Why We Aren’t Who We Are

Do you cling to labels? Is your label count up to 10, 20, or more? How many different labels define you? We HSPs are not immune to the human tendencies to subscribe to faulty notions that may limit who or what we may become in this life. Too often, we may find that it is comforting in some way to “know” who we are, or why we think, feel, and behave as we do. But, for the most part, the more we subscribe to this illusion the more we limit ourselves to a narrow range of possibilities.

Highly sensitive people and high sensation seeking highly sensitive people may be generally more open to new possibilities, simply as a function of their traits, but when we allow the narrative that we continually “spin” about ourselves and our lives to dominate our thinking, we deny other possibilities, such as the introvert who can act extroverted, the HSP who can act out of character, or the highly sensitive man who does not have to play a role he does not agree with.

The more we chase a firm and solid identity the more we may find that it’s simply an exercise in attempting to define what is inexplicable and liminal. Accepting that and allowing that we only live in the NOW can bring us back to the reality that we can only ever approach each moment as an open possibility.

This does not mean that it is is not helpful to know something about yourself. Indeed, it can be hugely beneficial to understand your own predilections and tendencies but the trick is to not allow any of these aspects to limit who or what you may become in any given moment. Those of us who are more creative know this as a way of being where we can freely live in ambiguity, knowing that sometimes practicing non-judgement may lead us to new opportunities, ideas, and inspiration. Those who are less comfortable as creatives may feel more pressure to cling to a story line of who they are and what they are about.

Many of us have also suffered in childhood environments that were not supportive or where we experienced trauma, conflict, or abuse. Finding a way to stop clinging to a story then becomes even more essential if we are to leave the past truly in the past. It is also fascinating to note that we may be full of ideas and certainties regarding who we think we are, yet to an outsider who does not know us, their take on who we are and what we are about may be entirely different.

My advice? Don’t cling to the illusions we all build up in our minds too much. Approach the present with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to embrace the in-between and betwixt spaces.


Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul

Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career

Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person


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