Just What We Need, More Labels

It intrigues and annoys me (just a little) that there seems to be labels for literally everything. If I am honest, it can be helpful at times, to at the very least, understand that you’re not alone in dealing with something or going about something in a specific way. Oftentimes, there’s a word for it. It has a name. Sometimes, it’s fascinating and eye opening and other times it seems downright silly.

Before I knew of the word “unschooling”, I was doing it with my oldest child. Before I knew I was “prophetic”, I blurted out truths to people that I couldn’t possibly have known on my own. I did it so often, I started to say, “I have this ‘thing’…” Then I got a little closer to the label and began to call it ‘a gift’. I chuckle at myself as I type this. Before I knew what an empath and highly sensitive person was, I exhibited the traits and more often than not, suffered for them as a child.

I cried too much, and too easily. I was far too sensitive. I got too happy about nothing. I was told, and not in a good way, “It don’t take much to make you happy.” Now, pause for a moment… Why on EARTH would that be a problem?! To be happy for the smallest of things, looked at as negative… Anyway, I quickly learned as a child that I was a problem, with a problem, many problems actually, so I worked hard to hide and stuff my true feelings. This didn’t always work, but hey, I tried.

Now that I am older and have a better understanding of who I am and how God made me, I celebrate God and how He created me. There are parts of my sensitivity that has greatly benefited others. I celebrate that. There are also parts of my sensitivity that got me into trouble. I celebrate those pesky, inconvenient parts too because it is part of the whole, that is me. You can’t pick and choose. I am a whole person. If I discern what’s going on with you and say just the right thing at the right moment where you otherwise felt invisible, you don’t get to love that part but get angry with me when I see something sweet or hear about some injustice and it makes me cry. I feel deeply, period. I won’t apologize for that any longer.

As God has led me on this journey of healing and learning about myself, I have learned about more labels than I knew existed. One label as I mentioned before is that of being a highly sensitive person. I rolled my eyes and took tests that really just confirmed what I already knew of myself.

A few days ago, I watched a documentary on highly sensitive people. I wanted to see what the scientific field is currently saying about it. It was very interesting. As I watched, my son Jonathan came to mind and stayed there for the remainder of the film. I started to see, like another movie, moments from his life that totally point to him also being highly sensitive. He feels everything deeply. We delight when he is ecstatic. It is the cutest display of delight. Then, we cringe when he screams, growls and cries at what seems like the most minuscule thing, which again I don’t think is fair because what type of issues would a 2 year old have, tax problems? I don’t think so.

Anyway, realizing this about my son, that he truly fits the profile of a highly sensitive person is helpful. My prayer is that it will help me to help him as he grows, especially since I understand what being this way entails. I am also beginning to seriously suspect that my husband is highly sensitive as well. This is very interesting for me. I mentioned it to my oldest and she gave me a knowing, affirmative look and sort of grunt, hahaha.

All this to say, I don’t like labels, but I also thank God for them at times. They aren’t all negative. Sometimes, they’re very helpful.