It is not the world’s responsibility to coddle your nervous system. It is yours. When/how did we get so soft as a species?

The other day I got yelled at online for saying that some thing’s should be a struggle. Yes, gods forbid we ever struggle. You know what though? Humans ARE DESIGNED for struggle. We are wired for healthy striving. No expansion comes out of staying comfortable. Maybe you don’t want expansion? That is your gods-given right. Maybe you need peace. Cool, go find a way to create that.

But to expect the world to walk on eggshells around you is incredibly narcissistic. This goes without saying, abuse should never be tolerated (which I suspect the backlash of over-sensitivity stems from tolerating way too much abuse already). BUT- we must toughen up a bit.

And before you come at me with pitchforks, listen to my definition of what it means to be tough.

This week I was at my acupuncturist’s office. She was telling me a story about how she can give more needles to first-time patients who are more in touch with their emotions; who recognize them and let them flow more easily. Typically in western society, this is a woman or someone who identifies as one. Her first-time male-identified clients or other bottled-up clients, get fewer needles. Do you know why? Because they faint at the overwhelming flow of new emotions that the needles bring. They simply cannot tolerate the flood.

People who are stoic or bottle up their emotions think they are doing so because it makes them “strong”. But quite the inverse happens. How are you strong when you have passed out because you cannot tolerate a wave of emotions? You’re not, you’re incredibly vulnerable because you are now unconscious. And our society’s message to male people is to be strong. Don’t cry, don’t show emotion, be stoic. But ironically, that insensitivity to themselves makes them weak.

Those sensitive to their emotions can handle better, the influx of feelings that come on when you get acupuncture. Those who feel their emotions regularly, or have sensitivities are actually stronger than those who suppress them. BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE RESILIENT. They’ve allowed more experience into their lives and when they feel a new experience, they aren’t overwhelmed to the point of going unconscious. There’s massive resilience that gets built up when you experience life in spurts in which you can tolerate.

And this is the piece I want you to take away here. Resilience is the key factor in what makes you strong, not your ability to be insensitive to your own self or others. Resilience is what makes you survive in a world that is not meant for you. Or a world that does not cater to you.

But here’s the glitch. We’ve as a whole, become more sensitive (which by the way is a great thing), but our resilience has not caught up to that level of sensitivity. So we are running around like a bunch of wounded children begging to be seen, instead of having the capacity to just be whoever it is we are and not giving a rat’s ass if the entire world is catering to or liking you.

I am neurodivergent. I am a Highly Sensitive Person, have synesthesia and some other characteristics of a person who gets overstimulated quite easily. I get it. Stimulation can be tough. But it’s not the world’s responsibility to cater to me. I need to be able to watch out for myself and adapt when necessary. I need to be able to work on my resilience to things like noise, triggering words, and SHAME. I will not be a victim of a world that doesn’t notice me. I notice me. And I protect me from being harmed. That’s my job.

If your nervous system needs healing, find a healer who is tender and nurturing. If you need expansion, find a provider that will not coddle you and that will hold you accountable. With a highly skilled priestess, the roles will be interchangeable when the time accounts for it. But don’t expect a coach to coddle and a healer to expand you. That’s not their job. If you are a nurse, nobody expects you to create a formula for a remedy. That’s the pharmacist’s job. And nobody expects the pharmacist to make sure you’re comfortable and clean. Occasionally the mixing of the two will happen, but it shouldn’t be expected. And it’s up to nobody else but yourself to know what you need, and to block out what you don’t.

If you want to stay comfortable your whole life, don’t expect change to happen. If you want a lot of change expect a lot of discomfort (that you have to bring on yourself). If you’re not in the market for one or the other, unfollow all that don’t match. Protect your space. Build resilience. Be willing to hear hard truths without taking things personally. It takes time, dedication, and growing up, but if you’re patient with yourself and you’re willing, it will be worth it.

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