Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For Diagram.jpg

My mom used to tell me, “Be careful what you wish for.”

The past few weeks have given me a great opportunity to recognize the wisdom of that statement!

I consider myself to be a part of the approximately 10% of the population who can be described as “highly sensitive”. Highly sensitive people have a predisposition to being easily over-stimulated by sound, light, and emotionally charged situations. They may find that they need to get to a quiet space to recharge. Or maybe they need to be away from people for a bit, or they need to relax in a room with low lights. For me, my sensitivity seems primarily focused on sound. A “sound machine” with rushing water can feel like torture, and a place like the amusement park called Galaxy Land at West Edmonton Mall can send me scurrying in short order.

What do I often wish for? Quiet, of course!

A couple of weeks ago I came down with a bad cold and during that time I got on a plane, which seemed to drive the cold deep into my ears. For the first week following the plane trip I could hear very little. Family members had to raise their voices (more than usual). I couldn’t hear the bathroom fan, the construction noise across from my office, or the children next door.

While on some level it was relaxing, it was also strangely isolating. I couldn’t rely on the usual cues to let me know when it was safe to cross a street. I found it somewhat intimidating to go to a store – what if the clerk asked me something I couldn’t hear properly? What if I appeared to be foolish or ignorant? The mix of emotions was quite overwhelming and added to the distress caused by my cold.

What do you wish for yourself? What do you wish for from others?

Some people wish for their primary relationship to end, for a new job, or for a change of residence. While these things may be beneficial, they may also have unforeseen consequences. The next time you’re wishing for a change maybe you could daydream a little about the repercussions of that change and explore your feelings about potential losses.

Talking to a counsellor, or a trusted friend, can help you explore the benefits and drawbacks of change and help clarify the decision-making process.

Caron Smith