“What final words of encouragement do you have for our listeners, who tend to be reforming perfectionists, recovering people-pleasers, and highly sensitive people?”
My co-host, Amy Carroll, asks this question at the end of every Grit ‘n’ Grace interview. And our guests always give the most amazing answers!
After a recent taping, I got to thinking:
What “final words” would I leave with an audience?
And I remembered this list of four short reminders I say to myself over and over again, as often as necessary.
They’re all important, but the fourth is the one I want to focus on today.
- It’s not your fault.
- You’re not alone.
- It’s not too late.
- Yes, you can.
One: It’s not your fault.
You didn’t ask to be a Highly Sensitive Person (or a perfectionist or a people-pleaser). You didn’t bring it upon yourself, nor are you making any of it up. It’s not your fault; it is your responsibility.
Two: You’re not alone
You’re in good company. 20-30% of Christian women are Highly Sensitive People. That means that when you’re in a group of 100, there are 19-29 other women you can introduce yourself to and say, “Welcome to the “normal minority.”
Three: It’s not too late
Many of us are finding out that we’re HSP (… how shall I say …) “later in life.” It slays me to read Emails from women in their 70s and 80s saying that they finally feel understood for the very first time. So many decades of feeling completely misunderstood is such a long time. I am profoundly moved by the women who tell me, with glistening eyes, “I finally feel free to just be me!” Their joy is both contagious and encouraging.
Four: Yes, you can.
A few years back, I wrote a blog post titled “How to Say ‘No’ to the Hardest Person to Say ‘No’ To.” It’s about the importance of recognizing the size of your plate and making intentional choices not to pile your plate too high. And that’s hard. ‘cause we HSPs are a curious lot who want to do All. The. Things. Even when we know we can’t. And it’s hard to say “no” to ourselves.
It’s just as hard to say “yes.”
Perhaps even harder, because we’ve spent our lives telling ourselves No, you can’t feel that … No, you can’t say that … No, you can’t do that.
So here’s what it sounds like to say “yes” to the hardest person to say “yes” to.
Feel free to borrow, adapt, and practice.
1 — Yes, you can cry.
Your tears are natural and normal. They are a powerful sign of how deeply you care. They remove toxins from your body. Yes, you can cry.
2 — Yes, you can rest.
You’ve done enough for now. Sit down. Lie down. Give your body a break. Yes, you can rest.
3 — Yes, you can leave.
You don’t have to stay where people who shame you, blame you, and bully you. You don’t have to stay until midnight. Yes, you can leave.
4 — Yes, you can ask questions.
Your don’t need to be embarrassed by your questions. They aren’t proof that you’re ignorant or dumb. They’re proof that you’re resourceful. Keep asking until you get the answers you need. Yes, you can ask.
5 — Yes, you can fail.
You are human, and humans make mistakes. You don’t need to hide your failures or blame them on others. Own them. Learn from them. Receive God’s grace through them. Yes, you can fail.
6 — Yes, you can try again.
You can start over. Picking yourself back up after failure and granting yourself a do-over is one of the bravest, grittiest things you’ll ever do. Yes, you can try again.
7 — Yes, you can ask for help.
You don’t have to go it alone. In fact, we weren’t created to go it alone. You can ask those around you for help and you can ask the Helper, the Holy Sprit for help.
8 — Yes, you can be satisfied.
You can feel good even when things haven’t turned out perfectly. In fact, you can feel good even when a lot of things are going bad. Life isn’t all-or-nothing; it’s a mix of highs and lows. Disappointments don’t have to completely derail you. Yes, you can be satisfied.
9 — Yes, you can smile.
HSP doesn’t have to be synonymous with serious. You may be overwhelmed by world events. You may be anxious about a strained relationship and worried about a friend going through a hard time. You may feel the emotions of every person in the room. And still: Yes, you can smile.
10 — Yes, you can run to Jesus.
Any time. As fast as you possibly can. No matter what you have or haven’t done. He is the One who will never ever tell you (with or without words), “You’re more trouble than you’re worth.” No way. He will always say, “You’re worth everything to me!” Yes, you can run to Jesus.
Yes, I can take care of myself
Here’s what I’ve come to realize:
Too many of us have been waiting our whole lives for others to say “Yes” to us.
We’ve expected other people to give us permission.
But you are the only person who can regularly say “yes” to the hardest person to say “yes” to.
So say it with me:
“Yes, I can take care of myself.
I won’t wait for anyone else.
I’ll say ‘Yes’ to myself today.
And every day.”
What “Yes, you can…” would you add to the list?