“When I was a child I made up my mind that no one loved me — that life may not be worth it and that love was a conditional transaction between people. When I grew up, I soon learned I was wrong. Children learn wrong things about the world; about life; about love, but I promise you that children don’t think that way without good reasons.

Fortunately, I did learn people do love me and life’s worth living. But I felt that second learning developed much later than early on, because I know when I’m stressed out, when I’m hurt, when I feel betrayed or when I’ve really screwed up something or hurt someone, I relapse into being that little child who believes there is no love in this world.”  ~ Jee Hyun Kim

We often measure our progress by others’ appraisal. We perceive by their elation or low tabulation of likes what works. Thus, we add to life a distress of our own making by placing our sense of well-being in others’ hands.

The following is one of my favorite stories. It shows how even a remarkable figure can be overlooked. One day a young man drew near to a mighty prophet in the gate, and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?” And the mighty prophet answered the young man and said, “I am the seer.”

The way this story unfolds flies counter-intuitively to what anyone would expect. The prophet displays no striking aura or impressive Hollywood attributes to impress the young man. The seer could have been a gardener or a lowly shepherd. A commoner. Unlike the TV evangelist of today, there was technical wizardry to distinguish him from the rest of humanity. Nevertheless, the prophet was a monumental Biblical figure named Samuel who left an undeniable legacy like few men in history.

Edith Nesbit, a British children book author, expressed how little we count for in the world. However, she places one disclaimer — the exception being those who love us. To paraphrase her words, the consideration we receive as adults is no longer the same as the consideration of childhood, free, ungrudging and invariable, but rather conditioned by the services we render and the extent to which we are pleasant or useful.

Unfortunately, this utilitarian mindset shapes how we see ourselves. Approval is measured out not by merit, but external attributes. We try to reach an unattainable celebrity status, by dressing in certain ways, following the self-help gurus of the day, getting plastic surgery or bodybuilding. These strategies, however do nothing to alleviate our sense of love and belonging.

In other times, people had to write out their thoughts in private notebooks with no immediate responses. They relied upon the inner motivation that came from attaining personal development. There was never any concern for how many likes or comments each entry might gain.

For this reason, creativity is and has been a redeeming kind of therapy. We need to express ourselves even when no one is out there to cheer us on. It allows us to look at ordinary life through the extraordinary lens of love, truth and beauty. It starts off with a rough draft. We go back to it until new insights appear while learning to express ourselves in more engaging ways. All this allows us to transcend the daily demands and pettiness through the higher self.

As long as we inhabit this common body, people will overlook our innermost qualities. It is up to us to believe in those extraordinary qualities no matter how often they are overlooked. Those qualities are like invisible friends. Few have the ability to see or appreciate them.

~ vincenzo ©

As a child I sensed I was different and somehow set apart from the herd.  Although I sought to camouflage myself, sometimes my emotional sensibility would leak out.  I didn’t know what sensory overload signified back then, yet I vividly recall how too much stimuli could leave me overwhelmed, incoherent, and exhausted.  On top of that list I also had few social skills.  In my family of origin communication was overshadowed by emotional upheaval and the need to keep up appearances.

My life was a mix of childlike joy and competitive misery.  I remember summer vacations, the playful titillation of sunshine and breeze on my icy cold wet skin after a long swim, trekking home with my best friend — our fingertips dipped in bright orange from synthetic cheese puffs. However these and other Disneyesque scenes interspersed themselves among many boot-camp segments where I had no idea what was being asked of me. Coaches and fellow players yelling or ridiculing me for my latest blunders. I never questioned these uncivil acts, but assumed they were fully justified.

Although school life dragged on in its tiresome/tedious way, one day something unusual happened.  I don’t remember what the speech was about nor the name of the student. I just remember the effect her storytelling had upon me. We were in third grade. She was a slim East Indian girl with charming Asian eyes and an intelligent sounding soft voice. I remember her unassuming literary style, disarming me with her playfulness and uncommon wisdom. After that speech, a subtle creative process of mitosis began. A love for words awakened. Little by little, I started enjoying classic literature, creative writing and dabbling in motivational talks.

Later as an adult, I began reading about the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and how many HSPs are creative/gifted. The challenging side however, is they also have neurotransmitters making them vulnerable to emotionally intense environments. I was most relieved to finally view my childhood through this benevolent and insightful perspective.

~ vincenzo

Creative writing is learning to express yourself in the most unrehearsed way possible. ~ vincenzo ©

Strength of character is learning to express yourself even when no one is cheering you on. ~ vincenzo ©

“Being a low-maintenance child or partner (a nice word for self-neglect) is idealized as a valuable attribute.” – Charlotte Z. Cavatica

Many children who cannot rely upon their immediate environment to meet their needs, become as low-maintenance as possible. Some refer to this as an avoidant personality. Beneath their tough exterior, some develop exaggerated fears of letting others down and feel acutely responsible for others’ disappointment and anger. ~ vincenzo ©

The ruling majority is rationally driven. It ignores emotions as if they didn’t exist. This makes life challenging for artistic temperaments who filter thoughts through their feelings. ~ vincenzo ©