Candide is 22. She has been reading my blog for some time. She said it is one of her “favorite places.” Candide wrote to me to reach out to other rainforest minds for support. She is struggling. It sounds like both the country and her family are extremely challenging places to live, particularly as a sensitive soul.
She wrote about some of the daily assault on her senses.
“…The typical Lebanese citizen honks when stuck in a traffic jam…I dread the noise, the chaos, and the hostile competition that I have to face whenever I’m in a car…For the introverts among us, Lebanon is too much–too sunny, too hot, too noisy, too chatty. It’s not harmonious enough…” This does not include the explosions that she said are frequent, the economic distress, as well as her concerns for her safety.
Her issues in school will be familiar to many of you.
“For most of the time I was top of my class. But I didn’t really enjoy it because I dread competition. So, at some point, I got tired and started self-sabotaging. I stopped taking notes in class because I was a perfectionist and had to ‘know it before I learned it.’ I was also too passionate, when everyone else, including teachers, only cared about standardized test scores.” She is an HSP and introvert, sensitive “to sound, light, smell, and taste.”
Living with so much sensitivity in a country in economic collapse and chaos, she feels overwhelmed with pain and loneliness.
“…I wonder if the solution is to get rid of my heart like it’s a dangerous tumor that grew too big. But is it even possible for RFMs to get rid of their heart?…”
No, Candide, it is not possible. And we are all grateful for your big heart. We want to support you in protecting and appreciating it.
I asked Candide what she looked to for hope. How she might protect her tender heart. She said, “…nature has a healing power.” She mentioned these three Lebanese activist women. Warde Bou Daher, Hiba Dandachli, Joumana Haddad and the writer/poet Khalil Gibran. And this blog. She has also found like-minds with INTPs online, Imi Lo’s writings on giftedness, and various researchers who study topics of interest to her curious mind. Even though access to the internet can be unreliable, it is a lifeline. Candide also told me she is planning to study Applied Data Science in the UK in the fall. Clearly, the power of her rainforest mind is what is getting her through.
I wonder what it is like for those of you living in countries, like Candide, where there is much upheaval, chaos, and economic distress. How do you manage when you are sensitive, empathetic, and driven to make a difference? How do you take care of yourself? Have you found activists and artists who give you hope and energy? Do you spend time in nature and connect via a spiritual practice? Are you finding other rainforest minds to be with, in person or online? Are you finding your own voice and joining with others to create a path(s) that is right for you?
Candide told me, Gibran says, “Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
He may have been referring to partner love but, no matter. Let our big-hearted rainforest-y selves acknowledge and celebrate the strength that dwells in our capacity to love and to feel so very much in that moving sea. Our love is here for you, too, Candide, and for us all.
To my bloggEEs: I wrote this some time ago but Candide was not ready for me to post it. Now with the invasion of Ukraine, it seems timely, and she is willing. To all of you living in war zones, unsafe environments, and suffering in other ways, there may be no adequate words. But you are in our hearts. And, thank you, Candide, for your great courage and for sharing your story. (I’m sure she would appreciate any comments of support.)
(Note: For those of you in Spain, I just heard about this very active organization for the gifted. You might want to check into it.)
(Another note: If you have been thinking about writing to me about all forms of love, relationships, and your rainforest mind, there is no better time than the present. Send your inner procrastinating perfectionist out to lunch and write to me!)