoken words, pain, loss, and that which may elude us in words. The shine in our eyes may be tears, but they can also reflect the sparks of humanity and possibility. We admire integrity and try to behave with only the best of intention in our hearts and hands.

People can insult your sensitivity – that is of course until they need a dose of empathy themselves. Then, look and see who wants to benefit from your sensitivity.  It becomes a choice to protect ourselves as well as someone else. Sensitivity encompasses honor, kindness, respect, compassion, trust, vulnerability, and empathy.  It opens the world around us, and our minds, to include that which others overlook or determinedly choose to ignore.

We appreciate the small and the large gestures that bring light, beauty, and kindness into our lives. We naturally choose filters to soothe our spirits and calm our senses when they become too overheated. Don’t worry about the tears. We are not afraid to use them sincerely, and I promise, you won’t melt.

“DOES (Depth of Processing, Overstimulation, Emotionally responsive/Empathy, and Sensitive to Subtle)”

To take a self test, click here:  http://hsperson.com/test/

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your sensitivity. I hope that you enjoy your visit.
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5 words about writing

here comes the sun

I was born into a world of words, a cacophony of languages and sounds, as I was formed. My mother and father were students and teachers. My mother was a major in Linguistics at college while she and my father created me. As I grew, I knew that there was much to learn and the need to look for the meaning in that which was left unsaid. From childhood until now, I cry at the lyrics of a sad song.

My life and deepest emotions have been formed by the greatest writers of the last half century. Songwriters, authors, politicians and playwrights filled my earliest memories with life-changing authority, creativity, and kindness.

Yearly, I have been reminded that Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and it was ended in violence on my birthday. Each year is a reminder of good versus evil, the dreamers who dared to see beyond the shades of black and white, and the need to express your truth for positive change.

My AM transistor radio shared space on my bed with my homework. The lyrics of James Taylor, Carole King, Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, and the Bee Gees played poetry in the confines of my room and my mind.

Music has always been so important to me as I reached for the lyrics of meaning, hearing them with my head and my heart, and seeds of empathy were created. Before I even knew what the ideas and social commentary meant, I sang of my journey that would take me to the jet plane that I was leaving on. I did not know how to love him and prayed, day by day, to understand more clearly. The lesson was that no matter how difficult the times, I would always have a friend, and come running, as fast as I could, to someone who needed me too.

At the age of 10, I practiced writing the lyrics to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John until I could sing it by heart. In Junior High, I struggled against the taunts of classmates while I read Ray Bradbury’s “Summer All in a Day.” To this day, I feel for that dear Margot yearning to see the sunlight and feel the ray of warmth against her skin. I understood what it felt like to be the sensitive girl, seemingly on another planet, with her heart on her sleeve and desire to make others understand that which they could not see or feel. I recall the sting of others’ cruelty and excuse to exclude while they had their day in the Sun.

Each day, I must use my words to comfort someone else or help them to feel that they need not face the dark alone. I write because I was born into a world of words, and there was no other choice, but to try to accept the challenge and capture their power. If my words could ease someone’s pain or give a ray of hope, then it was what I was meant to do.

So many years have passed and I can still feel the renewed spirit of the self when the Sun escapes from the dark clouds, piercing the cold winter’s air, and shares its dreams of a more peaceful and optimistic time.

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Thank you so much for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/writing-challenge-reflections/#more-71506

The search for Artificial Intelligence is abuzz on the Internet. Just Google “Google” and read about their major purchase of technology that will help to expand the use of ordinary items and reimagined integration with computers in the future.

Myriad articles online, and in magazines, discuss the impact that Artificial Intelligence — computers and drones — will have on employment and task-oriented jobs over the next ten to twenty years. However, one thing is clear; while computers can be trained by engineers, and complex logarithms, they are only representational of rational thought. Black and white mathematics, accounting formulas, and document sifting by computers can save thousands of labor hours. Legal firms are already using programs to help them sift through documents, needed in court trials, with the help of complex computations and search methods.

In truth, we are already surrounded by “artificial intelligence” in our daily lives.

Motivation by fear is an act of artificial intelligence. It is not a long term motivator; this has been proven by millions of dollars of psychological and neuro-scientific research. Yet it happens in homes and offices every day in desperation of grabbing hold of some sense of control. “Just wait until your father comes home……..” used to put a little fear into children. But children grow up and, as adults, know better. Threats don’t inspire or encourage growth. In fact, the part of the brain that registers fear actually blocks memory. So, essentially, while you are trying to scare someone into learning a skill, you are blocking his ability to do so. See, what I mean? Artificial Intelligence and false communications.

Intelligent people can lack people skills. Smart people can lack common sense. People, who do things with ulterior motives, can break down trust, create suspicion, and destroy loyalty. There are those who are incapable of thinking beyond WIIFM (What is in it for me). The decisions that they make and the behaviors that they show only serve the self.

Complex cognitive brain functions and processes include kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, understanding, respect, and charity. Such characteristics are counter-intuitive to the basic primal need for self-preservation and a hierarchy of needs. Truly compassionate and altruistic people reach out to others’ needs before their own.

Empathy is feeling what someone else feels, stepping into their shoes, and how to help them in the most useful manner for his or her needs and situation. Creating empathy is not just strong for neural function but it defies calculation. There is no algorithm for laughter, a hug, true love, the delight of a new mother……those emotions cannot be replicated. If you are fake in your concern, or attempt to make conversation without emotion, human connectedness does not occur. Genuine kindness lights up neurons in the brain, and causes brain chemistry, to produce healing and strengthening chemicals to aid the wellness of a person.

If emotions are merely imitated for show, they lack the essence of spirit and heart. When someone asks you a question without caring about the answer, it rings hollow. No artificial emotion or string of words could replace the truth and gratitude in accepting sincere kindness. Asking “How are you?” and walking away before the answer is given…..The reply could be “Fine” as easily as it could be “I shot an elephant in my pajamas last night.” You don’t know because you did not stop long enough to listen.

Who knows how much good could be created in another’s life simply by listening for two minutes longer?

In my humble opinion, these are the truest acts of intelligence we need, into the future, for the survival, growth, and development of the human race.

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Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to join the dialogue.

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