Highly Sensitive Overview

Understanding Your Gift of Spiritual Sensitivity

Overload! Overload is what can happen to a highly sensitive person while in a mall, hospital or room full of people—an overload of noises, emotions, irritation, and an inability to concentrate. Carol Brown takes on this sensitive subject in this book Highly Sensitive: Understanding Your Gift of Spiritual Sensitivity. Carol writes from a wealth of experience as she struggled to recognize and realize for herself that being emotionally and spiritually sensitive was indeed a gift that could be used for God’s glory—a gift she admits she was not too happy with at first!

This is Brown’s second book on the subject of spiritual sensitivity and is a companion volume to The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity. However, if you haven’t yet gotten the first book, there is enough information here so that you won’t feel lost as you read this one.

Highly Sensitive is about how empathetic burden bearing affects the individual; how to recover and repair damage from negative responses to your high sensitivity on the emotional, spiritual and psychological levels. It gives principles and guidelines to help reign life in so that it is manageable. It deals with five growth areas common to the highly sensitive. 1) Hearing God, 2) Confidence in what you hear, 3) Trust, 4) Boundaries, 5) Identity and destiny. It will encourage you—and maybe help you be less hard on yourself. You are learning a spiritual language, and that takes time! Other books present how to intercede, how to hear God, but never address the issue of high sensitivity. A certain amount of sensitivity is necessary to connect with and sense the heart of God. You need to know how that very sensitivity affects those who are wired to be highly sensitive!

The author distinguishes her two books in this way:

The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity is primarily about GOD’s domain, what He did/does for you, and your reactions. It gives voice and vocabulary to how you experience life, to give you hope and comfort as well as understanding how the LORD designed you to bear burdens. You are not crazy, but you are different from many—and that is a good thing!

Highly Sensitive: Learning to Live with the Gift is about your domain—about the things you can choose to work on under GOD’s direction. It is about spiritual fitness—building in the structures, habits, and disciplines that will enable you to do ‘the good works that were designed for you to do from the beginning’ (Ephesians 2:10)….This book is about the issues highly sensitive people wrestle with and the inner structures you need to build to live a joy-filled life as a burden bearer, before the ‘gift’ kills you!

Once The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity was in reader’s hands, the loudest question was, ‘Now what? Where do I go from here?’ This volume attempts to answer that question.

As Brown came to understand her God-given gift, she soon became a lighthouse for others who were struggling with the same gift. Numerous personal experiences dot the landscape of her prose. Added to that are the experiences of others she’s come to know as a pastor’s wife, mom and educator. Without exposing them, she shares their hurts and healing, so the reader can relate.

Drawing on data from brain research, spiritual and emotional healing, and Biblical truths, the author carefully covers in-depth what a person needs to know to enjoy the way God made him or her. In her relaxed writing style she unfolds unexpected revelations and wonders. It is an enjoyable read—like when you stroll around a corner and you are pleasantly surprised by what you see or hear or smell.

Brown shows how we can, indeed, learn the language of the spirit when we embark into the disciplines of bearing burdens rightly. As we each become more deeply acquainted with ourselves, we will more readily know when our Lord has laid on us someone else’s load that would overwhelm that person. When we come alongside in such a way, we can choose to go to the cross or wear that burden as our own. Four ways are suggested in the book of how we can tell if we have unwittingly chosen the second method. The author goes on to explain that a close walk with our Lord requires a sound approach to hearing God and knowing how He speaks to each of us uniquely. Numerous ways that our hearing can be blocked are discussed; and how we can pray to bring about the lack of restriction Jesus waits to give. Thorny issues of trust and boundaries are also tackled: “You need people who truly know you and can give you feedback when you are not acting like yourself….Once you create boundaries that reflect your values, you can develop gracious and appropriate ways to hold or defend them.”

Brown explains that about 20% of the general population has high sensitivity—a quality that uniquely prepares them for the work of “bearing one another’s burdens” as we are called to do so in Galatians 6:2. Hence, “burden bearers” are gifted to intercede in a particularly important way for others.
Brown takes readers by the hand, sympathetically and carefully, and walks them through the process—defining the gift, experiencing healing and redemption, and eventually joy being careful not to rush or overwhelm. In summary, they are encouraged to “be who we are,” related to being who the Lord made each one to be.

If you are looking for information about sensitivity—why you or someone you know acts (or reacts) the way they do, plus what to do about it—then this is an especially important read. If you seem at times to be filled with emotions and you don’t know where they are coming from, or if you know someone like that (crying easily or angry for no discernible reason, for example), this book will be an eye-opener. Are you counseling or praying with people? Are you a student of people—wondering why they act the way they do? Are you wondering why you act the way you do? Whether you are a professional or lay person, this book can give help and answers. Get a cup of tea or coffee, put your feet up and immerse yourself in this revelatory book about how God made you uniquely you.

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11 Commentsto Highly Sensitive Overview

  1. Neleigh Schuerch says:

    I have just learned that I am a highly sensitive person. I have struggled with this my whole life and not understood what is wrong with me. I have truly felt crazy! I need some support with/for this. I need fellowship with others that maybe struggling with these very same issues. Please help.

    • Sally says:

      Have you found any help Neleigh?

    • The best I can recommend is that you check out the Facebook Group called LeaderHeart’s HSP Discovery Community. It is moderated by a friend of mine, David Tensen. He is also highly sensitive. He and his wife have a wonderful ministry in Australia. This is a membership group filled with caring and understanding people who have also struggled. I hope this helps. Blessings, Carol

      • Patty Quigley says:

        So glad I google searched and found this message and comments. I can’t wait to join this group. I have been struggling with this my whole life….I really feel so different and can’t have normal conversations even with my adult children because I get so emotionally involved. Ruins my whole day after such conversations because I can’t let it go. Others can’t understand my struggles…but they put up with me.

    • Carol Brown says:

      Neleigh, have you contacted the Highly Sensitive group on Facebook? Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/davidtensen?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf Many have expressed how helpful this group is. I think you will find what you are asking for here.

  2. Sally says:

    I feel the same way Neleigh. Shame there is no discussion or reply here for you.

  3. Nthaby says:

    Wow I didn’t know that I have such a gift I was always criticized for being sensitive. Where can I get this book in South Africa

  4. Hessa says:

    Oh my goodness. This has just been revealed to me as a “spiritual gift”. I’ve never heard of this before now but I’ve ALWAYS been super sensitive to certain people feelings. This has pushed people away in my life because it scared them for fear of what they didn’t understand. Now I get it!! Wow! I’m soooo glad I’m not by myself on this. People made me feel like I weird, crazy or even obsessed with the ppl I care about. That wasn’t it and I couldn’t explain it!!!!

  5. snicole says:

    You are in good company Neleigh…after I have been made aware of “my issue” through the Holy Spirit…I now know it is a gift/calling…I too have been desperately seeking fellowship with others…as I have felt like a complete outcast my entire life…until now knowing it is actually a gift…now it is just learning how to put it to use for His glory. While a personality test/grouping may not necessarily be biblical…I did find it interesting that I am an INFJ and to me it tends to have some linkages…I guess it is an odd/rare personality type…however I have now decided to be an INFJ with pride as I like to think of it as standing for IN For Jesus INFJ. However just be careful if looking into the personality type as there are a lot of New Age things out there just as there are many “Christians” that think the burden bearing thing is all in our heads…its NOT and THANK YOU CAROL…I am ordering both books.

    • Sincole, Do check out the LeaderHeart’s HSP Discovery Community on Facebook. It is moderated by David Tensen, a fellow sensitive. He and his wife have a highly sensitive child so he brings the aspect of raising children who are highly sensitive. I think you will find the support you are looking for there. Blessings, Carol

  6. Rene Edwards says:

    Fantastic and touche’ to all that. I live in South Africa and am ordering the books and praying that God heightens my understanding to what has been a nearly impossible journey so far. God bless and thank you… Rene

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