There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn’t see.” John Lennon
From article John Lennon: “…something wrong with me, I thought”
This kind of heightened awareness is part of the experience of being exceptional, creative, highly sensitive, intense and perhaps gifted.
Psychologist Sharon Barnes works with creative children, teens and adults.
In an article on her site, she notes:
The characteristics that CASIGYs (Highly creative, acutely aware, super- sensitive, intense and/or gifted youth and adults) carry within them may be wonderful and also can cause great distress.
Creativity and creative expression can fun but can also be a great burden.
Creative ideas show up whether we have time to pay attention to them, or do anything with them or not.
They also often arrive in tandem or multiples, and the creative person has to choose which idea gets to see the light of day.
Being aware of things that most people are not may lead to exciting AHA! moments.
At the same time it can create questions of what’s real and what’s not when no one else sees what you’re seeing.
It may also carve a canyon of separation between the acutely aware person and others who are less aware.
Likewise, sensitivity is a double edged sword.
High sensitivity, also known as “overexcitabilities”, often brings a capacity for depth of feeling and thought along with a high level of conscientiousness, compassion and empathy.
On the other hand, when seemingly simple things like sounds, light and textures create a high level of distress, dealing with them can consume great time and energy, leaving less energy and time available for the rest of daily life.
See much more in her article
Different by Design: How to MOVE From FEELING Defective to BEING Distinctive
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?
“We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves.
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
Challenges of adult giftedness
In her article Discovering the Gifted Ex-Child, Stephanie S. Tolan talks about issues that may compromise one’s confidence and acceptance as exceptional.
“The experience of the gifted adult is the experience of an unusual consciousness, an extraordinary mind whose perceptions and judgments may be different enough to require an extraordinary courage.
“Large numbers of gifted adults, aware not only of their mental capacities but of the degree to which those capacities set them apart, understand this.
Discovering our unusual mind
“For many, however, a complete honoring of the self must begin with discovering what sort of consciousness, what sort of mind they possess.
“That their own perceptions and judgments are unusual may have been obvious since childhood, but they may have spent their lives assuming that this difference was a deficit, a fault, even a defect of character or a sign of mental illness (Lovecky, 1986; Alvarado, 1989).
“Thinking independently may seem foolhardy or antisocial.”
“Mind makes us human; mind makes us individuals.
“From childhood through adulthood, to be themselves, to value and honor themselves and lead fulfilled lives, gifted adults must understand and come to terms with their own — unusual — minds.”
The cost of lack of self-knowledge
But in another article, Self-Knowledge, Self-Esteem and the Gifted Adult, Tolan writes, “Many gifted adults seem to know very little about their minds and how they differ from more “ordinary” minds.
“The result of this lack of self-knowledge is often low, sometimes cripplingly low self esteem.
“Most have never been formally identified as gifted, and even those who have may disbelieve the identification or have difficulty incorporating it into their sense of themselves.”
“It is neither admirable nor contemptible to be highly gifted. It is what one does with one’s abilities that is important.” – Stephanie Tolan – quoted in book Raising Champions: A Parent Handbook for Nurturing Their Gifted Children.
[Quote image via Instagram/Profoundly Gifted]
John Lennon: “…something wrong with me, I thought”
“There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn’t see.” John Lennon. Many creative people say they feel like misfits. Therapist Sharon Barnes works with creative, sensitive, intense and/or gifted teens and adults, and hears from many of them statements like Lennon’s.