I wish I was a black and white kind of girl.  You know…the kind of person who makes decisions easily, who always has confidence as to what the right thing is, and who doesn’t look back and wonder if she missed the boat altogether.  Yeah…that’s not me.  I wrestle with the grays.

Life isn’t black and white for me.  It’s colorful.  It  is an exciting journey filled with bumps and turns and I feel all of it in a big way.  My sister in law says that I feel things more than other people do.  My niece tells me that my personality could type be described as HSP.  Highly Sensitive Person.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Ah…yes…and no.  Being an HSP also lands me in a world of grays.

I am going to tell you what it means to be an HSP- and I just want to let you know ahead of time that you may lose all confidence that I am even qualified to be a a blogger.  But you see…I am an HSP and I have to talk about it with you.

The description of an HSP tells me that:  I feel more deeply than others.  Yep.  My sister in law was right about that one.  I love big – I laugh big – and I have fun big. I also tend to be more emotionally reactive.  Yeah…I know.  It makes me sound like a nut, doesn’t it?  Now before you go judging me, being emotionally reactive is not all bad.

The positive aspects of being emotionally reactive is that I  have a greater empathy for others.   I am also considered to be emotionally intelligent. My emotional awareness helps me to manage my behavior and helps me to get along with others.  That’s the good part.

On the negative side – it really, really bugs me when someone is rude or unkind to me.  You see – as an HSP I am highly sensitive to those kind of behaviors. Effects of criticism are amplified for me. It’s not necessarily what you say but how you say it. I want you to feel valued so I tend to be polite – – so please, could you be nicer because that bothers me so?

I work well in team environments.  Violent movies or sad stories on the news nearly take me down.  I think a lot – I worry about how other people feel or might be feeling – I reflect on things more than the most.  Let’s see what else about HSP…the description says that I cry easily – but I don’t.  Somewhere along the way I learned to be tough.  

Here is the part of being an HSP that pulls me into the gray area.  It takes longer for me to make decisions and I sometimes worry that I made a wrong decision. I thrive under a “this is the plan and I’m stickin’ to it” – black and white path. Yet, I tend to wrestle with the plan and become stuck in the grays.  Is it a good plan?  Is it God’s plan?    Did I do it well?  Did I get it right? Is everyone in the room happy???  Sometimes its exhausting to be me.

Give me black and white, but don’t give me gray.  

Maybe you share some of the annoying traits that I possess.  There are a few things that we can learn from scripture that can help us wrestle through the grays and learn to rely on a black and white plan that we can trust.  Biblical wisdom can help us become a better version of ourselves.

My daughter, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:1-5

I am lovin’ that verse.  Fellow HSP-ers take note!  Scripture tells us that it’s not a bad thing to wrestle with the grays.  In fact – it’s very good.  Woop! Woop!

When we are faced with tough choices we should not make quick black and white decisions. It is a good thing to wrestle for answers.  We should constantly be searching the Bible in order to gain truth, understanding, and guidance.  When we come upon scriptures that seem to contradict, we should research more and investigate further.

When seeking to find an answer on a particular decision, I generally use a three point system:

#1 – search the scriptures  #2 –  ask the Lord through prayer  #3 – seek counsel from wise friends who will give honest perspectives.  Once these three things line up together I have my answer.  

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:6-7

Oh.  I see.  It’s good to wrestle but it’s not good to look back and question what God already told me.  Once we have our black and white answer we must stop wrestling the grays.  Practicing this habit enables us to discern the Lord’s voice more clearly.

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11

Hmmm…a wise person isn’t an HSS.  Highly Sensitive Sally.  When the fur goes up on my back or when I get my little feelings hurt I have two choices. In a situation where someone habitually offends me, I should have a heart-to-come-to-Jesus conversation that I will approach in my oh-so-polite HSP way.  But if I am simply being a Highly Sensitive Sally, it is to my glory to just let it go.  The practice of letting it go will yield patience.

I’m not a complete nut.  Yeah…well maybe a little.  I will continue to wrestle scripture and try to gain a clear understanding of what God has to say in His word.  I will wrestle the grays.  And then I will act – and I will stay focused on the thing that God already told me.  I will not look back.  And the next time when I start to worry, or fret, or wonder… or if someone ruffles my little feathers…

I’ll just let it roll off …like water off a duck’s back.

Lone Duck Swimming Across Golden Pond at Sunset

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Until next time,