We can’t help but speak up when we see something’s wrong

One of the characteristics of being a highly sensitive person is our ability to notice the subtleties of life. Every nuance, a change in someone’s tone of voice, a chair has been moved in a room we visited only once.

Because of this gift, we connect deeply with the joy, beauty and goodness around us. We’re also acutely aware of the pain, conflict and sometimes roughness in the world. The small (and huge things) that people do and say to each other that seem so harsh and wrong.

We watch it happen. It disturbs us to our core. If the same hurtful or insensitive comment or action happens again and again, our own inner activist screams, make it stop! Tell them so they are aware!

We debate — should I say? What are the ramifications to me if that person doesn’t like being called out? (As if anyone likes being called out). What if they aren’t interested in being self-aware or changing their behavior?

It’s a no brainer if what’s happening involves a child, an elderly person or an animal.

If they cannot defend themselves against maltreatment, we feel responsible for doing so. There’s really no way to let that slide, regardless of the consequences…

It’s also really challenging when we see a certain behavior or decision affecting an entire group of people. Listening, we hear people are frustrated or angry or fearful. We may see ourselves as the savior, the rescuer, the one who turns the tide. And sometimes, that’s exactly what’s called for if mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health and well-being is at stake.

What’s more challenging is when the callousness we witness is simply other people playing out life lessons as mirrors to each other.

Even though we have a strong inner activist, you can stop and ask yourself: is this my responsibility? Is it important to get involved? How much of an energy suck is this going to be and where could my energy be better applied?

The most important question to ask is: does that person’s actions or words directly affect me? If the answer is yes, it’s vital to speak up. You see, as sensitives, we’re much more likely to stand up for others than to stand for our own. One of the most important lessons for sensitive people is to use our voice constructively and assertively on our own behalf.

I invite you to remember to not always get mired down in the negativity we observe, but also be on the lookout for the positive subtleties.

Saturday, I was standing in a long line at the grocery check out, when I began to tune in to the conversation between the clerk and the customer in front of me. The clerk’s energy was so positive, she showed genuine interest in each customer, you weren’t just a number in her line. As she joked and greeted and welcomed every person, a seemingly small act shifted the entire mood.

People could have been impatient and irritated for having to wait so long, yet each of us looked forward to our turn to connect with Venus. As I moved up, I realized her store manager was bagging the groceries and made a point to compliment her customer service skills in front of him.

We each have the opportunity in every moment to decide what energy we bring to a situation. Of course, sometimes it’s be necessary for us to go gently (or strongly) into battle.

What might transform in our world if we decide to approach life like Venus?

If we role model compassion, a genuine heart connection, bringing our authentic self? I would guess Venus is also a highly sensitive person. It’s likely sometimes she’s also impacted by the harshness of our world. In response, she decides to shine her light into the darkness, inviting others to shine their light as well.

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