I was asked recently to provide an example of an empowered highly sensitive person who has overcome difficulty and has been able to live a good and productive life. This person mentioned… “It would be helpful for people to brainstorm and name out loud other empowered HSP’s-and that if I or anyone else can think of some, please share it. We need all the role models we can get!”
I thought this was a great idea! I asked myself…Why can’t I give myself as an example? I’m on the high side of being highly sensitive. I’ve overcome many difficult times in my life and have been living a good and productive life. Why not me? I was apprehensive at first because we highly sensitive people don’t like to “brag” about ourselves. On further thought, I realized that it’s important to have role models that can inspire others to live their best lives. That’s what my passion and writing is all about!
I’d like to share a personal story about one of the most difficult times in my life. I made a real estate investment many years ago. I took out a loan for a building with the intention that this investment would make my life easier in the future. It didn’t!
Everything that would’ve gone wrong did. The neighborhood had gone bad, some of my tenants didn’t pay their rent, there was a fire in the building, and my insurance policy didn’t cover all of the fire damage. Things continued to get worse. The building was broken into, and all the copper pipes were stolen. The legal system and the town were of no help to me.
On top of all of these problems, I still had a mortgage to pay, plus all of my other business expenses, as well as my other personal debts. This went on for over two and a half years! Talk about stress, I never thought that I would survive it!
I could’ve taken the easy way out by pleading bankruptcy. This would’ve relieved me of this tortuous situation, but it would hurt my credit rating. I didn’t know what to do. It’s important to note that during this time, I didn’t know that I was highly sensitive. If I did know about my high sensitivity, I wouldn’t have made this investment because this business didn’t fit my temperament.
My instincts told me that whatever decision I made, it would affect me, monetarily and psychologically, for the rest of my life. I decided to use my intuition, a highly sensitive person strength, and do something that I could live with.
I have a strong sense of obligation to honor my commitments. I couldn’t renege on my obligation to pay the loan in full to the bank. I decided to take out a second mortgage on my house to help pay my bills and do whatever I could to sell the building. I went through two real estate agents with no results. I placed flyers all over town with no luck.
I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when a miracle thought came to my mind. My subconscious HSP intuition was kicking in! I approached a business competitor on the other side of town. I didn’t know him personally, but I knew that he was a contractor who rehabilitated buildings along with his other business.
I introduced myself, and he knew who I was. It turns out that I had helped out a friend of his, and this friend always spoke highly of me. I told him about the problems with the building and offered to sell the building as is.
We went to look at the building, and I explained the good possibilities that he could realize if he could do the construction work himself. I told him that I received an insurance settlement of $45,000 and would sell the building to him for a reduced price of $75,000. The total of $120,000 that I would receive would pay off my debt to the bank. He agreed, and it turned out to be a good deal for the both of us.
That’s not where the story ends. Taking out a second mortgage on my home turned out to be a financial hardship for me. I was able to pay my bills, until the dust settled, but I continued to struggle to pay that mortgage for many years.
I still have a tinge of bitterness about this experience, but I have a good feeling about myself because I was able to get through this difficult experience with my self-esteem and dignity intact. Self-validation is the best validation that you can ever have.
Many people let me down during this experience. I learned a lot about human nature and that all people are not good for us. Sometimes we highly sensitive people can be too trusting. I belittled myself for making such a horrible mistake. All those childhood feelings of inadequacy came rushing back. Can anyone relate to this?
On the balance though, I came out of this experience with a renewed sense of pride. Although I made a mistake, I was able to persevere through it. Despite those extra mortgage payments, I forgave myself and remember that my intention was to try to better my life. Another lesson that I’ve learned is that real estate can be a great investment for a person whose temperament can cope with the ups and downs of this business. This wasn’t the right investment for me.
My advice to HSPs is to not get involved in something that goes against who you truly are. Use your intuition, it’s there to guide you. The best way to learn about yourself is through perpetual learning from your good and bad experiences.
Can you name other highly sensitive people, including yourself, who are empowered? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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