Before I continue with my experiences in the Middle East, allow me, if you will, to pause for a brief period as I many thoughts I wish to get out of my head. Being a deep thinker, they tend to accumulate and every once in a while, a good cleaning is required.

To be Seen and Not Heard

               I am sharing these very personal and often painful experiences with you in an attempt to set the stage to, what I believe to be defining moments. It’s not to obtain popularity or attention of any kind, but rather to help me and possibly others understand life. Truth is, I was raised under the belief that “Little boys are to be seen and not heard,” as I believe many in my generation were. Thus, seeking attention of any kind doesn’t really fit our belief structure. Most of us never really figured out when we could step out into the light and speak up. Especially if they were Highly Sensitive people.

               Many who grew up under that belief and are HSP, are usually very quiet, for it has been embedded into our subconsciousness not to “speak up.” People such as myself, who have a habit of standing quietly & observing instead of speaking our minds, often absorb far more details of life. We are not distracted with thinking and forming words in our heads before those who are talking have finished saying what they want to say. Although there are those who, given the opportunity, would never allow anyone to speak for they seek to be the center of attention. HSP’s taught to be seen and not heard naturally have the tendency to evolve to become amazing listeners who are seeking meaning in not just what others are saying, but in what their actions are telling us.

               It is the combination of unique behaviors and highly responsive nerves that allow us to absorb incredible detail that many others miss. As such, when we do find the courage to speak up, we do so in an educating manner, with the only goal being to share what we have learned. Often when we do this, we are re-living that exact same moment in our minds, and that can be extremely emotional to us if it was an emotional moment.

Figure 1. HSPs are very attuned to their emotions. For the good or the better.

The Storytellers and Listeners

               Like all stories, there are two participants.  The storyteller and the listeners. Each has an important role to play. The listeners can choose to listen intently to the story, waiting till the end to determine how they feel about it, or they can listen halfheartedly, not because they are not interested, although that can be the case, but rather they have conclusions already in place, conclusions which no amount of new information will alter. These halfhearted listeners, due to their limited attention spans can be challenging to others. Equally, they can be misinformative.

               As a storyteller, one can either speak the truth or fabricate a lie. Those practiced at lying, which seems to be the majority these days, can be good at convincing people that their story is real, when in fact, it’s not. We now live in a world where more lies are believed to be the truth, and the truth is seen as a lie.

HSPs and their Tendency to Speak the Truth

               Highly Sensitive/Responsive people believe in the truth because truth never needs to be defended. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Highly Sensitive/Responsive people try very hard to avoid any type of unnecessary confrontation, so telling the truth to them is an attempt at avoiding such conflict. But what is truth exactly? Is it a fact? Or is it one’s belief? Some are adamant that their belief is indeed a fact, while others have a much more open-minded position on their belief system in that new facts are being presented every day, and they can dramatically change our beliefs. For me, I have learned that truth is a blend of both, especially when it comes to our memories of past events.

Figure 2. The art of storytelling visualized

My Process of Narrating My Stories

               Some storytellers love to embellish their tales, in fact, most do to some degree. The question is, do I? One editor I used when I was writing my book said I needed to bring the reader into the moment. Asking why, their answer was simple, most stories would be boring and unread if you do not. “But I do not want to lie” I stated. “You don’t have to,” she replied, “just be as descriptive as you can.” When one writes the way I do, calling upon notes made at the time of an experience and memories imprinted as a result, details can be vague. So, a writer has to imagine the colors, the sounds, and the smells along with the exact feelings they were experiencing at the time of the event. Highly Sensitive/Responsive People are known for their ability to pick up on subtleties most do not, thus they’re able to capture a lot more detail in the moment. The question is, how much of it do they retain? The answer is, no one really knows.

HSPs’ Tendency to Relive Past Emotions

               I often wonder if the ability to pick up on details equally triggers our emotional state? Stands to reason, it would. Just the other day I was telling a group of people about being buried in an avalanche back in 1997. As I was describing the events, I found I had to fight back tears, even though it took place some 26 years ago. To me, when I recall that day, I can feel the cold, the suffocation, and the sound of my friend freezing to death as if it happened yesterday. Sometimes I feel emotional weakness rise to the surface as I am relating these painful events of my life, I work hard at managing them so those listening do not perceive me as weak. I try and reminded myself of the strength and courage it took to overcome those events. Those that see the tears welling up as I re-live the moment, for them, I will probably never experience strength or courage because strength & courage are not emotions, they are actions. My only wish is, if just one person reads or hears my experiences and it helps them in any way, then my job is fulfilled.

Figure 3. God? Our Higher Self? A Being from a Higher Dimension? I believe there is someone up there that sees the purpose behind all our suffering, pain, challenges, happiness, and vices.

My Higher Purpose and Mission on This Earth

               You see, my boss placed me here on this earth, and in doing so, gave me a job to do. I was not given any description of what that job was or how to complete it, for my boss had great faith in me to figure it out. What I do know is that my boss understands that in attempting to do my job, I will make mistakes. Some of those mistakes will be painful to me and some will be painful to others. But this is all part of the learning process and learn I must. I do not ask for any help as I know how busy my boss is. One thing I know for sure is I do not want to disappoint my boss so I will try as hard as I can to figure it out on my own. In the end, when my boss feels it’s time for me to come in, I will be asked to give a report. If that report meets my boss’s requirements, I will get another job of a much higher responsibility. If it does not, then I will be sent back in a different form to try again.

               All that I have experienced; all that I am sharing, has a purpose. That I am confident of. Exactly what that purpose is, well that’s part of my job to keep figuring out! For I am a Living Adventurer!

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