Recently I had a very close, but safe encounter with a Black Bear who was caught in a trap beside my house. ( He was safely relocated up North by natural resources department officer)

When I told family and friends about it, something unexpected happened.

The detailed descriptions of my feelings about the experience, didn’t elicit the response that I had expected. As I kept sharing my experience, I noticed that I felt alone. I felt frustrated that they just couldn’t understand my strong feelings, how this encounter had deeply touched me and how privileged, moved and changed, I was.

Of course they couldn’t understand my feelings, because they didn’t experience them. They were not there.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person, the feelings of not being understood and of being alone were very familiar. I had spent countless hours of my life, trying to explain how I felt. They still didn’t get me. 

I was so caught up in my own feelings and my explanation of the world that I never considered that they may also feel like I did. 

Everyone feels different, misunderstood and like an outsider, to different degrees, at different times in their lives. 

Whether others understand my bear encounter doesn’t matter. It was my encounter. Since then I have been more aware of how others might feel. I feel more confident to ask them about their feelings and thoughts. 

Feeling connected with the bear who was caught, helped me to feel more connected with myself and how I can get caught in my old thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. 

It showed me that I can step out of old mental traps and choose differently. 

Text and picture by Karin Goldgruber