Reading Time: < 4.5 minutes
In our family there is one person who has been the focus for many years of both the family and the compassionate community at large. This person is determined to follow a self-destructive path. Insidious by nature, he takes what he can get from everyone around him with no seeming regard for anyone else. He has, over the years, honed a certain charm that people fall into. They fall into it until it bites them where it hurts most and can no longer be denied. Then, when they get wise, they cast him out of their lives.
For some people, this happens quickly. For others, we drag on thinking enough compassion, enough love, enough doing for him will one day have a positive impact. And he will wake up and realize that he has everything it takes to have a successful life. All he has to do is choose it.
For me, I have particularly struggled with this situation. I want with all my heart to see him turn his life around. But my HSP senses tell me otherwise. I am in the horrifying position of watching a train wreck in slow motion (if you will excuse the cliché).
My outlook is different from others. Where someone may react to a specific incident in and of itself, I look at the whole picture. And I believe in seeing the best in everyone. This can cloud my perspective because I can see that good things can come from bad.
As an HSP, I pick up subtleties in the environment, read body language, and notice the details in how a person reacts to situations, words, and challenges. Through that assimilation, I take those bits of information and I piece them together. Analyzing them, I make deductions, hypotheses, and predictions that non-HSPs have a hard time intuiting. I take those subtleties and combine them with another trait: depth of processing.
Much of my knowing comes from this blending of sensitivity traits. I no longer pay much attention to the underlying process. Especially as I have gotten older. It happens so fast and automatically that I surprise myself. I suspect it is also true for you.
This is a very powerful trait to have when navigating life. Who wouldn’t want to know seemingly hidden insights as long as their warning is something we can fix? Something that we can work on and find satisfaction in changing it for the better? But what happens when it is something we don’t want to know? Or, something we cannot change?
This is how I am dealing with my own situation.
I cannot change another person. I can only change myself. This is a life lesson that I am to learn. And, it is a difficult one. You can do only so much to help a person get their life together. You have to reach a point where you have to let the rest go. Then, actually let it go. Trust that it is all working out for the best for everyone involved.
Take a Different Perspective
I believe that everyone’s purpose on earth is to become the best person that they can be. Challenges help us do just that. It is not for me to say why one person has more challenges than another. Life is not fair. But we have enough flaws of our own. It is not our job to “fix” anyone else’s problems.
If we love someone, of course, we will want to help. If we are asked to help, a loving response is called for (within reason). Service to others is part of our own personal growth.
But we need to learn where and when to draw that line.
Allow What is to Be
The world seems like one big ball of chaos. But if you look at the details (and dear HSP, you are more than capable of doing that), you will find that there is a reason for what happens. We don’t always know it while it is happening, but there is. Sometimes we see the eventual purpose. Sometimes we don’t. Let it be. And have faith that it is.
It can be challenging for an HSP to understand what our insights are telling us to do. After all, why do we have them if not to use them for good? The key here is to know when to stop and let life evolve as it will. Because it will, despite your efforts to change it.
Copyright 2023, Monica Nelson