I Bounce Back Like a Ton of Bricks

The Lord has helped me become more even-tempered lately, with these verses coming to mind quite often:

[a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures.  James 4:1-3

Keeping that truth in mind helps me not get to the point where others’ words or actions bother me to the point of that I plunge into the quicksand of my emotions.

That’s how it’s been going lately.

That is not at all how it went today.

When I woke up, I looked at my email on my phone.  (I should have had prayer time before checking my phone, but that’s not what happened.)   The first email I saw was an unnecessarily condescending work email.  An innocent bystander would not view the words in the email as condescending. The innocent bystander is also not aware of the subtext.

After reading the email, my heart immediately started beating quickly.  I was mad.  For the rest of the morning, I did not stop thinking about that email.  Instead, I chose to stew on it and nurture my anger at the person who sent it.

At work, the same person had a conversation with me – about a different topic – that was much more condescending than the email from this morning.  The tone of voice was actually on the pleasant side, but again, subtext ruled.  There was nothing I could do, except meekly acknowledge that I was in the wrong.  (I wasn’t, but it’s often best to just go with it.)

Just writing about today’s happenings brought on a much-needed cry.  It was more of a half-cry, because I got distracted.

This evening, the bulk of my mental space was used on crying out to the Lord that I hate this person.  Again, probably not the best thing to do; but I figure it’s better than saying it to the person or talking behind their back.  The rest of my mental space was used on crying out to the Lord to help me not to hate the person.

19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. Romans 7:19

24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25 

This is what makes being an HSP so frustrating to me. There is absolutely no reason why I should still be upset about the email or the conversation.  These incidents are just par for the course, and are not a true reflection on me as a worker or as a human being, in general.  Yet, they still cut so deeply when they do happen. It is a longstanding battle for me not to sin in my anger or self-pity at the toxicity of this situation.

PS: I have changed the settings, so that work emails don’t come through on my phone anymore.

Advertisements

First Blog Swap – Six Reasons to Rejoice that Christ is Enough in Our Suffering

I’m excited and honored to participate in my very first blog swap with Michelle Lesley, a Christian author whose writing is encouraging, and more importantly, theologically sound.  Up until now, I haven’t written much about theology.  Let’s say that I try to exercise great caution when I recommend someone’s teaching to others.  Michelle’s writing has encouraged me and challenged me; and I hope you will have a similar experience!

christ-is-enough

Michelle’s post, Six Reasons to Rejoice that Christ is Enough in Our Suffering, really spoke to me, as an Highly Sensitive Person.  It serves as a wonderful reminder of the hope we have in Christ, even in the midst of deep pain – especially when we seem to feel this pain with greater frequency and intensity than most.

Be blessed by Michelle’s post, and be sure to follow her!

Coping Strategies

There are several strategies for coping with HSP.  Since I’m fairly new to this, I haven’t tried out many.   So far, though, here is what has been working for me:

Sleep

It is said that HSPs need to make sure they have at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  Here it is, 2:00 am, and I’m preaching about sleep!  Anyway, I have found that when I have a very good night’s sleep, I am a lot more resilient the next day.  If not, I’m just an exposed nerve walking around.

Downtime

This one is a challenge for me, because I am an extravert.  Still, I’ve realized how very, very important it is for me to pull away from stimuli and relax.  I find that when I bounce from activity to activity, I get over-stimulated and it’s difficult to relax again.  So, I have started trying to space out my activities more.  And I try to plan ahead to rest, before entering a situation where I could potentially get hurt easily.

This approach makes me feel very lazy, but I know it’s necessary, in order for me function well when I do need to be out and about.

Telling People

I’ve been slowly explaining the HSP trait to friends and some relatives.  I cannot lie, I worry that people won’t take this seriously, or think I’m just saying, “poor me…”  Up until now, no one has said that.  I think telling trusted people is helpful, because I now have the confidence that they will understand some of my reactions to things.  They may, or may not, change their way of relating to me, but (as was the case today) they may kind of tell me that my impressions of their communication style are not a reflection on me.  As I mentioned in another post, worrying about what people think of me is a huge issue.

Prayer

Okay.  I will be completely honest on this one.  I have not really begun to adequately involve the Lord in my HSP journey.  He is involved, but not because I’ve turned to him on it.  I’m the kind of person who has a running dialogue with the Lord throughout the day.  So, there are times that I do ask for strength to handle certain situations.  I also feel that the Holy Spirit is helping me to have greater insight into recognizing when things are amiss.

**I will talk more about the spiritual aspect of my coping as it continues to develop and evolve.

I know there are so many other things I can do to replenish myself and to regain resiliency after it has been worn down on a given day.  However, these are my starting points.  They are really helping, and I can now see the negative difference made on the occasions that I do not implement these measures.

For the record, I don’t have to be at work until almost 3pm tomorrow.  So, I will get to get a good night’s sleep!  Let’s just hope that I can stay asleep, once I get there.

How about you?  How do you cope?  Most importantly:  how is God helping you along this journey?