If you have been reading my blog for a long time, you’ll know that I love books and reading. I almost always have a book in my bag that I am actively reading. I also love love love when I actually finish a book!
I read a book last year that was one of the best I had read in a long time. I would like to share some of my thoughts with you today from that book and also share about a topic close to my heart–highly sensitive people. The book I recently read is called Sensitive & Strong: A Guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them by Denise J. Hughes and Cheri Gregory. I think I read this book in one day because I could not put it down. I felt as though this book described me perfectly and identified with so many things about my personality.
Before I get into my thoughts, I’d like to start with describing some qualities of a highly sensitive person (HSP). Some of those qualities are needing extra time to process things, becoming overly stimulated, feeling things intensely, being highly empathetic, and noticing nuances that others may not. There is also a quiz that you can do in Chapter 1 to determine if you might be an HSP. Do these things describe you too? When I read about these qualities, I thought “yep, that’s me.” Especially the one about needing extra time to process things. And also, especially when it comes to trauma because it takes me a long time to process through things and be able to forget about them. Something really traumatic happened in my family during the fall and then another event happened with one of my dogs, and I still struggle with the emotions that come when I remember these things.
I used to think that these things were weakness for me or that I was just too emotional all the time–but this book helped me to understand that this is the way God made me. You can’t, and shouldn’t, turn these things off, even if no one else understands you–God does. God knows every part of your heart and every feeling and sensitivity.
As you read more chapters, you’ll read about the science behind how the brains of HSPs are wired, and how they are beautifully formed. Again, being an HSP is not a burden. The world needs HSPs. The chapters explain what it means to be overstimulated and how to help prevent yourself from getting to that point. I have found that I can no longer tolerate an extreme amount of noise, news, chaos, pain, suffering, etc when it is all happening at once–it’s just too much. Not super helpful with the last two years, much? And now that I am aware of that, I know how to help monitor myself and know when I need to take a step back. The book will talk about white space and the need for quiet–and I so agree with that concept. The book goes on to explain how being an HSP can be used in healthy and unhealthy ways, and I encourage you to read over that chapter and evaluate how you might be doing.
As the title suggests, this is a great book and resource to read if you have an HSP in your family, live with one, or are married to one. For me, it has been hard to explain sometimes what I am feeling or what’s going on inside my brain, especially if I am overstimulated by something. I’ve explained this part about me to my husband and I’m so thankful that he understands me and loves me for who I am, of course as does my family. I think that if I had been more aware of being an HSP earlier in life, it could have strengthened some relationships in my life. I think it would have helped others to understand me better. But again, there should be no shame or guilt associated with being an HSP and sometimes it takes years to learn more about ourselves and our loved ones. This book is such a wonderful tool.
Above all, this book includes numerous Bible scriptures and biblical principles to encourage, strengthen, affirm, and rest in the knowledge and creativity of God! I love that about any self-help resource–it must MUST point back to scripture since that is the overall lens that followers of Christ see through.
I will likely read this book again and again and have so many other things to share about it–but I’ll leave that to you. Please grab a copy of this book or download an online copy for yourself! I hope that it blesses you richly!
I have a few other resources that I’d like to share that have more information about HSPs:
** https://highlysensitiverefuge.com or find them on IG @highlysensitiverefuge
** IG account @highlysensitive_person
** Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel
Until next time, love from Amy!