I set out just before dawn for my morning walk, when I noticed a small unfamiliar trail that looked very interesting. So small I may have missed it. Yet, I decided to follow the small path because I know the forest well and I trusted my ability to find my way home.

As I continued I realized that I walked over the frozen swamp through high reeds. I felt a bit uncomfortable, I kept looking back to make sure I would find my way back if necessary. Yet, I was curious and went ahead.

When it started to snow heavily I questioned my decision. I stopped to look around and thought I recognized some trees and continued to follow the footsteps of the person before me. Only when I came to a familiar, frozen lily pond with a beaver dam did I realize how tense I had been.

Somebody had walked over the frozen pond. There was no way that I would do that. After I walked  around the pond to a shallow area, I tentatively stepped on the ice and walked on it until I felt I had had enough.

Later I had to cross a frozen creek, otherwise I would have had to walk through knee deep snow for quite a while. I felt more confident because I had walked on the ice before, even though it was a different situation. Since I had carefully considered all my options and I was close to home I risked getting wet.

When I stepped out of the forest and saw my house I felt exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Maybe I won’t take the same path tomorrow after the twenty centimeters of snow that’s in the forecast, but I will explore other branching paths, which I had noticed but hadn’t chosen to follow today.

I saw beautiful sights and took many photographs. I enjoyed the smell of the cold air, the snow melting on my face, the different shades of white, the sound of the wind, I loved it.

Life as an HSP definitely isn’t always easy, but it can be a colorful, thrilling adventure when we allow ourselves to explore our perceived weaknesses and acknowledge our strengths, brilliance and resilience.

As I thought of writing about this, I thought of how we often try to make non HSPs understand what the world feels like to us. However we forget that we are all different, HSP or non HSP, that it’s sometimes impossible to relate experiences to others. Even when they are there with us, they will experience and retell it differently than we would. It’s okay to stop trying to explain why and how we experience life as an HSP and to constantly overwhelm or over inform those around us.

We don’t need to justify being different any longer. It’s time to accept it and to fully own it.

Text by Karin Goldgruber Photo courtesy of pexels-maria-orlova-4913509